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61 posts

Master Geek


# 142967 30-Mar-2014 15:12
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My partner and I are going to South Africa early next year.
At the moment we are looking at the game parks and trying to find suitable tours or other ways to experience the wild life in the game parks. We are not limiting ourselves to say Kruger but are interested in other countries eg. Tanzania or Kenya.

Most of the tours seem quite expensive for a New Zealander on a modest budget.

Has anyone had first hand experience of African game park tours?

If you have can you recommend a tour operator to go with and any other relevant information please?



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2904 posts

Uber Geek


  # 1015415 30-Mar-2014 15:34
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i havent been to the South African game reserves but i have been to them all in Tanzania and Kenya and  the Serengeti is the best but they dont match what your fantasy is. I found them quite boring after a while, if you have seen 1 sleeping lion you dont need to see a 100 more.




Common sense is not as common as you think.


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  # 1015433 30-Mar-2014 16:21
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Did a game tour YEARS ago, maybe 10 years ago.  It was amazing, and well priced.  The key is to look online for a tour operator directly, cut out any Kiwi markup.  With Trip advisor its easy to see how legit these companies are.  Our tour started from Jo-berg and down to Durban.  We stayed in 3 private game reserves, and they were fine, but my favourite places were the national parks.  We were taken through two the Kruger and I cant remember the one closer to Durbans name.  This was amazing, and you were still on roads which is what was so weird.

 
 
 
 


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  # 1015744 30-Mar-2014 23:39
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mtvessel: My partner and I are going to South Africa early next year.
At the moment we are looking at the game parks and trying to find suitable tours or other ways to experience the wild life in the game parks. We are not limiting ourselves to say Kruger but are interested in other countries eg. Tanzania or Kenya.

Most of the tours seem quite expensive for a New Zealander on a modest budget.

Has anyone had first hand experience of African game park tours?

If you have can you recommend a tour operator to go with and any other relevant information please?




Do you want to hunt or watch?





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  # 1015784 31-Mar-2014 07:33
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I think kenya has an awesome one. Not sure what it's called. Saw a friend's photos.




Involuntary autocorrect in operation on mobile device. Apologies in advance.


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  # 1015786 31-Mar-2014 07:55
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If you a local, or know a local it can be very cheap. Book your tours while in SA and pay in Rands. Don't get fooled by agencies charging in dollars. Phone game parks directly yourself and book.

Every time we go back to SA we find it extremely cheap. I can highly recommend mabula game lodge. Pilanesburg game reserve is also great. Right by the palace of the lost city which is defenetly worth a visit. http://www.pilanesbergnationalpark.org



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Master Geek


  # 1015787 31-Mar-2014 07:58
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Geektastic:
mtvessel: My partner and I are going to South Africa early next year.
At the moment we are looking at the game parks and trying to find suitable tours or other ways to experience the wild life in the game parks. We are not limiting ourselves to say Kruger but are interested in other countries eg. Tanzania or Kenya.

Most of the tours seem quite expensive for a New Zealander on a modest budget.

Has anyone had first hand experience of African game park tours?

If you have can you recommend a tour operator to go with and any other relevant information please?




Do you want to hunt or watch?


I just want to watch and take video and photos.

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Uber Geek


  # 1015932 31-Mar-2014 12:04
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If you have some friends in SA (or friends here with family still there) ask them to price booking from within SA, when we did Kruger a few years ago my mother-in-law booked for us and it was heaps cheaper.


 
 
 
 




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Master Geek


  # 1015954 31-Mar-2014 12:22
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Many thanks to everyone who has contributed here

 

 

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Master Geek


  # 1015959 31-Mar-2014 12:34
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There are definitely 2 rates, one for locals and then others. 
I was in Mozambique in '95 and booked via a local travel agent in Moz, and she said that she would do my holiday under UN/Local rates.  I had arranged for my wife to fly into Harehare from NZ.
We went thru Zimbabwe,  did a couple of places up by Lake kariba and then went into Hwange Park for a few nights.  Then to Victoria Falls.  Also popped across the border into Botswana for several days and did the local game park trips and river cruise.  Just did the local resort organized tours and one walking guided tour.  Elephant expert by day 3 :-)
On a weekend off, i went also went thru Kruger.

It was an amazing holiday and once in a lifetime experience.

I used to fix the PC for the lady who does these tours http://www.masihambeafrika.co.nz/

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  # 1015981 31-Mar-2014 13:04
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+1 for Mabula Game Lodge - went to a wedding there a few years back and it was great. The ranger staff are friendly and very knowledgable about the environment. The Pilanesberg is also fantastic and if you're going to SA visiting The Lost City @ Sun City is a must. :) The Kruger is nice I guess, but as an ex-local I know how they rip tourists off - the prices are bloody daylight robbery. I agree with other posters, you're best off booking yourself unless you're going with a tour group. SO much cheaper.




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Master Geek


  # 1015985 31-Mar-2014 13:06
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My now wife and I did an 18 day overlanding tour. (the company has since gone under though :-( ) but there are plenty out there who will offer something similar . The internet is a great resource to look them up.

By preference the Ngorongoro Crater in Tanzania is one of the best. Masai Mara is also good ( apparently they have done up the roads up that take you there).

One that not many people also do is also the Gorrilas in the mist type tour ( Bwinidi Impenetrable forrest) in Uganda.

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Ultimate Geek


  # 1027228 18-Apr-2014 10:08
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I travelled to South Africa , and hired a car from Johannesburg and drove up to Kruger National Park, stayed 5 days in the park booked everything ourselves while in South Africa tried to keep costs down also by staying in
the camp at  http://www.sanparks.org/parks/kruger/camps/croc_bridge/all.php  we stayed in the Safari Tent  had most of what we needed to survive  braii (bbq ) outside tent to cook meat etc on which you can buy in the camps they also have cafes etc  , we took one night safari drive and saw a leopard  with its kill in a tree not more than 6 feet awayas well as other animals before the night fell  , the rest of the time we drove ourselves around and saw some amazing sights  awesome experience ,I would never look at going to a zoo again

enjoy your trip





 

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  # 1027243 18-Apr-2014 11:14
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Umfolozi and Hluhluwe are the good ones in Natal (couple of hours north of Durban)

Agree with the other comments about getting someone in SA to book for you or book direct. For Natal its called the KZN parks board. Also I think they have different rates for tourists and local so I would try find someone local.



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Master Geek


  # 1027287 18-Apr-2014 12:37
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Thank you Marlinz and tchart for your replies.
 

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