Let's not beat around the bush. Even though South-Africa might be the most "Westernised" African country, for some of you, visiting the country might be a little bit daunting. The language differences, driving on the "wrong" side of the road (unless you're from the UK), etc...
Lots of people would like a guide to drive them around and accompany them. But if you're traveling as a couple, the cost of a private guide is much too high (the extra room, his/her fee, ...).
Maybe choose group travel then? To be honest that might also be far from ideal. The cost (per person) of the guide will be easy enough to carry. But there's disadvantages too. With a big bus you hardly get anywhere you really want to get. And you lose lots of time; by the time the last person has gone to the toilet, the first person's bladder is full again.
From now on The Africa Bug offers a nice in-between solution! We will travel in small groups (a minimum of 2 people; a maximum of four), and yet offer personal guiding that's very affordable.
How do we do that? Simple!
By doing all transfers ourselves, and by doing all (nature-)guiding and hosting ourselves. In other words we are not extra attendants on top of the regular guides already present at the safari lodges. We simply replace these guides with our own The Africa Bug guides. As such we are not an extra cost on your final bill.
Note that we have all necessary certificates to guide and drive you, in Kruger National Park as well as in the private reserves. We are also allowed to drive on public roads with a large group of people.
Side note; lots of "foreign" guides take chances in this regard. They drive people around on public roads, without having a PDP ("Professional Driver's Permit"). Or they go into the National Park without DEAT registration (which as a nature guide you can only get if you have valid FGASA and CATHSSETA certificates). They operate "below the radar" by driving in closed vehicles without any logos. But if anything goes wrong (a car accident, an animal that hurts anyone), then there can be serious consequences and you might not be insured at all. Please be careful when hiring your guide(s)!
Why two formulas?
Our guided tour is composed of three parts; one part in the Drakensberg mountains, one part in the lowveld but "non-safari", and a last part that's pure safari in a private reserve with open borders to Kruger.
If we want to replace the guide and host by ourselves, that has to be allowed. For the first and second part of your trip that is no problem. But during the last part of your trip it is less easy, because at that time you spend your days at a lodge, and that lodge already employs a guide and host, to help you and all other customers that are booked in at that time.
If at such lodge you would like to be guided and hosted by The Africa Bug, then there's only one way; you need to rent the lodge in it's entirety. This has a significant effect on the price. Hence why we compiled two formulas;
a formula where during your safari days you are not guided/hosted by The Africa Bug (but we made sure you stay at a fantastic lodge where ewe know the guide and manager).
a formula where we rent the lodge in it's entirety, and where The Africa Bug will host you an guide you during all game drives.
Even though the second formula is more expensive, it doesn't have to be unaffordable. For example, if you come with a party of four then the price per person is a mere 200€ more, in comparison with what someone would pay when booking the "partly guided" tour for two people.
And this second formula certainly has an extra advantage; the safari vehicle that comes with the lodge is completely ours. We do not share it with anyone else. This means your group has much more freedom regarding decisions to be made while on game drive (how long to take for the sundowner-stop? What animals will we focus on? Etc...).
Our guided trips always start on a Monday. Following dates are available;
5 March 2018 TAKEN 12 March 2018 TAKEN 19 March 2018 TAKEN 23 April 2018 30 April 2018 7 May 2018 (*) 9 July 2018 TAKEN 16 July 2018 TAKEN 3 September 2018 10 September 2018 17 September 2018 24 September 2018 1 October 2018 8 October 2018 15 October 2018
(* only available for the partly-guided tour, the last transfer - back to Hoedspruit Airport - will be performed by someone else)