Canyons, Cheetahs & Kruger
Canyons, Cheetah & Kruger
Canyons, Cheetahs & Kruger is somewhat cheaper in value as Boots n’all trips go. It is certainly not as good value as the Dunes, Delta & Falls option. In truth adventure travel through Mpumalanga, unless you happen to have to stop and change a flat tyre in a hijack hotspot, or one of those long freeway shoulders where livid red signs warn you for your own safety not to stop, is likely to be minimal.
The main features of the trip: Blyde River Canyon, Kruger National Park, Edeni Private Game Reserve and an endangered species reintroduction program are all worthwhile, but they come across a little as short hop trips of the kind one might take from a backpackers lodge while waiting to jump on an overland truck or to fly out.
Blyde River Canyon
Blyde River Canyon is an impressive feature, and it has a great South Africa style resort on the edge of the canyon itself, but the walking trails are low adrenalin, and the scenery, although pleasant, is hardly world class.
Kruger National Park
Kruger, of course, has an unassailable reputation as one of the premier wildlife destinations in Africa, and a visit there is always worth the time and effort. Edeni Private Game Reserve is also a worthwhile visit for a stylish little sojourn into the luxury wildlife market for which South Africa is so justly famous. This is a midrange option, however, and in the close confines of a well managed and well protected reserve most of the good stuff is visible, and in fact you have a better chance of seeing the big five here than you do in Kruger.
As for the scenic drive, I suspect that is a filler. South Africa is a land of black top roads and freeways, and besides which most of Mpumalanga, or that part worth seeing, is right on the beaten track. There is definitely a rough track, scenic angle out there, but I would doubt in truth whether this trip goes there. I would be interested in feedback on this matter.
On the whole it is a pricey trip, but the price is probably jacked up a little bit by the Edeni Game Park visit which is a style of excursion that always tends to be expensive, but it is generally worth it for the high standard of guiding and accommodation on offer.
So on the whole I would say the trip is tending to low value when you think of what else is available, and certainly in terms of what you can get for the same price if you go more regional. South African national parks tend to be cheaper than others in the region, but equally hotel and lodge accommodation is more expensive.
Photo: Thanks to Marcos Flickr