Skip to content

SANParks.org Forums

View unanswered posts | View active topics






Post new topic Reply to topic  Page 1 of 13
 [ 192 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 ... 13  Next
Author Message
 Post subject: Self drive or Safari company
Unread postPosted: Wed Jan 12, 2005 11:01 am 
Offline

Joined: Wed Jan 12, 2005 10:53 am
Posts: 5
I'm in a bind. I had a safari all scheduled. We were to stay at the Matikitiki(??) Camp, which to my understanding is inside the borders of Kruger. However, that camp has been closed, and so now we have tickets to Africa with no safari scheduled.

A woman I know went on the same safari and raved out it due to the fact that it was inside the park whereas most groups need to drive outside the gates at night and miss the authetic experience. She also talked about night drives, game walks, and a wide array of game viewing, and that the jeeps on her safari were not the giant buses or people movers with 40 people in them. But all open air with 6-10 people.

Ideally, since this is our first trip there, we'd want to see and do as much as possible. We'd want a mix of hikes from walking to driving, night to morning, dusk, various locales as well. Rather than staying in some luxurious private lodge, we'd want to sleep in a tent surrounded by nature

edit:
In regards to "self drive vs. safari company", if this is your first time to SA, I'd absolutely absolutely recommend a safari company, for a few reasons
1. You'll see much more. The guides not only know where to go to see animals, but they've been doing it much longer and therefore can spot animals for hundreds of yards away - it's eerie actually

2. Privacy. Many of the guide companies have access to roads that the public does not (especially ones that are run by the park itself - like Walking Rhino) and so you can drive around all day without seeing another car on the road. This is great because on the public roads, if there is a lion on the side the of the street, you'll see a line of 10 cars waiting to see it.

3. Safety. Aside from not having to deal with more cars (and drivers who are looking for animals, not other cars, there is crime, and if you happen to end up in an area around dusk, there have been stories of people getting their car stolen WHILE IN THE PARK (there's a post later in this thread where someone mentions an attempt)

4. Knowledge. You can have all the books in the world with you, but nothing beats having an experienced guide to give you little tidbits of info.


Last edited by jeffchisholm on Sat Jan 05, 2008 9:29 pm, edited 2 times in total.

Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Wed Jan 12, 2005 11:17 am 
Online
Senior Virtual Ranger
Senior Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Sat Jan 29, 2005 12:52 pm
Posts: 1704
Location: My business...
Hi Jeff!
I've sent you email with a website address which is extremely reliable - my favourite magazine GETAWAY. Sorry to hear about your bad luck, hope you come right. :D


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Wed Jan 12, 2005 11:52 am 
Offline
Legendary Virtual Ranger
Legendary Virtual Ranger
User avatar
Award: Birder of the Year (2013)
Joined: Thu Dec 02, 2004 10:27 am
Posts: 5250
Location: Chasing down the rarities
Hi Jeff,

You could also try a 3 day hiking safari in the Kruger conducted by SANParks.

It is definitly worth while but not nearly as luxurious as Matikitiki.

Also look at http://www.krugerpark.co.za

It contains Matikitiki (Weird) and a whole lot of others as well.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Wed Jan 12, 2005 12:40 pm 
Offline

Joined: Fri Nov 19, 2004 11:51 am
Posts: 2
Do not forget the 'self-drive' concept. Kruger National Park is easily accessible via normal tar roads and is around 450km from Johannesburg International Airport. You can even fly to KMIA just outside Nelspruit and drive from there. Normal car rental companies are available everywhere.

In Kruger itself the roads are accessible with any type of car (good gravel roads and good tar roads). I will always prefer to drive on my own and not be dependent on a group or guide, etc. But I guess it is the choice that must be made by you.

It is waaaaayyy cheaper to do it that way in my opinion. You can stay in the camps in Kruger operated by SANParks for around $60-$75 per night for two persons which will be an air-conditioned hut/chalet with en-suite bathroom, etc.

Meals at restaurants and take-aways available in all the bigger camps for between $4-$5 for a burger and chips and dinner (3 course buffet) for around $17 if I can remember correctly.

Just another option!

Look at the website you are on now under:
http://www.sanparks.org/parks/kruger/

Meerkat - Kruger lover!


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: More Ideas
Unread postPosted: Wed Jan 12, 2005 1:15 pm 
Offline
Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Wed Dec 15, 2004 10:22 pm
Posts: 90
Location: Shoulder to the wheel, nose to the grindstone...
Hi there,

I agree with all the above, it depends on what you are looking for. If you still want the ultimate luxury try the private camp Jock - super 5 star and inside the park. You can selfdrive there and then let them pamper you. If you are going to self drive and want more cost effective accomodation try 2 nights at 3 different camps - very easy to do and you get to see so much of the park and the different eco systems. Also increases your chances of seeing a variety of different animals. All the camps have night drives, morning walks, bush dinners and 4x4 trails, so you can get a good mix of game viewing on your own which is fun and very rewarding as well as supervised activities. May is a good time to visit. Enjoy!

_________________
Not all who wander are lost.
J.R.R. Tolkien


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Wed Jan 12, 2005 7:45 pm 
Offline

Joined: Wed Jan 12, 2005 10:53 am
Posts: 5
thanks for the responses/emails thus far.

To answer a few questions:

We're defintely looking for at least a 5 day safari, possibly even six.

We're not looking for self-drive as it's our first trip to Africa and feel that we'd surely miss much of what needs to be seen without an experienced guide.

Secondly, we're not so much looking for super-luxury of R2000/night, it's just not in our budget.

If I wasn't clear, we're LEAVING Africa on 1 May. We arrive in Capetown on 21 April and then will spend a few days there before flying to J0'Burg. Return to US on 1 May.

I'll look at the links you've all suggested. I appreciate the help.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Thu Jan 13, 2005 10:35 am 
Offline
Distinguished Virtual Ranger
Distinguished Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Thu Dec 23, 2004 1:38 pm
Posts: 1934
Jeff,

As mentioned you can book your own accomodation in the park at any rest camp. Some rest camps have the option of booking a Full Day safari in an open vechile for R1800/day (±$300). This is for the vechile and a FGASA & SATOUR registered guide as well as light beverages. Have a look at http://www.krugerpark.co.za/safari-in-open-vehicle.html In addition to the prices mentioned by Meerkat remember that a daily consevation fee of R120/day/person (±$20) is payble when booking in at any of the camps

Walks and night drives can be booked at most of the camp offices.

I have forwarded both your messages to Michelle Hann at SA Tours and Safaris. I make use of their services to do all my Kruger bookings. I have asked her for any suggestions from their side.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Thu Jan 27, 2005 6:36 am 
Offline

Joined: Wed Jan 12, 2005 10:53 am
Posts: 5
Figured I'd check in, with an update, and beg for any help/guidance that you experts might have. It's tough to schedule a trip from 10,000 miles away and a 12-hour time difference. Everything is done over email.

I've got my options narrowed down to two. Both are inside Kruger, which was a must for us:

First is with Siyabona Africa Travel, and it's a 6 day "Buffalo Safari". We'd be staying in Camp Shawu.

The other is with ecoafrica, and it's a 6 day "Walking Rhino Safari". We'd be staying at three differnet camps: Rhino Post, Plains Camp, and Sleepout Camp.

The ecoafrica accomodations actually sound preferrable, as they seem more authentic and also give the bonus of variety. I'd love to sleep in a tented camp surrounded by wildwilfe as opposed to inside a cabin. However, the way the walking safari was described to me, it sounds more like a nature hike looking at bugs and bushes in a very small area (walking between all camps, going on short hikes from camp) than what would be preferrable for a first trip to Africa (walks mixed with game drives), and so it looks like we're leaning towards Siyabona.

If you have any experience with either company, any of the cmaps, or either safari, if you could offer advice, it would be greatly appreciated. If not. Thanks for your initial advice.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Thu Jan 27, 2005 6:39 am 
Offline
Legendary Virtual Ranger
Legendary Virtual Ranger
User avatar
Award: Birder of the Year (2013)
Joined: Thu Dec 02, 2004 10:27 am
Posts: 5250
Location: Chasing down the rarities
I would go with the latter!!


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Thu Jan 27, 2005 7:08 am 
Offline
Distinguished Virtual Ranger
Distinguished Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Thu Dec 09, 2004 6:51 am
Posts: 2063
Location: In a very busy place
Definetly with the 2nd ... You can trust wildtuinman's judgement. He has done a few walking trails and he has almost everyone (inlc. myself) interested in them.

_________________
NO TO HOTEL DEVELOPMENT IN KRUGER


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Thu Jan 27, 2005 7:22 am 
Offline
Legendary Virtual Ranger
Legendary Virtual Ranger
User avatar
Award: Birder of the Year (2013)
Joined: Thu Dec 02, 2004 10:27 am
Posts: 5250
Location: Chasing down the rarities
Thanks for that testimony and believe W@H. :lol:

Hi Jeff,

I would go for the latter option. Purely because that walking in the bush is the best. The camps mentioned here also looks great. The walks are about seeing anything. They would concentrate a bit more on stuff you won't normally see when driving like spoor (tracks) and small creatures etc.

I have done several walks in the Park and have seen Lion, elephant and Rhino of the big 5 while walking. If there are any oppurtunities of seeing a member of the big 5, I am sure they'll try and capture a sight of it. It is an experience you'll hopefully never forget. Adrenalin pumps like hell!

Unfortunately I have not attended any of these safari companies' safari's so I won't be able to help you there. Don't have the big bucks they charge lol. :lol:

I only know that they have been in business for quite a long while.

Please ask me again if you need any other info. Also see some of my earlier comment regarding walking in the bush.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Thu Jan 27, 2005 7:39 am 
Offline

Joined: Wed Jan 12, 2005 10:53 am
Posts: 5
The other thing is that the Walking safari is also about R3000 more expensive than the first one and the Siyabona safari includes airfare round trip from Jo'Burg and a flight from Capetown to Jo'Burg (one way). When you add all that in, the walking safari is about 40% more expensive.

I'm just worried that on the walking safaris are more tailored to people like yourselves that have been to Africa before. I haven't and so we want to see and do as much as possible. The walking safaris make it seem like we are confined to about 3 square miles of land.

I know that a lot of people have unrealistic expectations of going on safari, and we're trying to be realistic about what we're going to see, but the reason I'm going to fly the 10,000 miles is mostly because of the chance to see Lions, cheatas, and other predators. The way the walking safari was described to me makes it look like more of a safe little old lady hike looking at some bushes and bugs.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Thu Jan 27, 2005 7:45 am 
Offline
Legendary Virtual Ranger
Legendary Virtual Ranger
User avatar
Award: Birder of the Year (2013)
Joined: Thu Dec 02, 2004 10:27 am
Posts: 5250
Location: Chasing down the rarities
Please pass me the safari descriptions so that I can have a thorough look at it.

I have to add that we went walking with an American (Dave ?? , a diplomat) last year. He enjoyed it alot. I think one problem he had was to take in all the info that was thrown to him. Pitty I don't have an email to give you to contact him.

I'll try and get it from someone else. In the meanwhile send me the docs.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Thu Jan 27, 2005 8:09 am 
Offline
Legendary Virtual Ranger
Legendary Virtual Ranger
User avatar
Award: Birder of the Year (2013)
Joined: Thu Dec 02, 2004 10:27 am
Posts: 5250
Location: Chasing down the rarities
Hi Jeff,

Seems like there will be some game view driving involved as well. The area where the safari will be is probably one of your best to see the big 5 and cheetahs. But I can't promise you that you will see them.

Ask any of the other forummers here and they'll tell you that you are not guaranteed to see any of them on a trip to the park no matter what. It all boils down to luck and as I always say: "At the right place at the right time and you'll see them!!".

I think you guys would like to get as much experience as possible out of your visit. The Kruger park is our country's flagship park. It is not just about the big 5. I know everyone would tell you that, but go and enjoy what mother nature throws at you. If you go to see the just big 5, you might perhaps return home distraught.

Go and be open about it, learn as much as you can. Take your video camera with!! You never know with this place. As W@H says it's like a box of chocs, you'll never know what you'll find!

To experience nature by walking is something unmatchable to anything else. Your senses will be doing overtime!! To see that 1st lion spoor (sure to find one) will give you an adrenaline rush which you'll remember forever. You can see how I can carry on about walking in the Kruger!! I have driven it up and down many times, but it does not compare with being on foot.

Remeber to send the safari material.

Cheers


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Thu Jan 27, 2005 8:22 am 
Offline

Joined: Mon Dec 06, 2004 11:44 am
Posts: 21
Hi Jeff,

Meerkat`s suggestion is in my opinion the best value for money option. However, if you`re not into a little self-driving combined with all the other options that Kruger offers, I can recommend the Ecoafrica option. I have been to Rhino Post Camp, it is in Kruger, only about 15kms from Skukuza and is managed by an ex Kruger trails ranger. Albeit considerably more expensive than Kruger it has great understated ambience. The choice of walking or being driven around is yours at both Rhino Post and Plains camp. You have to walk to Sleepout Camp though.
I do not know enough about Siyabona Africa Travel so cannot comment on that one.


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 192 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 ... 13  Next



Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 6 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group

Webcams Highlights

Addo Nossob Orpen Satara
Addo Nossob Orpen Satara
Submitted by Jurie van Vuuren at 12:26:03 Submitted by ritad at 08:52:50 Submitted by Anonymous at 12:10:12 Submitted by bushwackedblonde at 17:27:19