Cheap Safari in South Africa

Jul 5th, 2006, 11:27 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 94
Cheap Safari in South Africa

My husband and I are looking to go to South Agrica on a Safari around Thanksgiving time (for a totat of approximately 10 days) and would like to find a way to go on a relatively inexpensive trip. Any advice would be welcome. Thanks!
rr229 is offline  
Jul 5th, 2006, 12:44 PM
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 5,215
"relatively inexpensive" needs more definition. IS $500 per person per night inexpensive for you?
It gets very little attention on this forum, and I have never been there, but how about Kruger National Park?
They seem to have a very wide variety of lodging and activities. It is just an easy days drive from Joburg, or, you can take a "van" from Joburg to Kruger. In fact, anyone, anyone here, what would you do in Kruger on a budget of say $200 total for two people? (I plan to be in Kruger in Sept. on the way to other private camps).
regards - tom
cary999 is offline  
Jul 5th, 2006, 12:54 PM
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Agree with Tom, you'll really need to define "inexpensive" since "budget", "moderate", "expensive" and "blow-out" all have very different figures attached to them by different folks!

You can do South Africa on what I'd call a low to moderate budget if you're interested in self-driving and staying in a mix of inexpensive but charming bed and breakfast guest houses and self-catering chalets/ tents/ rondavels in the game parks. Many will poo-poo the idea of DIY safaris in comparison with guided safaris in private camps and they are right that the experiences are very different but having done both I would definitely say that the DIY safari can be extremely satisfying. If you have a little budget left over from that kind of trip you can go for self-drive for some of it and private camps for the safari segment.

Alternatively you'll find many recommendations on the forum for private camps that offer great accommodation and great safari experiences without the hefty price tags of the top-end options like Singita.

Also, the more you can tell us about your preferences the easier it will be to make recommendations that fit you best:

Have you been on safari before?
Are there specific animals at the top of your wishlist?
Do you prefer the idea of small camps with as few other guests as possible or larger ones where you can be a little more anonymous?
Many of us here adore tented accommodation - does that interest you or would you be more comfortable in rooms with solid walls?

Let us know a bit more and I'm sure we'll be able to help!

Kavey is offline  
Jul 6th, 2006, 12:29 AM
Join Date: Apr 2005
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That "$200 total" in my first post should be "$200 per day total". I'd sure like some recommendations, want to spend 2 or 3 days there in September.
regards - tom
cary999 is offline  
Jul 7th, 2006, 03:28 AM
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 189
We did a self drive from J burg up to Kruger - really easy to drive and stayed at Lower Sabi and then up at Phalabora (outside the park). The lodges that are Kruger are all reasonable priced opposed to the private parks - game drives with guides are plentiful and priced ok. Best experience - morning walk with guide from Lower Sabi - went looking for White Rhino - it was absolutely sensational - booked before we left from the Kruger park official site - about $40.00 Aust dollars. Really depends on what you want
Karen246 is offline  
Jul 7th, 2006, 05:42 AM
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 24
Based on your budget I would suggest you research the South Africa National Parks/Game Preserves with the best known being Kruger National Park and Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Game Reserve. Both of these were great when we visited last year. I would look for self-catering accomodations either inside or just outside the parks. While in the parks you can self drive which we saw a lot of people doing. If you stay inside the parks you can also take the park ranger drives or walks which are very reasonably priced (seems like in the $20-30 range). I don't know if you can stay below $200 a day but I think you might get close and still see tons of animals.
JerryLoyd is offline  
Jul 7th, 2006, 07:32 PM
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 230
Hi - We also did a self-drive (after 2 weeks of guided safari in Zambia) in early June 2006, in Hsluhsluwe (which is as hard to type as it is to pronounce!) and St. Lucia parks. Both were good, although we saw more animals (really up close, often having to wait for them to move off the road) in Hsluhsluwe. St. Lucia was great for hippos and crocs, and the ocean. When we were there it really wasn't great beach weather, but in November it should be fabulous. Take a look at any of the websites for St. Lucia World Heritage Estuary to get an idea. There is also a lot of Zulu history and village-tourist activities in this area, and it's not too far from Kruger, which I have read great things about on this forum. We stayed in guest houses which were really nice and quite reasonable (less than $100 U.S./night or less, including cooked breakfasts). There are a lot of self-catering places available as well. We will probably try Kruger if we go back to South Africa. You will have a great trip wherever you decide to go. Sharon
stamiya is offline  
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