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Where do we go on safari?

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Ayr, United Kingdom
posts: 1
reviews: 1
Where do we go on safari?

We're visiting South Africa in February and intend staying in capetown for 4 night and driving the garden route . Where would you recommend to have best safari experience? Should we go to Kruger? is it a good time of year to see the big 5? Would a safari in the Eastern Cape a good option? I am concerned that safari from Cape town might not have the feel of the real thing! Thanks.

Boston...
posts: 335
reviews: 3
1. Re: Where do we go on safari?

You can't go wrong with Kruger and I would say it is a missed opportunity to not go to Kruger for a safari.

If you are comfortable driving, do a self-drive in Kruger and you will have a blast. It will be hot up there but the animals are still around. There is never a guarantee to see the Big 5 but you never know. Patience and luck can bring even the elusive pangolin out.

I would recommend flying into Joburg, renting a car and driving to Kruger. While up there, consider spending a day to explore Blyde River Canyon and the Panorama Route next to Kruger. It is all doable in one trip.

Hope this helps.

Cheers!

Heeten ~ Owner, Swagat at Kruger Park Lodge

Singapore
posts: 1,315
reviews: 105
2. Re: Where do we go on safari?

Sheila,

2 years ago I did Kruger around march/April and it was fantastic. I was told it was wet season by which the guide meant it was more lush and hence more difficult to spot animals. Nevertheless we saw all Big 5. As you can tell I did not do a self drive, rather I stayed at a private reserve with its own vehicles and they are adjacent to Kruger. The drives were included in the price of the room (as well as full board), it was all very luxurious and comfortable. Now I am hooked!

Cape Town Central...
posts: 1,002
reviews: 16
3. Re: Where do we go on safari?

hi Sheila M

If you are doing the Garden Rout then I would consider Addo. It is maleria Free and on your route.

SOUTH AFRICA
posts: 2,266
4. Re: Where do we go on safari?

I would recommend that if at all possible, you include Kruger in your itinerary!

Tanya * owner * Africa Direct

Cape Town
posts: 730
reviews: 1
5. Re: Where do we go on safari?

If you are already doing the Garden Route then I would extend your drive and go to one of the private game reserves in the Eastern Cape.

There will be less chance of rain in this area and it is Malaria free.

if you have the budget then have a look at either Shamwari or Kwandwe but if you are looking for something more affordable then I really like Kariega.

Mark September

Small World Tours

Italy
Destination Expert
for Livigno, Lombardy
posts: 39,060
reviews: 125
6. Re: Where do we go on safari?

We have just come back and went to Addo and while it's agreat camp we thought that it didn't compare to Kruger so if you can manage it then I really wouldn't miss Kruger.

Somerset
Destination Expert
for Cape Town
posts: 3,498
7. Re: Where do we go on safari?

I would recommend Kruger and/or private game reserve in the area. If you decide on Kruger then I would definately fly Cape Town to Nelspruit (kruger Mpumalanga Int. Airport). There is a daily flight so why waste 5 hours driving each way from Johannesburg and back. You can hire your car from the airport just as you would from Johannesburg airport. Apart from the time factor it also avoids getiing out of Johannesburg on the frantically busy roads (and back again of course) What ever you decide, enjoy

Weybridge
posts: 877
reviews: 52
8. Re: Where do we go on safari?

Hi,

If you want to see the Big 5, but especially lion and leopard, then yes, one of the private reserves in the Kruger area - so Sabi Sand or Timbavati - would be the place to go. Depending on how far you are travelling along the Garden Route, you can fly from either Port Elizabeth or George to Johannesburg, and you can either overnight here and then fly over to the Kruger Park the next morning (Hoedspruit or Kruger Mpumalanga, depending on where your chosen safari lodge is), or as someone suggested, you can hire a car from Johannesburg Airport and drive to Hazyview from Johannesburg (about 4 hours), and overnight here before departing for the safari lodge the next morning. Either way, you would need to overnight somewhere, as logistically, with current flight times and schedules, you cannot get from the Garden Route/Port Elizabeth up to Kruger in one day in order to get to any lodge for an afternoon game drive.

A safari in the Eastern Cape will still be a fantastic experience, but I must admit, sightings of leopard here are pretty rare.

The lodges in the Eastern Cape are all situated in a handful of privately owned reserves, ranging in size from 5,000 hectares to 25,000 hectares. These reserves all operate independently from each other, and each therefore have their own wildlife stock - the larger reserves such as Shamwari and Kwandwe can obviously sustain more wildlife in terms of actual physical numbers, but the privilege of this is reflected in the rates.

The smaller reserves such as Amakhala, Lalibela, Pumba and Kariega, which tend to be around the 5,000 - 8,000 hectare size, do have to limit the number of predators - for example, a small reserve can only sustain a few lion, or else they would find their entire buffalo population is wiped out very quickly by hungry lions!

If Shamwari or Kwandwe fall within your budget, then I have to be honest and say, as Mark said, they will give you a more rounded safari experience by dint purely of the size - you will generally not see the road/fenceline at all during your stay - whereas in the smaller reserves you may well come across the fenceline during a game drive - especially in Amakhala, as the lions are kept in a separate 1,000 hectares on one side of the road, so to get between this and the main part of the reserve you do cross under the main N2 road via an underpass - which can detract from the overall feeling of being totally immersed in your bush/safari experience. However, to be forewarned is to be prepared - I had some wonderful sightings when I stayed at Amakhala, which more than compensated for the N2 encounter. Kariega is also a 'split' reserve, but you don't go near the N2 at all - however you do cross over a minor road between the 2 parts of the reserve.

Tracey - Director, Travel Butlers

Randburg, Gauteng...
posts: 828
reviews: 32
9. Re: Where do we go on safari?

Definitely you must not miss Kruger Park. The elephants in Addo are nice to see, but even the tusks are smaller than the elephants in Kruger. The first time i was there i could not believe how much smaller they are. I have seen huge tuskers in Kruger that they tusks almost touched the ground. You are also quite correct in that Cape Town safari does not have same feel. The vegetation in Addo is very different to Kruger. The bushveld in Kruger is amazing, the scenery is stunning and for your first time on safari - you must visit Kruger Park. i took clienst in february this year, the grass was higher than my minivan, and the bush very thick, we saw the big five twice. Yes it was hot, but not unbearable. I suggest Umkumbe Lodge in Sabie Sand.

Lyn - Owner - Thorntree Tours and Safaris

Hong Kong, China
Destination Expert
for Hong Kong, Macau, Holiday Travel
posts: 15,916
reviews: 2,865
10. Re: Where do we go on safari?

Sheila M

If you can make the time and budget available to add on Kruger, please do so. It is one of the genuinely great places in the world to visit. Have a great time in South Africa.

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