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Wilderness trails vs. drives+walks and itinerary check

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nquinn
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Joined: Tue Oct 10, 2017 6:54 am

Wilderness trails vs. drives+walks and itinerary check

Unread post by nquinn » Wed Oct 18, 2017 6:04 am

Hi all,

I have ~6-7 days to explorer Kruger National Park (could potentially do more). I've done a good amount of research, but had a few questions.
I'll likely be a solo traveler so taking everything into account.

1. The wilderness trails sound pretty similar to just booking accommodations + a few sunset/sunrise drives and walks, but appear to be a better value. Is there really much difference between the wilderness trail and booking each separately? More walking involved in the booked trails? Anything I'd miss out on by pretty much only doing the wilderness trail?

2. Any trail preference? The consensus seems to be Sweni or Olifants? Would like a nice mix of scenery and large game. Not worried about trail difficulty assuming I'll just be carrying a daypack and not a full backpack w/ tent, etc.

3. EDIT: Is it that much harder to see animals? From the FAQ below it sounds like these trails make it tough to see animals because they run away, at least compared to doing the drives. As a first timer (and probably only-timer) to KNP, I wouldn't want to be missing out on the big animals because I'm on a wilderness trail.

Here's a rough itinerary I put together - let me know what you think:

Nov 23-Dec 3rd: Cape Town / Franchoek / Jburg
Dec 4th: Drive in from Jburg to KNP. Sleep in a southern camp (lower sabie maybe). Do a sunset or night drive
Dec 5th: Lower sabie drives or walks all day.
Dec 6th: Drive from Lower Sabie to Satara to arrive for 3:30pm Sweni departure
Dec 7th. Sweni trail
Dec 8th: Sweni trail
Dec 9th: Sweni trail
Dec 10th : return from Sweni trail (I think to Satara? Can't quite find the return information)

If I didn't do the Seweni trail, I would probably stay in Olifants on the 7-9th and organize my own tours.

Any input would be appreciated! I could also possibly add a day at the end as necessary.
Last edited by nquinn on Wed Oct 18, 2017 7:36 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Goggo EJ
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Re: Wilderness trails vs. drives+walks and itinerary check

Unread post by Goggo EJ » Wed Oct 18, 2017 6:43 am

Hi and welcome to the forums.

First off....you don't say if it is this year you want to come? If so you might yourself limited by availability. Check and book as soon as you can.

Second, there is a lot of difference! In the Wilderness camps you are out in the bush with only a very small fence or barrier between you and the animals. You will do a morning walk and possibly an afternoon walk each day, usually with a ride to the starting point. You will probably only see your fellow guests and the guides and camp staff during the camp, and no other vehicles. Accomodation will be in 'permanent' tent type structures. All food will be provided. One big advantage is having 2 guides available to explain everything you see.

In the camps you will have people and traffic around all the time. On the park roads there will be other vehicles around, and you must stay in your car all the time unless you are in a designated 'get out' point, and even then need to make sure it is safe and stay near the vehicle or within a small area. You will have the option of booking walks and drives from the camp too. You will need to self-cater although all the main camps have shops and a restaurant. You will be on your own as far as identifying animals, birds, trees, etc goes unless you are on a booked walk or drive.

Whichever you do you will enjoy it I am sure!
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Elsa
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Re: Wilderness trails vs. drives+walks and itinerary check

Unread post by Elsa » Wed Oct 18, 2017 6:58 am

As GEJ has explained and given you some good advice all I will add in case you have not yet done so, is to have a read through the topic Wilderness Trails - FAQ where there is also a lot of info.

nquinn
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Joined: Tue Oct 10, 2017 6:54 am

Re: Wilderness trails vs. drives+walks and itinerary check

Unread post by nquinn » Wed Oct 18, 2017 7:01 am

Thanks for the info! Honestly running into a bunch of "traffic jams" with self-drives doesn't sound so appealing to me. I'm mostly worried that I'd miss out on something with these walks that I might otherwise see in the other areas.

I'll be coming in early December. I already booked a Sweni walk as a precaution since I can cancel within 30 days, but needed some help deciding if that was the right call!

After reading the FAQ posted above though, it sounds like these walking trails won't expose you to many large animals like the drives would, so I'm not sure how much I'd enjoy them.

nquinn
Posts: 6
Joined: Tue Oct 10, 2017 6:54 am

Re: Wilderness trails vs. drives+walks and itinerary check

Unread post by nquinn » Wed Oct 18, 2017 7:19 am

Elsa wrote:As GEJ has explained and given you some good advice all I will add in case you have not yet done so, is to have a read through the topic Wilderness Trails - FAQ where there is also a lot of info.


Thanks for this - the warning that you won't see nearly as many big animals on these trails is making me question my decision. I think I might go with individual drives instead after reading that =/


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