Kruger Park Self Drive – 8 nights Greater Kruger National Park | 4 nights Sabi Sand
This is our third visit to South Africa and each trip has been amazing. We have worked with Kerry on our previous trips, which is great, as we have really got to know her over the past seven years. Thank you for arranging this trip Kerry.
Our love of the bush has brought us back a few times and this trip, we wanted to hire a car and spend a week in the Kruger National Park, as we had done this on a previous trip.
We had some excellent animal sightings over these few days and loved the camps inside the Kruger Park. Ending our tour with four nights in the fantastic Sabi Sand was the cherry on the top! See you in 2021 for our next African Adventure!
Upon arrival at OR Tambo Airport, you will be met in the arrivals hall by our representative from Wilro Tours, who will hand over your travel documents and assist you to your hotel, where you spend the night.
Johannesburg, South Africa’s biggest city and second largest city in Africa, with more than 3 million people, began as a 19th-century gold-mining settlement. It was established as a small village controlled by a Health Committee in 1886 with the discovery of an outcrop of a gold reef on the farm Langlaagte. The population of the city grew rapidly, becoming a municipality in 1897. In 1928 it became a city making Johannesburg the largest city in South Africa. Joburg, or Jozi as some prefer to call it, offers visitors an experience as unique and diverse as the city itself.
After a hearty breakfast, you check out and walk over to the airport and domestic departures for your flight to Skukuza. Upon arrival at Skukuza Airport, you make your way to the car rental office, to collect your hire car. From here you depart and make your way to Satara Rest Camp, where you spend the night.
The Kruger National Park was established in 1898 and is the oldest National Park in Africa. The 2-million hectare Park provides sanctuary to 147 mammal species, including the Big Five, as well as over 500 bird species. The Kruger National Park has more than its fair share of the Big Five, with an estimated 1,500 lion, 12,000 elephant, 2,500 buffalo, 1,000 leopards and 4,000 rhino. Cheetah, wild dog, spotted hyena, hippopotamus, giraffe, zebra, warthog and many antelope species are also regularly seen on game drives.
Boundary fences have been dropped between Kruger and its neighbouring private game reserves, such as Sabi Sand, Timbavati, Klaserie and Manyaleti, meaning that the animals are free-roaming over an area the size of Switzerland, resulting in an immense gene pool. Kruger is unrivalled in the diversity of its life forms and a world leader in advanced environmental management techniques and policies.
This enormous and magnificent park is one of the most popular public-entry game parks in the world. Its density of permanent game is unrivalled with hundreds of different species; 507 birds, 336 trees, 147 mammals, 114 reptiles, 49 fish and 34 amphibians. Few visitors leave South Africa without visiting the Kruger National Park or one of the private reserves along its borders but it is also frequented by locals in their own vehicles, as you can drive yourself around and stay overnight in one of the many public rest camps.
The far north of the park is the wildest and most difficult area to access and because of this, it has alluring qualities for the real adventurer. With greater ecological co-operation across African borders, several countries bordering South Africa have agreed to take down some fences, and those between Kruger and Mozambique’s Limpopo National Park and Zimbabwe’s Gonarezhou, have been demolished to create the Greater Limpopo Transfrontier Park. This unique political innovation is creating a colossal wilderness area.
You stay in four different Rest Camps during your Kruger National Park Self Drive Experience:
Satara Rest Camp (1 night)
Olifants Rest Camp (2 nights)
Pretoriuskop / Lower Sabie Rest Camp (2 nights)
Skukuza Rest Camp (2 nights)
This morning you depart Skukuza Rest Camp and make your way to the Skukuza Airport to drop off your hire car. Your driver will meet you at the car rental office and from here they transfer you to Idube Game Lodge in the Sabi Sand Game Reserve, where you spend two nights.
You enjoy lunch/high tea on the deck before departing on your evening game drive. You return to the lodge for dinner in boma.
Forming part of the Greater Kruger National Park, the Sabi Sand Reserve has no fences and the wildlife is able to cross freely between the Sabi Sands and the rest of the Greater Kruger National Park. The safari experience in the Sabi Sand is highly personalised because game drive vehicles have exclusive traversing rights in their area. The Sabi Sand Reserve is a remarkable natural sanctuary known for its exceptionally high concentration of animal and bird life. Close contact encounters are guaranteed as the animals are not threatened by the presence of vehicles thanks to sound conservation management policies. Safaris are led by experienced rangers coupled with local Shangaan trackers. With exceptional sightings of leopard (usually the most elusive of cats), lion, rhino, elephant and buffalo during game drives – visitors are never lacking in exciting photographic content.
Nowhere in South Africa will one find a wildlife experience quite like the one experienced within the Sabi Sand Reserve. Sharing a 50km (31.25 miles) unfenced border with the Kruger National Park, this immense (65 000 hectare/ 153 000 acre) and diverse tract of land is home to The Big Five (lion, leopard, rhino, buffalo and elephant), and much much more.
This area is also in the process of being further enlarged within the Peace Park concept with an expected integration and amalgamation with protected areas in Mozambique, and eventually Zimbabwe. Two rivers supply the game reserve with a valuable water source. The Sand River flows through the reserve for 50km (31 miles) from north west to south east whilst the Sabie River flows on the southern boundary. The sustenance of these rivers ensures that this area enjoys one of the highest and most bio-diverse wildlife populations of any area in Africa. Over two hundred different species live in abundance, whilst the ever changing bird life provides even the most experienced ornithologist with rare finds. Such is the environment that the wildlife, save for the migratory birds, remain in their territories all year round.
After your morning game drive and breakfast, your driver will meet you in reception where your driver will meet you for your inter lodge transfer.
You have time to check into your room, relax a bit by the pool, before enjoying high tea. You depart for your afternoon game drive and return to the lodge for dinner.
Upon arrival at your safari lodge you are given a welcome drink and your safari experience will be explained to you by your lodge host. There will be time to settle in before afternoon High Tea followed by your first game drive. Game drives take place in the early morning and evening to ensure game viewing when animals are most active. Night game drives provide a fascinating glimpse into the lives of the predators, particularly the leopard for which this area is renowned. You return to your lodge in time for a sumptuous safari cuisine dinner. The next day after a light snack you are taken on a morning game drive.
You return to the lodge for a grand brunch after which there is time to relax around the sunny pool, do some bird-watching from the observation deck or read a book in the peace of your room’s private verandah. If you are feeling more active, you can go on a bush walk with your ranger. After high tea you set off on another evening game drive, returning again in time for dinner. On your day of departure, you will do a morning game drive and will leave the lodge after brunch.
After your morning game drive and breakfast, you check out and bid farewell to this African wonderland. The lodge will confirm the transfer time with you and your driver will drop you off at Skukuza Airport for your flight to Johannesburg’s OR Tambo Airport. You have a few hours at the airport before your evening flight home.