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New to Kruger

Discuss and find information on the Kruger National Park
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New to Kruger

Unread post by » Tue Oct 17, 2017 2:03 am

Hello -- I've never been to Africa before, and will be touring solo next September from the US. After my Kenya tour, I will fly to Johannesberg, then to my Kruger destination.
At that point, I'm just guessing how this works, even if I'm doing all the research I can think of. Please help with any corrections or helpful information.
I plan to stay 3 nights at Lower Sabie -- so I think I should fly into Mpumalanga.
I assume I can rent a car there, and drive to the camp --- how long should that take? On N4?
Driving -- I believe it is on the left side of the road -- correct? (Oh dear -- how fast is the traffic within the park?)
While in Lower Sabie - I will self-drive to watch game. And perhaps take a park guided game drive or 2.
3 nights at Lower Sabie, then north on H10 to Satara for 3 nights. (How long should that drive take?)
Then head west out Orpen Gate and drive to a private reserve (Shindzela) in Timbavati for 3 nights.
Then fly back to J-berg from Hoedspruit after returning the car.

So my main questions are:
--Where can I rent a car (Mpumalanga?) and from what company? Can I return a car to different airport Hoedspruit since I will be leaving from there?
--What are the roads like in the park? How about the ones I would self-drive around to see game?
--If I decide I'm too nervous to drive on the other side of the road and just take park game drives instead, how can I get from the airport to Lower Sabie, then to Satara, then to my private reserve camp, and then to Hoedspruit? Is all this even doable if I don't self-drive?
I can't think of other questions right now until I learn more, so any and all comments and information will be greatly appreciated.
Thank you.

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Re: New to Kruger

Unread post by Meandering Mouse » Tue Oct 17, 2017 4:27 am

A very warm welcome, Tracy. :gflower:

You are certainly in the right place to have your questions answered.

Did you know that you can fly from OR Tambo (Johannesburg) to Kruger? It would then be possible to pick up a hire vehicle for your stay. I am sure other Folk from the US can give excellent advice.

You would have to drive on the left hand side of the road. The Park roads are really not at all congested though. The only problem with congestion can come with lion sightings.

Self drive is definitely the best option for most people. The spped limit is 50 kms/hr and on gravel roads it is 40 kms/hr. I tend to drive slower, as that is far to fast to get good sightings.

The drive from Lower Sabie to Satara usually takes me about 5 hours. It is a very interesting drive with a couple of 'must do' stops. Nkumbe is one of the most beautiful viewing points, Orpen dam is another view point and the Tshokwane picnic area is a delight.

I really would recommend a sundowner drive from any of the camps. You will be seeing completely different creatures.
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Re: New to Kruger

Unread post by Elsa » Tue Oct 17, 2017 8:29 am

Warm welcome to the forum Tracy!

MM has given you some good advice re flying into the Skukuza airport in the park itself which I think will suit you for convenience and no driving outside on the national roads.
Driving inside the park is really very easy despite being on the left as one is driving so slowly, average around 25 to 30 kph which is recommended for good game viewing especially if you are on your own.
You have chosen 2 very good camps in game rich areas.
I do recommend you buy yourself a map book as soon as you arrive, which will help with distances/times etc and the roads inside the park.
Also do have a look through the Index to Kruger National Park Topics where you will find many answers to questions that you might have, but do ask if there is anything else wecan help with.

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Re: New to Kruger

Unread post by Afriphile » Tue Oct 17, 2017 9:15 am

Hi Tracey,
Avis have car hire at Skukuza(Kruger) ,Hoedspruit, and KMIA((Nelspruit or Mbombela)
You can rent at one place and drop off at another.Their online booking is easy,but do book in advance.
As has been said,driving in the park is very easy,but a couple of organised drives will give you some idea of what to look cannot visit Kruger,without a car,unless you stay at one of the large hotels outside the park and do organised day drives in.Most people would say stay inside and drive yourself.

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