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KNP Budget advice please!

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Meandering Mouse
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Re: KNP Budget advice please!

Unread post by Meandering Mouse » Wed Jan 16, 2013 5:17 pm

Hey Mark, how wonderful to see you around again :D Has it been that long?

If you have time to do a more scenic drive, the Kroonstad - Parys route has been upgraded. That skips out a major toll. I also enjoy the Lydenburg route, mainly for its beauty though. It also skips out a couple of tolls.
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Budget safari

Unread post by ciarapalm » Fri Aug 19, 2016 4:25 pm

Hi All,

My boyfriend and I are visiting Kruger (well hoping too) this December for at least three days (2 nights). We are on a pretty tight budget because we have two family weddings in cape town the week after which will eat up the majority of our savings. Does any one have any advice on the cheapest way to do things? I've looked up some backpacker hostels which are outside the park boundary and pretty reasonable but I'm not sure how much tours are and kruger passes are etc on top of that. Or whether it will be better to stay in the national park?

If any one has any ideas or thoughts about this please shout! There's so much information on the internet!
Thanks in advance!


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Re: Budget safari

Unread post by Horrace » Fri Aug 19, 2016 7:05 pm

Hi Ciara, Safari tents in most of the major camps are great value. Not sure of the exact price but under R600 for the both of you.

Self drive is still for me the most cost effective, and I always prefer staying in the park if one can.

In addition to the tents, certain camps like Lower Sabie and Pretoriuskop have huts, like the tents common ablutions but similar price to the tents.

I myself am staying in tents in December and although it can be as "hot as hell", if you ask some of the campers for tips, it's still one of the most amazing experiences.

For me tent inside Kruger would be the best way to go...


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Re: Budget safari

Unread post by Stark » Sat Aug 20, 2016 1:36 am

Hi Ciara!

You've come to the right place for advice and planning. :) Our first trip to Kruger was only 4 nights, so we spent alot of time looking to maximize our visit to the fullest.

I complete agree with the info Horrace has given you for tents or huts. Accommodation costs run the whole spectrum but there are several nice options that are very affordable. Most certainly stay within the park, and if you are only in for a few days, I'd suggest staying at 1 camp for your two nights. Self-drive is the way to go and go with the less expensive options - the roads are very good so you don't need to overdo it on your car hire. You can save money on food by cooking right at your tent/hut. Groceries can be purchased in the camps, or you can save more money by picking up supplies in one of the grocery stores in the towns outside of the park.

Have a wonderful time planning!
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Re: Budget safari

Unread post by Meandering Mouse » Sat Aug 20, 2016 4:45 am

Hi Ciara and a very warm welcome. :gflower:

Horrace and Stark have given you very good advice.

I would book as soon as possible, as December is very busy. You might have to take what is still available, but the tents, or huts are excellent value. The tents are usually my first choice, as they let the night sounds in. Self drive in Kruger is the best. I would not worry if you cannot afford more.

I also agree with staying at one camp if possible. First things first though and get a booking asap. Before the 16th is not too bad with bookings. After that can be difficult.
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Re: Budget safari

Unread post by cheetahlady » Sat Aug 20, 2016 5:40 am

Hi Ciara,

Where are you based? Have you visited before? A self-drive camping holiday is cheapest - if you have the vehicle and/or equipment. Next best - the basic safari tents/huts at some of the camps. As MM says, availability may be the deciding factor. I would stay in the park, if possible - ideally you would have your own transport. There are morning, sunset and evening drives from many camps but you would still need to get to the camp. If you stay outside the park, you can do guided drives from many gates, but you would need to get to the gate. I have never used private tours, so can't comment. Self catering is good. Every camp site/hut/tent has a bbq. The basic huts etc don't have kitchens nor utensils but paper plates work well. Hot plates and boiling water are available at the communal kitchens.

Remember the daily conservation fee (or wild card for longer stays. If you are SA based, wildcard may pay off as have 1 yrs access to SANParks). First look at availability, then book something and start planning :D
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Re: Budget safari

Unread post by heritagearts » Sat Aug 20, 2016 6:51 am

I would recommend any accommodation with air conditioning, Its hot in December

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Re: Budget safari

Unread post by Friedrich von Hörsten » Sat Aug 20, 2016 7:51 am


I think you have left it a bit late to find Safari Tents for December. When all else fails, try less popular camps like Letaba for ST, or with a bit of luck, Tamboti near Orpen gate. Most people don't like this, but there is usually accommodation left in Pretoriuskop till the last minute in the form of basic ES2 huts -- NO aircon, but lovely and cool with a fan -- I have never overheated in them -- just open half the door at night but make sure the gauze door is bolted -- even cheaper than Safari Tents, and close to very high concentrations of game on drives closer to Skukuza like the S65 and Transport dam...

Get the cheapest car available -- we did it in March in a very basic Datsun Go from Thriftys at the airport in Johannesburg -- very economical and has aircon. Enjoy your trip!

God bless,

Friedrich von Hörsten
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Re: Budget safari

Unread post by Elsa » Sat Aug 20, 2016 12:26 pm

And a very warm welcome from me as well ciara! :clap:

You have already been given some very good advice and info and some more to have a read through KNP Budget Advice please

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Re: Budget safari

Unread post by Hippotragus » Sat Aug 20, 2016 12:32 pm

Great advice from all the posts above!

Do self-drive, stay in the cheapest accommodation you can find inside the Park, self-cater, rent cheap vehicle. You will have a lot of planning to do, but it will be well worth it. Maybe try to stay a few more nights - once the Kruger bug has bitten, it will be difficult to leave!

December is a popular month - especially after the Government schools break up for their long summer holidays and many people take their annual leave then. Look at availability and book as soon as you can.

Keep in touch here and let us know how you get on. Have a great trip!
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