Self-Catering South Africa Family Safari

We were on a Kruger South Africa family safari for a time and then in the area around Graskop, Sabie, Pilgrim's Rest, God's Window - part of the northern Drakensberg. There are quite a few beautiful spots I went to show my wife and two kids.

Table of Contents
Mode of Travel
Tips, advice and rating

What type of safari did you go on?

I planned everything myself, we didn't use a travel agent or safari operator.

We were based in Graskop and from there drove into the Kruger Park for the day. We also drove around the Panorama Route to visit places like the Mac Mac Falls, God's Window, the Blyde River Canyon etc.

As we live in South Africa we didn't have to rent a vehicle and we used my own double cab Mazda 2.5 diesel bakkie [pick up/ute]. It's nice to have a vehicle that's quite high off the ground for game viewing.

Where did you stay and what was it like?

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We stayed in self-catering chalets about 3-4km outside Graskop, at Panorama Rest Camp. The place is beautifully situated.

It was quite nice and very well maintained. We stayed in a chalets, but you can also camp there. It's a very well kept place. There is also a swimming pool which overlooks the Graskop Gorge and the surrounding Lowveld.

They have recently (after our visit) set up cables across the gorge so you can go across to the other side in a harnass, almost like a foefie-slide [flying fox].

How was the weather?

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It was good throughout our South Africa family safari, it was just after the winter. It had just started raining again after our trip.

What wildlife did you see on your South Africa family safari?

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We saw quite a lot. I remember in the Lower Sabie area there was a large section where the veld had burned down. We came upon some zebra that had rolled in the charred grass, so that they were almost completely black, you couldn't see any white! They looked like black donkeys.

Did the burnt area spoil your game viewing?

No, not really. In fact, we could actually see further into the bush. The fires took place about a week before we got there. So by the time we were there some of the game had returned to the area and we actually saw quite a bit of game in those black areas: blue wildebeest, zebra... it wasn't like there weren't any game.

All the grass was burnt down and it didn't look pretty but we saw quite a bit of game.

What would you say was your wildlife spotting highlight?

Can't remember exactly where, but a bit further north [than Lower Sabie], we saw five lions right next to the road. Two lionesses were literally two metres (6.5 feet) from the tar of the road, into the veld. The other three were a little bit deeper in. All of them were lying down, resting - they weren't going anywhere, so we could get a good look at them.

So we could stop literally right next to those two lionesses and watch them. It was really excellent - especially for the kids - to get so close. They still remember that.

What was the non-wildlife highlight of your South Africa family safari?

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It's just such a scenic area around the northern Drakensberg, the Panorama Route area. It was nice just to be out there in the Lowveld. We are here in the city and you don't get that here.

Even though - growing up I did get to the Lowveld quite often (my grandmother is from Duiwelskloof), so it's an area close to my heart.

The climate is also very nice, it's hot, but I prefer warm to cold. Yes, the climate was also a highlight for me.

Can you offer any tips and advice to others planning a similar holiday?

To me, it's very important to plan your route and to know where you're headed.

I would also recommend that people book their accommodation beforehand on their South Africa family safari.

They should also have a good idea of which activities they're planning on the routes they are going to take.

So, planning is important - the key to a successful South Africa family safari is to know what you want and to decide what you want to do beforehand.

What was the most useful item in your luggage?

The first things I pack on such a holiday are my binoculars and camera. And my birding guide book. Those three things.

My Leatherman multi-tool came in very handy too for all sorts of things. You always need something like that.

How would you rate your South Africa family safari, on a scale of 1 to 10?

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It was good. The only disappointment was that part of the veld was burnt down.

I would say the total trip was a 8 out of 10. It was good. We saw a lot of game and the kids enjoyed it a lot. I would do it again.

Safari Location: South Africa: Kruger National Park & Panorama Route
Safari Company Used: N/A (self-drive)
Duration: 1 week in September
Traveller Details: George Moulder, South Africa
Rates & Availability: Plan your own safari. Make a South Africa family safari enquiry

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