Welcome Miles and Marina.
I assume you are familiar with the SanParks website where you can check accommodaion availabilty and do bookings.
Unfortunately Sanparks does not allow "free camping".
Fortunately there are campsites in close proximity to most entrance gates to the various parks so if you do not get a campsite in the park you will at least be able to take day drives. Not the ideal solution.
Forgot to add, I suggest when you have arrived in the country and you have a more planned itinerary keep checking the accommodation availabity and adjust your plans accordingly. If a campsite is available it can be occupied on same day.
Miles, you will not have to book everywhere ahead, before you even arrive in SA. Maybe book the first park ahead, so you are assured of number one. From there you check their website and plan the rest of your yourney around availability. During the week most of these parks have stands available, it is only over weekends that you may experience a problem if you leave it to late to book.
Should you ship to Port Elizabeth in the Eastern Cape it would be a good place to start. The Addo Elephant Park is closeby, also Camdeboo, Mountain Zebra and Karoo.
Can your shipping agent not give you a solution about the personal belongings? Maybe ship it separately in a container, hopefully on the same ship as your vehicle.
We welcome you to South Africa and hope you will have a most enjoyable stay. Please keep us up to date with your travels and experiences.
Regards, Colin & Freda
Miles, we'll teach you some Afrikaans when you are in the country. By the time you leave you'll even be a Springbok supporter! I recommend the Lions as a replacement for the Redds.
Miles, most welcome on the forum, and evenly welcome to the land of Rugby, Sunshine, Braaivleis and Cheverlet.
You already received some advise above, pitty Kruger National Park is a bit far out of your way, that is more or less our pride and joy.
When here, drive safe and enjoy our beautiful country, please keep us updated with your travels, dont forget to upload some photos.
Have a LEKKER time here. (Lekker is our expression for a most enjoyable time).
Mata Mata is a Namibia/SA border post. If you do not get accomodation it is an easy day drive south to Twee Revieren along the Aob River.
At Twee Revieren is the SA/Botswana Customs Office where you can do the necessary paperwork. Unfortunately not familiar with the exit points from Kgalagadi into Botswana proper but there must be via Nossob camp. Else you might have to enter at the Middelputs border post which is close to Twee Revieren.
Welcome here on the forum. Hope you get your belongings sorted before you arrive.
This is Africa, previous years not giving dates, you would not have had trouble with your belongings, and at that time I would have said this is South Africa. Thus this being Africa please be patient. You will get there, luckily you started early. Just hope it was early enough.
Miles, you are in very good hands with Herman regarding advice and tips for your specific plans.
Should you perhaps look for storage in Port Elizabeth, I can refer you to Stor-age Self Store. I know you find this type of storage in all major towns, it looks like a lot of single garages. You provide your own lock and key for your store, take your goods there, lock it up and leave with your keys. Our son stored furniture in one of those for three years.
Their website is www.stor-age.co.za.
Miles welcome to the Forum.
You could try getting a "Wild Card", it is available on the Sanparks site. Take a look at the various clusters available to non SA residants. If you have one of these, you get a reduced rate at all the Sanparks listed on the cluster you have. The rate reduction is on your daily charge to the Reserve, thus you will only pay for accomodation. I am not sure if the non resident cluster includes Botswana and Namibia.
Hope you guys enjoy yor stay and trip.
Miles, either you're sitting with a translation dictionary or you are fooling us. You understand Afrikaans already. Mooi man!
Miles regarding the Wild Card, we normally renew our card at any/most national parks. I am not sure about a new one.
Miles, as far as I am aware, you can purchase a Wildcard at the entrance of most of our National Parks. My daughter and son-in-law with theirs friends, also Australian citizens, got theirs at Kruger gate (Kruger Nat. Park)
You then do not get the proper card, but rather just an official receipt with the number and just show it at any entrance. This however, could have changed.
Hope you get sorted and have a wonderfull journey.