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It's not quite Cairo to Cape Town but is the following possible???

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Sep 10th, 2004, 06:41 AM
  #1
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It's not quite Cairo to Cape Town but is the following possible???

I am fairly committed to spending time at two game lodges in Madikwe and two game lodges in the Sabi Sand.

Transfers are terribly expensive and with all the transfers counted, I am probably looking at nearly $2,000 USD. Besides the expense, it will be very difficult to make it from Madikwe to the Sabi Sand in the same day...possibly but by the narrowest of margins, leaving that nasty lump in your throat wondering if you will make the flight, etc.

So, I came up with this idea...since I will likely need a night in Joburg inbetween for my comfort level on making the flight, why not just rent an offroad capable vehicle to begin with and drive from Joburg to Madikwe, and then from Madikwe to the Sabi Sand? I will overnight somewhere in the Drakensberg Mountains or somewhere similarly interesting. I imagine that this would cut down my expense by 50%, but more importantly it would be a lot of fun, adding a sense of adventure to it all. Who knows, maybe I can be one of those South African local taxis and stuff a bunch of wealthy Americans/Europeans inside and transfer them between lodges to help make up the expense!
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Sep 11th, 2004, 01:26 PM
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I think you can do that in a 2WD car, and it should be a lot of fun.

If you have your own car, you may want to consider a night or two in Kruger itself. Its not nearly as luxurious as the Sabi Sands, but in my opinion, its a lot more fun to get a map and drive yourself. Kruger is much, much larger than the Sabi Sands and has much more game (I easily found the Big 5 in one day). The camps are basic but comfortable, more akin to US national park lodging, but if you're going that far anyway, its an easy way to cheaply add extra safari nights (probably less than US$100 per additional night). You can also spend 12 hours on safari, from 6:00am to 6:00pm, which is much more than you get in the private reserves, and there's plenty to see in the middle of the day. Just a suggestion.

Does anyone have any thoughts on self drive safaris? Maybe I'll start another thread.

Michael
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Sep 13th, 2004, 01:16 AM
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Michael,

Thanks for the feedback. I do think it would be fun to try my hand at being the guide & tracker, if even for a single day!

This is an especially good option if I choose to visit more than one lodge in each Madikwe and Sabi Sand/Kruger. I mean WHY should I pay upward of $100 USD for a 45 minute transfer each time, in addition to possibly $400 pp each time I fly from Joburg - Sabi Sand and Joburg - Madikwe. These flights are only one hour in duration, and will be a maximum of a five hour drive. Even if I rent a car for 11 nights, spending five nights in each Madikwe and the Sabi Sand, along with one night inbetween, I doubt it will cost me more than $1,000 USD including fuel and at least a half day self game drive in Kruger National Park.
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Sep 13th, 2004, 06:45 AM
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I've also be investigating these driving options. Is it possible to base ourselves in some place like Hazyview or Kiepersol and see both Kruger and the Panaramic Route sights? There seem to be some really nice places to stay in these areas (e.g, Blue Mountain Lodge, Highgrove House) and it would be nice to just stay put for a few days.

Has anyone done this or stayed at these lodges?

Judy

PS: BTW, I found this website which has lots of really nice looking accommodation http://www.sa-venues.com
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Sep 13th, 2004, 08:23 AM
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Roccco, try it, even if just for one day. Its so much different from a guided safari and I find it much more peaceful. You can, for instance, park at a waterhole and there's a good chance that you'll be the only car for extended periods -- and you get our your binocs and guide book and wait. Or you drive with your wife navigating -- you can't get lost since the park is so well marked.

Its so inexpensive that its really worth it. Have fun.

Michael
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