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KNP safari - flexible dates looking for advice

Discuss and find information on the Kruger National Park
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KNP safari - flexible dates looking for advice

Unread post by kayliec » Thu May 18, 2017 10:44 pm

Hi all,

We just got married and asked for money towards our safari honeymoon for our gifts so we are now ready to start booking!! I have done lots of research on these forums which have been really helpful, just looking for some more tips/advice of what people think we should do/where we should stay.

We live in central Scotland, will be traveling to Johannesburg between 1 Sep 17 - 30 Nov 17 for around 2 1/2 weeks. We are completely flexible on dates. Looking to do a week ish safari, thinking its best to self drive a lot of it. Then roughly a more relaxing week somewhere not too far from KNP.

All advice muchly appreciated. This is our first time and we are excited beyond belief. Budget is £3000 all in between us both.

Thankyou :D

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Meandering Mouse
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Re: KNP safari - flexible dates looking for advice

Unread post by Meandering Mouse » Fri May 19, 2017 4:50 am

A very warm welcome to you, kayliec :gflower:

Wow, what a wonderful way to start married life. :D

The months that you are looking at range from Spring to early Summer. I know that everyone has preferences, but I tend to enjoy early November when all the babies are being born. It can be very hot though. I have found October to be my hottest month. :hmz:

In terms of camps, you might find that November is the least popular month for bookings, so you should be able to find what you want. Schools are busy with exams and general life away from Kruger can be quite hectic.

The camps that I would look at would be Biyamiti, Tambotie and Olifants. You might get other suggestions, but these would be my choice.

Biyamiti and Tambotie are smaller bush camps and both would give privacy and excellent game viewing. I would suggest Olifants for the superb view. I do not think that I would go for more camps, as packing and unpacking takes time away from enjoyment.

If you cannot get a booking at Biyamiti, the tents at Lower Sabie offer a possible alternative. They are being refurbished, so they should be very comfy by November. They offer the best of both worlds, as they are situated in a large camp, but they are set in an area that is very private.

I wish you a wonderful life together and happy planning. :thumbs_up:
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Re: KNP safari - flexible dates looking for advice

Unread post by Karin Mitton » Fri May 19, 2017 7:56 am

Welcome to the forum Kayliec!
Meandering Mouse has given great advice. I have my own camp preferences, but won't confuse you. The Sanparks website has a lot of information on each camp, and that will assist you a lot in deciding. There are no "bad" camps, so you will be ok no matter where you book.

I do suggest spending a couple of nights in a camp - you don't have to pack up every day, and it is a lot more relaxing that way.

And self-drive is by far the best option - it will give you much more flexibility. And if you want to have the game drive experience, you can go on morning, sunset or night drives at all camps, and even a bush walk at some (Olifants as an example)

Enjoy the planning, and let us know what you decide. And of course, we will be expecting a trip report when you get back!

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Re: KNP safari - flexible dates looking for advice

Unread post by Elsa » Fri May 19, 2017 8:25 am

Warm welcome to the forum Kalliec! :clap:

You have been given good advice from MM and Karin so I will not add any more.

Just keep an eye on the various topics on the forum as you have been doing for lots of good advice and info and once you decide on a date book your accommodation asap.
Remember, even if you don't get exactly what you want initially, you can change it nearer the time if better options become available.
Do ask if there is something else we can help with. :thumbs_up:
Kruger - 22nd May to 9th June 2017 8)

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Re: KNP safari - flexible dates looking for advice

Unread post by Hugh » Fri May 19, 2017 9:26 am

We had a honeymoon in the Kruger it was just perfect ..
Good advice from Karin and Mouse
and welcome to the forums come and chat on the chit chat threads
Only thing I would suggest is leave the kilts and bagpipes at home !!!
I would fly down to Cape Town direct from Skukuza airport and enjoy a bit of what the peninsula has to offer best way to use up those 7 days . there is the mountain to go up Penguins to watch and Cape point to admire plus Kirstenbosch gardens the road systems are good . I live I the Cape and know most of the laces to go to
Have fun planning but do it soon efore all the best accommodation is taken up
Camping:-where you spend a fortune to live like a homeless person

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Re: KNP safari - flexible dates looking for advice

Unread post by ekoppen » Fri May 19, 2017 4:45 pm

Hi kayliec ,
Welcome to the forum.
Kruger is definitely a great place to spend your honeymoon. Good advice from the ladies. My wife and I return every year to renew our marriage vows.

I tell her what to do and she tells me where to go!

Skukuza Oct 27, 28, 29,30,31
Orpen Nov 1, 2
Letaba Nov 4, 5
Oliphants Nov 6, 7, 8
Satara Nov 9, 10, 11,12,13,14,15,16,17,18,19,20,21,22,23,24,25, 26
Lower Sabi Nov 26, 27,28,
Crocodile Bridge Nov 29, 30
Skukusa Dec 1,2,3,4

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Re: KNP safari - flexible dates looking for advice

Unread post by UKPete » Sat May 20, 2017 1:52 pm

Hi Kayliec.
I've done the Kruger from the UK a number of times - real danger is once you go you will want to keep on going back!
I live near London so fly from Heathrow or Gatwick. Although it takes longer the flights via Dubai using Emirates are by far the best and cheapest - from London you can do the return for £500 - £550 usually.
The money I save that way I treat myself to a better hire car - I've done the Kruger in a VW Polo and it gets around just fine, but the way I look at it if I'm spending virtually all day in the car then I want something a bit bigger and more comfortable - just a matter of taste.
When hiring a car it depends on your attitude to risk, but with 'basic' cover there is usually quite a substantial excess to pay for any damage to windscreen etc - you can go to a third party insurer to insure against getitng hit with the excess, or go to someone like Trailfinders who will only hire you a car in SA with zero excess - you pay more obviously but you have the peace of mind.
Others far more experieinced than I am have given you advice on camps, personally I find Skukuza a bit 'busy' but all the others are great (my favourites are Berg-en-dal, Satara and Shingwedzi).
As for your other time when not in the Kruger a website like TripAdvisor will show you other local-ish sights like Bourke's Luck Potholes, God's Window, Pilgrim's Rest etc. But for me (from relatively flat and built up Southern England) the Drakensburg Mountains in KwaZulu Natal are great for sight seeing and walking - look at Cathedral Peak Hotel or Champage Castle on the internet and you'll see what I mean. You'd probably want to split the drive there from the Kruger with a stop off, but websites like will show you B&B's on route and my experience of B&B's in SA has been universally good - they are much better than you might expect in the UK.
There are some 'policing' issues with SA where there are substantial differences from the UK, but best not for a public forum and I'll private message you about that.
Whatever you do I'm sure you'll have a wonderful time.

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Re: KNP safari - flexible dates looking for advice

Unread post by Barb15584 » Tue May 23, 2017 2:53 am

Hi Kayliec,
As stated previously you have been given excellent advice, so mine is of a more generic nature, try to keep your camp selections to those fairly close to your chosen entrance and exit points, you do not want to be rushing to reach camp when you arrive or vice versa. We visited KNP in November 2014 and the sightings were sensational, the best that we had ever had, but as always it is right place right time, we were just lucky. The Cape Town trip would be tempting, our experience with the penguins was a memory of a lifetime, but it might stretch the budget. The advice from UKPete was good, the Drakensburg is spectacular, we stayed at Tendele.
Whatever you decide,we are sure that it will be the trip of a lifetime. The only thing to remember is once Africa is in your blood it never leaves.
ps UKPete could you copy us on the PM message, please. We are returning in November and always checking on local conditions.

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