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Help, please! Newbie visiting Kruger in December!

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Help, please! Newbie visiting Kruger in December!


My friend and I are both 23 yr old males who are visiting South Africa for the first time in December 2018. We land into Johannesburg and are spending a few days there before we head to what we see as our main reason for going to South Africa, a 4 night, 5 day trip in the safari.

Now, both my friend another I have zero knowledge of how Kruger works and it feels like the more we read the further we get from understanding how things work there. I've read that there are places where everything from pickup to meals to rides are catered and there are people who pitch tents and drive themselves.

We would say that we are right in between where we don't necessarily have to have everything catered for us but we would appreciate a decent lodging to stay at. We also don't know anything about camping but from what I see it, cooking for yourselves is definitely doable. We are comfortable with self driving but of course we are worried that we would get lost or worse, end up driving into an animal. All we have is our excitement to drive and see animals and have a different experience.

Can anyone provide any tips or tricks on how to even get started on how to figure this out? Our budget is roughly up to $1000 each but would rather not spend too too much.

Thanks in advance!

9 replies to this topic
Pretoria, South...
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1. Re: Help, please! Newbie visiting Kruger in December!

Start here: https://www.tripadvisor.co.za/ShowTopic-g293…


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2. Re: Help, please! Newbie visiting Kruger in December!

If I was 23 years old, I would not spend money on luxuries that private lodges in Kruger offer. In fact, I would love to stay in a tent. South African National Parks (Sanparks) has camps spread across Kruger. And you don't need to stay in a tent in a Sanparks camp. They also offer a variety of accommodation including bungalows and cottages, in case you do not want to stay in a tent. The bungalows and cottages, though not luxurious, are very comfortable. Many of the accommodation units are equipped with fridge and a range of utensils and cutlery in case you wish to cook. The larger camps have full fledged restaurants too. Staying in a Sanparks camp is very comfortable indeed. (http:///www.sanparks.org).

If you are comfortable with self driving, go for it. Camp shops sell road maps and the roads are well signposted. You are not allowed to drive off road so you have to be really dumb to get lost in the bush!

I was a newbie when I visited Kruger last year and some of my concerns were same as yours, especially regarding encounters with animals. I had no problems self driving. Its much easier than what you imagine sitting at home.

Raleigh, North...
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3. Re: Help, please! Newbie visiting Kruger in December!

The above two links will give you all preliminary information on Private reserves (all catered for, 2 drives a day) vs Kruger DIY - you book accomodation, self cater/restaurant, self drive with option of Sanparks Morning, sunset, night drives.

One thing i can warn you that reservations are open 11 months in advance in Kruger and the choicest locations do get reserved well in advance. So you will have to go with what is available. and reserve it fast.

Pretoria, South...
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4. Re: Help, please! Newbie visiting Kruger in December!

Yes, December is our main summer holiday month. Finding accommodation in the park will probably be a bit challenging.

Manchester, United...
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5. Re: Help, please! Newbie visiting Kruger in December!

Looking at costs, in Kruger a cabin will cost round $110 per day( some cheaper than this) small car rental very cheap, say $15 a day. Then gasoline $10?? per day, food self catering say $25 per day. So if you allow $150 to $200 a day for two you should be in the right region. Camping would be cheaper but then you would have to hire equipment.

Cape Town, South...
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6. Re: Help, please! Newbie visiting Kruger in December!

First thing you must do is check out the SANparks web site


join the forum and ask your questions there Check availability as well You might be lucky and get a cancellation . the Amount you pay for accommodation is not per person but for the accommodation itself

All the main camps have fairly well stocked shops and places to eat . most South Africans Braai and every unit has a BBQ wood and charcoal is found in the shops .Tents are very economical All have a fridge and ceiling fan but some no utensils Though all you need are a knife and fork and spoons which are available in the shops and a small pot and plates You also have to pay a conservation fee every day .

BOOK NOW and don look back and enjoy

7. Re: Help, please! Newbie visiting Kruger in December!

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Removed on: 8:00 am, August 13, 2018
Edited: 8:00 am, August 13, 2018
Winchester, United...
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8. Re: Help, please! Newbie visiting Kruger in December!

If you can go on YouTube and put in Kruger Sanpark accommodation there are videos of each camp so you can see what they look like also videos of people self driving around the park I know it helped us before we went on our first trip ( you will be back !! )

Edited: 12:22 pm, June 27, 2018
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9. Re: Help, please! Newbie visiting Kruger in December!

I wouldn't spend 3 days in Johannesburg unless you have something you specifically want to see. You could get a connecting flight it's only an hour to Mpumalanga international airport or even to Skukuza rest camp inside the park. You can pick up your hire car there only at Skukuza I think it's Avis only

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