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Should I book an organized Safari or book game drives?

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SergeantPepper
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Should I book an organized Safari or book game drives?

Unread post by SergeantPepper » Thu Apr 20, 2017 3:35 pm

Hey folks,
I got one question... I' going to kruger park this fall and I'm wondering whether it's cheaper to book an organized safari at one of the various companies offering those or to do it 'manually'? Is it possible at all to book for example one of the listed camps here:

https://www.sanparks.org/parks/kruger/t ... bility.php

and then book one of the game drives listed under this link:

https://www.sanparks.org/parks/kruger/t ... ariffs.php

Those drives offered by the respective camp? If I add up all the costs, this seems far cheaper, but is it possible and can these drives compete with the ones offered by safari companies?
Thanks a lot!
Greets
MF

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Elsa
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Re: Should I book an organized Safari or book game drives?

Unread post by Elsa » Thu Apr 20, 2017 4:02 pm

Warm welcome to the forum SergeantPepper! :clap:

You can most definitely book any of those camps you have linked provided of course there is availability for the times you want to visit.
Once you have decided which camps and when, you can do the booking via the Various Booking Methods
You can also choose to book the guided activities at the same time as your reservation or you can take a chance and wait till you get to the camp and book them at the reception offices.
We generally advocate doing self guided drives generally as you can drive the routes you choose and stop for any of the sightings for as long as you like and when you like.
but then substituting them with a few guided early morning or sunset/night drives or even a bush walk is a good way to enhance the whole experience.
Kruger - 22nd May to 8th June 2017 8)

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Re: Should I book an organized Safari or book game drives?

Unread post by sammuri » Thu Apr 20, 2017 4:05 pm

Greetings Sargeant Pepper.

Welcome to the forum

The game drives offered by SANParks and the drives offered by the Safari companies use the same roads and see the same animals.
All it is, is being at the right place at the right time.

They communicate via radio as well. So both groups would know more or less what sightings are available.

SergeantPepper
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Re: Should I book an organized Safari or book game drives?

Unread post by SergeantPepper » Thu Apr 20, 2017 6:00 pm

Thanks a lot !

So it looks like this is cheaper then than booking a 'safari pack'.
I read somewhere that it is only possible to book accommodation in advance, but not the drives.. Is that true?? what if there is no drive being organized by my camp when I lodge there? It seems a bit chancy :D

I had in mind staying for 2-3 days and do 1-2 sunset drives, a sunrise drive and maybe another bush walk or so. I guess that's a good amount of tours to experience some decent sightings?

If I book a camp, do they usually offer airport pick up ? And if I do it all by myself, I also have to take care of the park fee right?

Driving on my own is totally out of the question for me., too gutless for that :D

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Re: Should I book an organized Safari or book game drives?

Unread post by kite » Thu Apr 20, 2017 8:59 pm

Most overseas visitors are happy to hire a car, and if you can drive, it's possible, and very satisfying to drive to and around the park. It gives a great sense of freedom to go to different camps and picnic sites. The entrance document gives you some guidelines and rules to stay safe.
I think you would probably be responsible for your own entrance fees even on a 'safari'. ( subject to correction on this )
A night drive or sunset drive offered by sanparks enables you to go out after dark.

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Elsa
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Re: Should I book an organized Safari or book game drives?

Unread post by Elsa » Thu Apr 20, 2017 9:35 pm

SergeantPepper wrote:I read somewhere that it is only possible to book accommodation in advance, but not the drives.. Is that true?? what if there is no drive being organized by my camp when I lodge there? It seems a bit chancy :D
You can book the drives/walks etc at the same time as your accommodation. All the main camps and most of the bush camps will have drives and they will take you out even if you are the only person booked.

I had in mind staying for 2-3 days and do 1-2 sunset drives, a sunrise drive and maybe another bush walk or so. I guess that's a good amount of tours to experience some decent sightings? Yes, that should give give you a good experience but remember if you don't have your own transport, then you will only really be able to stay in 1 camp and have to entertain yourself between activities

If I book a camp, do they usually offer airport pick up ? And if I do it all by myself, I also have to take care of the park fee right?
There is only an airport shuttle from Skukuza airport to the Skukuza camp, and you will still be liable for daily conservation fees whether you self drive or not.

Driving on my own is totally out of the question for me., too gutless for that :D
Kruger - 22nd May to 8th June 2017 8)

SergeantPepper
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Re: Should I book an organized Safari or book game drives?

Unread post by SergeantPepper » Fri Apr 21, 2017 4:18 pm

Thanks a ton.
Only one last questions.

If I choose to get there all by myself, what options do I have , fro, Joburg to one of the various camps.. I dont want to rent a vehicle.. are there busses etc? and also, how do I get away from the camps.. I want to travel to mozambique afterwards (maputo) or to swaziland...

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Elsa
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Re: Should I book an organized Safari or book game drives?

Unread post by Elsa » Fri Apr 21, 2017 4:28 pm

I'm afraid without renting a car and self driving your options are pretty limited SP!
You will have to either fly into Skukuza airport and take the shuttle to the camp and pretty much stay there in between taking the guided drives as I have described in my previous posts.
But getting out of the park and onto Moz or Swaziland is going to be a problem.
Maybe you need to start looking into getting a complete package from a tour operator that would possibly take care of all your options.
We can't really give any details of those due to this being a SANParks sponsored website but sure there are plenty of them around.
Kruger - 22nd May to 8th June 2017 8)

SergeantPepper
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Re: Should I book an organized Safari or book game drives?

Unread post by SergeantPepper » Sat Apr 22, 2017 10:02 am

Okay, I had done some calculations and they yielded that it might be 100-200 euro cheaper to do everything by oneself, but ok.. If i have to fly there and cope with the problem of not getting away from the site, it might be better to spend more and have the comfort of being picked up and stuff...

Thanks for your answers !

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Elsa
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Re: Should I book an organized Safari or book game drives?

Unread post by Elsa » Sat Apr 22, 2017 10:06 am

Correct and it will give you a good experience of what its like in the park and maybe next time you might get a friend to accompany you who does drive and you will have an idea of what its all about.
Enjoy the trip. 8)
Kruger - 22nd May to 8th June 2017 8)

camquez
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Re: Should I book an organized Safari or book game drives?

Unread post by camquez » Mon Apr 24, 2017 8:39 pm

Elsa,

I too am trying to decide between booking the drives through SANParks or through outside companies. My issue is we are not staying at the Skukuza camp, we are staying at the Marriott Protea Kruger Gate. We are most interested in the morning and night drives, but I believe I read somewhere that the morning drives begin before the park opens. Is that true?

Since we are not staying inside the park, is it possible to still book drives and walks through SANParks? Would we have any issues specifically for the morning and night drives?

Thanks for your help

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Elsa
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Re: Should I book an organized Safari or book game drives?

Unread post by Elsa » Mon Apr 24, 2017 10:18 pm

You can still take the SANParks guided drives, and I think the walks as well, but you may need to check on that!
They will pick you up at the outside gate of the park.
You can have a read through the topic Drives from outside the Gate Info
They do cost more than the activities do when staying in the park.
Kruger - 22nd May to 8th June 2017 8)


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