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 Post subject: Your Country of South Africa
Unread postPosted: Fri Jan 25, 2013 4:19 am 
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Joined: Thu Mar 22, 2012 3:13 am
Posts: 72
Location: Orlando FL USA
To all citizens of South Africa,

I would have to say so far, I love your country it was awesome. I can't wait to get back. I wasn't in Johannesburg very long but what I saw was not bad. I stayed in the Birchwood Motel which was nice. I then flew to Upington and went out to visit the Meerkats and then to the Kgalagadi for 4 days with stays in Nossob and Mata Mata with a bonus 30 minute stop in Namibia (just to get an extra stamp in the passport) lol. And then another day in Upington then went to Cape Town (AWESOME CITY) I love the Cape of Good Hope and Robben Island and a little trip to Table Mountain (Too bad it was foggy that day) :-(

What an awesome experience, and I can't wait to get back in December.

I would like to ask some advise from everyone PLEASE ?

I am not going to be driving anywhere. (YOU DON'T WANT ME BEHIND THE WHEEL) Yikes !!!!
What would be the best way to get to Orpen flying from Orlando as you see ? I want to stay in Orpen and also Satara and maybe throw in another camp to stay in along the way.

Please advise a really GOOD FRIEND from the States.

If anyone wants advise about getting around Florida or Las Vegas let me know I will give you the best places to go.

Larry

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 Post subject: Re: Your Country of South Africa
Unread postPosted: Fri Jan 25, 2013 5:38 am 
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Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Sun Apr 12, 2009 6:20 am
Posts: 1046
Hi llytel!

You will need a car to drive and stay in the park but I don't classify that as 'real' driving as you never go more than about 40kph lol! You can fly to Hoedspruit from Johannesburg and pick up your pre-booked hire car there and then it is an easy run up the road to Orpen gate and camp. You also need to book your accommodation at the camps now as December is probably a very busy time. :thumbs_up:

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 Post subject: Re: Your Country of South Africa
Unread postPosted: Fri Jan 25, 2013 8:57 am 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Tue Mar 29, 2011 9:36 am
Posts: 937
Location: Ermelo
Or you could fly in at phalaborwa which is right by the phalaborwa gate get a car their and drive down to orpen, one way or the other you are going to have to get behind the wheel of a car because you need wheels in the park fact :D

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 Post subject: Re: Your Country of South Africa
Unread postPosted: Fri Jan 25, 2013 1:06 pm 
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Legendary Virtual Ranger
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Location: In the shadow of Table Mountain
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Welcome to the forum llytel,

Glad you liked Kgalagadi and my home city. If you return here, let us know and we could organise a forum meet.

I could well take you up on the offer one day.

The best mode of travel in Kruger is self drive. You have been given good advice already.

How long do you intend staying in Kruger? It is an awful long way for you to come, so I would make the most of it.

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 Post subject: Re: Your Country of South Africa
Unread postPosted: Fri Jan 25, 2013 8:16 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Tue Jun 05, 2007 12:29 am
Posts: 130
Location: Herndon, Virginia
Welcome Ilytel,

I have been to Kruger and Kgalagadi a couple times now, once by myself. We fly out of Dulles direct to JNB, stay the night there and then fly into Mpumalanga. From there we rent a car. I have also driven in Orlando. Orlando is much worse!! You could definitely drive to Kruger from Mpumalanga.

If you drove to KTP you are already an expert!


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 Post subject: Re: Your Country of South Africa
Unread postPosted: Fri Jan 25, 2013 9:12 pm 
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Honorary Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Fri Jan 14, 2005 5:42 pm
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Location: Red sand, why do I keep thinking of red sand?
From a non-driver:
Driving on the wrong side of the road (yes you lefthanded drivers, it IS the wrong side! :D ) is not as bad as you think.
They were smart enough to place the steeringwheel on the wrong side as well, which does make it feel more natural. The flow of the traffic also helps, you can simply follow the movements of the car in front of you if it seems to be heading where you are going.
And after a few hours/kilometers you really wonder what it would be like driving on the right side of the road.
There are bits where you should watch out, like roundabouts (go left!), and you may not be used to 3-way or 4-ways stops. (Simple system, no trafficlights? First at the line gets to go first. Don't! try to jump your turn, and keep your eyes open before you come to the crossing so you know where you are in the cue.)

Well, that is your driving worry out of the way! :D
From JHB to Kruger is a great highway (pity about the tollfees), you just zoom away. To the Kalahari is the same, just a less frequented road, and a few more miles.
So where do you want to go? You have seen Kruger, and know that on those roads even your driving skills will suffice. KTP? Even easier, and new sights.
;)

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 Post subject: Re: Your Country of South Africa
Unread postPosted: Fri Jan 25, 2013 9:26 pm 
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Joined: Thu Dec 30, 2004 5:54 pm
Posts: 43030
Location: Somerset West, Cape Town
Llytel, hi :D

South Africa has 11 official languages, and as many types of drivers ( X 100 or so :lol: )

If you wish to avoid driving out ORT airport (Jhb) to Kruger, then fly to the airports suggested in the posts above, but then, I also suggested you hire a car to self drive in Kruger. It is an amazing experience to do this. You can also go on some game drives with the Parks guys so you do not have to drive all the time, but the bulk should be self drive.

And I agree too - you coming such a far way, try stay as long in the park long as you can, and try and see more camps than just the two (lovely camps) you have listed so far.

We will all help you with tips when driving in the park - like if you see ellies etc on the road. We will also give you tips on driving on the roads to and from the park if you choose to do that.

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 Post subject: Re: Your Country of South Africa
Unread postPosted: Sat Jan 26, 2013 1:54 am 
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Joined: Thu Mar 22, 2012 3:13 am
Posts: 72
Location: Orlando FL USA
Thanks everyone for the advice, I guess I will have to get the car at the airport near kruger. I guess just the first few miles will be the scariest. If you hear alot of screaming and crying in my car then you know what is going on..............and I will be the only person in the car, so you know who will be doing the screaming and crying... lol ....I better get alot of insurance on the car......I hope they have automatic transmission, I know how to drive manuals but it will feel weird shiftin with my left hand.

Does anyone recommend any site in Kruger other than Orpen and Satara that they liked or was your favorite?

Let me know.

Thanks

Larry

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 Post subject: Re: Your Country of South Africa
Unread postPosted: Sat Jan 26, 2013 3:19 am 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Mon Aug 17, 2009 5:28 pm
Posts: 371
Location: California
Hi Larry

Make sure you book an automatic transmission car, otherwise you will get a manual ( stick shift). When driving on the other side of the road, some tips I have found useful:

1. Remember as the driver, you will be on the side of the car closest to the middle of the road ( median line in US).

2. Look both ways before turning, I still do this after 9 years in the US.

3. Unlike the US, there is no left turn yield on red.

Good luck :)

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 Post subject: Re: Your Country of South Africa
Unread postPosted: Sat Jan 26, 2013 4:25 am 
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Joined: Thu Mar 22, 2012 3:13 am
Posts: 72
Location: Orlando FL USA
Hey Cheetahlady,

I think it will be bad enough being on the left but I don't want to add to that with a stick also, that may be real scary.

Thanks

Larry

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 Post subject: Re: Your Country of South Africa
Unread postPosted: Sat Jan 26, 2013 6:20 am 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Tue Mar 29, 2011 9:36 am
Posts: 937
Location: Ermelo
llytel wrote:
Thanks everyone for the advice, I guess I will have to get the car at the airport near kruger. I guess just the first few miles will be the scariest. If you hear alot of screaming and crying in my car then you know what is going on..............and I will be the only person in the car, so you know who will be doing the screaming and crying... lol ....I better get alot of insurance on the car......I hope they have automatic transmission, I know how to drive manuals but it will feel weird shiftin with my left hand.

Does anyone recommend any site in Kruger other than Orpen and Satara that they liked or was your favorite?

Let me know.

Thanks

Larry


Hey Larry

If you fly in at phalaborwa you are right by the park entrance gate so no screaming or crying is necessary because their is absolutely no way you can get lost within the park :D ......... Also the automatic is a great option to go with especially for game viewing it makes it easier for you to scout the bush ......... And my favourite camps in the Park Is Lower Sabie and Berg n Dal and satara they are the best 3 camps for game viewing if you want to visit an awesome picnic site go to Tsokwane :)

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Home is where the Heart is and my Heart lies in the Kruger ...FACT!


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 Post subject: Re: Your Country of South Africa
Unread postPosted: Sat Jan 26, 2013 6:32 am 
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Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Sun Apr 19, 2009 4:09 pm
Posts: 2714
Location: In the heart of the Waterberg; Deep in Limpopo
Hi Larry

Welcome to the forums! If you fly into Phalaborwa then you can head straight for the park gate which is close and go through to Letaba or Olifants - both within easy reach. From there, down to Satara/Orpen and maybe through to Skukuza or Pretoriuskop and out at Numbi Gate through to Mpumalanga airport. With an automatic, you'll easily be able to look for animals/birds/reptiles etc.
In a nutshell - go for it! Book NOW............ :)

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 Post subject: Re: Your Country of South Africa
Unread postPosted: Sat Jan 26, 2013 8:56 am 
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Posts: 6099
Location: Brecon Beacons National Park
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We live in Phalaborwa, and I can assure you the airport is about a mile from the Phalaborwa Gate, and as it is a very small town and both the airport and the gate are on the outskirts of the town, there is very little traffic...........you will be fine!!

Once in the park, the driving is very easy (all be it on the wrong side of the road for you!!)

Have a wonderful time, and as DB says, ask as many questions here as you want,...........there is always someone to give you an answer. :thumbs_up:

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 Post subject: Re: Your Country of South Africa
Unread postPosted: Sat Jan 26, 2013 2:59 pm 
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Joined: Thu Mar 22, 2012 3:13 am
Posts: 72
Location: Orlando FL USA
Hey Crested Val,

Phalaborwa, sounds like a great little town, I can't wait to get there. It must be awesome living outside of Kruger. If I could move down there, that is where I would move since it is so close to the park....wow. I am Jealous...big time...lol.

One more question I just thought about. Are you allowed to drive offroad there in Kruger, if you see a hunt going on. I know it sounds sadistic but I have always wanted to see a kill, or two, or three or even twenty...lol

Or do you have to stay on the roads at all time ?

Hey Crested Val, when I get my tripped booked I will let you know when I will be there I would like to meet you and thanks for calming my nerves...lol

Larry

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 Post subject: Re: Your Country of South Africa
Unread postPosted: Sat Jan 26, 2013 3:08 pm 
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Joined: Thu Mar 22, 2012 3:13 am
Posts: 72
Location: Orlando FL USA
Hey PNF,

I will check out those parks also, once I get settled in the first site whichever one it is. I am going to drive around and hopefully be able to at least drive through each of the sites and then when I go back the next time I will be a semi-pro driver and then I will know what other sites I want to stay at. I am going crazy right now, I can't wait to get there.

Larry

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