User Reviews – South Africa
A pleasant trip, with a wonderful itinerary, but with too cheap a way of travelling.
I booked my tour with Kruger Park Tours: they were absolutely perfect from all points of view.
The tour itself was organised by Nomad Tours. It was an overland tour, South African Explorer 2018-South, 20 days, accommodated. I have not enough words to praise the excellent staff, the guide, the driver and the cook, all of them great professionals. The itinerary was perfect, although the tour should have been a couple of days longer to enable a more relaxed pace. The truck was comfortable, even for somebody with joint pains like me, but it should be heated: we spent several hours in a snow storm in a freezing vehicle, and many other days in a very cold one; on the other hand, warm weather is not a problem as it is possible to open all the windows. Moreover, the truck is good for ordinary transportation, not for game viewing, as it is too large to get into the narrow paths where game usually hides: therefore, only the safaris done with special vehicles were really rewarding, not the ones done with the large truck. Most accommodations were good or excellent - only the Kudu Ridge Lodge near Addo N. P. did not meet the required level, as the heating in the quite dilapidated tents was not working despite the very cold temperatures -, but due to the type of tour we could not enjoy the common areas: we used to eat outside in the cold, or in areas near the kitchen or even in the room of the guide. The food was generally OK, enough for me - a petite 66 year old woman -, but again the type of tour made us spend a lot of time buying food, preparing meals, washing the dishes, etc., a time that would have been better spent visiting the wonders of the country; furthermore, this type of tour forces the staff to reach the accommodations quite early in order to have time to cook dinner, late afternoon hours being the best to view game, together with early morning ones. But I guess the very cheap price of the tour is possible only with this type of tour called overland.
My advice: South Africa, Swaziland and Lesotho are marvelous countries where you will enjoy extraordinary wildlife, beautiful scenery, interesting culture, good food and bear, and excellent wines, so do visit them. However, take an overland tour only if you really cannot afford something better; if you can spend some more money, do yourself a favor and choose a tour using lodge restaurants for meals - at least for breakfast and dinner - and special vehicles to watch game.
Email DianeB | 65+ years of age | Experience level: first safari
Fabulous and Perfect time of the year.
We used Kruger Park Tours, for our Safaris...Johann was our personal Safari planner.
It was perfect from beginning to end.
I specifically like that we stayed at so many different wildlife preserves and accommodations. Living in Tents in different locations, was magical. Safari walks with armed guides was thrilling.
Going to several location every 4 days is perfect.
The differences are amazing and it makes each Safari experience unique.
My favorite was Sabi Sands with Kruger a close runner up
BBQ dinners in the bush with only lanterns for light. And the fire pit glowing.
The most special Safari Camp was Tydon Safari.
We stayed in the main camp for 4 nights, then moved to the Bush Camp. It is limited to 4 tents with private baths. It is located right in the Bush, with wildlife. It is fabulous. They do not allow small children- for safety reasons. If you are lucky enough to get a reservation in the bush camp...grab it.
Email Svetlana | 50-65 years of age | Experience level: first safari
It was a great experience with VivaSafari tour operator. I stayed at Tremisana lodge and it was a piece of paradise in a dry and brownish bush. The staff is excellent, accommodations are comfortable and the food is very good. The safari itself is incredible - lots of animals and birds. when wild animals appear next to you - it is magic. The company structure the stay well and have interesting activities like for example visiting the animal rehabilitation center. They have several properties for those who do not want to stay at the lodge all the time. They can arrange a night in Kruger under the sky!
Email Victor | 65+ years of age | Experience level: first safari
Exciting, Safe, and Professional
The winter weather was ideal with pleasant temperatures. Our guides made every effort to enable us to see the animals that we wanted to see. It was not crowded in the vehicle. The lodge was friendly and comfortable and the food was delicious.
Email Kim Walder | 50-65 years of age | Experience level: first safari
Affordable experience with a lot to offer
From the very first sighting of an elephant as we drove to our accommodation, this trip was full of unexpected adventures and memorable experiences. The guides were friendly and knowledgeable and went out of their way to ensure we had the best experience possible. Accommodation in the lodge was comfortable, meals were excellent and the staff great. It would have been nice to have a bar open for drinks and socialising with other guests. The vehicles for the safari were comfortable and allowed fantastic viewing. I believe a four-day safari offered a great range of experiences, as the trip to the rehabilitation centre and the other park were great. The day trip to Kruger was fun, together with the evening and early morning safaris. The walking safari was also a great experience, even if we almost came face to face with a rhino!
Email Sue Stephan | 65+ years of age | Experience level: first safari
Our time in south Africa was spent in Kruger NP which was terrific with many wild animals and birds to view. 4-5 days in Kruger is a perfect amount of time.
Email Kok Kim | 50-65 years of age | Experience level: 2-5 safaris
Diverse unpredictable wildlife sightings and action in 10 game drives at 3 different lodges
We were blessed with sightings of the major big cats: male and female lions and cubs (in various activities: a mating couple, young cubs suckling mommy lioness, 3 young male lions feeding on carcass, 2 lionesses face off a rhino family; a male and female lioness staking and chasing a warthog); cheetahs (brothers and within family) in Phinda park reserve; leopards (and even 1 one that prowled at Kirkman Kamp where we stayed).
Also saw several white rhinos, hyenas, genet, dwarf mangoose, besides lots of zebras, giraffes, elephants, wildebeest.
Weather was pleasant: dry and cold in mornings.
Food and accommodation was excellent, with good variety and quantity of food and very comfortable bedding and bathrooms.
Rangers and drivers knew their stuff and got us key cat activities and also close to the action.
Email Irma Chen | 35-50 years of age | Experience level: first safari
Email Nuria Lagunas | 20-35 years of age | Experience level: first safari
Absolutely worth it! Wonderful wild life
I loved johan’s caring and prof attitude. He helped us organizing ever detail. We were very happy with the overall experience. The food was absolutely incredible! We personally liked more Sabi Sands. We did not like the guide we had the first day of the safari, JC i think. We really liked the blonde girl the second Day, apologies I forgot her name. Overall very happy and the safari is really worth it!
Email Chris Conti | 35-50 years of age | Experience level: 2-5 safaris
A good guide makes the difference. Some days were absolutely great!
We had two great guides, who were knowledgable, took the time to explain things, stopped when we wanted to, etc. And we had two guides that were quite terrible, pretty much making what could have been an excellent day, quite a frustrated one.
Please take the time to evaluate guides, train them, etc.
Overall our experience was quite good, with all the other apects of the trip.