Private Reserves Safari versus Kruger N.P,

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Feb 12th, 1998, 12:09 PM
  #1
DON DE POTO
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Private Reserves Safari versus Kruger N.P,

Will be visiting So.AFRICA in July. How different is the safari experience between staying in the private reserves [such as Mala Mala] adjoining Kruger as compared with staying in the Park? Should I try to do both. Also, how worthwhile is visiting the Garden Route? Thanks for your advice. Don































 
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Mar 3rd, 1998, 10:24 PM
  #2
Ruth Stoky
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If you can afford to do a private game reserve, I am quite sure you will find it worthwhile. While you will see many animals in Kruger (doing it yourself), you will not be permitted to drive off the paved roads and your view is somewhat obscured by the fact a normal vehicle is closer to the ground whereas most 4 wheel drive safari vehicles are higher off the ground (and private game reserve drivers do this every day and generally know where to find game and can drive through the bush not limiting themselves to the roadway). That being said, Kruger National Park has a good road system. Some of their camps are breathtakingly beautiful (Olifants Camp). Satura and Sabie generally have the best chance for "cat" viewing. If you self-drive, remember to leave as early as possible in the morning and don't get back to camp in the evening until the last possible minute as these are the times to see lions, leopards, buffalo, elephant, kudu, etc.. Also, animals are more active at these times. Also, when driving, know that a number of cars stopped ALWAYS means something really worthwhile is there. If you spot a lion at a watering hole during the mid day, try to get back to this watering hole late in the afternoon as they will possibly be ready to get up and go hunting. You will only be able to follow their movements from the road. These animals are so use to seeing cars, they pay little attention to them. Beware, however, of Baboons and elephants. Keep windows closed around Baboons and never turn the engine off on you car when elephants are around. The Garden Route is worthwhile. I wish you were going in September as the Right Whales and Humpbacks pass through at that time and the flowers are in bloom then too. (Gameviewing is great then also). One of the most beautiful areas on the Garden Route is Tsitsikamma National Park in the Storm's River Area. You can book accommodations at any National Park on the web. Another favorite place of mine is Hermanus (the best for whale watching), and I like the Windsor Hotel $67.00 per nite for 2 people including breakfast. This is a gorgeous little resort town with a spectacular shore line and friendly people. Also, if you go in September, take a day and drive up north of Cape Town to see the wild flowers and Proteas. We flew from Johannesburg to Port Elizabeth and drove the Garden Route to Cape Town. Regardless of what time you go, you'll love it. The road system is pretty decent. I found a GREAT bed and breakfast place in Johannesburg called the Afton Guest House (27-11-972-4753). The owners Louis and Annelise are charming and go out of their way to accommodate your every need and they pick you up at the airport and redeliver you to the airport also. J'burg is DANGEROUS and should be avoided by the average traveller. So, I like being picked up at the airport, taken to their house for the night, relaxing by the pool in the garden while enjoying a sundowner and then Louey returns us to the airport
the next morning to pick up our can and then has us follow him to the proper road heading out of town toward our destination (Kruger, the Drakenbergs, Messina, etc.). I Think their rate is $65.00 for 2 people including breakfast and they're about 7 minutes from the airport. If you drive from Johannesburg to Kruger, try spending a nite in route in the Pligrims Rest area and visit God's Window and surrounding area. I stayed at a place called Crystal Spings Mountain Lodge (27-1315-81153) or Louis and Annelise can make reservations for you. It was beautiful and reasonable. Harry's Camp is probably the most inexpensive private game reserve in Kruger. Also, Kruger National Park runs their own night drives (cost is $15.00 per person). If you book reservations in the park, see if they will prebook a night drive for you in advance. If not, try to book it as soon as you get to the park as they are always booked. If you want to see Rhinos, go to Hluhluwe/Umfolozi National Park. It's a day's drive from Johannesburg. Stay at Hilltops and DON'T take the night drive there. It's boring!!!!!!!!

Best,
Ruth
 
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Mar 18th, 1998, 03:36 AM
  #3
David Evans
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Dear Don, Other advantages of the private game reserves are the night drives which ensure that you are able to following hunting predators during early evening (in the KNP you are obliged to be back in camp before nightfall. Other reasons include that the rangers at Mala Mala are qualified university graduates who have to undergo a rigorous training schedule before they are permitted to show you around. They all carry high calibre firearms in case of necessity.

The Kruger National Park is really good value but if you can afford a privare game reserve. Do it. It is really worthwhile.
 
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Mar 18th, 1998, 03:38 AM
  #4
David Evans
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Dear Don, Other advantages of the private game reserves are the night drives which ensure that you are able to following hunting predators during early evening (in the KNP you are obliged to be back in camp before nightfall. Other reasons include that the rangers at Mala Mala are qualified university graduates who have to undergo a rigorous training schedule before they are permitted to show you around. They are highly qualified and will tell you all about the animals. They all carry high calibre firearms in case of necessity. Check out the Mala Mala web site on www.malamala.com.

The Kruger National Park is really good value but if you can afford a privare game reserve. Do it. It is really worthwhile.
 
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