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Cosmopolitan cities, stunning wildlife and deserted beaches - South Africa has it all.

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African Safari And Beach Holiday News.

The Travel Butlers Blog

Fenced or Not Fenced – that is the question

TraceyCampbell - October 16, 2013

A very common phrase that you will see when you are searching for your South African safari is the term ‘fenced reserve’.

But what exactly does this mean? For those not in the travel industry, it may seem like an extra word that has just been added to the description of the reserve, to fill out the page.  Surely everywhere has to have a fence somewhere?

Technically, yes, in South Africa every game reserve or National Park does have a fence, even Kruger and it’s neighbouring private reserves.  Somewhere along the border, there will be a fenceline that will act as a deterent to the wildlife, to stop them leaving the safe sanctuary of the reserve/Park and wandering off to visit local villages.

However, in Kruger, you are talking of an area that covers over 2 million hectares (for those reading this in the UK that is about the size of Wales (minus the sheep); for those in the States this is somewhere between the size of Conneticut and New Jersey; and for those in the rest of Europe, it is about the size of Slovenia).  So the chances of spending your entire game drive looking at a fence is fairly low, as with so much land to cover why would you?

Fenced reserves is a term therefore that is used for smaller reserves, and that is where it does actually have some significance.

For example, in the Eastern Cape, all the reserves are fenced, and in the Kruger area, you have a couple of fenced reserves, such as Kapama and Thornybush.  This is because these reserves are all independently owned, so therefore the owners have to firstly differentiate their land from their neighbours, but more importantly, they have to keep their wildlife on their land too!  As a land/reserve owner, you certainly do not want your larger game such as elephant, rhino or lions wandering off to visit another reserve, so that your guests who pay to stay at your reserve don’t get to see them!  How annoying would that be!  Equally, you don’t want your pride of lions deciding to go for a wander through the local village!

Fenced reserves tend to range vastly in size – anything from 1,500 hectares up to 25,000 hectares and upwards.  Obviously, the larger the reserve, the more wildlife the area can sustain, but this will be reflected in the rates charged.

Larger reserves can also play ‘home’ to more predators, as they equally have the space to keep the plains game and buffalo that the predators will naturally hunt for food.  Get the balance between predators and their ‘food’ incorrect and you will have a reserve full of hungry lions and no buffalo!

I have spent many a happy game drive in a fenced reserve, and to be honest, I have had some wonderful game drives and game viewing experiences.  As long as you go to a fenced reserve knowing that you will not see a herd of a million wildebeest wandering across in front of your game vehicle, or expect to see 20 different prides of lions, then there really is no reason not to have a great safari experience in a fenced reserve.

Travel Tip: Avoid The South African School Holidays

Paul Campbell - February 2, 2012

Occasionally we find that it can be difficult to get accommodation in some parts of South Africa during the South African School holidays….after all, it is not only visitors from overseas who want to visit Kruger, Durban or the Garden Route!

Given this, we thought it might be useful for people from other countries to know when the South African School holidays will fall in 2012. We realise that sometimes it will be unavoidable to travel at these times, however it might be worth keeping in mind just in case you do have some flexability on your dates. For example,  whilst 23 June to 15 July is holiday time across SA and it is very likely that every SANParks camp in Kruger is already fully booked, things will be a lot quieter from 16th July to 28th September when the kids are back at school.

2012 SA School Holidays are:

  • 29 March – 10 April 2012
  • 23 June – 15 July 2012
  • 29 September – 7 October 2012
  • 8 December – 7 January 2013

 

Kruger Park Flooding – 18-01-2012

Paul Campbell - January 18, 2012

Following heavy rains, South African National Parks (SANParks) has issued an urgent warning about flooding in the Kruger National Park.

A number of entrance gates have been closed including Crocodile Bridge, and the road between Letaba and Olifants is not accessible…Letaba camp is without electricity, and a number of smaller bush camps are currently closed.

The Tinga Private Lodge has been evacuated, and it seems likely that more private lodges both in Kruger and the neighbouring private reserves will evacuate over the next few hours.

Direct Flights Kruger to Livingstone – 2 planned extra flights

TraceyCampbell - August 24, 2011

For people wanting to combine Vic Falls with a Kruger safari, there is a service run by SAA that operates directly from Kruger Mpumalanga / Nelspruit (airport code MQP) to Livingstone, which currently operates on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. It has just been announced, however, that a new flight is being planned for Saturdays (commencing March 10 2012) and eventually on Tuesdays (from August 7 2012).

These direct flights avoid any need for safari goers to stay overnight or connect in Johannesburg prior to flying to Livingstone. The opportunity is then for travellers to enjoy a game drive and breakfast at their bush lodge before travelling to Livingstone and enjoying, on the same day, an evening sunset cruise on the Zambezi. For people travelling from Livingstone to Kruger, they can enjoy a walk to the Falls in the morning, then breakfast and mid-morning activities before travelling to Kruger to enjoy dinner and the first night in the bush.

The SAA flights depart Nelspruit Kruger at just before midday, and takes just over 2 hours to arrive at Livingstone. The return flight will depart Livingstone at early afternoon, arriving in Nelspruit Kruger just before 5 pm. Please note these times are subject to change.

Direct Flights between Kruger and Livingstone

TraceyCampbell - June 19, 2009

AIRLINK has confirmed that it will operate a new route from Kruger to Livingstone (for Victoria Falls) from August 17.

Airlink’s service will operate directly from Kruger Mpumalanga / Nelspruit (airport code MQP) to Livingstone in Zambia (airport code LVI) initially on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, with the intention to grow frequency corresponding with demand.

This will avoid the current need for Kruger travellers to stay overnight or connect in Johannesburg prior to flying to Livingstone. The opportunity is then for travellers to enjoy a game drive and breakfast at their bush lodge before travelling to Livingstone and enjoying, on the same day, an evening sunset cruise on the Zambezi. For people travelling from Livingstone to Kruger, they can enjoy a walk to the Falls in the morning, then breakfast and mid-morning activities before travelling to Kruger to enjoy dinner and the first night in the bush.

Flights will depart Nelspruit Kruger at 11.55 am, arriving in Livingstone at 1.50 pm. The return flight will depart Livingstone at 2.20 pm, arriving in Nelspruit Kruger at 4.45 pm.