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How to reach camps/stay in the park without own vehicle?

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DanHK
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How to reach camps/stay in the park without own vehicle?

Unread post by DanHK » Mon Jul 20, 2009 6:31 am

I plan to visit Kruger from Johannesburg in late Nov. It seems that I can only get to Nelspruit by public transport. If I don't have my vehicle, can I get around Kruger and reach camps like Berg-en-dal, Skukuza and Pretoriuskop? Many thanks.

DanHK
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Re: How to reach camps without own vehicle?

Unread post by DanHK » Mon Jul 20, 2009 12:23 pm

Is it easy to charter taxi within the Kruger area? Can I arrange one at the camps?

If taking a tour would be much easier, do you have any information as to quality budget operators?

Thanks.

Dan

DanHK
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Re: How to reach camps without own vehicle?

Unread post by DanHK » Mon Jul 20, 2009 1:25 pm

I do have a drivers licence but then it would be safest to avoid driving on the wrong side :p

I plan to have 3 days and nights in Kruger and wish to see the wildlife in action, like big 5 etc, so I want to take those walks and drives with park rangers. The only problem is to reach the camp and come out.

DanHK
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Re: How to reach camps without own vehicle?

Unread post by DanHK » Mon Jul 20, 2009 2:19 pm

Really grateful for all the advice rendered so far.
This is a great community to provide travelers with prompt advice.
Cheers for that!

@Sparodic: I haven't booked anything as yet.
Everything is under planning right now.
Can I really be collected from the outside the park?
I am thinking about taking drives/walks from Skukuza and Berg-en-dal and/or Pretoriuskop.
Do they collect people from, say Hazyview or Nelspruit?

@Gamespotter:
Driving on the wrong side is one thing and my little driving experience is another - I've only got my license a month ago.
I can spend about R1200 per day in Kruger, so I don't think I have many options.

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Hugh
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Re: How to reach camps without own vehicle?

Unread post by Hugh » Mon Jul 20, 2009 2:37 pm

The South African transport system is not like it is in Europe or the UK where there are trains and buses.
They do have buses between the big cities but you cant stop to look at the views..
South Africa has huge distances between cities too.
Hire a little car
Get experience while driving slowly in Kruger and you will then be able to drive anywhere.
We have two types of taxis ordinary very very expensive taxis where you are the only passenger or the minibus taxi where they fill the taxi and only leave for a set destination when they are full.
You can get organised tours from JHB and you then have various options.
Two days 5 days etc etc and you can then see some of the surrounding areas too
Hope that helps
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G@mespotter
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Re: How to reach camps without own vehicle?

Unread post by G@mespotter » Mon Jul 20, 2009 2:47 pm

DanHK wrote:@Gamespotter: Driving on the wrong side is one thing and my little driving experience is another - I've only got my licence a month ago. I can spend about R1200 per day in Kruger, so I don't think I have many options.


Hi again

R1200 is doable! At least, if you plan it right. Is it just you by yourself?

DO NOT worry about the driving skills, honestly driving in Kruger is VERY simple. I have seen teenagers without licences driving around (although this is not allowed.....!) In Kruger, there are no 'lanes' but simply a dust road or tar. Generally, we do stick to the left-hand side of the road, and if there are only 2/3 cars, you may venture the side of the road where the game is situated, and stop there to observe them.
Really, if you passed your driver's test, you can drive in Kruger.
Same for the roads here. It's all highway (freeway) right up to certain gates. No difficulty there :wink:

Re: driving on the wrong side: the steering wheel is also on 'the wrong side' so that makes things easy. Believe me, it takes a few streets and you will be used to it....

You can hire a small sedan for R350-400 a day. That means you have R800 left to spend on entrance fees, accommodation and & food, which should be doable, if you plan it right. There are some NICE places with budget accommodation....!
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saraf
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Re: How to reach camps without own vehicle?

Unread post by saraf » Mon Jul 20, 2009 10:01 pm

Guys, it's possible that Dan's age may prohibit him from hiring a car. Most places won't hire to anyone under the age of 21 and put up rates for people 21-25.

Dan, My advice would be to stay outside the park in either Hazyview or Phalaborwa. Kruger Gate and Phalaborwa gates both do drives and walks and I'm sure you will be able to find somewhere in either town who will do day trips in. I think most guest houses will be able to provide names.

If you are staying in a backpackers place before you get to Kruger then you may pick up a tip from someone staying there.

Enjoy your trip.
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cougar
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Re: How to reach camps without own vehicle?

Unread post by cougar » Tue Jul 28, 2009 5:37 pm

I thought I would throw in some input here as someone with a foreigner's point of view.

DanHK--I would say that driving on the left side of the road within Kruger is really not that difficult, even as a new driver.
I'm very used to driving on the right and easily got used to the difference.
There are not many cars in Kruger and it is not a very intimidating environment.

Are you familiar with driving a manual transmission?
I couldn't tell if you are American or not.
I ask because most Americans drive cars with automatic transmissions and most South African rental vehicles have manual transmissions.
I did rent a manual last year and did OK.

If you are still interested in an inexpensive, self-drive option for seeing Kruger, I would recommend that you fly from Johannesburg to Phalaborwa, South Africa.
You can rent a car there and drive into the park very, very easily.
Honestly, if you are not a confident driver, I would not recommend that you drive from KMIA as mentioned earlier (sorry, Gamespotter).
I have driven from KMIA to Numbi gate (the gate with the shortest distance from airport to the park) and I was not comfortable.
I found South African drivers to be considerably more aggressive in their driving habits than what I am used to.
(Please, South Africans, do not take offense at this.
I'm just stating my experience.)
Cars come roaring up behind you and flash their lights at you--
I didn't know what that meant, but I assumed I was going too slow for them!
There are also numerous minibus taxis that stop suddenly or pull out from stops in front of you and tailgate you if you're going too slow (i.e., the speed limit).
There are also numerous pedestrians and a few domestic animals here and there that you may have to dodge.

However, if you enter from the Phalaborwa airport to the Phalaborwa gate, you eliminate all of these potential hazards.
I think it's literally a 10-minute, easy drive from the airport to the gate.
Really, really easy and stress-free.

As for taxis--it is Africa, after all and I've found that there's always an option to get from place to place.
I think eventually there is someone willing to make a few bucks to drive you inside the park to the camp. However, this is would be a very risky way of getting around.
Once inside, it would be very difficult to get a ride to a different camp.

I had a relatively difficult time getting a ride from the Malelane "airport" to our bus stop in Malelane (a 5-10 minute drive) last year.
I assumed that there would be some sort of taxi service at that airport that would have taken us that short distance.
Boy, was I wrong.
I think there may have been a "bush taxi" that runs along the N4 highway that may have stopped for us and taken us and all of our luggage, but that did not seem safe to me to stand by the highway and passively wait for someone to pick us up.

kathyracine
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Transport inside Kruger Park

Unread post by kathyracine » Mon Mar 29, 2010 11:46 am

Hi, my familly(2 adults+2 children) is planning to get to SA for a 2 weeks holiday (17 april-31 april).
We would like to stay 4 days at the Kruger National Park at the beginning of our trip.
We would like to stay 2 days at Lower Sabie Camp and 2 days at Satara camp.
My biggest concern is the transportation.
As we don't have any international driver license, we can only travel by air plane or by bus.

What is the best plan to access the Kruger Park from Johanesburg?
How many hours by bus? By air?
Is there any transportation available from gate's park to the camps and from one camp to another?

Thanks,

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Nungu
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Re: transport inside Kruger Park

Unread post by Nungu » Mon Mar 29, 2010 11:55 am

Hi Kathy,

Welcome to the forum...

Transport to KNP is no problem - by air, by bus, by car anything... your problem is inside the park... the park is mainly self-drive. There are other options -
1) Booking with a tour operator to drive inside the park - can be rather expensive!!!
2) Going on morning walks and sunset / night drives only - problems are... how will you get from the KNP gate to the camp? and for 75% of the day you will be stuck in camp...

So your options are rather limited....
Have you seen KNP from the SKY yet??



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goafrica
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Re: transport inside Kruger Park

Unread post by goafrica » Mon Mar 29, 2010 6:15 pm

You can travel to Nelspruit from Johannesburg Airport on Citybug, very decent airconditioned mini buses.
The bus is easy to find.
The Citybug is based in Nelspruit.
The cost is 350 rand each way per person. (They drop off at the BP garage I think. )
They leave several times a day.
You can also book a private bus with them.

You can also arrange a transfer service with City bug to any of the big Lodges and Time share resorts, but also to Skukuza, Lower Sabie, Malelane and Berg N Dal.
The price for this is on request.
It would seem to me that spending the whole time at either Lower Sabie or Skukuza would be ok, as then you can do the morning and evening drives,walks, bush braais etc and the camps are very nice with a lot to offer.
It is also possible to book whole private day trips with the camps I believe.

the website is Citybug.co.za and is very user friendly.
My son has used this service and was very pleased with it.

If you really cant get an international license then this would be quite a manageable option and not too expensive.
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Imberbe
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Re: Getting a ride from Komatipoort to Croc Bridge / Lower Sabie

Unread post by Imberbe » Tue Nov 02, 2010 4:42 pm

No private taxis in Komatipoort, only some of the public ones.

I am sure one of the lodges will do it for a fee though. There are a couple in Komatipoort itself.

You could also take a chance and look for a lift. I am pretty sure that someone will drop you in CB as there are regular traffic heading that way. People around there are quite friendly. Ask at the coffee shop or the CNA, maybe the Spar.
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Re: Getting a ride from Komatipoort to Croc Bridge / Lower S

Unread post by treestoo » Sat Nov 06, 2010 2:06 pm

Hi! We own a lodge in Komatipoort (8.4 km from the Croc Bridge gate) and would pick you up and take you to town if that helps...for a small fee of course!
There is otherwise no public transport in this very rural area of SA.
As per other replies I'm fairly confident you'd quickly get a lift with someone coming out of the Park if you want to just take a chance.

Moleskine6
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Do I need a car to travel through the Kruger

Unread post by Moleskine6 » Wed Jun 15, 2011 8:29 am

Hi!
I am going to the Kruger in August and wonder if I'll need a car once I get there.
If I take a shuttle to travel to a gate, are there shuttles to travel from one camp to another?

Thanks!

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Re: Do I need a car to travel through the Kruger

Unread post by Elsa » Wed Jun 15, 2011 9:01 am

Hi Moleskine6 and a warm welcome to the forum. :D

Yes, you will need a car of your own to drive around Kruger.

Your only other option will be to stay outside the park and take guided tours in on a daily basis but this could be a costly affair.

There are drives conducted from the various camps but you will then be confined to the camp in between and will not be able to travel to other camps.

It will be much better to hire a car of your own, travel exactly at your own speed and stop for as long as you like at sightings and between camps.


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