Transfers: a good idea

Unless you are sure that you know what you are doing, avoid trying to save a few bucks on a transfer by self-driving to all but the most easily located lodges in the private reserves around the Kruger.

Your GPS is effectively useless and will get you lost. Maps are instantly out of date. Roads close or become unserviceable, get moved to stop erosion, or just shift a bit when sand tracks are regraded after the rains. Things that look like roads turn out to be animal tracks that evaporate in the bush.

Landmarks change or disappear. Hazards such as washed away bridges appear overnight. Lodges burn down and get rebuilt somewhere else.

Whilst it may appear an exciting prospect to get a bit lost in the bush, getting properly lost is more likely. And that is potentially dangerous. It is easy to get completely disorientated even in a small area of monotone bush. You are unlikely to have supplies of water, fuel or food to cope, or the ability to deal with any mechanical failures. There may be no help passing for days if you go off the beaten track.

There are many moving parts out of your control in the wilderness, and even the best laid GPS track is only as good as the last time it was navigated, which was probably not today. And that may have been by someone who had a real 4×4 vehicle rather than the rental car you think you might force through that sodden riverbed/ v-shaped gully/ the nearest copse of trees.

Wild animals are an obvious peril. A herd of breeding elephant is like a threatening gang when you are on your own in a sedan car.

You are not supposed to be driving around in the middle of the bush. As well as being unsafe, you may well ruin the peace and quiet of other guests who are out exploring with their guides.

If you absolutely have to drive, we will try and help and give you up to date directions from the destination lodge.

Rather than arriving stressed for your expensive vacation, put a few bucks into the pocket of someone who knows what they are doing.