Kruger: Private lodge or self-drive for 3 nights?

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Mar 22nd, 2012, 01:34 PM
  #21
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Join Date: Jul 2009
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Well now I'm thinking since we're already going to Botswana and Victoria Falls, we should maybe spend 3 nights in the Hwange National Park instead of Kruger. It looks pretty good! Any lodges we should recommend?
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Mar 22nd, 2012, 03:45 PM
  #22
 
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No, but I like the idea. Don't "waste" any more time or $$ on transfer travel (JNB to Kruger?) than you have to.

regards - tom
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Mar 22nd, 2012, 09:22 PM
  #23
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
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@car999
Including the big 5?
In Kruger?

regards - tom

Yes including the Big 5 in Kruger; plus lots of other stuff
Lions, leopard, cheetah, rhino, buffs (1000+ herd), ellies, roan, nyala, hyena, hippo, giraffe,kudu,honey badger etc etc.
If you spend time reading the trips reports of lots of people on Sanparks Forum you will see that many, many others have similar experiences.
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Mar 22nd, 2012, 10:38 PM
  #24
 
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I saw the big five in Kruger last year in less than 10 hours in the park.

tom, I saw the response from Kim on the other thread. If its true they don't care about residency, it looks like a no brainer. I can't haggle either. I thought Carolyn was joining you. SS stinks - but doing this last minute thing may be genius. Can't wait to finish school, get a job and be able to travel again!!
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Mar 22nd, 2012, 11:13 PM
  #25
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
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>>(You mean "half May", of course?)
Yup, sorry. Early dementia.

>>I leave LAX May 6th, arrive JNB May 8th, leave JNB May 28th. So probably do overlap you. Thus I'll be there before you have returned home and made report?? I think you're from Belgium, so I'll ask around for Belgium Johan. You ask for Tom Graham

I will! But you better ask for Jochen end not Johan, cuz Johan is someone else!

My camps are ;
29/4 to 2/5: nThambo
3/5 to 6/5: Shindzela
7/5 to 17/5 Umkumbe

Ciao,

J.
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Mar 22nd, 2012, 11:20 PM
  #26
 
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Kruger. CB you saw the big 5 in less than 10 hours. I was there two weeks before seeing one leopard and have never seen rhino. I must be looking in wrong places . Yes I believe people in Kruger see much wildlife because there are many many people looking. But I'm still not convinced that the density of big 5 sightings in Kruger is anywhere close to say MalaMala. Besides, in Kruger a big cat usually stacks cars on both sides of the road. Have seen that in Kruger!! Anyway . . . . . on to . . .

mtbeds. But pixelpower on another thread says his looking into mtbeds really didn't turn up much worth considering. And pp has researched (and written) a lot into camp costs and deals in the Greater Kruger Area. A good sounding name, mtbeds, but little useful substance. Assuming I'm reading pp correctly. There are many camps with no SS up front and if for ones that do, I can't get them to at minimum waiver SS in May, then my plan is in trouble. Waivering SS should be the easiest rate break they could give me? But I'm hoping/planning for more.
regards - tom
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Mar 23rd, 2012, 03:53 AM
  #27
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
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Hey guys,

Don't get me wrong; MTbeds can be great. But only in low season imho, and if you have plenty of time. MTbeds has deals with lodges to sell bednights that are not filled up. It's like a last-minute for safaris.

Thing is this; if a) you only have 10-14 days to be there, and if b) those days are fixed (because of your international flights which you better book way in advance), would you jeopardize a day or two to find the right lodges at reduced prices?

Because that's what you need to do; you land in Jo'Burg, you need to book a hotel there, and then you need to assemble your safari there and then. So then starts a puzzle-work of fitting in lodges that still have availability. You need to find lodges that have beds free during consecutive days. Otherwise you're not on safari, but more like in constant transit from one lodge to another. And speaking of transfers; that all needs to be arranged too.
Doesn't sound like a plan to me, if that's the way one goes about filling in their hard-earned vacation days.

When I'm retired, perhaps I will consider them. Go for one month, fix my 1st week of safari with them, and start my safari. Then, during non-game-drive time, I can continuously fill up my remianing days a few at a time, with lodges that are nearby. All I have to do is keep an eye on their website.

About big 5 in Kruger; I can do better than that! On my first game drive in Kruger I saw the big five in less than three hours. But if you think that means that Kruger NP in better in quality; think again. None of the sightings were comparable with what I'm used to in private reserves. The worst was the leopard; 30 mins in a bush jam to see a tail dangling from a tree.

Ciao,

J.
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Mar 23rd, 2012, 08:09 AM
  #28
 
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We were incredibly lucky then. As we were driving into the park for the first time, we saw a leopard walking on the road, by ourselves. At least five minutes with it- great sighting, maybe our best leopard. The next morning we saw, with a car jam, a pride of 9 lionesses and their sub adult children, and when we left that mess, had a male sighting on the road again to ourselves. We then found a rhino mom and baby and had them to ourselves for at least an hour. I was a bit of a lunatic. No cars ever passed. It was closer to 16 hours. Next day we got in a buffalo jam. Hundreds of buffalo crossing the road. We even saw honey badgers - again alone, while we were trying to intercept a rhino. Kruger was spectacular.

Jochen has a point - if there are only two nights available at a bunch of camps, that could be inconvenient. But you are going in low season, so that might not happen. I'd chance it, knowing I could still get availabilty at camps without a deal. Isn't that what credit cards are for - emergencies?!
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Mar 23rd, 2012, 08:26 AM
  #29
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 104
I second canadian_robin with regards to the Ichobezi Safariboats. It is really a fantastic experience. Here is a video I made on my first trip with them. I have since done many more as it really is a fantastic experience. Hope this helps.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oCCHVgTcJmU

Happy Safaris
Mark
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Mar 23rd, 2012, 09:05 AM
  #30
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
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Interesting idea J. I will be there 19 nights. So, before I leave home have a camp reserved for first 5-6 nights. Then when there start calling around to fill the remaining 12-13 nights. And hope I don't get tossed out into the bush for a night Actually, if I had to sleep in visiting guide quarters bunk for a night or two would not be so bad. I've done the hostel dormitory thing. Just feed me . Again I'm thinking this may only work because low season. And yes, like CB says, that's what credit cards are for, back-up plan B!!!

regards - tom
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