Thursday 27 March 2014

Kruger Park Safari

The Kruger National Park is an incredible place to visit and explore.  It is hard to sum it up in just a few words!  Along the western border is the Sabi Sands Private Game Reserve.  The fences between Sabi Sands and the Kruger were dropped decades ago and the animals move freely between the 2 reserves.  So - the obvious question is - which is the better option, Sabi Sands Private Game Reserve, or Kruger National Park?  Here are my thoughts:

Inside Kruger you are obliged to stay on the roads.  You do often see the animals close to or on the roads, as they find them convenient too!  But, if they wander off, you may not follow.  Whereas in the private reserves, the vehicles track the animals wherever they go.  It means that if you are following a hunt, you will go wherever the hunter leads - sometimes around, and sometimes over, small bush and scrub - it is very exciting and exhillarating!

In the Sabi Sands Game Reserve the game viewing is carefully controlled - the rangers confer with each other so there are never massive numbers of vehicles around any sighting - in Kruger National Park, this may not be the case. 

In the private reserves, you could easily encounter a huge variety of animals within a day or two - this may not be (but often is) the case in Kruger Park.  The size of the herds in the private reserves can be smallish, but in Kruger you stand the chance of seeing massive herds - which are absolutely spectacular - the sheer volume of numbers can be incredible and provides an unforgettable wildlife moment.

The private reserves provide all arrangements from the time you arrive - so, meals and game drives are included.  In Kruger, you either self-drive, or book packages through your tour operator that include game drives and usually, dinner and breakfast.  These can and do range in price, depending on how many game drives you opt to take.

Lastly - the quality and luxury of the accommodation in the private reserves is of a very high standard.  The lodges are generally 5 star and prices are reflective.  In Kruger, you get basic comfort, and a reasonable rate.   

If I had to choose...  Very tricky.  I think I would probably go the "money-is-no-object" private game reserve - for the accommodation more than for the game experience!  (But - I have done many, many game drives and I am rather scared of elephants - so the game viewing for me, is best done from a deck overlooking a water-hole with G&T in paw!)

But that's just me!


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