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Pilanesberg or Kruger? Please comment on my itinerary!

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Hi everyone,

I'll be going to South Africa in early April. I'll be in Pretoria for work and will then have 4-5 days for sightseeing. It's my first time in South Africa, and I know that's not much! So I turn to y'all, the forum experts, for advice.

My main priority is a safari. I've done them before but was never able to make it to Kruger. I'm thinking this is my opportunity - I'd like to do a 3-day tour in and out of Pretoria (I can't drive). But I know that Kruger is extremely far; I've heard it can take as much as 9 hours each way?? Especially if the tour has to pick up others.

So I'm wondering if I should give up on the Kruger idea and aim for Pilanesberg. Is it as spectacular, as full of life? I'm longing to see herds of giraffe and zebra and antelope and elephants, the occasional lion or cheetah, and even rhino, which I've never seen before! Is Pilanesberg comparable to Kruger? (I've heard it's got great birds, which is cool but not my priority)

And in either case, does anyone have recommendations for safari companies they have used??? I'm struggling to identify good ones online. Plus I'll need a company that can pick up/drop off in Pretoria.

Here is the tentative itinerary I've drawn up:

- Day 1: sightseeing in Pretoria
- Day 2 - Day 4: 3-day, 2-night safari to Kruger or Pilanesberg; drop off in Jo'burg; enjoy evening in Jo'burg
Day 5: Sightsee Jo'burg; evening flight home

I know that's cramped. Any comments or suggestions? Thanks so much!

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