Originally Posted by Jos Stratford
This is correct - you can only drive to the lodge, but not go on game drives yourself. I am not familiar with the private reserves, but I think generally you can not drive from lodge to lodge through the reserves either - you drive to the lodge, stay, then leave and would enter another private reserve through theri entrance. I might be wrong here however.
Note however, it is completely possible to visit parts of even Kruger, the most visited of all RSA parks, without seeing other tourists for periods - particularly if you choose the north for the park and don't go when RSA schools are on holiday. Even more so for Kgaladai, even though the road network here is far more limited. Onthe private reserves, yes they might get you to animals on your own, but you are also tied to however long the game drive is, and you will not be alone. Self driving, you can be out morning to evening, settle yourself at a key spot and just sit and wait, or slowly wander as you want.
Agreed 100%. Kruger Park is supposed to be the size of Wales, or some such statistic. There is no need to be swamped by the madding crowd if you prefer otherwise. Likewise Kgalagadi is not usually too crowded, simply because it is relatively isolated. It is good for game viewing, particularly cats, and if you stay clear of the rainy season there is not a whole lot of vegetation for the animals to hide behind. On our last visit, we scored Lion, Cheetah and African Wild Cat, Spotted Hyaena and Cape Fox, along with some avian specials like Burchell's Courser, Double-banded Courser, as well as Pygmy, Lanner and Red-necked Falcons. Just avoid school holiday times, and you should have no problems.
It is up to you, Marcus, and entirely a matter of your preference and budget. Should you self-drive, you should print out that check-list for animal spotting I referred you to in #16 in the previous page of this thread. It may help you to locate your subjects a little more easily.