SA: Kruger Park Game Reserves

Reply

Jul 1st, 2012, 03:34 AM
  #1
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 90
SA: Kruger Park Game Reserves

Hi all,

I will be going to SA in December for 2 weeks with a few friends and was looking for a website that compares availability across all game reserves. Is there such a thing? We plan on staying there for 3-4 days and wanted a place that could give a special price for a group of (around 5-6) people. Also, it is hard to check availability as there are so many game reserves in and around the park.

While at it... can you please give me your recommendations for a private reserve in the park that is not too much of a luxury and expensive option? (Was thinking about $100-200 per person per night (or upto $1000/night for the whole group?)

Another question: Our origin city will be Johannesburg and we will probably take a car to Kruger Park. Is there a better option, considering we plan on going to Cape Town afterwards, and might need to take drive back to Johannesburg to take a flight?

Thanks everyone!

Daniel.
Danielm is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jul 1st, 2012, 10:34 AM
  #2
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 5,285
Nope - there is no such thing.
You can fly to Hoedspruit or Nelspruit near Kruger. The drive takes 6-8 hours from JNB, depending on where you go.

You won't be able to find a private game reserve in the greater Kruger area in your budget, but you can stay in the very nice accommodations in Kruger National Park and self drive all day looking for wildlife. It is spectacular, but takes some planning - buying food/drinks/cooler. There are plenty of restaurants and take-away options, but having some food with you gives you more leeway for time (best wildlife viewing is early morning/dusk. I can't think of a private game reserve near your budget. $300 pp/pn is the minimum for an unfenced reserve (no fences between you and KNP). Check SanParks.org for availability. The camps from the middle of the park to the southern end are the most popular. Some have guest houses that could accommodate all of you under one roof and have full kitchens. Most bungalows are $100 - 150 per night (not per person), accommodate 2-4 and there is a daily entrance fee of about $25. Depends on the exchange rate. Then add in food and other stuff. You can go on game drives arranged by the park as well. It all starts to add up.

With a largish group, you could hire a private guide to take you around - a good one will be much better than you at spotting game and know their secrets. (My dream trip is to hire a guide and cook and stay in Kruger for a while). With only two of us, it's a bit pricey for us, but with 6, could be an option for you.

So I think you need to increase your budget or stay in the park. Lots of good experiences here at some of the less expensive private camps include Elephant Plains, Arathusa, Shindzela, Gomo Gomo and the three camps run by Africa on Foot. Google them to find rates and availability. They are at least double your budget, but they feed you and do game drives. Drinks are extra, but sometimes we bring our own. Don't forget to budget tips - $15-40 pp/pn, depending on your service.

In your price range is Wildside at Entabeni. Nowhere near Kruger - about 3 hours north of JNB. It was a good value for the experience.

You can contact Sun Safaris and Wild Wings for a local safari agent to help you out. Both have decent websites. That's just two of many reputable local agents.
christabir is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jul 1st, 2012, 11:21 PM
  #3
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 813
>> You won't be able to find a private game reserve in the greater Kruger area in your budget

>> $300 pp/pn is the minimum for an unfenced reserve

Christabir,

Africa On Foot in Klaserie is R1695 pppn
Shindzela in Timbavati is R1700 pppn

This is about 210$

Of course, these two are the cheapest options in the band of private reserves that share direct borders with Kruger. The reason is that they do walks in the morning, which means their cars last longer, and thus the lower price.

Shindzela's differentiator is that you are allowed to ask for a drive instead of a walk.

AOF's differentiator is that they have lots of traverse, so compared to Shindzela their traversing area is a lot bigger, resulting in more cat sightings, on average.

Tough choice between the two. We often do both.

If you really need to choose, and certainly if it's the only camp you go to in a private reserve, then I'd choose AOF.


Ciao,

J.
pixelpower is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jul 16th, 2012, 10:31 PM
  #4
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 3
Hi i would like to take this opportunity to mention to you that Zululand offers one magnificent places of interest. The hluhluwe Umfolozi Game Reserve the oldest proclaimed reserve in Africa offers one an opportunity to witness the Big5 in 96000 hectares smaller than Kruger but easier to navigate. With numerous accommodation's within the reserve. The a mere 54km from the reserve lies St Lucia a world heritage site this too is just amazing.

For more info: www.hluhluwegamereserve.com and www.stluciasouthafrica.com
Quentin_Muir is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jul 17th, 2012, 11:45 AM
  #5
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 813
Quentin,

The OP asked for private reserves. ;-)
pixelpower is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jul 19th, 2012, 05:31 AM
  #6
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 3
My sincere appologies Pixelpower.
Quentin_Muir is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jul 19th, 2012, 06:27 AM
  #7
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 622
Another idea is to do something like Leadwood Camp in the Timbavati. You will be able to hit your price, but Leadwood is self catering. You will have to bring your own food and also prepare it, but the camp comes with a full staff, game drive vehicles, guides, etc. You can drive from Johannesburg.

http://leadwoodcamp.co.za/

If you up your budget a little bit you could do Simbavati, which is nearby.

http://www.simbavati.com/
andybiggs is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jul 19th, 2012, 07:50 AM
  #8
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 5,215
Many camps give a "long stay" discount, e.g. pay for 4 nights stay for 5. That's a 20% discount. Sometimes you have to ask the camp. You might think 5 nights is a long time in one camp but most of us think that it is about right.

regards - tom
cary999 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jul 20th, 2012, 01:40 AM
  #9
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 813
Andy makes a good point.

In Klaserie, Jason does this. His place is called Baobab Ridge.
pixelpower is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jul 20th, 2012, 08:07 PM
  #10
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 622
I agree with Tom. I am a huge fan of staying more nights rather than fewer.
andybiggs is offline  
Reply With Quote
Aug 1st, 2012, 05:54 AM
  #11
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 4
You can do organised safaris starting and ending in Johannesburg for about $200 per person per night, top of your budget but includes transport, game drives & walks, meals and accommodation. Staying at Balule Game reserve and motlala reserve with drives on that reserve and in the National Park.
For more information http://krugertours.com

Best site I found for comparing accommodation availability and prices was http://www.safarinow.com
andiejc is offline  
Reply With Quote
Aug 1st, 2012, 06:41 AM
  #12
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 813
For 200$ pppn, I'd chose a reserve that's closer to Kruger, andiejc. Like Klaserie or Timbavati (see the camps I mentioned earlier). Manyeleti has an option as well; Pungwe Bush Camp.
pixelpower is offline  
Reply With Quote
Sep 6th, 2012, 01:18 AM
  #13
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 6
You can get a super place in a privat Game reserve, near Kruger park..... look at www.cesartgamelodge.com or www.kurhulalodge.com

Fly from Johannesburg to Phalabwora and then back and fly to Cape twon. The easy way.
As it a long drive (about 6 hours) to Kruger Park

have fun

Annemieke from SOuth Africa
ThatchAnnemieke is offline  
Reply With Quote
Sep 6th, 2012, 04:22 AM
  #14
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 813
Hey Annemieke,

I would put those two lodges somewhere in between the rest camps of Kruger NP and the "real" private reserves lodges.

Casart is in Grietjie block, a part of Balule between Olifant's river and Phalaborwa. And Kurhula is in the block west of Grietjie, closer to Mica.
Grietjie is really close to Phalaborwa so you've got the light pollution at night, and I heard there was also a problem with people from the town coming to steal things. Don't know if that is still the case though. Kurhula is further away from the town so out of those two I'd prefer that one.

Both are incredibly low-priced, but in all fairness it's not like in the other reserves mentioned above; the plots where the lodges sit on are typically 21Ha, and all the rest of the land is shared but no off-roading is allowed afaik. So it's not like they have blocks of 1000Ha+ on which they can go off road, and which they can share with other lodges ("traversing rights").

I have been looking into properties there myself, but was told by an owner that the chance of seeing leopard is almost nihil, and that they don't see that much lions either.

Ciao,

J.
pixelpower is offline  
Reply With Quote
 



Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


FODOR'S VIDEO

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 08:01 AM.