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Last minute Xmas 2017: Etosha or Kruger?

Last minute Xmas 2017: Etosha or Kruger?

Old Nov 27, 17, 4:55 am
  #1  
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Last minute Xmas 2017: Etosha or Kruger?

We're heading back to South Africa in December for two weeks, and I have been struggling with an itinerary. We're flying into JNB, and I have tentative reservations at hotels outside the main gates for Etosha and Kruger after we arrive. We would either drive to Kruger then make our way to Cape Town by air/land/train OR fly into Windhoek and then drive around Namibia for two weeks. A third idea is to combine South Africa and Namibia and visit Kruger, Cape Town and Sossusvlei over two weeks. The deciding factor is probably which park we should visit.

If you had to choose between Etosha and Kruger this December, which would you pick? I know Kruger will be really crowded, but December is also not ideal for Etosha. I am taking two pre-teens who have never seen game animals in their natural habitat, so a simple introduction is fine.

Thanks!
mileagerunner is offline  
Old Nov 27, 17, 7:13 am
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Yip a difficult choice, as Kruger will be crowded. However, if you head off the main roads, even in peak season you can find solitude!
Personally, with two youngsters looking for animals I would choose Kruger in December. Once the rains start in Etosha it can be very hit and miss. In both parks you can drive quite a long time without seeing any real game, but the likelihood is in Kruger that in December you will see more game, and there are more facilities around the park to stop at and give the younger ones a break.
The only thing I would say, is just also consider the malaria perspective. This year has seen quite high incidence of malaria in the Kruger area, and we would generally recommend you take malaria precautions in Kruger in the summer months. With Etosha it is a lot less clear cut. In the dry season there is little to no chance of malaria in Etosha, and even in the wetter months the chances are still slim - although we would always advise getting the advice of a doctor.
While it is possible to do Kruger, Cape Town and Sossusvlei in two weeks, I fear you would spend too much of your time getting from one place to the next that you would lose a large part of your vacation.
You don't mention when in December you will be travelling as there will be a huge difference if you travel between 1 - 15 December or 16 - 31 December. The latter period will be extremely busy in both Kruger and Cape Town. Remember if you do opt for Kruger that they will have restrictions on the number of people entering the park each day, planning will be necessary.
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Old Dec 7, 17, 7:59 am
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Originally Posted by wijibintheair View Post
Remember if you do opt for Kruger that they will have restrictions on the number of people entering the park each day, planning will be necessary.
The only way to esure that you will be able to enter Kruger at all it to reserve day visitor passes ahead of time. Quotas are not that generous, and strictly enforced. The busier gates sometimes resemble battle zones, especially when everybody tries to enter at the same time when they open at 5h30 a.m. Inside the park it is not necessarily that much better, at least in the southern half of the park. To put it bluntly,Kruger is best avoided during during South African school vacations, especially the December-January summer vacation.

Johan
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Old Dec 9, 17, 7:36 am
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Thanks for the replies. Seems Kruger and Etosha are not meant to be on this trip.
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