Kruger Experience - Lodge (5 days)

Trip Code: UBAJ

Why we love it

Experience a private game reserve after dark in an open top 4x4 vehicle, Enjoy traditional South African cuisine while dining under the stars, Try to spot the Big Five in Kruger National Park on two full day game drives, Stay in a comfortable safari lodge in a communal setting with friendly hosts, Take in amazing views at the viewpoint over the awesome Blyde River Canyon and view the Three Rondavels

Is this trip right for me?

This itinerary starts and finishes in Johannesburg and includes 2 long travel days.

This is one of our Short Breaks and is slightly different to our group tours. There is no group leader but rather a local guide with the idea being that you maintain a level of independence during down time. You'll most likely travel on a join-in basis, which means you may or may not be joined by others for activities and transportation, depending on demand.

The transport to and from Kruger National Park will be in a 13-seater minivan. This is a shuttle service that departs daily. You may be sharing this shuttle ride with other travellers booked on different trips and itineraries to you.

Our lodge is located within the Greater Kruger Park ecosystem. It’s about a 50 minute drive to Kruger National Park’s Orpen Gate. On this itinerary you will have Game Drives in both the Kruger National Park and neighbouring Private Game Reserves.

As the early bird catches the worm, the early camper sights the animals. There will be many early starts either to make use of the better safari time or to beat the morning traffic on long travel days.

Important information

1. This trip starts and ends in Johannesburg. We depart between 5.30am and 6:30am on Day 1 so it is essential that you overnight in Johannesburg the day before the tour. If you want to explore Johannesburg at either end of the tour, please allow additional days.

2. You will be picked up between 5.30am and 6.30 am on Day 1 of this itinerary. Our preferred Joining Point Hotel is the Holiday Inn Rosebank and pick up time if 6.00 am. If you require a pick up from another centrally-located hotel or airport hotel in Johannesburg, please advise your booking agent at least 14 days prior to departure. Our local operations team will advise the relevant Hotel reception of the exact pick up time 24 hours prior to pick up.

3. If you require pick up from another centrally-located hotel in Johannesburg or OR Tambo Airport Hotel, please inform your booking agent at least 14 days prior to departure.

4. This trip finishes upon arrival in Johannesburg on Day 5. On arrival in Johannesburg you can be dropped at the airport or at our finishing point hotel. Please do not book any flights until after 10pm this evening.

5. Please note this is a join in adventure and you will travel with a group of like minded Intrepid and non Intrepid passengers during transfers and game drives.

What to bring/pack

What you need to bring will vary according to the trip style you have chosen, the countries you are visiting and when you are travelling. Generally speaking, we recommend you pack as lightly as possible and make sure that you are able to carry and lift your own luggage, and walk with it for short distances.

Most travellers carry their luggage in a backpack, although an overnight bag with a shoulder strap would suffice if you travel lightly. Smaller bags or backpacks with wheels are convenient although we recommend your bag has carry straps. You'll also need a day pack/bag to carry water and a camera etc for day trips.

Below are some ideas and helpful tips on what you specifically need for this trip.

ESSENTIALS:
- Closed in shoes. As most of our trips include some bush walking we highly recommend that you take a pair of comfortable, closed-in walking shoes. Closed-in shoes will help to protect your feet from cuts and scratches when walking through bush/grass-lands, and will also act as a barrier protection in rare cases against bites or stings from dangerous animals in this environment.
- Lightweight clothing. You will need to bring a mixture of lightweight clothing, some warm items for the evenings, and long shirts and pants for protection against mosquitoes in the malaria areas. Clothes should be easy to wash and dry. Some people like to take jeans for evenings out but they can be tough to dry and should not be used for trekking. Avoid nylon and other synthetics, which can be very uncomfortable in hot weather. Ex-military or military style clothing and equipment is NOT recommended.
- Sun protection - hat, sunscreen, sunglasses

RECOMMENDED:
- A good quality, high-beam headlamp or torch for around the lodges and permanent tented sites at night. Some of these properties have limited lighting and are powered by generators that switch off at a certain time.
- Waterproof/windproof jacket is a good idea for wet days, and early morning or evening activities when it can be cool.
- Warm fleece and beanie for morning and evening activities including game drives where applicable.
- Personal medical kit. Large kits will be on hand at the lodges and from your leader (on trips that have a dedicated trip leader) but we recommend you carry items such as mild pain killers, electrolytes and bandaids.
- Insect repellent.
- Water bottle. The sale of bottled water contributes to an enormous environmental problem around the world. In addition to the water in bottles, the production of a 1 litre plastic bottle takes 2 litres of water and 200ml of oil. A large proportion end up in limited landfill or discarded in waterways and natural environments.
- Camera with spare battery or power bank.
- Binoculars

OPTIONAL:
- Ear plugs to guard against a snoring room-mate.
- A good book, a journal or smart phone with music player.

LUGGAGE LIMIT:
Please keep your luggage to a minimum. One small soft-sided bag plus a day pack (no more than 15-20kgs in total per person) is essential.We recommend against bringing hard/externally framed suitcases as they are difficult to store and can damage equipment and other travellers' belongings. If your trip is beginning and ending at the same location, excess luggage can usually be stored at your arrival/departure hotel and can be collected after your trip.

VALUABLES:
Please try to avoid bringing unnecessary valuables, and use your hotel safe. It’s also a good idea to purchase a money belt or pouch that is easily hidden. We strongly recommend that you photocopy all important documents e.g. air tickets, passport, vaccination certificate, etc. and keep the copies separate from the originals. While not valid, a photocopy makes it very much easier to obtain replacements if necessary.

BATTERIES/POWER:
Our trips have access to power to recharge batteries for phones and cameras every couple of days. We always recommend that you carry an extra battery or powerbank just in case.

CONSERVATIVE DRESS FOR WOMEN:
In many parts of Africa women travelers should dress modestly as there is a wide range of cultural differences. Wear skirts or shorts that reach just above the knee and tops that cover shoulders at a minimum. If visiting coastal areas wear a cover-up when you step off the beaches., PLASTIC BAG BANS ACROSS AFRICA
While Namibia holds people liable to a fine of N$500 or imprisonment for entering Game Parks with a plastic bag, Botswana has announced a countrywide ban on plastic bags to come into effect on 1 November 2018. The ban will make the importing, trading and commercial use of plastic bags a criminal offence. Exceptions will be made for plastics that are essential for health and hygiene. With these announcements, Botswana and Namibia join other African countries such as Tanzania, Kenya, Ethiopia, Uganda, Tunisia, Morocco, Rwanda, Uganda, Somalia and Eritrea that have banned plastic bags. South Africa imposed a levy on plastic bags in 2004 but they have not yet been banned.
Many countries are strictly enforcing this and have been searching luggage at border points. Camping stores are good for obtaining waterproof reusable bags, for dirty laundry etc, prior to departure.

Physical rating

 
2

A basic level of fitness is required to be able to enjoy this trip to the fullest.

Joining your group

Holiday Inn Rosebank, The Zone Phase 2, 187 Oxford Rd, Johannesburg, Johannesburg, 2196, SOUTH AFRICA

The Holiday Inn Rosebank is a comfortable modern hotel conveniently located just a short walk from the Rosebank Train Station and Zone Shopping Centre. The hotel facilities include an outdoor pool, a well-equipped gym and nearby golfing facilities. Guest rooms are fully air conditioned, include a TV with satellite channels, ensuite, tea and coffee maker and free WiFi. The Holiday Inn Rosebank is located 25kms from Johannesburg's O. R. Tambo International Airport.

Joining instructions

We recommend that if this is your first time to Johannesburg or if you are travelling alone, that you pre book an arrival transfer through. This can be done through your bookings consultant once you provide your flight details. There are two airports in Johannesburg; Lanseria and OR Tambo International. If you are taking a domestic flight to Johannesburg, please make sure to check your arrival airport and advise your booking agent.

If you have pre-booked a transfer, your driver will be waiting for you at the Information Counter in your respective arrival terminal (domestic/international). There are often large crowds here so please look carefully for your transfer representative who will be holding a card with your name on it. Please do not agree to travel with individuals that claim to be your driver and do not represent “Page Corporate Transfer Services”.

If you are unable to find your driver you can call +27 84 400 8896 at any time of the day or call the Page Corporate Transfer Services Office +27 11 452 6970 .If your flight has been delayed we recommend to contact our local emergency number to inform them of your arrival on +27 82 822 9407. If your cell phone is not on roaming you may prefer to purchase a pre-paid sim card at the OR Tambo Arrivals Hall. Some reliable providers in South Africa are MTN, Vodacom and Cell-C. The driver will wait for two hours after your scheduled arrival time. If you are delayed beyond one hour after your scheduled arrival time and you have not been able to inform the transfer provider, please make your own way to the hotel. If your driver does not have your transfer on record, please present a voucher that proves your transfer booking. Our airport representative will make arrangements accordingly.

Metered official Airport Taxis are also available. The cost to the hotel will be approximately ZAR400-650 which is payable to the driver. The taxi rank is located just outside the arrivals area. Please note that the journey can take anywhere from 30 minutes to 1 hour, depending on time of day and traffic.

If you'd prefer to make your own way from the Airport to our hotel in Johannesburg, the Gautrain is a fast and inexpensive option. Please note that the train only operates between 05:30am and 20:30pm daily. The train journey from O.R Tambo International Airport to Sandton takes 15 minutes. From Sandton train station you will need to catch another train just one stop to Rosebank Station. A one-way fare costs approximately 162.00ZAR. During Peak hours the trains depart every 12minutes (05:30-08:30 & 16:00-19:00).

Finishing your trip

Holiday Inn Rosebank, The Zone Phase 2, 187 Oxford Rd, Johannesburg, Johannesburg, 2196, SOUTH AFRICA

The Holiday Inn Rosebank is a comfortable modern hotel conveniently located just a short walk from the Rosebank Train Station and Zone Shopping Centre. The hotel facilities include an outdoor pool, a well-equipped gym and nearby golfing facilities. Guest rooms are fully air conditioned, include a TV with satellite channels, ensuite, tea and coffee maker and free WiFi. The Holiday Inn Rosebank is located 25kms from Johannesburg's O. R. Tambo International Airport.

We are happy to arrange a departure transfer for you at an additional charge. Please ask your booking agent if you would like to add this service and provide your flight details.

If you have pre-booked a departure transfer, please inform your leader and they will notify you of your exact departure transfer time. For international flights your transfer driver will be at reception 3.5 hours prior to the flight departure, while for domestic flights the driver will be there 2.5 hours prior to departure. If you need to contact the transfer provider, please call Page Corp Transfer Services on +27 84 400 8896.

If you want to make your own way to the Airport from our hotel in Johannesburg, you will need to catch the train from Rosebank station to Sandton Station. From here the Gautrain is a fast and inexpensive option. Please note that the train only operates between 05:30am and 20:30pm daily. The train journey to O.R Tambo International Airport from Sandton takes 15 minutes and costs approximately 125.00ZAR one way. During Peak hours the trains depart every 12minutes (05:30-08:30 & 16:00-19:00).

Alternatively the hotel can help organise a taxi for you. This will cost around 400-650ZAR which is payable to the driver. Depending on the time of day and traffic conditions, a transfer or taxi may take anywhere from 30 to 60 minutes.

Meals & dietary information

Breakfasts included: 4

Lunches included: 1

Dinners included: 4

Your group leader or representative will endeavour to cater for specific dietary requirements where possible, and vegetarianism and gluten intolerance will be catered for in most instances. There are, however some meals and activities that are fixed in advance and therefore cannot be modified to suit dietary requirements.

Please notify your booking consultant of any dietary requirements at the time of booking. For those suffering from particular food allergies, your group leader or representative will endeavour to disclose to their fullest knowledge the main ingredients in dishes being consumed. It is, however, your personal responsibility to ensure that you do not ingest any foods to which you are allergic.

Climate & seasonal information

Yes it is Africa, however the winter months can be very cold. Please bring warm winter clothing such as wool pullover and a jacket. Also consider thermals, gloves and a woolly hat.

In case of emergency

While we always endeavour to provide the best possible holiday experience, due to the nature of travel and the areas we visit sometimes things can and do go wrong. Should any issue occur while you are on your trip, it is imperative that you discuss this with your group leader or our local representative straight away so that they can do their best to rectify the problem and save any potential negative impact on the rest of your trip.

We recognise that there may be times when your group leader/local partner may not be able to resolve a situation to your satisfaction - if this is the case, please ask the leader to speak to their direct manager.

You may also choose to provide details in your online feedback, which we ask you to complete within 30 days of the end of your trip. Please do be aware that it is very difficult for us to provide any practical help after the trip is completed, so informing us while still travelling will give us the opportunity to resolve the issue in real-time.

For general contact details please use the following page: http://www.intrepidtravel.com/ourtrips/contact/

In case of a genuine crisis or emergency, you can reach our local office on the number below:

Peak Southern Africa: +27828229407

Accommodations

If you require a Sleep Apnea Machine to sleep please ensure that it is battery operated. Lodges and Permanent Tented Camps are often powered by generators which are turned off during the night.

Transportation


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