In addition to participation in the Elephant program you can hire me as a tour guide in South Africa and more to the point to explore the area in, and around Kruger Park. Here you’ll find some building blocks for a (prolonged) stay in and around Kruger Park.
Extra itinerary suggestions in Krugerpark
Game Drives (with your own group of people)
In the early morning and late afternoon I will accompany you into the park, driving a SUV or minibus for exciting game drives. The morning game drive takes between 3 and 5 hours, while during the late afternoon game drive I take you on a wildlife exploration tour of about 2 hours. Longer safari trips consist of driving from one camp to another. Between the game drives, you will be staying in bungalows inside the park’s so-called rest camps. These rest camps are spacious and provide safe and peaceful surroundings. Enjoy a quiet walk along the camps’ paths and find a bench to relish the view. In all tranquillity, observe the wildlife grazing just outside the fence, and the stunningly colourful plumage of wild birds. I recommend that you take your time to visit an area, staying in one place for a few days to spend enough time in one area. This way, you really get that holiday feeling and can fully savour the camp surroundings. You have time for walks in the camp or even for a bit of reading!
Sunset Game Drives (with a larger -international- group of visitors)
Your guide is a Kruger Park ranger who takes you in an open 4 wheel drive Land Rover, or larger safari vehicle for a 3-hour sunset tour of wildlife sightings. The drive begins before dusk and continues into the pitch-dark night using a powerful spotlight in search of nocturnal animals roaming alongside the road. The ranger provides explanations on the sightings in English. The sunset drive departs from the camp where you will spend the night. The minimum age for a game drive is generally 8 years.
Guided Bush Walks (international group of visitors)
In the early morning you head out on foot in a group of up to 8 people on a bush walk with 2 experienced and armed park rangers as your guides. In this walking safari you encounter animals on foot, an exhilarating experience. With their broad knowledge of the flora and fauna, the rangers can tell you fascinating facts about even the smallest of plants and animals encountered in the African bush. Here too you depart from the camp where you will spend the night. The minimum age for a bush walk is 12 years.
Wilderness Trail (international group of visitors)
The wilderness trail is for the real adventurers and takes 3 days. You leave on foot every morning and afternoon from a remote camp in the bush. There are often only basic amenities in the camp, where simple meals are prepared by the camp’s cook. Tracking larger mammals and also the Park’s smaller wildlife are the main focus during these walking trails. You can count on a thrilling wilderness experience in which adrenaline flows on a regular basis! Yet you may also discover a feeling of great calm in the bush, engulfed by the bush sounds and starry skies. A truly unforgettable and renovating experience. Please note that the wilderness trail is only for adults.
You should be fairly fit to go on bush walks. You walk around 10-15 km a day in hilly terrain and it can get pretty hot during the walks. I recommend wearing long trousers because of the many thorny shrubs and sturdy hiking shoes.
Suggested itineraries in the northern part of South Africa
In addition to activities in Kruger Park itself, there are of course various possibilities for extending your trip. I will design the itinerary for the portion of your journey in the northern wildlife game reserves of South Africa, which might include a few activities in Johannesburg if requested. Of course, I will gladly offer itinerary suggestions to extend your trip to other parts of South Africa like Cape Town or the Garden Route. However, I will not accompany you there.
The Panorama Route
This is a splendid scenic route by car from Johannesburg to Kruger National Park or from the middle of Kruger Park. The ride runs along the foothills of the Northern Drakensberg mountain range, taking in magnificent panoramic views that alternate with deep gorges, waterfalls and the Blyde River Canyon, the second largest canyon in Africa. The Panorama Route winds through spectacular landscape, interspersed with gold-mining towns and banana, citrus, mango and nut plantations. From the higher elevations you descend into the subtropical ‘Lowveld’ region of South Africa to eventually reach the very special natural wonder of Kruger National Park.
Johannesburg and Pretoria/Tshwane (seat of the South African government)
- Visit to the Apartheid museum. Do not read about it, just go there! Beautiful museum in a very nicely designed building. The provocative exhibits about apartheid show what should never happen again, but also aim to reflect on forgiveness. Very impressive.
- Visit to Soweto: if you miss Soweto, you have missed the real South Africa!
- City tour.
Pilanesberg National Park
With its 55,000 hectares, Pilanesberg National Park is the 5th largest game reserve of South Africa. What sets this park apart from other game reserves is its location within one of the oldest volcanic crater complexes in the world! The park’s fertile land and well-watered valleys make it an ideal place for supporting an abundant and diverse wildlife. Pilanesberg National Park has a unique overlap of grazing and browsing animals, birdlife and vegetation. Mammals include the ‘Big 5’, cheetah, eland, white and black rhinoceros, gemsbok, as well as the rare brown hyena and wild dog. Well over 300 species of birds have been recorded inside the park.
The Pilanesberg National Park is one of the few places in Africa where the splendid panoply of the area’s original fauna can be found. Self-drives are allowed along the park’s paved roads only. However, when choosing a game drive accompanied by a park ranger you might get a taste of off road driving for wildlife spotting. It is also nice to discover the park on foot, setting out on a walking safari with a game tracker and immersing yourself in the unspoiled wilderness. There are various accommodation options to suit every taste in Pilanesberg National Park. Prices may also vary according to the travel period. I would gladly explore with you the different possibilities.
Madikwe Game Reserve
The Madikwe Game Reserve is the 4th largest game reserve in South Africa and one of the country’s best kept secrets. Covering some 75,000 hectares, the game reserve is located in the South Africa Northeast region (against the Botswana border) and consists of vast savanna plains, open woodlands and distinct rocky hills strewn across the landscape. This lesser-known game reserve offers a unique, almost mythical setting and is malaria-free. Madikwe is home to a great wealth of mammals including the ‘Big 5’, its famous wild dogs and some 350 bird species. An exciting safari experience awaits you here, since Madikwe only proposes wildlife sightings with a ranger in open safari vehicles. Lodging consists of luxurious and well equipped rooms and all meals are included in the price of the safari, which is proportional to the level of comfort and luxury offered! However, taking advantage of special offers, you can book a memorable stay at a ‘reasonable’ price.