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Kruger or Pillanesberg?

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London
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Kruger or Pillanesberg?

I will be in Pretoria for 3 weeks to conduct archival research for my PhD dissertation. I plan to be working for much of my time, but would also like to get out to see some wildlife. My dilemma is whether I should take a few days off and spend three to four days travelling to Kruger Park, or just go to Pillanesberg for the weekend and not miss any time that could be spent in the archives on what already will be a short and busy trip. Normally I certainly wouldn't mind taking time off from my studies, but the archive is the reason I am in South Africa so I want to make the best use of my time possible. So my question is: how much better is Kruger Park than Pillanesberg. Will someone who has never been on safari before be satisfied with a day or two at Pillanesburg? Would I be a fool not to visit Kruger Park on what might be my only trip to South Africa? How do the two parks compare in terms of scenery, likelihood of seeing large mammals, and overall experience?

Pretoria, SA
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11. Re: Kruger or Pillanesberg?

What I would suggest :

You will have a car so drive yourself to Kruger - easy to do, good roads and stop at Millies Trout Farm mid way up. Book yourself into a SANPARKS rest camp. IMO Lower Sabie is the best but there are many to choose from. See www.sanparks.org

entrance to Kruger for an international visitor is R160, although if you have a temporary residents permit or study VISA they will only charge you South African rates ( can't remember how much).

If you look on the website you can decide how much to spend on accommodation. If you don't want to camp, prices start at R180 a night for a hut - R700 odd for an ensuite chalet.

You can take the Parks board drives which are either in morning and or evening and are around R160 each, or/ and you can drive yourself round the park.

Most camps have their own restaurants but you can take food with you as well if on more of a budget. The restaurants are reasonably priced. Some camps show wildlife films etc in the evening.

Johannesburg, South...
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12. Re: Kruger or Pillanesberg?

Kruger National Park....definitly if you can make it

No comparison with Pilansberg

Gauteng
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13. Re: Kruger or Pillanesberg?

Kruger and Greater Kruger are the real bush. For an affordable safari experience as a person on your own then look at somewhere like Shindzela Camp in the Timbavati reserve (this adjoins Kruger National Park and there are no fences between the reserves which allows the free flow of game) which includes all your meals and game viewing activities or you can just self cater at one of the rest camps within Kruger National Park and do all your own game viewing in your vehicle or take some of the scheduled morning or night drives bookable through SanParks. But, if you have the little bit of extra time, it is definitely worth making the effort to get to Kruger rather than Pilanesburg.

Pretoria, Gauteng...
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14. Re: Kruger or Pillanesberg?

I have been to both many times. If you want a more authentic safari, maybe go to Kruger, but Pilanesberg has a denser concentration of animals (at least win my experience) and you are a bit likely to see more. I always spot the leopard on the way from Manyane camp to the gate to Sun City!

Whatever you choose, I hope you enjou it!

London
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15. Re: Kruger or Pillanesberg?

Thanks to everyone for their advice. I did end up going to Kruger and had a fantastic time. Didn't see a leopard, but just about everything else, including some rare wild dogs. I used Funky Safaris, based in the Funky Monkey backpackers lodge in Nelspruit. I would highly recommend this for the budget-conscience traveller. The package I did was 3 days and 2 nights in Kruger, for 3450ZAR--about the cheapest price I could find. I'm a pretty independent traveller and usually hate group tours, but I would say that if you are going on safari for the first time, I would not recommend doing it yourself. Had I been driving my own car, I would have sailed past many of the animals. The safari guide has an incredible eye for spotting wild life, and is in constant radio communication with other guides, so these people know where the animals are!

Pretoria
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16. Re: Kruger or Pillanesberg?

Camping in Kruger with your own tent is R135 to R150 for two people per night depending on whether you have electricity or not.

A good bungalow cost around R800. You could easily get by with R1000 per day for two people.

Edited: 3:02 pm, May 01, 2010
Johannesburg, South...
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17. Re: Kruger or Pillanesberg?

Aforth....I am glad you had an enjoyable time and had great sightings in the Kruger Park...Hopefully we shall see you again

18. Re: Kruger or Pillanesberg?

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