Enjoying a self-drive safari holiday

A self-drive safari holiday is possible in some of the national Parks in Africa, including in Kruger, in the north-east corner of South Africa. It can be a much cheaper option than travelling on organised tours and it also enables you to do things at your own pace.

The best time for animal watching tends to be in the morning before about 11am and, later in the afternoon, after 3.30pm. There are strict speed limits within Kruger National Park – 50kph on tarmacked roads and 40kph on gravel roads and sandy tracks. Entrance into and out of the parks is very strictly controlled and it may take 30 or 40 minutes to complete paperwork and pass through the pay kiosks at the gates. However, once inside the park, you are able to go where you like and stop at the roadside to watch wildlife for as long as you like. It is strictly forbidden to get out of your car unless you have entered a camp where there are places to stay, restaurants, a shop, toilet facilities and usually a petrol station. You are also allowed to stop and get out of your car (at your own risk) at picnic places and viewpoints. You must make sure that you leave the park via one of the gates or by staying in one of the camps by the designated closing time of 5.30pm or 6pm.

It is possible to do an evening or night safari or even a walk with rangers but you can only do with official guides and on official transport.