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Budget. lodging

Level Contributor
996 posts
16 reviews
Budget. lodging

Debating a trip here if if I can talk my daughter and Sil into coming. They have an infant little girl.Where would a budget friendly place (self catering is fine) that would accommodate 7 or 4 and 3 "close to each other? What restaurants would be available?

We are ok with self driving as I realize most places won't let an infant on a game drive.

Can you see most animals such as giraffes, elephants, zebras and if your lucky lions and rhino?

Better chance here than Addo for these animals?

San Antonio, Texas
Level Contributor
62 posts
14 reviews
1. Re: Budget. lodging

Almost guaranteed to see Giraffe, Rihno, Zebra and a bunch of other animals

I would think your chance of seeing lions might be higher in Pilansberg as they probably have a bigger population than Addo but Pilansberg is pretty big so it's not always the case.

Pilansberg doesn't have a lot of budget accommodation except for things like the Safari tents which are still a little pricey. It looks like there are a few budget options just outside the park but they get get booked up in advance so try book as far in advance as possible. Same goes for accommodation inside the park.

Long Island, New...
Level Contributor
6,608 posts
21 reviews
2. Re: Budget. lodging

Have you considered renting out a whole place in Madikwe or Waterberg? You get the lodge plus instead of self driving, you can make your own schedule (and arrange great sitters) for dining and game drives. It might be a good option for you.

We just visited Marakele National Park - a couple of hours north of JNB. It is scenically beautiful, lots of plains game, just stay on the non predator side and visit the predator side on game drives. No restaurants, shops or gas but the town is very close to the gate and has everything you'd need for self catering.

Then go to a sole use lodge in Waterberg. Maybe the Bushwa Rhino Bush Lodge? It's in Vaalwater. There are many that can be self catering (no self drive) of fully serviced in the area. Don't expect Kruger, but still very nice. Google a lot and you should be able to find the perfect place for your family.

Addo has all those creatures except giraffe. Giraffe are not thought to be indigenous, so they didn't move any in. Marakele had many, with the large and "dangerous" ones on the predator side, though not in great numbers like the non predator side. I don't talk about rhino on public forums. Depending on the reserve, most will be there. You just have to read the descriptions and check Facebook for the latest sightings. Some have ranger blogs on their websites too.

Level Contributor
288 posts
181 reviews
3. Re: Budget. lodging

It all depends on how budget friendly the place you go should be. In general,. Addo is much more budget friendly place if compared to Pilanesberg, if you want to stay out of the expensive (and crowded) lodges, you will not have much choice in Pilanesberg and as clifford says you will have to find some place outside the park gates,, which would give you better chance to find a decent restaurant though.

As for game spotting, you will probably see elephants and zebras in both places, giraffes only in Pilanesberg, and lions will depend on how lucky you are anywhere, especially if you only can do selfdrives in there. I would not even look at Madikwe if you are looking for budget frienldy places...

Edited: 12 October 2016, 04:58
Frankfurt, Germany
Destination Expert
for Garden Route
Level Contributor
2,272 posts
80 reviews
4. Re: Budget. lodging


the closest to SAN park rest camps are the lodges of


They are simple and reasonably priced.

You are almost guaranteed to see elephants, hippos, zebra and giraffes. Chances to see rhino are probably higher than in Kruger, we did see lions 2 out of 3 days there, of course best time for predators is early mornig! All self drive game drives were done with an infant.

Edited: 12 October 2016, 08:03
Frankfurt, Germany
Destination Expert
for Garden Route
Level Contributor
2,272 posts
80 reviews
5. Re: Budget. lodging

P.S. Chances to see elephants higher in Addo. Zebra probably the same. Chances for rhinos and lions are probably higher in Pilanesberg (although the elusive black rhino is endemic to Addo, Pilanesberg only has white rhinos, AFAIK) no giraffes and very few hippos in Addo Elephant National Park.

Level Contributor
452 posts
8 reviews
6. Re: Budget. lodging

You have a better chance at Pilanesberg (PB), and I would say even with the elephants. Addo is 3x larger, and has 2x the elephants. The PB lion population is much higher per sq km than Addo and even Kruger. Even though 1/3 Addos' size, PB also have more black rhino than Addo. White rhino you just can't miss, and serious photographers wanting rhino flock to PB as they can get real close.

For game drives the Lodges don't take kids under 6, but the 2 Resorts & Sun City allows all ages. All vehicles(stations) are in radio contact, so on the morning drive up to 5 lion sightings are called in. As it is a smaller Park with roughly 40 stations trolling through the Park, lion % chances using the game viewers are far better than driving yourself. For the rest of the day after breakfast by all means drive yourself.

lastly accommodation & Restaurants. The only 8 sleepers are the self catering units at Kwa Maritane Lodge and Manyane Resort. The Kwa units are expensive (R4000 - R4500/n). The Manyane units are about half that, both in price and quality, but this you need to book through a timeshare owner. You can also sleep outside the Park in the local Villages at a fair rate. Restaurants at all Lodges & Resort, but self catering is a far better option as it is quite expensive when adding it up. Note the Lodges) Bakubung & Kwa M) will hard sell you the Buffet supper at R320pp and half the time pretend not to hear you if you ask for a menu insisting there is only a buffet. I got conned a couple of years ago at Kwa when my client had 1 x 5 cm length of sausage and 1 potato that set me back R250 for the "meal". Recent clients that visited Kwa in Oct 2016 and was advised about this confirmed with me that they had to insist to be able to get the a la carte menu; they were also told there is only a buffet. Then Manyanes' food is ok, Bakgatlas' is better, and light meals are possible.

Enjoy & Regards

Jaco Rautenbach

Owner ~Adventure Travel Africa~

7. Re: Budget. lodging

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