Adventure on a budget: 5 game drive experiences for under R250

Picture: Git Stephen Gitau/Pexels.

Picture: Git Stephen Gitau/Pexels.

Published Feb 2, 2022


Want to go on a bush adventure? There’s no need to break your bank or dip into your savings when there are so many game drives and safari experiences available from R250 and under.

5 game drive experiences for R250 and under:

Isimangaliso Wetland Park

Where: St Lucia, KZN

Cost: R28 for adults, R16 for children under 16 and, R290 per vehicle


iSimangaliso Wetland Park is a huge protected area along the coast of KZN. It stretches 220 kilometres from Cape St Lucia to the Mozambique border and is a World Heritage Site. The area is dominated by Lake St Lucia and St Lucia Estuary, with its network of coastal lakes, dunes, subtropical forests, swamps and wetland systems that are a haven for indigenous fauna and flora.

There are many ways to enjoy the beauty that surrounds St Lucia. From bush and beach safaris, hippo and croc boat cruises, Big 5 safaris, bicycle tours and rentals, Zulu cultural tours, and deep-sea fishing - these are just a few of the many activities available.

Mongena Private Game Lodge

Where: Hammanskraal, Gauteng

Cost: R250 per adult and R150 for children


The 4-star Mongena Private Game Lodge is conveniently located 35 kilometres from Pretoria, a direct drive on the N1. Nestled in the malaria-free north–western region of the Big 5 Dinokeng Game Reserve, just 40 minutes from Pretoria and 1.5 hours from OR Tambo International Airport and Johannesburg, it is ideal for a day trip to the bush. Mongena Game Lodge provides guests from near and far with a breathtaking safari and game drive experience.

The 18 500-hectare game reserve is home to lions, cheetahs, elephants, buffalo, rhinos, and leopards, making it a true big five game reserve inside the borders of South Africa. An optional 2. 5-hour guided game drive at 09h00 is offered exclusively to lunch guests at a discounted price of R250 for adults and R150 for kids aged 3-11 yrs.

Augrabies Falls National Park

Where: Augrabies Falls, Northern Cape

Cost: R60 per adult and R30 per child


Aukoerebis or the Great Noise, is a region in the dry Northern Cape where the Khoi people live among rocks, waterfalls, and undulating rivers. A visit is like going back in time, venturing through the stony terrain conjuring up images of how the planet was before man developed it. This is the spot to come prepared with sunblock to enjoy a day of exploring by food, embracing earth’s natural beauty.

Its position makes it an ideal stopover for those travelling to or from the Kgalagadi National Park. Augrabies National Park was established for a number of reasons, one of which is to protect the area's natural flora and wildlife, as well as to study the many species of animals that thrive here. The park also intends to enlighten visitors while also safeguarding the region to guarantee that it remains in the same natural, undisturbed state in which it was discovered.

Phezulu Safari Park

Where: Valley of a Thousand hills, KZN

Cost: R220 for adults and R110 for children


Phezulu offers an hour-long picturesque game drive through the Valley of a Thousand Hills to their visitors. Game drives begin at 9 am and run every hour on the hour until 4 pm. One of their knowledgeable guides will transport you in a covered 4WD vehicle where you will learn about the local animals and plants while taking in the breathtaking vistas. Bush buck, wildebeest, impala, blesbok, zebra, and giraffe, as well as a variety of bird species, can be seen on the drive. They also offer segway tours, hiking and a reptile park.

Kololo Game Reserve

Where: Vaalwater, Limpopo

Cost: R220 per person


Discover Kololo Game Reserve in all its splendour in an open safari vehicle (with a roof) guided by one of their experienced rangers. During this safari, the ranger will educate visitors on everything there is to know about the reserve, assist in spotting bird species, and provide knowledge on wild creatures, plants, and trees. Only available to those staying at the hotel.