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Transportation, Naledi Bushcamp, Elephant Plains, Best Rates

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New York City, New...
posts: 7
reviews: 1
Transportation, Naledi Bushcamp, Elephant Plains, Best Rates

Hi,

My boyfriend and I arrive in Jo-burg Jan 21 in the morning, plan to head straight towards Kruger, and will spend the nights of the 22nd, 23rd, 24th, and 25th on safari before heading back to Jo-burg for a flight to Cape Town.

We've read up on the park vs private reserves and have to decide between a few options:

1 .TRANSPORTATION:

- Should we rent a car from Jo-burg to drive to the private reserves, or get a shuttle or car to drive us (from Jo-burg to the camp/camps, then the camp/camps to Jo-burg)?

- Will we need out own car if we're on private reserves the whole time?

- Does anyone have shuttle recommendations (if we choose not to drive ourselves), or car rental recommendations (if we choose to drive ourselves)?

2. NALEDI BUSHCAMP & ELEPHANT PLAINS:

- We are either spending 2 nights at Naledi, then 3 nights at Elephant Plains, or spending all 5 nights at Elephant Plains. Why? We're trying to decide between doing both (to experience 2 different camps, get different perspectives, rather than relying on 1 reserve) or just doing EP (amazing reviews, #1 on Tripadvisor, not having to travel between camps). From your experience, what do you recommend?

3. BEST RATES:

- So far, the best prices I've found for Naledi and EP are direct from their respective websites. Are there any ways to get discount rates through agencies (especially if we bundle it with transportation from Joburg)?

Thank you so much!

EG

Phoenix, Arizona
Destination Expert
for South Africa, Sabi Sand Game Reserve
posts: 7,012
reviews: 44
1. Re: Transportation, Naledi Bushcamp, Elephant Plains, Best Rates

I checked - and am surprised that Elephant Plains DOES have a Rondavel available for all 5 nights. It books up early for most of the year. As for whether to split your time, or not... 2-nts Naledi, 3-nts Elephant Plains does take advantage of different environments, different camps. Elephant Plains for 5 nights would let you see what 'living' in the bush is like. With such a long stay, you would feel very much at home by the time January 26th rolls around.

Naledi does not commission agents, so their internet price is the price. Elephant Plains does offer commissions, and you might find a discount, dealing with a South Africa specialist who can offer you a lower rate.

Drive or fly? After that long trip, if the budget bears it, I think a flight to Nelspruit airport would be my suggestion. There's competition on that route and you can find fares of just under or over $100 each way most of the time. Hoedspruit serves both those camps, but the flights on 21JAN are sold out.

If you choose Elephant Plains for 5 nights, pay for a transfer from the Nelspruit airport. About $90PP each way and better than renting a car just for that purpose. If you choose to do both camps, maybe rent the car from the Nelspruit airport. And it can be one of the inexpensive ones; you don't need a 4x4.

And you don't have to return to Johannesburg to go to Cape Town. Yes, it's less expensive to do it that way - but if you want that nonstop, it's priced at about $250PP right now. Lv Nelspruit at 115PM, arrive Cape Town 355PM.

You have already found two good values for safari camps, so be comfortable with whichever plan you choose.

Dave Patterson - Owner - The Africa Safari

Edited: 3:59 pm, January 05, 2011
Ottawa, Canada
posts: 85
reviews: 44
2. Re: Transportation, Naledi Bushcamp, Elephant Plains, Best Rates

Dave, roughly how long would the drive be from Elephant PLains to Naledi? I know you can only enter through the Gowrie Gate for EP and Balule-Olifants West Gate for Naledi.

I'm also doing both lodges later in the year, after a stint in KNP itself and finding key info on driving from EP to Naledi is tough!

Many thanks.

Phoenix, Arizona
Destination Expert
for South Africa, Sabi Sand Game Reserve
posts: 7,012
reviews: 44
3. Re: Transportation, Naledi Bushcamp, Elephant Plains, Best Rates

I just saw this - was it posted January 24? Pretty high up on the page of posts for that. In fact, EP to Naledi won't but even 90 minutes after you leave the Gowrie gate. You just go back to Acornhoek, turn north to the Balule reserve past Hoedspruit.

Edited: 12:23 am, February 26, 2011
Ottawa, Canada
posts: 85
reviews: 44
4. Re: Transportation, Naledi Bushcamp, Elephant Plains, Best Rates

Dave, thanks a lot. And yes, it was posted January 24! I was wondering if I'd get a response so I'm happy you took some time to answer. Cheers.

Phoenix, Arizona
Destination Expert
for South Africa, Sabi Sand Game Reserve
posts: 7,012
reviews: 44
5. Re: Transportation, Naledi Bushcamp, Elephant Plains, Best Rates

If you don't already have it - print this map. Chitwa Chitwa made it some time ago, and luckily, it's still on the web. chitwa.co.za/Chitwa_Map_and_Directions.pdf And watch your speed after you leave Acornhoek.

A. None of those roads are actually straight.. hahaha.. but the km's are correct.

B. New entrance fees - copied from the Sabi Sand site:

"..An entrance fee of ZAR 110.00 per vehicle, and an additional R20.00 per occupant is payable (cash only). The Gates open at 05h00 / 06h00 am and close at 22h00 / 23h00.."

Edited: 8:37 pm, February 26, 2011
Ottawa, Canada
posts: 85
reviews: 44
6. Re: Transportation, Naledi Bushcamp, Elephant Plains, Best Rates

Thanks for the map Dave, a great tool to have! There is also a nice map on the Africa On Foot website that I reference often. I'm not staying there but was considering it when searching out private lodges. Found the map useful so I saved the link.

africaonfoot.com/wp-content/…map.pdf

Cheers!

Phoenix, Arizona
Destination Expert
for South Africa, Sabi Sand Game Reserve
posts: 7,012
reviews: 44
7. Re: Transportation, Naledi Bushcamp, Elephant Plains, Best Rates

Joliette - Thanks! Never seen that one before.. I am saving it right now!

8. Re: Transportation, Naledi Bushcamp, Elephant Plains, Best Rates

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