Prinzo, a very warm welcome to you
The Skukuza half marathon is a fairly undulating course with lots of "cross country" moments. There is also the option of doing a 10 km race.
There is a cut off at about 15 kms for those who are not going to make the finish in a time of three hours. Runners will be taken in a combi to the sports ground. This is not to be difficult, but to protect the runners from a few serious predators. The back markers, in particular, might find themselves alone for long intervals.
The course goes around the village, twice I think, and then at about 7 kms heads out into bush. It tends to stay close to the village, passing the back of the bomas where captured animals are kept awaiting transport. Unfortunately we don't see these animals at all.and there are hills, big ugly hills
There is a section on tar which goes onto one of the main Kruger roads. It is not a long section, but it is a welcome section. By this time the legs are weary from running on uneven gravel and the hard tar is a relief.
The last few kilometres are through the village again.
There are water tables about every 3 kilometres. These are sponsered by various local businesses, such as Sportsmans Warehouse. The honoray rangers are also on duty with firearms to protect the runners in isolated areas. The traffic department is also fantastic, lending support where and when they can. I also seem to remember the defence force getting involved.
It is a community experience at its best.
I do not think there would be an attack, but one never knows. Runners also sometimes need to "answer the call of nature", and in this regard, the rangers are essential. This is one place where you don't just duck behind a bush.
As EJ said, there is a helicopter flying overhead for the whole race. It does not land until the last runner is in safely.
There have been a few interesting experiences, the most notable when the front runners had to jump onto the back of the lead vehicle due to a pride of Lions deciding to rest in the road. Needless to say, that was not a year for personal bests. They had to wait for the Lions to be chased away before continuing.
Start booking accomodation now, but don't stress about not getting what you want at this point. Many people book and don't pay a deposit. Many more change their minds through the year and cancel their bookings. Just keep looking.
The first time I ran, I stayed outside of the Park and entered at Numbi. I was in good time for the start of the race.