Thank you little white car: Self-drive vehicle options for Kruger National Park
Having just done a 3-day self-drive safari in Kruger National Park I was reminded that a range of vehicle options are available for the self-drive traveller. On this particular trip (see previous blog) – short and sweet with just two people, we went for the ultimate budget option and hired a small Ford Fiesta. I was pleasantly surprised by how good this small car was in the game reserve. It coped really well with the sometimes slightly corrugated gravel roads and of course cruised along the tar roads with ease. It was just fine in terms of letting 2 people spread out their cameras, binoculars, jackets, drink bottles and snacks. Luckily on this self-drive safari trip it didn’t affect our game viewing opportunities in any way (although we may have been lucky and realise that sometimes the car may be just too low, the grass just too high, for the traveller in the Fiesta to see). Indeed, the elephant were unconcerned with our size and we learnt to relax as we cruised on past them, even the buffalo seemed very happy to ignore us. At other times we could squeeze in when needed to see something special if other cars were around.
If you do have a little bit more to spend, and certainly if you’re travelling with more than 2 people, we do recommend you upgrade to a larger vehicle. A small SUV, something along the lines of a Nissan X-Trail or Hyundai Tuscon would be just great – giving you the extra space to spread your belongings and more importantly some great extra height to see deeper into the bush.
Looking a little further afield than Kruger – a trip to stunning Namibia or a self-drive safari through the fantastic reserves of Botswana – then a 4×4 Toyota Hilux or Land-Cruiser is the type of vehicle to look at. These vehicles, fully equipped with roof top tents and all your camping equipment if you so choose, can take you on more ‘off the beaten track’ adventures through stunning southern Africa.
Travel Africa organised this 3 day Kruger trip in August 2017 – total cost AUD$600 for 2 people including car hire, accommodation, morning walk and night drive. Excludes conservation fees (AUD$30 per person per day), petrol (approx. AUD$65) and food and drink (approx. AUD$10 per person per meal).