Stories Of The Kruger | Why Private Camps Are Worth It | Greater KNP

Private Camps – Are They Worth It?

Many people ask if private camps and bushveld lodges in the Greater Kruger National Park are worth the money to stay at and experience… The answer is simply yes. There are so many reasons to stay at a private camp or lodge, and yes, they are expensive, but they are worth every penny.

Private camps in the Greater Kruger, such as the Sabi Sands, Klaserie, Balule and Timbavati, and even within the Kruger itself, mainly cater for overseas tourists, due to their prices.

It is worth saving up to experience one of these trips at least once in your lifetime.

At the time of writing this, Aimee and I have been fortunate enough to stay in the Balule Nature Reserve, at Leopard’s View Game Lodge, a private lodge in the middle of the bush. Both times were magical. We had the place, and it seemed, the whole of the Greater Kruger, to ourselves. We went on early morning and late afternoon game drives, and spent the days lounging around the pool and deck area, watching Impala and Kudu drinking and seeing over 50 species of birds from our seats.

Lions roared and Hyaenas “whooped” at night. Scops Owls called to each other, while a myriad of other creatures were active, it was magical. Was it worth it? EVERY second! We saw a Lion drink at the camp waterhole and just missed a Leopard drinking. You have to experience something like this…

What Are The Advantages Of Staying At Private Camps In The Kruger?

Where do I start?

There is nothing better than having a bush holiday. Most lodges and camps will have early morning game drives and late afternoon/night drives. In-between you have a lot of downtime. The camps, mostly, have their own private waterholes and viewpoints to spend your day’s game viewing and bird watching. You can read a book and listen to the sounds of the wild, sit around the swimming pool with some cold beverages and just completely turn off and relax.

You are not constantly on the road and driving, like you would be in the Kruger National Park public section. This makes it feel more like a holiday. Don’t get me wrong, I love driving all day in the Park, but when you are at a private camp it does not feel like you are missing potential sightings, because the lodges are there to find you animals and birds, and they make sure of it, even though wildlife sightings are never predictable.

Going on drives is one of the most pleasure-bring experiences you will have. Many vehicles have a tracker who sits at the front of the game drive vehicle. These trackers have been brought up in the wild and have studied hard to be able to follow animal tracks, spot fur caught in bushes and track down any sort of fresh activity. The trackers have “eyes for the bush”. They can spot anything and everything. We would easily miss it in a second.

Private camps are often in close proximity to one another, and they share sightings via radio. This means you wont miss anything. When someone finds a Leopard for example, various guides will keep an eye on the Leopard and will find it for you. This is from experience and the ability to drive off-road on roads that are not accessible to public. The big 4x4’s will traverse anywhere, without harming the trees and other creatures that inhabit the bush around you.

The driving methods above lead to animals getting used to the vehicles from infancy. This means amazing and long sightings. The photographs and video footage you will be able to get on these trips to these private areas are so worth it. Animals won’t be scared of the vehicles and often come right up to them. It is an amazing experience being surrounded by a herd of Elephants in an open game drive vehicle.

There is so much more I could talk about regarding private game reserves and private camps in the Kruger and Greater Kruger, but I am sure you get the point. Start saving, and get to a private lodge. You will not be disappointed.

You can have a look at some of the best camps to stay at on this page. These private camps have given us permission to review them and write about them. Get in touch with them today. Go ahead, book that dream trip!

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