There are a host of other factors to consider which can enhance your safari experience: this is the first in a series of blogs which will look at accommodation options for your visit.
This blog is where to stay!
Kruger National park, Private Game reserve or outside!
Greater Kruger ParkThe Kruger National Park has combined forces with several of the bordering private game to provide a larger conservation area, there are no fences between the reserves and the National park allowing the wildlife a larger area to roam. Private Reserves involved within the scheme include: Balule Game Reserve, Kapama Game Reserve, Timbavati Game Reserve, Thornybush Game Reserve and Sabi Sand Game reserve.
Between each of these reserves there is a wide variety of accommodation, from safari tents and self-catering to chalets and 5 star luxury. One of the advantages of the private reserves is traffic. The reserves can normally be visited by game vehicles from the accommodation establishments, no public vehicles means less chance for your views to be obscured by vehicles.
A second factor to consider is that although the wildlife can move freely between private reserve area and national park, people can only enter and exit through main entry gates.
Staying outside the Greater Kruger ParkFor some people staying in a nearby town of smaller game reserves and game farms could be better. If you plan to visit the panoramic route; Blyde River Canyon, Pilgrim's Rest God's Window or Bourke's Luck Potholes, on some days and game drive on other days this could be the best alternative.
The following towns / areas provide a range of accommodation options including hotels, bed & breakfast and self catering.
Nelspruit : as the capital of Mpumalanga Nelspruit offers everything you may need from a town. It is on the N4 highway which runs between Pretoria and Mozambique. It's a good base to head into Kruger National Park or north to the panoramic route.
Marloth Park Conservancy: is a wildlife sanctuary to the south of Kruger National Park. Lionspruit is an area of the reserve with 4 of the Big 5, (not buffalo), other game and antelope roam free. The area has a lot of acommodation options and is only 14km from Kruger park's Crocodile Bridge entrance.
Hazyview is just a 10km drive from Kruger Park's Phabeni Gate, is also a short drive from many of Mpumalanga's panoramic route attractions, because of this great location is has a high number of accommodation establishments.
Hoedspruit: is further north, and the closest Kruger entrance is Orpen gate, the main entrance into the central Kruger region. If your looking at planning a self drive safari a good option from Johannesburg is to head to the sights of the panoramic route, then north to Hoedspruit to overnight before heading into Kruger. Then steadily meander south through the park exiting in the south, over how ever many days you have.