It is easy to drive yourself, no problem depens were you are going exactly, can take you from 4 to 6 hours. Most is a good toll highway. Of course you can park on the property of the lodges
And it is safe to drive yourself. But you have to watch out for the speedings controls.
Do have already booked a nice lodge??
Owner of Thatch22, country guesthouse (Johannesburg)Edited: 17 April 2013, 01:57
In general it is as safe to drive as in any other country. Living in Hazyview and having family in JHB means we drive the stretch quite often, since nearly 8 years now.
Taking a shuttle or bus always works out more expensive than self-driving (when 2 people or more). The cheapest I know of is the city bug at app. R350 pp. But that will take you only to Nelspruit and you will have extra expenses from there which can be even more than the trip from JHB to Nelspruit. A rental car you will get for R300.00 a day, R120 toll gates one way, plus petrol for app. 400 km one way.
All accommodations provide parking and I have never heard of any charging for it.
HazyviewEdited: 17 April 2013, 02:18
The drive to Kruger and surrounding game reserves is a easy, and safe. I've driven there many times. The roads for the most part are pretty good. Depending on which route you take there will be 1 or more toll gates. Typically the drive is about 5 1/2 to 6 hours, but depending on where you're going, it may be less.
All the lodges have parking for guest vehicles. You don't need your vehicle at all from the time you arrive until you leave. All safaris are in open game viewing vehicles taken by a guide and tracker.
A return road transfer will cost around ZAR 7000.00, but will vary depending on the company.
Have you already booked a safari lodge?
Brett, Owner, Safaris For Me, SA
The above WRT game drives being included is only applicable if booked with a lodge at one of the private reserves or camps.
Otherwise you have the choice to drive yourself (which means you can use and need your car) thru Kruger National Park or book a guided drive at one of the SANpark camps.
HazyviewEdited: 17 April 2013, 02:33
It is wrong to assume that "everyone" can spend the money to go into a private reserve/camp and misleading giving above advise.
There are thousands of self-drive holiday makers into Kruger National Park who may now think that their games drives are included.
You are absolutely correct in what you are saying. But the original question did refer to 'safari lodges' so my feedback as per the question was based on that assumption. It seems that even Annemieke made the same assumption based on what was written. It did also seem like the reference to Kruger was a generic reference to the area. Aplogies for any assumptions made or misleading information given.
So to clarify, in the Kruger National Park, which is predominantly self drive, the game drives in game viewing vehicles are not included, and will have to be paid for over and above your accommodation rate.
Brett, Owner, Safaris For Me, SA
Tx Brett for clarifying.
I think the OP needs to let us know more than what is given. For me cheap shuttle and private game reserve did not fit.
We have done similar trips, arriving in J'burg, renting vehicle and driving to Gomo Gomo Game Lodge and just parking the vehicle in their lot during our stays over the past two summers. This has worked out cheaper arranging private reserve transportation and shuttle services.
Another big perk is that you have a car to use for a nice drive around the Blyde River Canyon after your safari experience. This is a great benefit to the car rental option that you otherwise wouldn't (easily) have if you were being transported by other means. See Blyde River Canyon and Panorama Route drive link if interested.
Panorama Route – Blyde River Canyon
Blyde River Canyon
Have a great time on your safari.
Just my two cents;
Ashton's shuttles - R650 per person per way, will take you right to the Kruger area. From here, your lodge will pick you up, and take you to the accommodation. This is included in the rate, or is sometimes charged a fee.
If I remember correctly, you were looking into Gomo Gomo - They charge R110 per person to pick you up from the drop off point.
All the best,
Thank you everyone for your input! We will be staying in a private game reserve but we are trying to get to Kruger as cheaply as possible because we are on an overall budget for our trip. I like to save money in some places like getting to Kruger so we can spend money in other places like the actual safari. Yes Jacqui I was looking at Gomo Gomo but unfortunately they do not have availability when I want to go. I am now looking at Naledi, Nkorho (a little out of our budget), and tydon safari camp but I am open to suggestions. I have also contacted Simbavati and have not heard back from them yet. I am confused because Brett mentioned a transfer would be R7000.00 and Jacqui said one would be R650. Klaus also mentioned a cheap shuttle. Brett I assume you are referring to a transfer that would just be with the people I am traveling with and Jacqui/Klaus yours would be a public type shuttle? I would love to take a shuttle if it is affordable instead of driving. I will not need my car once in Kruger and it will be more relaxing to take a shuttle than navigate the drive after 24 hours of traveling to get to Johannesburg.
Thank you BradJill for the advice about the canyon, will be doing that if we drive!