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Single Female going to Kruger need advise on the best way

New York
posts: 6
reviews: 1
Single Female going to Kruger need advise on the best way

Hello,

I am traveling by myself to KNP on 11/25/2013 . I read a lot of threads here but I'm confused by a few things. Would you please help to clarify first and give me some suggestions?

To my understanding, I have 3 options:

1. I can stay in the park and do a self-drive tour. I think it will not be fun since I am by myself.

Q 1: Are there non-self-drive tours I can join in the park? I think it will be ideal for me to drive from Jo'burg to KNP. Then join a tour that takes me around for 3,4 days. Staying in different parts of the park.

Q2: are there day trips/drives available in the park? In that case I can stay by myself but go with a group every day.

2. I can stay at a private lodge where game drives are offered.

Q3: does this mean we will go to close by areas during the day and come back to the same place every night?

Q4: Other than the accommodations, do most of the lodges offer the same game drives?

3. I can join a safari tour from Jo'burg.

Q5: I looked up a few tour operators. It looks like they don't stay in the park Is that for all tours? Any tour stay in the park you can recommend?

I know it's a lot of questions. If you can answer any of the 5 it will be great.

Thank you very much!!!

7 replies to this topic
Naracoorte
posts: 1,586
reviews: 14
1. Re: Single Female going to Kruger need advise on the best way

Hi!

1./ 2./5.

Yes there are non self-drive tours that operate in the park. However, the 2-3 hour morning and sunset and night drives offered by Sanparks from their camps (and from some park entrance gates) are mostly utilised by self-drivers who stay in the park and also drive themselves for the vast majority of their time. We do this and book the occasional sunset drive which carries over after dark so that we get a chance to see the nocturnal activities of the wildlife. I think if you stayed inside the park in the camps you would soon see how amazing it is to drive yourself around - loads of solo travellers do this all the time.

Alternatively, you can drive up to Kruger NP and stay just outside the park and take day tours into the park. There are many operators who offer such tours, they are easy to find and book when you get there. Once you have seen how easy it is to drive around inside the park, I would guess that you would then decide to drive yourself into the park on some or all of your remaining days!

Thirdly, there are agents who offer 3 or 4 day tours into the park and/or the bordering private reserves. Some utilise the parks accommodation inside the park itself, others use alternative accommodation in private reserves adjacent to the park or even a mix of both.

3/4. The private reserves bordering KNP offer a large range of lodge stays on an all inclusive basis. Two or three game drive/walk activities per day and all meals and non-alcoholic drinks. You can get a transfer to the area from Johannesburg with Ashton's Shuttle. There is no point having a rental car there because you won't use it whilst at the lodge. The game drives whilst at the lodges take place in what they call their traversing area. The lodges themselves are set deep in the bush on a particular reserve and there may be several lodges dotted about the same reserve (but quite private from each other). Then guests are taken in open vehicles which may seat between 6 and 9 people on average and driven around the bush in search of the wildlife. Drives last around three hours from memory and go very early in the morning and again later in the afternoon. A guided walk is sometimes offered in the middle of the day.

Lodges in the same reserve may cover a lot of the same ground on their drives as each other depending on how big the reserve is and where the lodges are located within it. The biggest reserves mean you could stay at two different lodges and get to cover different areas of the reserve on your drives.

Hope this hasn't been to confusing. As you can see there are lots of options to suit all budgets and preferences.

New York
posts: 6
reviews: 1
2. Re: Single Female going to Kruger need advise on the best way

Hello tryhard,

Thank you very much for your reply. It's very helpful. I have a few fellow-up questions:

1. As a single female traveler, is it safe to move around Jo'burg and the park by myself?

2. I think driving myself is kind of boring and I prefer to go with a group for the safari. Do you have any recommendations for tour operators?

3.Is it better to drive to Nelspruit first then choose a tour there or try to find something in Jo'burg?

4. Do I have to book in advance?

Thank you again!

Anna

Naracoorte
posts: 1,586
reviews: 14
3. Re: Single Female going to Kruger need advise on the best way

In the city areas just use the normal precautions you would take at home for your personal safety and don't wlk or drive at night. It is totally safe to drive and stay by yourself in the park. In the park you just need to read the park rules with your permit and adhere to them.

If you drive up to the Kruger area you could go to Nelspruit or Hazyview or other smaller towns close to the park. Any of which will have suitable accommodation and many tour operators who can take you into the park. We have never used a tour operator so I can't recommend one specifically.

I don't think you need to book in advance for day tours. However, it may be prudent to book ahead for multiple day accommodated tours.

4. Re: Single Female going to Kruger need advise on the best way

Hi,

As a single lady, I go to the Kruger Park by myself on a regular basis and prefer to self drive. I prefer to stay in the main park camps and cook for myself or use their restaurants (foods not great). Occasionally I take one of the tours offered in the camp, they have jeep tours, walking tours and in one spot, horse riding trails. Another fun tour is offered by Drifters tours, normally a young fun bunch of people and offer both standard accommodation or camping. I thoroughly recommend the camping - such fun!! Joburg is safe for the most part, but keep car doors locked at all times and stick to the main areas. Don't walk by yourself at night!

New York
posts: 6
reviews: 1
5. Re: Single Female going to Kruger need advise on the best way

Thank you both for your replies!

Edited: 5:53 pm, November 10, 2013
Randburg, Gauteng...
posts: 858
reviews: 32
6. Re: Single Female going to Kruger need advise on the best way

Hello, you are quite safe - Kruger is absolutely safe if you stay in the camps. Johannesburg is different, i would suggest you only visit the city by day and not at night. However, Sandton, which is the new business district is very safe, if you stay there, which i recommend, it has plenty of good hotels, guest houses as well. You may also prefer to stay out in Fourways, at Montecasino, this area is full of fun. Clubs, cocktails bars, restuarants, theatres, cinemas and safe area too.

Look at Viva safaris, they do trips into Kruger, small groups. There would be no problem driving yourself. I drive that route regularly, and have done so for many years. if you dont want to join a group, its fine by yourself.

Lyn - Owner - Thorntree Tours and Safaris

New York
posts: 6
reviews: 1
7. Re: Single Female going to Kruger need advise on the best way

Thank you so much Lyn. I booked a tour with Viva safari. They look pretty good. :)

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