PRIVATE RESERVE AFRICAN SAFARI
Updated: Mar 30, 2020
Sabi Sand, Kruger National Park, South Africa
I will start by saying a private reserve safari is definitely the way to go. When staying with Tydon Safaris, we booked two days of a private safari and one day in the main area Kruger Park.
The two can't even compare. I'll touch more on that in a bit, but first more about Tydon Safari and the amazing experience they provided us with. If you book with them, I would highly recommend Leisel. She was such an amazing and knowledgable tour guide, and definitely went out of her way to show us these amazing animals up close.
We were lucky enough to be the only couple staying at camp so it was like we basically got a private tour! Leisel was our tour guide. She very clearly loved the wild and knew close to everything about the animals and land. Our safari was during dry season, so you could see clear across the bush. During wet season, that's not exactly the case as branches fill up with leaves and obstruct the view.
There are two drives per day- morning and evening.
The morning drives in October can get a bit chilly, so make sure to layer up! On our first drive out, we saw 4 out of the 5, "Big Five" (lion, rhino, elephant, and buffalo). I'm not sure if we got lucky or the timing was amazing, but we experienced some amazing things.
To name a few... -We were in the middle of a buffalo herd -Saw a lion coalition (three males) devouring an elephant carcass -Elephants trumpeting, mourning the loss of their friend -Baby hyenas drinking from their mother -Hyenas coming in for the scraps of the elephant carcass
During our night drive, we were able to see all three lions feasting and sleeping near the elephant carcass. It was getting close to curfew, but our guide was so amazing. She didn't mind pushing off dinner an hour or so to gawk at these amazing creatures. Keep in mind, all the photos below barely used a zoom lens.
Both the private and a public safaris were a good time. All the above photos are from the private reserve. I'm a fan of the private, because you can off-road and get super close to the animals. At one point, baby hyenas were sniffing our tires! It feels like you're on a real rough safari. The public part of Kruger is so vast that unless you have really good eyes, you might not be able to spot anything off in the distance since you have to stay on the paved roads. Plus civilian cars will stop wherever safari trucks are, essentially scaring off the animals and your hopes of seeing something cool. The benefit of the main Kruger Park area is that it is so vast that the majority of the animals spend time within those borders, so your chances of seeing more is higher. Probably the best route for kids, but it depends who you are traveling with and what you're looking to experience. Tydon Safaris is a really cool family run group that gave us such an amazing experience. With no cell service on the reserve, we were forced to relax and open up a non-fiction book or hangout in the lounge. They had on-site staff prepping each meal, including a traditional South African boma dinner. We felt right at home with all of the guides. Super friendly and extremely knowledgable. I have been recommending them to all of our friends that have been interested in an African safari!