One of the goals of our 2016 RTW trip was to visit somewhere south of the equator (like, REALLY south) and we were lucky that things worked out to head down to South Africa. It was a warm and lovely change of pace after being in Sweden in the winter. We flew into Johannesburg and rented a car for the 5 hour drive to Kruger for a self-guided safari (a beautiful drive!). It’s insanely easy to organize, as the S.A. National Parks website is easy and convenient to book through. We booked a night or two and then booked “as we went” which is a very last-minute and short attention span thing to do. We spent 5 days meandering around the park.
Choices are basically what you bring in to the park or eating at the park restaurants. These range from fast food to full sit-down meals, but definitely vary by camp. Bungalows have grills, so you can pick up food at the shops in the park and make yourself a BBQ (brai) or just wing it and eat at the restaurants.
Animals. Ridiculous amounts of animals. We knew it’d be a great trip when we saw a bull elephant within 4 minutes of entering the gate. This is seriously one of the most spectacular places on earth. We saw the big 5 and then some, and only drove through the lower 3rd of the park.
One very strong recommendation is to book one of the walking safaris (which you can do on the SAN parks website when you book accommodation) and a night/morning safari.
You’re not there to shop (although every camp has a little gift shop).
We stayed (in this order, entering through Orpen gate) Satara, Skukuza (2 nights), Pretoriuskop (exiting Pretoriuskop gate). You can indeed spend $$ to visit the private camps, but the park camps are comfortable, basic, and a ridiculously good value.