Finally made my reservations to SA and I so much looking forward to this trip! My first stop, in October, is to Johannesburg and my plan is to rent a car and thereafter move on to Kruger Park. I would be very happy to get some advices on where to rent a car and what car to rent? Should I book one in advance and pick it up at the airport? I plan to use the car for about 10 days and I will use it in Kruger Park and return it in Durban Airport. Could I find good road maps at the airport?
I also been looking at the website; http://www.krugerpark.co.za/, and I was thinking of staying in Lower Sabie and also do one morning walk (I will stay 3 nights). Have anyone been there and used the Safari Tent they have? Would you recommend us to stay somewhere else? Should you book accomondation in advance?
After Kruger Park I would like to drive down to Sodwana – any ideas of the best road to use? Should you first go back to Johannesburg before you head for Sodwana or is there a shourcut?
Car rental is best booked in advance and makes it easy to collect at the airport. You will pay a one way drop-off fee to leave the car in Durban. Tipe of car for your trip does not really matter, depends on your budget. The roads are good. The rental companies will give you all the maps you need.
Lower Sabie is a great camp and the safari tents have everything you need. Bathroom included. Being under canvas is still the best way to experience the wild. You should definitly book in advance!!
You can drive through Swaziland, an interesting cultural experience and a very scenic drive. You can do it in a day but try and spend a night there. Just remember you must get a letter from the rental company to take the car across the border and find out if you need a visa. As far as I know you don't.
Thanks for the tips. Would you suggest that you camp at the same place for three night or should you change to be able to see more (was thinking of adding Pretoriskop and Letaba).
I have also read about the Wild Card. Would you recommend us to buy it if we thinking of staying 4-5 nights in different Parks?
I would try definitely to go for Letaba! It is a beautiful area! Much more wildlife in that area than around Pretoriuskop (which is a rather dull camp too). The only 'downside' is, from Lower Sabie to Letaba is a very long drive, in Kruger-perspective. Even if you leave Lower Sabie the moment the gates open in the morning, you almost need to drive straight there only using the tarred road, otherwise you won't be there in time (especially if you want to stop to see all the animals you're bound to see along the road). And you have to get back down again the next day, so there is no point of going that far north in the park...
If you only have three days (oh, by the way, from Joburg to Lower Sabie is a full day high speed drive too, so I hope you didn't consider that as a day, as there will be not much time in the park...), but if you have only three days, I would consider just to stay those days there. It means you have much more time during the days (no packing in the morning) and no stress of getting all the way to letaba. There are more than enough roads and routes to explore in the Sabie area (of course, it is not bad to drive along a road two or more times, as the animals are on the move: a road where you've seen nothing the first time, can provide loads of wildlife the second).
I have seen almost the whole big five (all but rhino) along the tarred road between Lower Sabie and Skukuza (which is, despite it's size, actually not a bad camp at all!! If Lower Sabie is fully booked, consider to stay here!).
Definitely do a morning walk, and consider a night-drive too!
For car rentals: If you want to do it cheap: in Joburg there's this place called 'rent-a-wreck' (www.rentawreck.co.za). 110 rand a day plus 100 free k's. But they don't do airport collection and you have to return the car to joburg... for the Kruger trip it's worth considering. (the cars are not too luxury obvious, but good enough)
One thing: start booking now, especially if you want a safari tent (they're popular!)! We had trouble finding accomodation with our own tent even...
Enjoy (planning) your trip!