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Eastern Cape Safari?

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We will be staying in Cape Town for several weeks and want to do a safari. Originally, I was inclined to make the trip to Kruger by plane. (We will not do self drive, though will have a car in CT). Our friends in CT are recommending that we do a safari in the Eastern Cape instead.

Can someone comment on the differences between Eastern Cape and Kruger safaris?

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    I was going to reply to your other thread - I hope others chime in here.

    There isn't a whole lot of difference between the Kruger and Addo regions. You'll fly from CT to either region, get picked up by the lodge or arrange a transfer (for a cost), and you get taken care of for a few days. You will get up early for your game drives and eat (usually the food is great!) dinner after your afternoon game drives. I like to arrange a walk if available. It's all fun. You will likely see the big five, but you will see lots of wildlife. I love safari. If it's an issue (I don't worry about it May-Sept), the Eastern Cape is malaria free. Kruger is a low risk area.

    We had planned an Eastern Cape trip last year, but decided to go to Kruger and KwaZulu Natal instead. We chose Woodbury Tented Camp outside Addo as an affordable option for a few days, but we were also staying inside Addo park on self drive, plus a few days on the coast in/near the park and time in Mountain Zebra NP, too. There are a few private lodges in Addo that I would consider - go to and find Addo Elephant Park, then look for the "luxury lodges". One of them is affordable (I can't paste it here for some reason). If you can arrange a day trip (the lodge should be able to arrange it), get to the coast - it's the Indian Ocean (CT is the Atlantic) and just gorgeous.

    That said, I would go to Kruger if you really think this is your only safari ever. I thought that - I'm now planning to move there. Kruger is huge and most of the private concessions now have removed their fences to allow free movement of the wildlife throughout an even bigger area!! It's spectacular. Addo keeps some fences up within the park to keep some areas safe for tourists to get out of their cars. In/around Kruger you generally are only allowed out with an armed ranger - only very small areas around some camps are fenced. Whichever you choose, you will love it and want to go back. Please stay at your chosen safari camp at least three nights. It gives you the best chance of seeing as much as possible.

    While you're in CT, try to get to see penguins at Boulder Beach or other area they hang out. They are too cute. It was also the only place we saw ostrich on our first SA trip.

    Enjoy your planning!

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    Dear Jkgourmet1

    I agree with most of Chrisabir’s info on this but wanted to mention one important aspect – I actually grew up along the Garden Route, my family live in Port Elizabeth so I visit the Eastern Cape at least once a year. If this is your only opportunity, I would honestly go with the Kruger region, using private reserves surrounding the national park. There really is no comparison in terms of game richness and especially taking the nightly rate into account. You will be getting way better value for money in the Kruger region, an abundance of game in comparison and lodges do not take count of animal stock on their parcel of land. If you are not self-driving, I would highly recommend flying into Hoedspruit, Kruger Mpumalanga or Skukuza airport and using one of the lodges in the private reserves in the Sabi Sands or Timbavati. I’m not sure what your budget is for this trip or how many days you have but would recommend either a combination of both regions or one of the two mentioned.

    If you decide you do want to stick with the Eastern Cape, I would suggest looking at Kwandwe, Kariega or Samara, depending on budget. If you wanted to follow my advice regarding the Kruger Region, some options would include Shindzela, Kambaku River, Tanda Tula in the Timbavati region or MalaMala, Lion Sands, Singita in the Sabi Sands, again depending on budget. You will find that the experience offers much more and the nightly rates are comparable depending on lodge choice. I hope this helps.

    Marguerite – Travel consultant – Travel Beyond.

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