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South Africa 2021 Octobre


JWG
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Just back from SA, putting together a comprehensive report of our experience.

 

After twice postponing our South Africa trip it finally went on. This time we had chosen for a combination of lodges and self drive, besides that we also looked for different areas to enjoy diverse  landscape, scenery and wildlife.

Our itinerary;

 

Day 1 Early arrival at ORT, overnight at La Lechere guest house Phalaborwa.

Day 2 Self-drive Kruger, overnight La Lechere guest house

Day 3 Morning self-drive Kruger, afternoon game drive at Kuname Riverlodge

Day 4 Kuname Riverlodge

Day5 After morning drive at Kuname to Pafuri Tented Camp (return Africa) for the afternoon drive

Day 6 Pafuri tented camp

Day 7 After morning drive at Pafuri drive (inside Kruger) to Phalaborwa  overnight at La Lechere guesthouse.

Day 8 morning self-drive in Kruger (Phalaborwa to Orpen gate), afternoon game drive Arathusa Safari lodge

Day 9 Arathusa Safari lodge

Day 10 Morning game drive Arathusa, then back to ORT for evening flight home.

 

Flights and Covid; all went smooth and uneventful. We were prepared and had our PCR test result in print and the SA health questionnaire filled out with us. PCR test was briefly looked at, the health questionnaire was collected without being looked at. Within an hour after touchdown we were on the road after ATM, Vodacom and Avis.

 

We are really happy with how things turned out, the mix of self-drive and lodges was very enjoyable. The driving in Kruger on your own is always good fun and exciting on top of that we were lucky with our sightings. One of them being cheetah which we spotted ourselves and “had” it for ourselves for a good 15 minutes. The central and Northern part of Kruger were not busy at all.

 

Highlights of our trip;

-La Lechere Guest house, comfortable well appointed rooms. Owners are very friendly and helpful, on occasion they prepare a nice diner. On top of that comes the superb location, only a few minutes to Phalaborwa gate.

-Pafuri, first of all the location on the river bank and the very diverse and beautiful area. Our experience was enhanced by our guide Tristan, who is very enthusiastic and knowledgeable. Even a game drive with limited sightings was very nice and entertaining.

-The pack of hunting wild dogs at Arathusa.

 

Return flight, after a tip found online, we were prepared and had the health questionnaire with us already filled out, this avoided last minute frustration when going to the gate.

 

Looking back we can only conclude this was another very memorable trip. Looking forward to hopefully an other one in the not too distant future.

 

I uploaded (many) photos here; https://photos.app.goo.gl/s1s9mFDBmGoMspFg9

 

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Welcome JWG!

 

Some very handsome lions and wild dogs in your link, look forward to reading more about your experiences.  Love your rhino and elephant photos, and some excellent birds in flight captures!

 

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On 10/31/2021 at 6:54 PM, JWG said:

the mix of self-drive and lodges was very enjoyable

I also prefer such a mix. You had very good sightings as I can see! Cheetah, leopard, lot of lions, hyena den, dogs... Will you give us more details like where you saw what and if your self-drives were so good as game-drives with a guide? As a self-driver I extremely interested in self-driveers reports ;-)

Thank you!

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I can't really say that the self drives were as good as with a guide. Main difference for me between the two concepts is the area where the drive is taking place. To give my general feeling, the concept of self drive I like since you can completely control your day, so you stay at a waterhole for an hour if you like to, you stay out in the park for the whole day or for instance you break the day with a lunch at Olifants. The view there is amazing. With regard to sightings, also difficult to make a general statement but I dare to day that a few days in Sabi sand or Karongwe will for sure give you leopard, lion and cheetah. During the self drive out of Phalaborwa we had the luck to spot Cheetah twice close to Mopani, for the rest we saw lots of game but no further predators. The H1-9, s50 and s39 were very productive we saw hyena, elephant, giraffe, kudu etc in large numbers.

Finally what I like about the self drive is the feeling we are here on our own and what will there be around the next corner.

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