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Best port to do a Safari??

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We are going to be doing a cruise around South Africa, We are going to Cape Town and Port Elizabeth, South Africa and I would love to go on a Safari.

 

Which port would it be the best to do a Safari in?? Cape Town or Port Elizabeth?.

 

We got a overnight Cape Town and we got about 10hrs in Port Elizabeth.

This will be our first time to South Africa 🙂

Any tips or advise is very welcome!😎

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Do it before the cruise or after it. It is not worth trying to do it from a port call.

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I agree with Globaliser, but if your choice really is limited to those two ports, then a day trip to Addo Elephant National Park from PE seems like a good option. I have never been, but it is mentioned in other threads on this board and I am sure there will be a variety of excursions you can take. There are also some private reserves within striking distance. 

 

But inevitably you will be missing the best times of the day, dawn and dusk, and the chance to stay overnight in a lodge or campsite. 

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Posted (edited)

As the Eagle's post, for a port-of-call day Addo Elephant Park from Port Elizabeth. 

In fact I don't think there are safaris anywhere near Cape Town, there'll be plenty of other things to see and do at Capetown, and comparatively few other options from PE.

 

https://www.sanparks.org/parks/addo/

Don't be deceived by "Elephant" Park, it's a regular game park with particularly high numbers of elephants but plenty of other animals - wide range of antelopes, warthogs, zebras & such. But don't expect to see any of the big cats cos they're extremely rare in that park.

It's about 30 minutes from PE to the southern entrance (Matyholweni Gate)

You can rent a car to self-drive to and in the park, or book a car & driver from PE.

Addo also offers shared 4x4 tours in the park, but there's no need for 4x4 and it'd be a waste because you'll already be paying for a rental car or car+driver from PE, and park 4x4s are limited to driving on park roads, same as private cars. Park roads are a combination of tarmac and good gravel roads.

 

The experience won't be anything like being based in a Nat Park or private reserve for a few days, but it'll give you a decent taster. A safari in a private reserve is super-expensive, but a stay in a Nat Park s/c bungalow or rondeval  (Kruger NP is by far the best) is very reasonable. But of course you need the time and there are the travel costs. 

 

JB :classic_smile:

Edited by John Bull

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1 hour ago, John Bull said:

A safari in a private reserve is super-expensive, but a stay in a Nat Park s/c bungalow or rondeval  (Kruger NP is by far the best) is very reasonable. But of course you need the time and there are the travel costs.

 

There are other pros and cons of each. For example, Kruger has rules about where you can go, but in a private reserve the rules are far fewer.

 

So, for example, I think that Kruger has rules about off-road driving (AIUI, basically you can't). Someone said to me that this means that if someone four cars ahead of you stops because there's a kill on the road, they will look at the kill for half an hour - and you will look at the back of the car in front of you for half an hour. And if there's an animal 200 yards away from the road, it'll just be a small thing to look at.

 

In contrast, in the private reserve that I've been to most often, the rule is five vehicles at a sighting. You don't have to stick to the road to get a view, so you can manoeuvre around vehicles that are already there to get into position. And the guides operate a queueing system so that when one vehicle pulls out, the next in the queue comes in to take its place.

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, Globaliser said:

 

There are other pros and cons of each. For example, Kruger has rules about where you can go, but in a private reserve the rules are far fewer.

 

So, for example, I think that Kruger has rules about off-road driving (AIUI, basically you can't). Someone said to me that this means that if someone four cars ahead of you stops because there's a kill on the road, they will look at the kill for half an hour - and you will look at the back of the car in front of you for half an hour. And if there's an animal 200 yards away from the road, it'll just be a small thing to look at.

 

In contrast, in the private reserve that I've been to most often, the rule is five vehicles at a sighting. You don't have to stick to the road to get a view, so you can manoeuvre around vehicles that are already there to get into position. And the guides operate a queueing system so that when one vehicle pulls out, the next in the queue comes in to take its place.

 

Just my experiences......

 

Correct, no off-roading in the NP  - not even by the park's own tour 4x4's.

But never a problem - if folk in front stop you usually have room to go round them or to position your vehicle for a view of what's happening, even on dirt roads. Check out the multiple videos on YouTube.

If everyone could go off-road in the NP to close in on wild-life, the wild-life wouldn't hang around and the bush would be wrecked. Not teeming with visitors, but certainly bigger numbers than in the private reserves.

 

We also had a 3-night safari at lodge in a private reserve in Timbavati, adjacent the NP.

Cost an arm and a leg, wonderful accommodation & service, but very disappointing - much less wild-life than in the NP,  not a single big cat, and - just like in the NP -  the lodge drivers aren't permitted off-road

 

My GF &  DD & SIL had a couple of years  previously been on safari at a lodge in nearby Sabi Sands, acknowledged as the best private reserve.

It was her experience that switched me onto safaris.    

She came back full of wonderful stories & photos. Saw all of the big five on the very first day. Never saw more than two other 4x4's at the same time. Driver frequently went off--road to follow, including a couple of miles of straight-lining at speed thro the bush to see rare wild-dogs following a radio call.

She never told me the cost, but she came back with no arms and no legs.:classic_wink:

 

So you pay a fortune for the best private reserves, or you get great value out of a stay in a NP rest-camp and self-driving.

 

As I say, just my experiences

 

JB :classic_smile: 

Edited by John Bull

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There are many good day trip safaris from  Port Elizabeth -your ship should list them.Great place for animals

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On 5/21/2019 at 6:54 PM, Globaliser said:

Do it before the cruise or after it. It is not worth trying to do it from a port call.

 

We would love to do that if we had that option, but the cruise starts in the UK and ends in Australia.

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3 hours ago, Kiwi_cruiser said:

We would love to do that if we had that option, but the cruise starts in the UK and ends in Australia.

 

That's a pity. You will then be limited to a day visit to some nearby game park, as Cotswold Eagle says, rather than being able to do a real safari.

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On 5/22/2019 at 5:43 PM, John Bull said:

So you pay a fortune for the best private reserves ...

 

There are actually some good private reserves where it won't cost you a fortune. There are some in the Waterberg, for example, which also have the additional benefit of being non-malarial. Searching this forum for "Waterberg" should bring up the previous thread(s) in which some specific places have been mentioned.

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Globaliser said:

 

There are actually some good private reserves where it won't cost you a fortune. There are some in the Waterberg, for example, which also have the additional benefit of being non-malarial. Searching this forum for "Waterberg" should bring up the previous thread(s) in which some specific places have been mentioned.

 

Hi G.,

 

I've tried very hard to find comparisons, but it's hard work cos it takes some digging to find if the offerings are actually in the reserves and whether game drives - surely the most important element - are included. At around £100 for two for two nights clearly they're not, but upward of £1,000 some don't mention that they include game drives .

Because they dont?

Or because they presume that you know that they do?  

 

Cheapest safari (en-suite accommodation, meals, game drives) that I could find near Waterberg was Tshwene in Welgevonden private game reserve at £1167 for two people, two nights. Cheapest I could find in Timbavati was more like £1800.

Our Timbavati safari was light on game, perhaps the same applies to Tshwene.

But on that poorly-researched basis, yes you're right, Waterberg is cheaper than Greater Kruger.

 

But an en-suite bungalow in a Kruger Nat Park rest-camp for two for two nights costs around £140 (more digging here on TripAdvisor reviews etc, cos the Nat Park isn't quoting - one has to e-mail them for prices). Add £80 for two days admission to the NP and the total is around £220. To that of course you have to add food (self-catering or the excellent camp restaurants) & fuel and the accommodation won't be luxurious, but at about one fifth of the cheapest private safari in Waterberg  it's a big saving - as well as being unshackled to do your own thing.

 

If you've got 3 or 4 hours to spare wading through the listings, mebbe you'll find better :classic_wink:

 

All of which of course is irrelevant to the OP and anyone else wanting to tie-in a cruise and a safari, because both Kruger and especially Waterberg are many many miles from any port, let alone a turnaround port, so there's the cost & time of flying in an out.

So a day-trip to Addo or nearby reserves are their only real option.

 

JB :classic_smile:

Edited by John Bull

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The place that I've been to most often is Nungubane in Welgevonden. The headline price stated on that page is basically £200 pppn. The main extras on top of that are alcoholic drinks and tips. We wouldn't keep going back if we didn't like both the place, the way that we are looked after there, and what there is to see.

 

I know that this isn't relevant to the OP, but if anyone else is reading this thread with different constraints: Nungubane is a 4-hour drive from Johannesburg, mostly on very easy roads. You need to be at the Welgevonden gate around noon on your arrival day, and you will be dropped back at the gate just before noon on your departure day. So you basically need to add one more calendar day to the time you're going to spend there: a 4-night visit will require 5 calendar days if you're going to start from and end in Joburg.

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Yes we are doing a cruise round trip from Cape Town and have looked into several stops.

Addo is rated very good from all the reviews here and TA also St. Lucia wetlands as that is what we are doing from Port Elizabeth.

We did plan a post safari for 3 days in Singita and yes blew the bundle but it was my DH bucket list. 

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On 5/24/2019 at 11:13 AM, Globaliser said:

 

There are actually some good private reserves where it won't cost you a fortune. There are some in the Waterberg, for example, which also have the additional benefit of being non-malarial. Searching this forum for "Waterberg" should bring up the previous thread(s) in which some specific places have been mentioned.

Absolutely correct. We have been on many safaris and have always done so at a reasonable price.

 

I have previously recommended the following places that are all excellent value for money:

We have stayed at the Waterberg within this price range. See the link below.

I recommend Hanglip Mountain Lodge and Wildside Camp:

http://legendhospitality.co.za/stay-with-us/entabeni-safari-conservancy/

You will have to ask them about transport to and from the Waterberg.

 

You could also try Pilansberg:

I recommend Black Rhino lodge

https://blackrhinogamelodge.com

 or try:

https://shepherdstreegamelodge.info

Once again, you will need to ask them about transport to and from their Lodge

 

You could also try Mabula:

https://mabula.com

Good value for money but less of an exclusive experience.

 

We have had wonderful game viewing experiences at all these places. 

 

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Kiwi cruiser - I agree that your best option is to go to Addo from PE.

Perhaps after a small taste of a safari, you will want to return for the real experience!

Have a wonderful cruise!

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Anyone have experience with a safari departing from Maputo, driving to Krueger with a return flight to Cape Town? Four nights too long? Jock Safari Lodge? I have received a quote for this package from Safari.com. Any recommendations for Safari.com or other tour operators you have utilized in this area? Thank you for any insight you might be able to provide. Karen

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Hi Karen,

 

A quick bit of geography...........

 

Kruger National Park is huge. It's open to the public for day-trips, and for those who want to stay in the park for a couple of days or a couple of weeks there are half-a-dozen or more "rest camps" - like little vacation villages with self-catering cabins, bungalows & such, plus restaurants, shop, gas station, etc.. Most folk drive their own cars. But some book day-trips into the NP in safari vehicles, and some stay in the rest camps but take day-trips around the Park in the Park's safari vehicles.

All vehicles in the NP, whether private cars or safari vehicles, have to stay on the roads and authorised tracks.

Whether day-tripping or staying in a rest-camp, this is a good way of experiencing a safari on a budget.

 

On the edge of the NP are private game reserves, the whole area is called "Greater Kruger". 

Folk drive or are driven to their safari lodges, where they spend usually one to three nights and are taken out on game-drives in safari vehicles. Only the lodges' vehicles are permitted in the game reserves (other than guests arriving or departing). They are very low in numbers, you won't see more than two or other vehicles in a day. In most private reserves they can drive across the bush.

An altogether different - and vastly more expensive - experience.

 

The one major thing about Jock's is that it's a privately-run lodge but in the National Park itself, not in one of the private game reserves that surround it. Until I looked at Jock's website, I'd thought that all accommodation in the NP itself was operated by / on behalf of Sanpark, the parks authority.

 

So depending which way you look at it, Jock's appears to be a kinda up-market rest-camp, or a down-market safari lodge.

Altho the game drives will be mixing it with lots of other vehicles and won't be allowed to go off-road, the TripAdvisor reviews are good, and the few negatives are mainly about the accommodation and food - not, as I would have expected, the game drives. That may be because those folk have never experienced a private game reserve, or it may be because they are indeed praiseworthy.

 

I haven't checked Jock's prices, but they should be way below those on private game reserves. 

My other-half and daughter had a 3-day safari in Sabi Sands. Full of superlatives, but I never did learn how much it cost.:classic_rolleyes:

Because of that, we included in a South Africa road-trip a couple of days/nights in the NP (brilliant & such good value) and a 3-night safari in Timbavati game reserve (superb in every way - except seriously light on game, which is the main objective of a safari :classic_sad:).

 

Two ways of experiencing Kruger.

And now you've come up with a third.

I can't advise, other than to say  research thoroughly

 

JB :classic_smile:

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JB, there are several private concessions within the National Park itself. Within the concession they are allowed to go off-road, offer walks and night drives. Only if they leave the concession do they have to stick to the roads. So an experience much more like a private reserve - the mass of vehicles in the Park can’t enter the concessions. 

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3 hours ago, Cotswold Eagle said:

JB, there are several private concessions within the National Park itself. Within the concession they are allowed to go off-road, offer walks and night drives. Only if they leave the concession do they have to stick to the roads. So an experience much more like a private reserve - the mass of vehicles in the Park can’t enter the concessions. 

 

Thanks for that, Eagle.

That's a good thing for Karen -  but Is it me or do "concession areas" make a bit of a nonsense of a "National Park"? :classic_huh:

 

JB :classic_smile:

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5 hours ago, John Bull said:

Is it me or do "concession areas" make a bit of a nonsense of a "National Park"?

 

Isn't it a bit like the private wing of an NHS hospital?

 

And I'm only actually half being facetious - there are some real parallels.

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My Son and his friends did a safari/tour the included some days in Capetown.  They visited Kruger and Zimbabwe.  They loved the safari and now want to do Kenya/Tanzania.  They were told that Kenya/Tanzania has the best safaris during the Great Migration in July/August.

 

I did some research and what I found seemed to confirm what they heard.  Now, we are planning a Kenya/Tanzania safari for 8 days next year during the Great Migration.  Cost is $4500 pp for the more luxury level.

 

Check out Goway Tours and Good Earth Tours.

Abecrombe and Kent seems to be the top luxury safari, but cost runs about $10K pp.  Gate 1 has some great prices for a week safari for about $3500 pp.

Safaris in Kenya/Tanzania are a bit more expensive than in So. Africa.  Great Migration adds to the cost a bit. 

 

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On 7/9/2019 at 7:50 AM, 4774Papa said:

My Son and his friends did a safari/tour the included some days in Capetown.  They visited Kruger and Zimbabwe.  They loved the safari and now want to do Kenya/Tanzania.  They were told that Kenya/Tanzania has the best safaris during the Great Migration in July/August.

 

I did some research and what I found seemed to confirm what they heard.  Now, we are planning a Kenya/Tanzania safari for 8 days next year during the Great Migration.  Cost is $4500 pp for the more luxury level.

 

Check out Goway Tours and Good Earth Tours.

Abecrombe and Kent seems to be the top luxury safari, but cost runs about $10K pp.  Gate 1 has some great prices for a week safari for about $3500 pp.

Safaris in Kenya/Tanzania are a bit more expensive than in So. Africa.  Great Migration adds to the cost a bit. 

 

We did a safari in Tanzania a year ago with Kuoni Tours, which I think is a British Company.  Our son made the arrangements for our family group of ten.  The whole experience was beyond our expectations.  We spent time in the Serengeti and   the Ngorongoro crater and saw more wildlife than we ever imagined.  Our grandaughter compared it to the Lion King, when there were animals as far as the eye could see.  We had a seven day safari followed by five days in Zanzibar.  Next year we are planning a cruise in South Africa, but don't think we could top our safari, so plan to do other things there.

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