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Self drive or Safari company

Discuss and find information on the Kruger National Park
Meerkat
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Unread postby Meerkat » Wed Jan 12, 2005 12:40 pm

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!

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Bushbaby
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More Ideas

Unread postby Bushbaby » Wed Jan 12, 2005 1:15 pm

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.
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Sean
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Getting Around Kruger

Unread postby Sean » Thu Jun 23, 2005 2:57 am

Hello! My wife and I are planning a trip to Kruger in August. All the travel groups are very very expensive. We were thinking of just reserving our own rooms in Kruger BUT we don't know how to get from campsite to campsite. Is this possible without renting a car?

Alternatively, does anyone know of any reasonably priced group that will get us around? R6000 is not reasonable to us!

Thank you!

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arks
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Unread postby arks » Thu Jun 23, 2005 4:17 am

Hi Sean and welcome to the forums!!

KNP is really designed for self-drive and while most / all of the camps offer various game drives, you miss out on a lot if you restrict yourself to that. Also, I'm not sure how you would get to and between camps unless you were part of a tour.

What's your objection to hiring a car? I always use AuroEurope:

http://www.autoeurope.com

How many days were you planning for KNP? Remember that the park is a bit larger than Massachusetts, so there's a lot of territory to cover.

You'll find lots of helpful information if you have a look through the various forum threads and I'm sure you'll also get lots more replies once SA and Europe wake up.

I copied the following links from DB's post (apologies DB, I don't have a clue how to make these links myself :redface: :( ) in the "Is just showing up ..." thread (which you should read for more helpful hints):

Dinkybird wrote:Have you read Best camp for first timers

You can make online reservations here.

Check accommodation availability here.


Keep asking questions and you'll find that this is a very very helpful bunch of enthusiasts.

cheers, arks

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ruud
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Re: Getting Around Kruger

Unread postby ruud » Thu Jun 23, 2005 10:05 am

Sean wrote:Hello! My wife and I are planning a trip to Kruger in August. All the travel groups are very very expensive. We were thinking of just reserving our own rooms in Kruger BUT we don't know how to get from campsite to campsite. Is this possible without renting a car?

Alternatively, does anyone know of any reasonably priced group that will get us around? R6000 is not reasonable to us!

Thank you!


Hi Sean

First of all, I think it is a good choice to go to SA and visit Kruger but as it is already said, without a car it will be a problem to visit Kruger. I don't know for howlong you will stay in SA but renting a small car doesn't need to be very expensive ( I believe it starts about 200-230R/per day, but don't shoot me if I'm wrong.. :wink: ) and then you can plan your own trip through the park...
The alternative is (maybe) to join a group of people who travel with a 'overland truck' but most of the time they are camping and you have to put up your tent by yourself and those kind of things....
There are severalt touroperators which offer all sorts of tours.

But whatever you choose, I hope you have a great time in SA and specially in Kruger.

Ruud.

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DuQues
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Re: Getting Around Kruger

Unread postby DuQues » Thu Jun 23, 2005 10:17 am

ruud wrote:I don't know for howlong you will stay in SA but renting a small car doesn't need to be very expensive ( I believe it starts about 200-230R/per day, but don't shoot me if I'm wrong.. ) and then you can plan your own trip through the park...

There is a discussion going on about car rental prices here. That may help....
Arriving currently: The photos from our trip! Overhere! :yaya:

Feel free to use any of these additional letters to correct the spelling of words found in the above post: a-e-t-n-d-i-o-s-m-l-u-y-h-c

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madach
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Re: Email access/driving into KNP from Mozambique

Unread postby madach » Tue Jun 28, 2005 12:34 am

jsmathematics wrote:Does anyone have any experience driving in from another country? Do the car rental companies mind you taking the cars out of the initial country?


You have to inform the rental company that you're planning to take the car out of the country prior to arrival so they can prepare papers for you. You'll need this paperwork if you're planning to take the car to Namibia, Mozambique or Zimbabwe. You can take the car into Swaziland without extra paperwork, but you still need permission from the rental company to do so.

I'm not sure if any rental company will let you take a car into Zimbabwe at the moment. When you take the car out of South Africa your liability will probably be raised and you'll probably be charged for the paperwork the rental company has to do. When I took a car into Namibia last year my liability was doubled but the paperwork was for free :D

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Krokodile
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Unread postby Krokodile » Tue Jun 28, 2005 12:38 am

Hello again

The only camp that I KNOW has internet access is Berg en Dal. By rights, Skukuza should, being the biggest camp, but I've never noticed it there.

I have hired a car and driven from SA to Mozambique and it is possible to do, but you do get charged extra for insurance. In addition, you need all kinds of border crossing documentation, just so the other country know you're not trying to take a vehicle in there permanently. If you mean hiring a car outside of SA, I can't really comment on how feasible it would be.

I've investigated importing a car into SA as a tourist, as we visit so often, having our own vehicle there would be cheaper than hiring, but the import duties are prohibitive. Even on a tourist carnet (temporary import) you have to pay up the full value of the car as collateral. You only get that money back if you take the car out of the country within 12 months. From my understanding, SA is one of the most expensive places in Africa to import a car to as they want to protect the value of cars sold within the country. I can't, therefore, see that hiring a car outside then driving into SA would be a cheaper option than hiring there.

Unfortunately, we must just grin and bear it. :x

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arks
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Unread postby arks » Wed Jun 29, 2005 2:34 pm

For car rental, I always use AutoEurope

http://www.autoeurope.com

For me they have always had the best prices. Their head office is in Maine, but they use local suppliers in each country. In SA they use Avis, in the UK it was EuropCar.

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clever dog
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Re: Crockery in Safari Tents?

Unread postby clever dog » Fri Jul 01, 2005 2:45 am

jsmathematics wrote:Hey All,

Thanks, Arks.

Is crockery in safari tents a given?

Thanks!


If you book from this web page it will all be stated in the booking reference. The safari tent we stayed in had fridge, utensils and a place to cook some hot food as well as a BBQ pit. But double check when searching for the specific camp and tent.

Regards,
CD

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kicker
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Tips

Unread postby kicker » Mon Jul 18, 2005 1:26 pm

Hi

I'll be in the kruger from end of august for about my 20th time, i'm a local citizen and on thing that i can recommend is having a breakfast/picnic at one of the many picnic/rest areas in the park. A favourite on of mins is Tsokwane, start every day as early as possible with a hot coffee and a rusk/biscuit and leave as soon as the gates open. early morning and late afternoon is your best viewing times, plan you route so that you can stop at a picnic site at about 10:00 in the morning where they have braai facilities( bar-b-q) take a break and enjoy the fresh air and surroundings, enjoy nature.

Driving the kruger is an absolute must and enjoy everything, at each camp they have daily sightings board which you can have a look at. The animals move around but stay in a general area. Have a look at where the last sightings where and plan you route accordingly.

enjoy and maybe i'll spot some of you end august.

soriano
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first time in KP

Unread postby soriano » Mon Aug 01, 2005 3:14 am

Hello,

I am glad that there are these types of forums with a lot of knowledge and friendly helpful people.

It seems like there is an overwhelming support for self-drive. However, I'll be in South Africa by myself after doing some work projects and I really want to go on a safari to take advantage of being there.

If I were to go with friends, I think self-driving would be an option. However, I think going on a tour group would be much more fun and less worrisome, considering I won't have time to make arrangements. I would rather go on a tour group for my first time.

I've been looking around various websites for tour companies and understand that it is pricier, but I am willing to pay a little more for all of the arrangements handled for me.

So my specific questions are:

1.) What do I look for in a tour company?

2.) Is 3-4 days a good beginner's time to spend in KP?

3.)Is KP the favorite for a first-timer? or is there another better option for the first-timer?

4). Does anyone have any recommendations on specific itineraries that I should look for? I would really like a night drive.

Thank you in advance.

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Unread postby fevertree » Mon Aug 01, 2005 8:55 am

Good Morning and Welcome!! :P
The best company to work through toarrange your tour is Thompsons Tours, and for the Kruger Park section, Thompsons Indaba Safaris (+27 13 737 7115). Speak to Greg Meaker, he is the owner/manager and is one of the best guides in the business.
They are ethical and responsible and will give you good service. If you contact the Thompson Tours Head Office in Durban, they will advise you on different options for wildlife experiences - maybe a combination of the Kruger Park and a private game reserve.
Thompsons Tours head office in Durban can be contacted on +27 31 250 3100
A Leopard in a Fevertree, one day......

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DuQues
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Re: first time in KP

Unread postby DuQues » Mon Aug 01, 2005 9:09 am

soriano wrote:So my specific questions are:
1.) What do I look for in a tour company?

FT has partly asked that question. I you have been reading the forum you may have noticed that most are not too happy with those companies, due to speeding, being load at sightings etc. Maybe this one is good.

soriano wrote:2.) Is 3-4 days a good beginner's time to spend in KP?

If you are not there yet, yes. While you are there, you may have wanted to double the time. When you are back you may think to book for a year....
But to be more down to earth, yes. It should give you a good impression of (part of) the Park. With luck you will see all the animals you want to see.

soriano wrote:3.)Is KP the favorite for a first-timer? or is there another better option for the first-timer?

Is there competition anywhere? :shock:

soriano wrote:4). Does anyone have any recommendations on specific itineraries that I should look for? I would really like a night drive.

If you go for 3-4 days I would only go to 2 camps and Satara and Lower Sabie would be very high on my list.
Night drive? Do them in every camp you go to, and have a look if you can do a morning walk.
Arriving currently: The photos from our trip! Overhere! :yaya:

Feel free to use any of these additional letters to correct the spelling of words found in the above post: a-e-t-n-d-i-o-s-m-l-u-y-h-c

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bert
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Unread postby bert » Fri Aug 05, 2005 12:37 pm

fevertree wrote:Good Morning and Welcome!! :P
The best company to work through toarrange your tour is Thompsons Tours, and for the Kruger Park section, Thompsons Indaba Safaris (+27 13 737 7115). Speak to Greg Meaker, he is the owner/manager and is one of the best guides in the business.
They are ethical and responsible and will give you good service. If you contact the Thompson Tours Head Office in Durban, they will advise you on different options for wildlife experiences - maybe a combination of the Kruger Park and a private game reserve.
Thompsons Tours head office in Durban can be contacted on +27 31 250 3100


Thompsons have a good reputation with some dutchies a know and i have seen them driving around Kruger a few times. Small
trucks with 6 to 8 people . The small group is very important. Means that more people are attented to while gamedriving.


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