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 Post subject: Another 5 boring days in Kruger.. Someone's has to do it!!!
Unread postPosted: Wed Jan 13, 2010 3:47 pm 
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This time I decided to do my TR a little differently. Rather than a day by day account I’m going to do it in categories. So this first posting is on the camps and other facilities we used during our 5 day trip. This trip I was accompanied by my daughter whom I will call M and her friend of 14 years , C, an all girls trip. A very special Mom and daughter time :D

We entered through Phalaborwa gate at lunch time on Wednesday having done the last bit of shopping at the famous Spar close to the gate. The “toll booth” gate system was not functioning as the computer system was out of order, however our entry was handled quickly and efficiently by the staff in the office, so after a short stop we were finally in Kruger. :dance: :dance: Our 1st stop was, of course, the well known hang out of the Phalaborwa-mites…. Sable dam. The dam has a lot of water in it at the moment. The hide was in good repair and the bush lovely and green. Such a pleasure to see it in this state after our trip in March 2009 when everything was dry and brown and the dam had so little water in it.
We took the low maintenance route round Masorini , a first for me. What a pleasure to have this small piece of Kruger to ourselves. We then had to head back to the Masorini picnic site to use the toilets. They were also in an excellent condition and clean. The picnic site was well maintained. By now we were tired as it’s a long journey from Johannesburg so we headed directly to Letaba. Once again our booking -in process was handled quickly and efficiently. :clap: :clap: : Our hut was no36, one of the ‘cheap ‘ ones near the restaurant with no kitchen or ablutions, but in my opinion they have probably the best view of any huts anywhere in the park. In fact for many years now, these have been our first choice of accommodation when staying in Letaba. As usual everything was ready for us and in good working order. The shared ablutions were clean and in good working order. My only complaint was that the fridge smelled like something had died in it. :evil: It was clean and we could not locate the source of the pong. I have filled in a guest feed -back form, suggesting it is cleaned with bicarbonate of soda and wiped with a solution of vanilla essence and water, which usually removes all smells from a fridge.

Next chapter will be about Mopane and Olifants

_________________
"In the end we conserve only that which we love, we love only that which we understand, we understand only that which we are taught"
(Baba Dioum, Senegalese Ecologist)


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 Post subject: Re: Another 5 boring days in Kruger.. Someone's has to do it!!!
Unread postPosted: Thu Jan 14, 2010 7:26 am 
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Joined: Sun Jan 20, 2008 2:52 pm
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Thank you for the comments everyone
Micetta and Billy, yes I can be a housewife when I have to, but never willingly :twisted:
MM I love that Spar and we also filled up at the petrol station next door. They also gave us service above and beyond the call of duty
LS I had to put myself through the stress of going there to save others from having to do it :lol:
Katje, CC Awb and Foxy Than you for taking the time to read my report :D
Inyati I would love to name the staff, but I'm notoriously bad at remebering names (probably due to the fact that we meet and treat over 500 new patients a year where I work, my brain can't cope with any more names :shock: )

Here are some photos M took around the camp
The resident bush buck
Image

The view from our hut
Image

And our hut with the domestic worker cleaning the braai

Image

And yes, much to my surprise the SO allowed us to take his car :big_eyes: Never had that happen before, it was great to have the height and added comfort in the park.

_________________
"In the end we conserve only that which we love, we love only that which we understand, we understand only that which we are taught"
(Baba Dioum, Senegalese Ecologist)


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 Post subject: Re: Another 5 boring days in Kruger.. Someone's has to do it!!!
Unread postPosted: Thu Jan 14, 2010 8:55 am 
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On Thursday morning we drove up to Mopane. On the way we stopped at the delightful picnic site on the H5 road to Giryondo border post. The Makhadzi picnic site is a favourite of mine. :D It seems to be off the beaten track and we have never found it busy there. The site is always clean and did not let us down this time. The attendant makes lovely flowers from tin cans which he sells to the guests passing through. A new and innovative way to recycle. :clap: I only have praise for this picnic site and sincerely hope it remains as quiet and peaceful as we have always found it. One cannot go any further along the H5 unless you are going to the Limpopo Transfrontier park.
We arrived at Mopane at lunch time and once again our check- in was handles quickly and efficiently . Our Chalet was ready for us and everything was in good order. Now as an old Kruger fanatic I’m almost embarrassed :redface: :redface: to say that although I have stopped many times at this camp I have never before stayed there. I WILL be back! It’s a lovely camp and I have always enjoyed sitting in the deck having a cool drink or coffee. M and C went off to the pool once we had unpacked while I relaxed with a book in the air-conditioned room. They reported that the pool was great and came back refreshed and ready for an afternoon adventure. Unfortunately none of us took photos around this beautiful camp

Friday was a nightmare for me as I woke up with a migraine, probably induced by the heat! :twisted: We drove down towards Olifants where we were to spend the night. At the southern end of the Tsende loop I had to break a Kruger rule and get out of the car to allow my daughter to drive. I could no longer see out of my eyes. C is a qualified field guide so she checked the area carefully and kept watch while M and I hopped out the car and ran around to change places. I don’t like doing this, but I could no longer continue to drive without being dangerous to other vehicles and of course the 3 of us.
The girls stopped at Letaba day visitors area . They cooked breakfast while I wallowed in the pool in an attempt to reduce the headache. This was a first for me. I have never used the new day visitor’s site at Letaba before. It seemed clean and well kept. The pool is a great idea and the people who used it while I was there seemed to be doing much the same I was… cooling off so you could continue the journey refreshed and cool. The only negative comment would be that the little shop was closed as the fridges were broken. Guests had to go the shop in the main camp if they needed anything. The break helped the migraine and as I had eaten I was now able to take some tablets and started to feel better
Our arrival at Olifants was well managed and after the usual formalities we moved into our hut. Once again, I only have praise for reception staff and the standard of our accommodation. If I had to make a negative comment it would be that they did not have change at reception when I paid the daily conservation fees for the 2 girls who are not on wild cards But this is really a minor issue and between the 3 of us we put together the exact amount
Once again, well done to the staff and thank you for the excellent service

_________________
"In the end we conserve only that which we love, we love only that which we understand, we understand only that which we are taught"
(Baba Dioum, Senegalese Ecologist)


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 Post subject: Re: Another 5 boring days in Kruger.. Someone's has to do it!!!
Unread postPosted: Thu Jan 14, 2010 2:53 pm 
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After an early morning drive on Saturday we packed up and moved 20 meters to the picnic site at Olifants. :lol: :lol: We did not want to move out of the hut after 9am as we know how busy the domestics are trying to get the huts ready for the next occupants.
We hired the usual skottle and had a wonderful breakfast. The picnic site is well maintained and the attendant, an elderly lady, was very pleasant and friendly. : :clap:
Next stop, after the most exciting sighting I’ve ever had in Kruger (you’ll just have to wait till I get to the sightings chapters) we arrived at Satara at 11.55am. The reception was busy so we had to wait a few minutes to be served, but as was the norm for this trip, everything was efficiently and speedily managed. The receptionist kindly also booked us on a night drive for the following evening in Skukuza.
Unusually for this trip, when we arrived at our allocated hut it was not ready. The cleaner was still busy and explained that the previous occupants had departed very late. :twisted: :rtm: Now this, in my opinion, is unfair both to the staff and the in-coming guests. I place no blame on the Satara staff, assuming what she told us was correct. We simply relaxed under the trees and within 15 mins she had our accommodation ready for us. :clap: I really like the upgraded accommodation at Satara with the enlarged verandah and upgraded ablution facilities. Well done to Kruger for these changes. :clap: :dance: :dance:
Sunday night was spent at Skukuza…. Never my favourite camp as it is too big and too busy. As per our pattern thus far on this trip we arrived at around lunch time and reception was yet again on the ball.
Our allocated hut was no7 and as I walked in I noticed something was wrong. There was only one bath towel (for 3 of us). No hand towels or soaps. :huh: I immediately phoned reception (about 2.30pm) and asked for towels. After unpacking we went for a swim at the nearby pool. When we returned an hour later there will still no towels. :twisted: I phoned reception again but could no reply for about 15 min. Eventually at 4pm I spoke to them again and within 5 mins they were delivered. :D
At 4.45pm we went back to the gate area for our night drive. Our guide was Oupa, a very pleasant and informative man. It was not his fault we saw so little, although I must say I would not have chosen the S114 as we have never had any luck along this route in the past. He did take time to give us information about the few birds and animals we did see and he was very knowledgeable. :clap: :clap: Even C our own friendly field guide could not find fault with his information and attitude to queries and his guests.

On Monday we had to leave for home. Our trip was over, with just a last comment that our exit was handled efficiently. :cry:

_________________
"In the end we conserve only that which we love, we love only that which we understand, we understand only that which we are taught"
(Baba Dioum, Senegalese Ecologist)


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