TR: Self-Driving in Kruger (plus a bit of eSwatini)

May 3rd, 2019, 06:46 AM
  #21  
Ian
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Originally Posted by ms_go View Post
Great trip report and photos! We can't get away for more than a week for the foreseeable future - but when the time comes that we can, this type of trip is at the top of my list and I'll be back to take detailed notes!
Keep it in reserve for the future then. It is only worth the long trek there if you have time to really enjoy it. Our 1st time, we were in the park for 4 nights & we just scratched the surface.
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May 3rd, 2019, 06:48 AM
  #22  
Ian
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Originally Posted by jerseysusan View Post
Thanks for posting a fascinating and entertaining trip report. I too loved the photos!
Thank you. Even though the focus always seems to be on pictures, we spent a lot of time on this trip just watching the animal interactions.
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May 3rd, 2019, 12:48 PM
  #23  
 
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Ian, wonderful report and photos! DH and I are hoping to get to SA next year, maybe February/March. We've only been on one safari, Tanzania last August, a private safari that was wonderful. Not sure we are ready for a self-drive safari. We also want to combine some wine tasting and perhaps some other sites. The tick and spider bites do not sound pleasant though, hope you are both recovering. Thank you for posting this. I'm going to send the link to my husband.
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May 3rd, 2019, 04:20 PM
  #24  
Ian
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Originally Posted by laurieco View Post
Ian, wonderful report and photos! DH and I are hoping to get to SA next year, maybe February/March. We've only been on one safari, Tanzania last August, a private safari that was wonderful. Not sure we are ready for a self-drive safari. We also want to combine some wine tasting and perhaps some other sites. The tick and spider bites do not sound pleasant though, hope you are both recovering. Thank you for posting this. I'm going to send the link to my husband.
Self-driving is surprisingly easy once you make that first leap of faith. And technically, if you flew in & out of Skukuza & rented through the Avis/Budget agency there, you wouldn’t even have to drive in SA at all; you could stay in the park for a whole vacation. But . . . if you are after a more pampered visit, then the reserves – Sabi Sabi, Mala Mala, Manyeleti – are the ticket & offer something for everybody. For a price, of course. Or do a combo of both.

I would rethink a Feb/Mar timetable though. That is rainy season in Kruger and it will be hot. While the animals will still be there – and they will all have babies – you might get wet and there will be more insects. We have gone 3 times – early May, mid-April & early April - which is a shoulder season so the rain is disappearing and the temps are coming down. The trouble is that the Cape is on a reverse rain schedule so when Kruger starts to dry in their winter, the Cape gets wet.

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May 4th, 2019, 05:21 AM
  #25  
 
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Originally Posted by Ian View Post
I would rethink a Feb/Mar timetable though. That is rainy season in Kruger and it will be hot. While the animals will still be there – and they will all have babies – you might get wet and there will be more insects. We have gone 3 times – early May, mid-April & early April - which is a shoulder season so the rain is disappearing and the temps are coming down. The trouble is that the Cape is on a reverse rain schedule so when Kruger starts to dry in their winter, the Cape gets wet.
My favorite time for South Africa is the local spring - August and September. It's the dry season in the north, warm and sunny days and cool nights, no bugs (including mosquitoes, so no need for malaria prophylaxis unless your doctor is insistent.) The wildlife viewing is aided by the lack of foliage getting in the way, and the animals all come to the water.

In the south, it can be wet, but in several trips to the Western Cape around then, I could count the number of rainy days on two or three fingers at most. The Garden Route and winelands are glorious with rhododendrons and fynbos (proteas) in flower, lots of fresh citrus fruit (a big product line) and, on the west coast north of Cape Town (and in the city itself in Kirstenbosch Gardens and on Table Mountain) the wildflowers will knock your eyeballs out.

Proteas, Garden Route -



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May 4th, 2019, 06:32 AM
  #26  
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Originally Posted by Gardyloo View Post
My favorite time for South Africa is the local spring - August and September. It's the dry season in the north, warm and sunny days and cool nights, no bugs (including mosquitoes, so no need for malaria prophylaxis unless your doctor is insistent.) The wildlife viewing is aided by the lack of foliage getting in the way, and the animals all come to the water.
I started to book this trip for September 2019 but I had to change it to April because of work but next time it will be around that time of year in their spring.

Btw I put more pictures up on my site - and edited the typos & fleshed out a bit more of the story. See Camping in Kruger (again)

Ian
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May 9th, 2019, 12:12 PM
  #27  
 
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We went in February for 10 nights and only had significant rain for one half day up in the north. That resulted in a bird party around a termite eruption with lots of Carmine Beeaters and beautiful little finches bathing in road puddles. Also, we couldn't get back across to revisit one of the river roads. So don't worry about when "experts" here say you shouldn't go..the South Africans we met actually like February, for birds and baby animals. If you're worried about heat, book one of the air conditioned bungalows..the ones at Punda Maria are really nice. I hate hot humid weather. We were all waiting for it to get "bad" but it never really did, probably thanks to some cloud cover. Nothing nearly as bad as Borneo or Cartagena.

Plus February is also a great month to tack on Cape Town.

Last edited by mlgb; May 9th, 2019 at 12:17 PM.
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