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 Post subject: Restaurants Closed for February/March 2014!!!
Unread postPosted: Tue Dec 03, 2013 9:11 pm 
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Joined: Sun Mar 20, 2005 2:13 pm
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Location: England
I have been trying to book a bush braai at Olifants in February 2014, but have just received an email from the camp advising that they will not being doing braai's at that time as the restaurant will be closed for the WHOLE month due to refurbishment for Mugg & Bean, does anyone know what the situation is with obtaining meals at Olifants and are other camps also affected. We are travelling from the UK and will not be able to self-cater the whole time as won't have a decent cool bag to carry food around in and it is not practical. We are also staying at Pretoriuskop and Lower Sabie and will be visiting other camps/picnics site for lunch so would appreciate any information as to whether these are also affected and whether any alternative facilities will be available. HELP please someone. :pray:


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 Post subject: Re: Restaurants Closed for February 2014!!!
Unread postPosted: Wed Dec 04, 2013 12:54 am 
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Sandybabe, you can buy a coolbag (price roughly R10) at Pick 'n Pay (and most other supermarkets) and then use frozen juice boxes to keep your food cold between camps. You can also have markets vacuuum pack your meat and then freeze it and (in my experience) it usually stays frozen between camps. No need to stress about restaurants. I've managed just fine with a softsided coolbag or two and frozen juice boxes to keep my food cold for several weeks in both KNP and KTP. HTH


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 Post subject: Re: Restaurants Closed for February 2014!!!
Unread postPosted: Wed Dec 04, 2013 1:01 am 
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Frozen juice boxes are a great idea, arks! I'm stealing that idea. :)

I agree with arks (even beyond her nifty trick) to not stress about the restaurant situation. We enjoyed stocking up on groceries outside of the park and planning out some nice meals.

Enjoy your trip! :)

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 Post subject: Re: Restaurants Closed for February 2014!!!
Unread postPosted: Wed Dec 04, 2013 6:06 am 
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There is no way a cheap plastic bag with frozen fruit juice/water is going to keep cold for the whole day in February - the hottest month of the year unless you drive around with the aircon on all day and windows closed which is an absolute nono. They do not even work in the winter months as it gets very hot during the day. I have tried various methods in just about every month of the year and it can be very risky with meat and especially things like chicken. Hopefully there will be food in the shops that can be bought and braaied


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 Post subject: Re: Restaurants Closed for February 2014!!!
Unread postPosted: Wed Dec 04, 2013 8:16 am 
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Sandybabe - the suggestion from arks can work if you also wrap your frozen/vacuum packed meat in a couple of layers of newspaper. We did that many years ago and still had frozen meat at the end of a long journey from Musina to Johannesburg (we did not use frozen juice bottles either). Oh, by the way, that was also in February....

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 Post subject: Re: Restaurants Closed for February 2014!!!
Unread postPosted: Wed Dec 04, 2013 9:10 pm 
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Joined: Sun Mar 20, 2005 2:13 pm
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Location: England
This is all very well but we will be travelling from JNB airport straight to the park and may not have time or space in the car to pick up shopping en route. We have now received an email advising the dates of closures of the restaurants around the park and the restaurants in all the camps we are staying in will all be closed so we shall have to totally self cater. This is not very good for visitors coming from overseas, we are not good BBQ'uers only having 1/2 are year and as we will have to buy most things in camp, will the shops in the camps be fully stocked with extra food to allow for everyone to be self catering? I'm really not sure what is best to do, whether to try to change to other camps which have got restaurants open, not much choice really or pray that by tying a yellow ribbon on the mirror someone will take pity on us and invite us for a Braai. :pray:


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 Post subject: Re: Restaurants Closed for February 2014!!!
Unread postPosted: Wed Dec 04, 2013 9:35 pm 
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Good thing about the barbeque is that there will always be someone to show you the ropes :wink:

But dont worry
Basics like rice, pasta, veggies tinned food,bread etc will be there enough

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 Post subject: Re: Restaurants Closed for February 2014!!!
Unread postPosted: Wed Dec 04, 2013 10:03 pm 
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Sandybabe, I have not had the email from Sanparks as yet, but can recommend a trip from Lower Sabie to Crocodile bridge for a snack - toasted sandwich, at the shop/ take away.
Also it's worth going to the Spar at Komatipoort (5 minutes away from Croc Bridge ) for great meat, fresh rolls, cheeses etc
If you are entering at a gate further north, there are threads about shops and shopping to help you.
If you do get to a Pick and Pay, their green, navy, lilac cloth, but tinfoil lined cool bags, available at till points are as effective as the expensive, imported Coleman coolers! I think they are meant to keep your purchases cold till you get home but they last for many months and only cost about R15 or £1.
Woolworths would also be worth finding as they have the best ready made meals and salads etc.


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 Post subject: Re: Restaurants Closed for February 2014!!!
Unread postPosted: Wed Dec 04, 2013 10:27 pm 
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kite wrote:
.......... but can recommend a trip from Lower Sabie to Crocodile bridge for a snack - toasted sandwich, at the shop/ take away............

No more take aways at Crocodile Bridge, the kitchen has been closed. :(
One can only get things like pies and cake which does not require kitchen facilities.

Still good coffee on offer tho.

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 Post subject: Re: Restaurants Closed for February 2014!!!
Unread postPosted: Wed Dec 04, 2013 11:03 pm 
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Sandybabe, it is unfortunate that your visit co-insides with the change over.

To be totally honest, I think you will find that self catering will be easier than you think now. When you leave the airport which gate are you going to enter the park in, and which is your first camp?

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 Post subject: Re: Restaurants Closed for February 2014!!!
Unread postPosted: Wed Dec 04, 2013 11:18 pm 
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We are entering through Numbi gate and staying at Pretoriouskop for 1 night and then onto Lower Sabie for 2 nights and then Olifants for 2 nights leaving through Phalaborwa. Will try to get some shopping en route maybe in White River however, we have diet issues so shopping can take some time, do you know if any of the accommodation has microwaves as well as the two rings and BBQ?


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 Post subject: Re: Restaurants Closed for February 2014!!!
Unread postPosted: Thu Dec 05, 2013 12:16 am 
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Probably no microwave in PK but if you are in the renovated perimeter units in LS - they do have them.

What some people have done in the past is to email a shopping list to a store so that the stuff can be picked up. Pick and Pay have done this for people and possibly Spar. Their website have enough detail on them for you to draw up a decent list at your leisure.

I found this post that gives an idea of how it works.

We come from the UK and while for our first few visits we relied totally on the restaurants we have turned increasingly to self catering - and as SO is a veggie, we don't braai.

We bring some dried and packet stuff (rice, soup, tortilla wraps, coffee, etc) and a soft-sided cool bag that folds down into our luggage. We aren't in a supermarket for more than half an hour and we do check things due to the veggie issue.

In your situation I would try to drive out to a restaurant during the day and self cater in the evenings. On your way from LS to Olifants you'll pass Tshokwane - I would recommend stopping off for one of their kudu wors. Skukuza isn't closing until March so thats an option for your drive from PK to LS and Letaba will be open for you to pop up during the day while you are at Olifants.

It's not an ideal situation and I do feel for you, but its work that has to be done and there is no great time to do it.

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 Post subject: Re: Restaurants Closed for February 2014!!!
Unread postPosted: Thu Dec 05, 2013 5:53 am 
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Sandybabe wrote:
do you know if any of the accommodation has microwaves as well as the two rings and BBQ?


If you look on your Booking Confirmation, there is a short description of available facilities under each type of booked acommodation. If Microwave is not mentioned then it is unlikely that there is one. We stayed once in Pretoriuskop in a unit that only had a fridge - that night we had tuna salad and bread rolls - on another ocassion in Lower Sabie the unit had microwave;cooking hob and BBQ - have never stayed in Olifants. Should you have booked acommodation that states that there is a Communal Kitchen, don't worry. This is normally centrally situated and consists of electric hobs and washing up facilities plus most have a separate boiler for hot drinking water for tea/coffee.

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 Post subject: Re: Restaurants Closed for February 2014!!!
Unread postPosted: Thu Dec 05, 2013 8:59 am 
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Under the terms of the Franchise PPP Restaurant agreement here: http://www.sanparks.org/docs/groups_ten ... eement.pdf

it states the following:

11. HANDOVER

11.1 It is a fundamental requirement by SANParks that the transfer of the Restaurant
Facilities is undertaken on the basis that:

11.1.1 there is no or minimal disruption in the provision of goods and services to
visitors to the Park;

11.1.2 any structural alterations do not cause the Restaurant Facilities to be closed to
visitors to the Protected Area unless alternative Restaurant Facilities are
provided;

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 Post subject: Re: Restaurants Closed for February 2014!!!
Unread postPosted: Thu Dec 05, 2013 9:22 am 
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FYI, here's the email from Joep being sent out:

Dear Guest,

As part of our effort to improve customer service in the Kruger National Park, we are in a process of setting up new restaurant operators at several of the camps.

These operators will be franchisees and in order for them to commence operations, it is necessary to do a facelift of the outlets and regrettably, we need to close these facilities for them to be able to do this properly.

Please see the below schedule reflecting the staggered closure of the various restaurants. We apologise for the inconvenience that this will have on your planned visit, and should you wish to amend your booking, we will gladly assist you in doing so. For such requests please
• send email to reservations@sanparks.org or
• telephone the reservations office at +27(0)12 428 9111.

Please note that the shops will be open as usual.

Restaurants (and fast foods/take-aways) at following camps will be closed on following dates:
Lower Sabie 13 January to 25 February 2014
Satara 27 January to 11 March 2014
Pretoriuskop 9 February to 25 March 2014
Olifants 19 February to 3 April 2014
Skukuza 1 March to 26 April 2014 *(Edited closing date from March to April)
(Selati Restaurant at Skukuza will be operational at this time)
Letaba 4 March to 15 April 2014

Yours sincerely.

Joep Stevens
GENERAL MANAGER, STRATEGIC TOURISM SERVICES
SOUTH AFRICAN NATIONAL PARKS

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May 2014
21-25 Indaba 2014 Skuks

July/August 2014
27-30 Tamboti
30-1 Letaba
1-4 Shingwedzi
4-6 Mopani


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