Private Kruger Safari – Choose Klaserie
Everyone knows the Kruger Park as South Africa’s premier wildlife destination but the term ‘Kruger’ needs explaining. There is the state-run Kruger National Park itself, a huge public access reserve, and then there are private reserves nearby, comprising the Greater Kruger Area.
The private reserves – smaller areas with greater densities of wildlife – have a reputation for delivering a superior Kruger experience: better Big Five sightings, more comfort, exemplary service, but they come at a price – literally: these reserves are more expensive than the state-run park.
And that’s where Klaserie comes in. A private nature reserve set in the midst of a large conservation area contiguous with the Kruger National Park, Klaserie is able to offer a wide range of safari experiences – based on budget – without sacrificing the quality of wildlife watching. How? More competitively priced than some of its neighbouring private reserves, Klaserie accommodation ranges from luxurious hideaways and exclusive-use villas to rustic bush-camps and family lodges, ensuring that a private Kruger safari is accessible to all.
More compact than the vast Kruger Park and with guides who know the landscape and its natural inhabitants intimately, Klaserie can offer more frequent sightings of animals and more chances of interaction – predator versus prey for example. And does Klaserie have the Big Five (lion, elephant, rhino, leopard and buffalo)? Yes, plus all the other familiar heavyweights: hippo, giraffe and cheetah, and in fact the reserve runs an important rhino conservation programme along with projects covering just about anything from protecting African wild dogs to preserving large trees for nesting raptors.
The conservation ideal spreads to the local community too: drawing its human resources from nearby villages, Klaserie does much to uplift not only its employees but their children too. Upskilling local educators is funded by the reserve, as is literacy and life-skill training with school bursaries also available for talented children who would otherwise be overlooked.
When to go to Klaserie? It’s always tempting to go in the Kruger’s dry season – June to October – but it also depends what you want to combine it with. Cape Town makes a great combination with Klaserie – and you can fly direct between the two – but Cape Town has its dry season from November through April. Or you can spread the itinerary a little further and take in Botswana’s Okavango Delta and Victoria Falls – also best between June and October, or keep it local with a combination Klaserie/Sabi Sands safari, giving you the best of the private Kruger reserves on one trip.