When staying in the Escarpment area, you are never more than about half an hour from one of the gates into the Kruger National Park and so it’s worth taking yourself there for a day. Unless you really know a lot about safari, it should never replace the experience of guided game drives and walks in the company of an expert who can not only find the animals but also explain them to you. However to complement guided game drives, or for those who feel they know their way around their African wildlife, it makes an exciting and rewarding way to see game. The park is laced with a network of roads, some tarmac and many more graded tracks (passable in a normal saloon car). There is a real thrill in setting off into the park, under your own steam, equipped with a map showing roads, waterholes and notable features, a pair of binoculars, a bird and mammal guide, and perhaps a packed lunch. You can then do whatever takes your fancy: spend half an hour with a herd of zebra or impala (which would never happen on a guided game drive), or head for a waterhole and sit with your bird book trying to identify as many species as possible, or simply to drive slowly around, taking in the amazing scenery and hoping to spot some big game.