I would choose the Kruger National Park anyday and the only way to do it is self drive . I have never been on a "Safari" but I have been to the game reserve often. in fact most years since 1955
We went to ZA for the first time this year, spending four days in CT, before driving the garden route.
We finished in a private game reserve, and whilst not animal lovers ( and perhaps not one for the purists) stayed at Pumba. Fabulous, fabulous for a first timer and whilst our three week trip was fantastic in all aspects, to finish with a game reserve really topped off the holiday. So if you get the chance I would say go to KP, but you may not see the big five, as a "proper reserve"m as it were .
first timers in Nov 2016, we did a week capetown then drove along the garden route stopping overnight in knysna and on to Addo national elephant park for 4 days before flying back from port elizabeth to capetown for the remainder of our fortnight. Addo was fantastic. we hired a sit in car independent guide who took us to a herd of elephants where we watched the entire herd complete with babies walk in front of our car. we also did 4 x sunrise and sunset game drives which were great. we saw a pair of lions, elephants, buffalo, many types of antelope, zebras, warthogs, hyenas, emus etc etc. Very affordable and great introduction to animals with a very pretty garden route through tsitsikamma national park which is breathtaking. we loved SA so much we're coming back Jan 2018 to do kruger and capetown combo. any questions please ask :)Edited: 23 August 2017, 20:16
I have plans for Addo April 2018 what do you mean when you say you hired a sit in car with private guide? I was thinking of doing full day tours.
I've never met anyone who didn't think that their safari to Africa wasn't the most exciting,fun,and educational experience of their entire life. Even if you only have 4 days I urge you to at least get a taste of it. Safaris are simply highly addictive; I've already been 0n 14 and am planning on going on at least 3 next year. In fact I even moved to Nairobi,Kenya
I would say you can do both.
Along the route from Cape Town to Port Elizabeth there are a number of private game farms in the area. Also about 45 minutes outside of Port Elizabeth there is the Addo Elephant National Park which is home to the Big 5.
I would suggest taking 2 - 3 days to travel down the Garden Route, and then spending a day or 2 in Addo before flying from Port Elizabeth. That way you get to experience both the garden Route and the Safari you wanted.
My family and I (6 adults) are heading to SA for the first time in March also. We are there for 15 nights. We are spending spending 5 nights in Cape Town, 2 nights in Knysna, and 2 nights in Port Elizabeth (we have reserved a large van for driving the route). We are then flying from PLZ to JNB and have reserved another large van to drive from JNB to Kruger and are spending 4 nights at Baobab Ridge. Great reviews for a great price. We then drive back to JNB to head home. We considered flying to HDS but it saved us a considerable amount to rent the van and drive even including the fees it costs to bring the vehicle on site.