Kruger National Park Self-drive Safari Tips
While researching safaris in South Africa it may seem like the best, and safest option is to go with a tour guide. However this is expensive compared to a self-drive safari and there are lots of benefits of organising everything yourself.
After a lot of research, Olivia Rosalie and her boyfriend decided to do a self-drive safari around Kruger Park in South Africa and she has written a guide with advice and things you need to know before departing if you are considering doing something similar.
Why the Kruger?
The Kruger is one of the most highly rated National Parks in South Africa and the world teeming with exotic wildlife and spectacular scenery. Although there are lots of tours of South Africa available to book, we researched a lot and opted to do a self-drive safari. All the campsites and accommodation are of a good standard, we had a warm shower almost every day and there was a convenience store at most campsites. Another good thing about Kruger Park is that before you go you can see which campsites have petrol pumps and convenience, which meant we did not have to worry about running out of petrol or food.
Transport - Car or 4x4?
Although we had done a lot of research we were still unsure of the road conditions in the park so we hired a massive 4x4. There was, in fact no need for a 4x4 most of the main roads are tarmacked and the smaller roads are gravel. The only time we needed a 4x4 was when we did our overnight bush trail, this involved going over rough terrain and even through a very deep dried up river bed.
Book in Advance
If you want to do a night bush safari book in advance. We booked in advance and even though it was meant to be for 6 cars we were the only car there. But because we booked in advance we still got to go, if we had just turned up on the day we wouldn't have been able to go.
Take a Map
Know your route, always have a map. There aren't many signs in Kruger Park even at turnings it may be hard to tell which way you are going without a map. Maps are useful because they show you which road you should be on and also what fun and exciting detours you can take. You will spend the first few days looking for animals, and it will get frustrating, learn to enjoy the scenery around you and that animals are a bonus.
Wake Up Early
If you want to see anything get up early, this means packing up your tent in the dark and getting dressed in freezing cold temperatures depending on the season.
Layers - I started and ended the day wearing a big thick jumper and a coat because it was cold when the sun wasn’t up. But during the day especially when you are in a car the heat can be unbearable. You end up wearing nothing more than a t-shirt and shorts and that can still be un-comfy. Also onsies are highly recommended, in the mornings you want to be wearing layers that you can get off quickly, so you can jump into a warm shower quickly.
Get Lots of Rest
Know that you are going to be tired, so bring food and things to bring the mood up. We often travelled 8 hours a day on very little sleep, which was hard but in the end you are on the most epic experience of a lifetime.
Enjoy - this is one of the most spectacular places in the world to see wildlife and nature!
Whether you want to go independently, or are looking at Africa tours, you really need to visit the Kruger National Park. This really is one of the most amazing destinations in South Africa and the world.
By Olivia Rosalie