Next To, In, and Near
We stayed in three different settings during our time at Kruger National Park. We started with a stay in an all-inclusive lodge next to the park that used to have fences but no longer does. We did 5 game drives and spent one afternoon at the lodge watching the waterhole. The Klaserie Reserve is one of several private reserves that abuts the park and within the reserve are a couple of lodges. The drives are both on and off road and a coordinated effort to find game via radio make it more likely that you’ll see a lot of wild animals up close.
Following that experience, we drove our own car into Kruger National Park and spent one night at two camps. We stayed in a bungalow, which is fully stocked to allow for cooking your own food. We made use of the refrigerator but otherwise relied upon the restaurants at the facility to feed us. The restaurants were actually pretty good and offered healthy choices on the menu. At the camps, we signed up for a night drive, a morning drive, and a morning walk in the bush for Kenny. The camps were quite nice and we would not hesitate to stay at them again. The view from Olifants Camp was particularly impressive and is one of the few opportunities to get above the plains and see the expanse of the park.
We concluded our visit with two nights at a friendly bed and breakfast in the vicinity of Hazyview, which is not far from one of the park entrances. While the idea was that we might go back into the park, the logistics involved being up and at the gate around 5 am in order to be able to enter the park around sunrise when game viewing is more likely. Fortunately, we had seen a lot and were able to see some things many say they never see, so it was an easy decision to focus on other things and spend a little time doing nothing. That led us to some fun discoveries.
Looking back at our visit to the greater Kruger National Park area, we felt like we experienced three wonderfully diverse concepts for seeing the park. Each had a value that the others did not and in the total sum felt enriching. We would likely repeat something similar in a future visit, although we would be inclined to add an additional day in the reserve setting and a couple of extra days in the park setting.
Thanks to Ashbourne Country Estate’s recommendations for a visit to River Walk Cafe and the Summerfields Kitchen we rounded out our Kruger area visit with fresh locally sourced farm to table meals and a private tour with the owner, Ilsa. It was a great way to bid aloha to the area.