This classic self-drive itinerary starts with a few days at one of the top-rated budget safari lodges in the Kruger area before you head out into the Park to explore on your own.
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Klaserie Game Reserve
nThambo Tree Camp is an eco-friendly camp which provides a truly personal safari experience. Accommodation is in 5 solar-powered tree house chalets, each raised on wooden stilts and offering comfort with a touch of bush luxury.
Children aged 13 years and older are welcome.
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Gomo Gomo Game Lodge is a private and intimate camp situated in the prestigious Klaserie Private Nature Reserve, which forms part of the Greater Kruger National Park with a common unfenced boundary. Early morning and late afternoon/evening game drives are conducted in open 4x4 Land Rovers with qualified and experienced field rangers and trackers, ensuring an exciting and informative safari with an excellent possibility of coming face to face with the Big 5 (lion, leopard, buffalo, elephant and rhino) and numerous other mammals and bird species in their natural habitat. An optional guided bush walk will open up the fascinating world of some of South Africa's intricate ecosystems with its varied fauna and flora.
At the end of your stay at Gomo Gomo you will head off to the Kruger National Park, where you will spend a few days self-driving in the Park and staying at a couple of the SANParks rest camps in the Park. The rest camps offer comfortable but simple accommodation in the heart of the Kruger Park, and staying at a couple of different camps also gives you the opportunity to see more of this magnificent Park.
Your first night is spent at Olifants Camp, near the center of the Park. This camp is situated atop a hill which towers several hundred feet over the Olifants River, and offers spectacular views of the river below and the whole Park stretches towards the horizon and the border with Mozambique.
When you leave Olifants you will enjoy a full day of game viewing in the Park as you head towards the southern region.
Lower Sabie graces the banks of the Sabie River, one of the few perennial rivers to flow through the Kruger National Park. Visitors cannot but feel soothed by the view towards the river and the Lebombo Mountains beyond. Watching the endless procession of animals coming to drink at the Sabie River is a wonderful way to spend a few hours if you don't feel like going out exploring in your own car!
Arrive into Hoedspruit Airport. Collect your luggage, then you will be met in the airport building by a representative from Bidvest Car Rental. Complete the necessary paperwork - you will need to present your driving licence, passport and credit card. The keys to your hire car will then be handed over to you.
7 Day Car Rental: Group K: Toyota Rush 2x4 or similar - Manual Transmission (on Super Cover)
You will then drive to your first safari lodge, situated in the Big 5 Klaserie Game Reserve. Gomo Gomo Game Lodge is a friendly lodge, overlooking a small dam where wildlife often come to drink. Game drives are conducted by experienced rangers and Shangaan trackers in open 4x4 vehicles, with excellent photographic opportunities of lion, leopard, elephant, rhino and buffalo as well as giraffe, zebra and a variety of antelope. Bird watching is wonderful, with various eagles, owls, francolins, kingfishers, rollers and weavers among the over 300 recorded species. Guided bush walks provide an insight into nature's finer details and the chance to track game on foot. You might even sneak up to a rhino, which is a thrilling experience!
After your morning game drive and breakfast at the lodge, you will drive into the Kruger National Park via the Orpen Gate and onto Olifants Rest Camp. The Kruger National Park is the premier self-drive safari destination in South Africa, with an unbeatable variety of wildlife and habitats to explore, an excellent infrastructure of roads and accommodation, and a feeling of huge, wide-open spaces.
A self-drive safari in Kruger is a truly wonderful experience - the thrill of driving along a road by yourself and coming across a pride of lions basking under a nearby tree, or waiting at a peaceful waterhole and having a sighting all to yourself is hard to beat. The Park boasts an exceptionally rich mix of wildlife, including some 490 species of bird and 147 mammal species, including the Big 5.
You can spend the day on a self-drive safari in the Park on your way down to Lower Sabie Camp. Inside the Park, there is an excellent infrastructure of roads, some of which are tarred, others gravel. Good, clear signposts help to make the driving experience easy and enjoyable. Visitors must take note of the gate times and plan the travelling time accordingly. Please take note that the maximum speed limit in the Park is 50 km/h on tar roads and 40 km/h on gravel roads. Drivers must remain on the roads at all times, and are NOT allowed to drive off-road or get out of their vehicles, except at designated viewing points, but care should still be exercised even then.
On your last day you will have time to enjoy a final game drive in Kruger before you need to leave the Park for the drive to Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport (MQP) near Nelspruit, arriving in time to check in for your onward flight.