Do you have “African safari” on your bucket list? Are you up for some walking in the wilderness (but with running water, toilets, and showers)? Are you interested in getting a lot of value for your money? (Compare estimated costs with costs of other safari offerings. See revised estimated costs, below.) Let’s go walking in Kruger National Park in South Africa to see lions, leopards, elephants, giraffes, rhinos, zebras, etc. We will walk with armed rangers (to protect us). No backpacking or tents are involved. We will keep our expenses low by participating as "trailists" on South Africa National Parks' wilderness trails (led by rangers), and staying in reasonably priced accommodations within the park.
I am starting this group to share my love of walking the wilderness trails of South Africa’s Kruger National Park. In three trips to South Africa, beginning in 2013, I have participated on three of Kruger's wilderness trails (Sweni, Olifants, and Wolhuter), and expect to walk on all seven trails. In 2017, I led a group of ten family and friends to South Africa, and all of the group had a great time, and are available as references. I am not a travel agent, and am not looking to make any money on this trip. There will be transparency regarding any costs incurred.
Must be at least 12 years old to participate (a requirement imposed for the trails). Certain expenses have not been estimated, the most significant of which is transportation to South Africa.
Looking forward to exploring the African wilderness with you!
I am not downplaying the appeal of game drives; they can be great at enabling you to see a lot of animals quickly. But once you have had the thrill of seeing the animals in the wild, the appeal of a walking safari, at least for me, is very strong.
Estimated costs for the land portion of the proposed trip using 2019 costs
(Prior estimates were based on 2018 costs, and did not include approximately $100 of car rental costs, and about $20 - $35 in other fees imposed by Kruger and Sabi Sand. Current estimates include 2019 costs for accommodations and wilderness trails, and 2018 costs for conservation fees, gate fees, vehicle fees, wild card. Changes in exchange rates may result in changes to the conservation fees, gate fees, vehicle fees, and wild card.)
Two cost scenarios, "A" and "B", are shown below, with and without a single supplement applying. (The proposed approach is to allocate any single supplement across the entire group.) For each scenario, costs are estimated for two alternatives: (1) the 12 safari day alternative and (2) the 9 safari day alternative. Costs have not yet been estimated for the Cape Town extension.
Scenario A: Eight people attend, all accept roommates, single supplement does not apply
(1) $1,961 for 12 safari days/11 nights, including 4 days/3 nights of game drives in Sabi Sand private reserve
(2) $1,093 for 9 safari days/8 nights without the private reserve game drives).
Scenario B: Seven people attend, one single supplement applies. The cost of the single supplement is shared equally by all seven.
(1) $2,136 for 12 safari days/11 nights, including 4 days/3 nights of game drives in Sabi Sand private reserve
(2) $1,234 for 9 safari days/8 nights without the private reserve game drives
Costs not estimated include:
a) cost of transportation to Skukuza Airport and from Phalaborwa Airport.
b) gratuities; gas for rental car(s); alcoholic drinks; three lunches; food and drink for 2 days' stay at Olifants Rest Camp; walking safari and game drives, if any, at Olifants Rest Camp
Why might costs associated with this trip be lower than costs associated with other trips I may have seen? Possible answers include:
a) There is no profit or overhead involved in this trip. All costs incurred will be passed along to participants with no overhead or profit attached
b) Flights to and from the arrival and departure points are not included in the estimated costs
c) The accommodations for this trip may not be as luxurious as the accommodations for other trips you may have seen. For example, the accommodations for Kruger's Bushman and Olifants wilderness trails are basic. Sinks, showers, and toilets with running water are available, but they are separated from the accommodations, and shared among the eight participating "trailists". These facilities, however, are clean on arrival, and cleaned every day.