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Does number of people per jeep matter?

New York
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Does number of people per jeep matter?

hello! we're looking at two lodges that are pretty similar but one has 9 people per jeep and one has 6. does it matter? TIA!

Weybridge
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1. Re: Does number of people per jeep matter?

Hi,

Personally, I would go for the 6 per vehicle, which means 2 people per row, otherwise you will be 3 people per row, so you will be sitting with a stranger OR you and your partner will have to split and be the 'odd ones' in a row.

Less people means you can have more of a personal dialogue with your ranger too.

Tracey, Owner / Director, Travel Butlers

Washington DC...
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2. Re: Does number of people per jeep matter?

Everything that Tracey said. Plus, if you're taking photos, you'd be surprised how a person or two fidgeting around can shake a vehicle making it a bit harder to steady the camera. The less the better, I think.

New York
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3. Re: Does number of people per jeep matter?

Thanks!! Anyone else?

Stanley, Falkland...
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4. Re: Does number of people per jeep matter?

The only benefit of having 9 people is to keep the cost down, otherwise the fewer people the better.

But there is no benefit of having a slightly cheaper game drive if someone is blocking your view, or, as said, fidgeting while you take the shot of a lifetime!

Cape Town
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5. Re: Does number of people per jeep matter?

“The less the better” – definitely agree. When we go on game drives in Kruger, and many other parks in South Africa, there are never more than two people per vehicle. Including the driver!

That’s because we self drive in the whole 2 million hectares of Kruger National Park. Complete unobstructed viewing for both and we can stop as long as we like at any sighting. Then in the back seat of the vehicle there is plenty of space for all our camera equipment - 3 or 4 cameras plus lenses and a bean bag for steady shots. A couple of pairs of binoculars. 3 or 4 bird and animal identification guide books and Kruger detailed maps. Extra jumpers and gloves in case it gets cold (or the ones we have taken off). The cooler box with drinks, snacks and lunch (and in the mornings a flask of coffee).

No “sitting with strangers” , so we have no one chatting away when we are trying to take a video with the sounds of the bush – or just incessantly chatting about how the Serengeti is much better than Kruger (or vice versa), or even worse how well the kids are doing at school (in English, German, Japanese or Chinese) - while we are enjoying the family of Elephants.. Sticking their 400mm lens in my ear. Complaining that we have been too long at this sighting – or not enough.

Switching the heater on when it gets too cold – or the aircon on a baking hot day. Searching out the animals yourself.

But then self-drive in Kruger along the 3,000km of often deserted roads and tracks, is nowhere near as good as a private reserve – even with 9 in a vehicle – is it?

Oh, and as peterS just mentioned the cost. With two to a vehicle it’s a fraction of any private reserve! And, as they keep telling you in the Sabi Sand - there are no fences, so the animals are the same!

Sorry – but couldn’t resist it!

Cologne, Germany
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6. Re: Does number of people per jeep matter?

perfect argumentation VdC, couldn't agree more! add in the joy of spotting animals yourself

Newbury, United...
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7. Re: Does number of people per jeep matter?

Well said vdc you are a great ambassador for the national parks. We have stayed in the past at private camps in Kenya and Kruger, but we much prefer to self drive for all the reasons you mention. We had an amazing time in Addo and the Mountain Zebra Park earlier this year, and we self catered the whole time.

New York
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8. Re: Does number of people per jeep matter?

Hi! Thanks for the thoughts and good points! I can't drive (I have a pretty bad leg injury healing) and it's high season (kids are on holiday) when we're going, and we're totally newbies, and we've only got 3 days, so we figured we'd try a lodge first, but in other circ's self driving would be an option.

Washington DC...
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9. Re: Does number of people per jeep matter?

When I go to Sabi Sand I try to get a couple days in at Kruger doing a self drive, but I always leave Sabi Sand for last. To me it's a matter of leaving best for last. You're going to have a fabulous time. Have fun!

Gold Coast...
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for Kruger National Park
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10. Re: Does number of people per jeep matter?

Hi there.

We also only stay at lodges with no more than 6 to a vehicle.

This is because like others have said we want the whole row to ourselves for various obvious reasons.

Must add though that we have only ever shared the vehicle with other couples and they have all been great experiences. We really enjoy meeting people from other parts of the world and have been very lucky to enjoy the company of like minded travellers each time. In fact when we would stop for morning coffee or sundowners we had some great laughs and coversations with the ranger and other guests, the rest of time you would not know they were there, we found you can barely hear anyone talking in the jeep on the move. We have found most people are sensible and do not chatter endlessly to strangers.

Maybe we have just been lucky but in our three Sabi experiences we have really had great company each time and in fact still keep in contact with some that we have met.

So yes 6 is fine but IMO would try to avoid 9, unless there are say 3 of you, this might be what you want ?

You are correct that in having only 3 days a lodge is a great choice, its a great introduction to safari and you will have a good chance of great sightings packed into a short time. Thats how we started and like us you have a very very long way to travel to get there in the first place.

.

Edited: 23 September 2011, 01:43