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Need advice asap for our Kruger camping itinerary in December

Discuss the different camps and roads of the Kruger National Park
WernerPE
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Need advice asap for our Kruger camping itinerary in December

Unread postby WernerPE » Sat Jul 18, 2015 2:35 pm

Hi

We will be going to the Kruger Park in December, leaving PE in the early hours of the morning of the 26th and sleep over in Tzaneen for one night.

We plan to enter via the Pafuri gate and spend our first night the 27th in Shingwedzi. After that we have booked three nights in Tsendze on site 26 (28th, 29th and 30th).

Then 5 nights in Skukuza from the 31st (And yes we want to be in Skukuza on New Years Eve).

We are a young couple and don't mind spending a lot of time on the road. The trip from Tsendze to Skukuza will be about 8 hours drive and would really not be a problem if we leave very early.

Should we change our booking at Tsendze for only two nights and spend the 30th camping in either Letaba or Balule? And if yes which camp would you recommend or should we rather stay at Tsendze for the three nights? Balule only has one night left for the 30th, which we are going to have to book asap if we change our itinerary.

I've never been more north in Kruger than Orpen/Satara. This trip will give me a better idea of where and how long we will be camping in the future.

Long distance driving is not a problem for me, the last time we were in Kruger Park, we left Skukuza at gate opening time and were back in PE that same night. I also often do the PE - Pretoria trips.

Regards
Werner

Ps: We have a small 4-man tent which we will be using for one night camping in Shingwedzi and perhaps Letaba or Balule and the 10-man tent For Tsendze and Skukuza
27 December 2015 - Shingwedzi
28 December 2015 - Tsendze
29 December 2015 - Tsendze
30 December 2015 - Balule
31 December 2015 - Skukuza
1 January 2016 - Skukuza
2 January 2016 - Skukuza
3 January 2016 - Skukuza
4 January 2016 - Skukuza

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DinkyBird
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Re: Need advice asap for our Kruger camping itinerary in December

Unread postby DinkyBird » Sat Jul 18, 2015 4:00 pm

Hi Werner - you seem very experienced with the driving distance/time, so agree that should not be an issue as you know what you are letting yourself in for. I am sure you have taken into account how busy the roads will be.

Because it could be very hot in Kruger then, my main concern will be how often you want to set up and break up camp. If that is going to be a quick and easy task, I would recommend trying Balule out. You can then cover parts of the park while changing camps at more leisure, experience Balule camping too, and have a lunch on your way and good look around Letaba.
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leervis
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Re: Need advice asap for our Kruger camping itinerary in December

Unread postby leervis » Sat Jul 18, 2015 7:17 pm

Hi Werner, Shingwedzi is a great camp and I'm sure you will enjoy it. No. 26 at Tsendze is a very nice site, I stayed there last year and have booked it again for our visit next month. The couple who run the camp, Rodger and Elina are amazing people and if you are interested, ask Rodger to show you the owls, as he pretty much knows where they roost during the day. Below is a picture of 26 and as you can see it is a big site, on the fence and close to the ablutions.

20141003_153423.jpg


Balule is my very favorite camp, but I would not want to put up my tent for only one night. Having said that I will also add that if you do stay at Balule you will love it and it is in a very good part of the park for game viewing. Titus runs this camp and he keeps it spotless. A pic. of Balule below.

20141002_073137.jpg
26 - 29 August Balule
30 August - 1 September Sirheni
2 - 5 September Tsendze

9 - 12 November Punda Camping
13 November Letaba Safari Tent
14 - 17 Balule Camping

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Re: Need advice asap for our Kruger camping itinerary in December

Unread postby Meandering Mouse » Sun Jul 19, 2015 7:11 am

Balule is a super camp with a very ardent fan club. It is one of the reasons why it is so difficult to find a booking. For this reason I would suggest that you give it a shot. I would not suggest this to a novice camper though. Both Leervis and Dinkybird can attest to the summer challenges.

I also love Letaba, its beautiful trees and friendly atmosphere.... but Balule would be first choice.
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Re: Need advice asap for our Kruger camping itinerary in December

Unread postby PNF » Sun Jul 19, 2015 8:26 am

Agree with everyone else - if you can get a night at Balule - go for it. However, if you can't - rather stay in Tsendze than move to Letaba. Although we spent several December holidays in Letaba and thoroughy enjoyed them we have found that it has got very full and busy in recent years - especially in school holidays.
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Shingwedzi 20 - 24 Aug
Tsendze 24 Aug - 5 Sept

WernerPE
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Re: Need advice asap for our Kruger camping itinerary in December

Unread postby WernerPE » Sun Jul 19, 2015 12:19 pm

Hi all, thank you so much for the advice!

I have changed our booking and paid it in full! So now the countdown starts! We are very excited!

27th Shingwedzi
28th - 29th Tsendze
30th Balule
31st - 4th Skukuza

DinkyBird - I only have holiday during Christmas and Easter so the busy roads are part of the package. I've learned out of experience to take the smaller tent with and leave most of our luggage on the bakkie with its canopy when only camping one night at a place. We don't mind the heat, hopefully we will get sites with some shade and I will make sure there's a cold beer after setting up camp.

PNF, Meandering Mouse and Leervis - Thanks for the pictures etc. Roger, Elina and the owls are actually one of the reasons we will be camping at Tsendze. I've seen on the forum that site 26 is one of the best there. Well I guess one night at Balule is better than none at all after reading you replies? Hopefully we will get good game sightings in the area. The northern area of the park looks very beautiful. Will have to try Letaba in the future.

Thanks again for the help and advice, it is much appreciated!

Werner
27 December 2015 - Shingwedzi
28 December 2015 - Tsendze
29 December 2015 - Tsendze
30 December 2015 - Balule
31 December 2015 - Skukuza
1 January 2016 - Skukuza
2 January 2016 - Skukuza
3 January 2016 - Skukuza
4 January 2016 - Skukuza

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Re: Need advice asap for our Kruger camping itinerary in December

Unread postby Elsa » Sun Jul 19, 2015 2:28 pm

WernerPE wrote:I have changed our booking and paid it in full! So now the countdown starts! We are very excited!
Wonderful and how exciting! Do have a look at the Countdown Topic and join in the excitement of many other members. 8)
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Re: Need advice asap for our Kruger camping itinerary in December

Unread postby Crested Val » Sun Jul 19, 2015 3:11 pm

Werner, that sounds like a wonderful programme. :clap:

If you have time, try and visit Pafuri picnic site, and Crooks Corner.

Also look for the rarer antelope in the far north.

We spent New Year 2010/11 at Skukuza...........there was a wonderful "African Sky" packed full of stars - including The Milky Way. I will never forget it!!!

We also had a special meal at the Boma next to the restaurant, though with the new catering franchise, I don't know what they plan to do this year.

Here's hoping that you have a wonderful trip, with many sightings. :dance:

Travel safe. :thumbs_up:
Thinking of my beloved South Africa every day.

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WernerPE
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Re: Need advice asap for our Kruger camping itinerary in December

Unread postby WernerPE » Mon Jul 20, 2015 11:47 am

Thanks Elsa, Crested Val that is our plan after entering at gate opening time at Pafuri.
I was at Skukuza during New Years Eve in 2011/2012 and the December after that the only available camping sites that I could book was at Pretoriuskop. I made a potjie in the rain during a big thunder storm.... Will see what we are going to do this time.
27 December 2015 - Shingwedzi
28 December 2015 - Tsendze
29 December 2015 - Tsendze
30 December 2015 - Balule
31 December 2015 - Skukuza
1 January 2016 - Skukuza
2 January 2016 - Skukuza
3 January 2016 - Skukuza
4 January 2016 - Skukuza

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Re: Need advice asap for our Kruger camping itinerary in December

Unread postby RobertT » Mon Jul 20, 2015 3:18 pm

Is there a reason you are staying in Tzaneen? Are you going in Pafuri gate or Phalaborwa gate. If it is Pafuri, Tzaneen is an out of the way stop. :thumbs_up:

WernerPE
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Location: Port Elizabeth

Re: Need advice asap for our Kruger camping itinerary in December

Unread postby WernerPE » Mon Jul 20, 2015 4:41 pm

Hi RobertT

We will be sleeping over at friends whom I've seen a long time ago.
27 December 2015 - Shingwedzi
28 December 2015 - Tsendze
29 December 2015 - Tsendze
30 December 2015 - Balule
31 December 2015 - Skukuza
1 January 2016 - Skukuza
2 January 2016 - Skukuza
3 January 2016 - Skukuza
4 January 2016 - Skukuza


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