And hi to everyone else.
This is my first post but have been a long time loiterer on this forums.
I will entering KNP for my third visit beginning September. Which considering I live in the UK and my first visit was July 2008 isn't bad
My SO, Rindy is originally from SA and this trip we will be on our honeymoon.
When I first visited in 2008, we flew in to Jo'burg and hired a car and drove down. Now this was not as direct as Sara intends to take, as Rindy wanted me to see some of SA before hitting KNP. We drove to Pretoria and then down to Nelspruit (where Rindy spent a good deal of her childhood), before going on to Hazyview. Spent the evening in a great hotel, and up early the next to enter the Numbi gate at 10.
Now the roundabout drive from Jo'burg, although beautiful could never have prepared me for what was come in KNP.
I had purposely avoided doing any research into KNP before the trip. My first impression after entering Numbi Gate and driving towards Pretoriuskop was one of diappointment, lots of brown woodland and bush. Then as we came to the turning to the S8 I saw my first game - Nyala. At that moment I fell in love with KNP, and it is a moment I will never forget.
We stayed at BnD and Skukusa that first trip, did a sunset drive from Skukusa. But the main issue being a first timer was that I wanted to see it all, spent as long as possible out of the camps driving all hours, never rushing but maybe not going as slow as we should have.
April 2010 we flew to Kruger Mpumalanga International airport KMIA (via Durban). As much as I enjoyed the drive from Jo'burg to KNP in 2008 it was so much easier flying in and picking up a hire vehicle. If you do decide to fly into KMIA book your vehicle a good time in advance to ensure you get a decent high vehicle/4x4.
We will be doing the same this year. The drive from Numbi gate to Satara, timewise is a fraction shorter than BnD, but with an early start you will have plenty of time.
One thing I will say, is that I find being in the vehicle for long stretches of time can be really tiring if the weather gets hot. I do not overly enjoy extreme heat and one day last April it hit 38C on day in which we covered 170km. That was a killer for me, and we certainly didn't have enough water in the car!
Rindy and I now try and slow everything down so that we can fully appreciate the whole atmosphere of KNP. We love Satara and we will base our whole trip there again this year.
Everyone experiences KNP differently, but if you are a lover of nature be prepared for a most magical time. I myself can not get enough of the place, as my complaining bank balance can testify
Have a great trip Sara