My name is Pierre Terblanche. Like many South Africans, my relationship with the Kruger National Park (KNP or as many locals like to call it 'Kruger') dates back to my earliest childhood memory.
I've been a regular and loyal visitor since my birth in 1960. Some of my fondest memories, as a young graduate, were my many road-trips to the park; whenever and with whoever could fit in my car. It's safe to say that I've been to Kruger more than a 100 times - and I'm still counting.
My road-trips were put on hold when adulthood came knocking because unfortunately, they weren't paying my bills. However, it wasn't long before I found a way to combine my love for the African bushveld with my day job. I started a business in 1993 that allowed me to travel to all corners of Southern Africa including; Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, and Mozambique.
I've embraced nature since I could walk, and I've shared everything that I've come to discover about the African bushveld since I could talk. Now, in the more wiser years of my life and with fewer bills to pay; I feel it is now my time to give back what I've come to experience over the years. So, please allow me the pleasure to invite you on a road-trip to Kruger…
"Pierre looked after us superbly well from pick up at the airport to our return. He took care of everything; travel, meals, accommodation, golf, etc. His knowledge of the Kruger National Park was immense which made the 3-day visit well worthwhile, and seeing all of the Big 5 in one day was the icing on the cake!"
- Phil McEwan
"Pierre, Caroline and I cannot thank you enough for a truly memorable and enjoyable experience. Your knowledge of the Kruger National Park was extensive, and you had the knack of finding the locality of the beautiful wildlife. The evenings around the "Braai" and food and refreshment were excellent. The accommodation, though basic, was clean and comfortable and entirely in keeping with the experience. Love to repeat the trip. Thanks again."
- John and Caroline Treday
some 'green' Kruger facts about me
I've been on 10 three-day walks in the park. Don't be alarmed; we were accompanied by guides with guns.
I've done two 4x4 safaris that included sleeping in the bush without any fences.
I've been part of a project identifying and marking trees in several camps inside Kruger.
I've arranged an eight-day ISO-conference for 24 delegates.
I've endured two trips with foreign friends from the South to the North of Kruger. This is a journey I won't recommend as it requires too much traveling and not enough time to relax.
I've seen the Big 5 (lion, leopard, elephant, buffalo, rhino) twice in one day with 15 Scotsmen during the British and Irish Lions Rugby tour in 2009.
I have also completed courses in identifying trees and birds by South Africa’s top experts. I am currently a member of the SA Dendrological Society. Yes, I am a tree hugger and proud to be one!
Considering all of the above, you can rest assured that I am a true Kruger enthusiast. This brings me to my offer...
Allow Merops Guided Tours to arrange and escort you on your journey to the Kruger National Park (other destinations available). My goal is to help you get the most out of your trip; to experience the way locals, like myself, experience the African bushveld in a cost-effective, comfortable, and secure manner. I will help you plan your trip from A-to-Z, in fact, I will even arrange it for you! All you need to do is pitch up at the airport on time. You can leave the general concerns like; accommodation, car hire, food, getting lost, personal security, and the rest to me.
NOTE: Experiencing Kruger does not have to cost you an arm or a leg (figuratively speaking). Therefore, I only book public camps. These camps still allow you to experience the grandeur of the park at a much friendlier price. Instead save your money for the many activities, treats, and shopping Kruger has to offer. There's no need to pay 10 times more for a bed!
upon your arrival
When you arrive in Johannesburg, South Africa, I will be waiting for you in the arrivals hall of O.R. Tambo International Airport - ready to greet you with a warm South African welcome.
Should your flight arrive in the evening, I will provide you with overnight accommodation at my venue (www.merops.co.za), which is a 33km drive from O.R. Tambo International Airport.
After a refreshing night's bed rest, we hit the road early the next morning to Kruger. You can choose if you want to take the direct or scenic route. The scenic route might require one more sleep-over before Kruger.
Once in Kruger, I'll help you settle in and introduce you to everything Kruger has to offer and together we can plan your itinerary for the next five days.
My partner, Juanita, will accompany us on the trip and together we will prepare an authentic South African feast for you every night; braai (barbeque), boerewors, pap, potjiekos, you won't be left hungry!
As our trip comes to an end, I will again personally drop you off at O.R. Tambo International Airport - no need to arrange shuttles or Gautrain transport.
Six-seater vehicle and fuel.
Entrance and conservation fees / Wild Card (Foreign tourists).
All accommodation in public camps in Kruger.
Breakfasts (brunch) and dinners (including a bottle of South African wine per person per day).
Welcome bag including a Kruger travel map.
Water and snacks while in the vehicle.
One night/sunset drive.
Access to all my knowledge of Kruger!
Arts, crafts, and curios.
Additional SANParks organised activities.
Peace of mind knowing that Merops Guided Tours will arrange and take care of every detail for you, allowing you more time to relax and experience the splendour of the Kruger National Park.
when should you visit Kruger?
May-Sep: The animals are more visible, and it is not that hot.
Oct-Nov: This period marks the beginning of the rainy season and the arrival of the new generation of animals. It also falls outside of local school holidays, meaning fewer crowds.
Dec-Feb: It is very hot (30 degrees Celsius / 86 degrees Fahrenheit ). It is also malaria season, and the bush is very dense during this period, making it challenging to spot animals.
The South is popular for more sightings of Big 5 (Satara and South). My favourite camps are Berg-en-Dal, Pretoriuskop, and Satara for game-viewing. There are other beautiful camps as well, e.g., Olifants, Mopane, and Lower-Sabie.
I will arrange for five days of accommodation, divided between different camps. Please note that accommodation is subject to availability, Kruger accommodation is ALWAYS in high demand and bookings have to be made well in advance. Bookings are open 11 months in advance.