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How has the park changed in the last 10 years?

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PetraJ
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Re: KNP after 50 years

Unread postby PetraJ » Wed Sep 30, 2009 2:44 pm

Welcome back, now we're getting ready for your TR :popcorn: :thumbs_up:

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Re: KNP after 50 years

Unread postby Nurse Bev » Wed Sep 30, 2009 3:07 pm

:dance: I'm in the audience :popcorn: :D
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Re: KNP after 50 years

Unread postby RayK » Wed Sep 30, 2009 8:51 pm

Hi Tony T,
Welcome back (I just got home myself). It was great meeting you in the wilds of KNP. I can now sit back and wait to read your Trip Report. Hopefully, reading the recommendations of the Forumites was as helpful for you as it was for me. :)

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Re: KNP after 50 years

Unread postby iNkwazi » Wed Sep 30, 2009 8:55 pm

TR's are simply awesome. Looking forward to yours, Tony T. :whistle: :D :whistle:
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Re: How has the park changed in the last 10 years?

Unread postby Meandering Mouse » Thu Mar 24, 2011 9:37 pm

I remember having to write requests for accomodation, by post. :hmz:

We were granted... max 5 nights . We had little control. We were allowed to give our preferances.... and we just had to wait.

I remember very stern folk at the gate, it was another era.

If anyone could counteract my first comment about booking and availability, I would be grateful.
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Re: How has the park changed in the last 10 years?

Unread postby Meandering Mouse » Thu Mar 24, 2011 9:47 pm

I do remember being granted 2 nights in Berg n Dal in 1992. It was seen as a new and revolutionary camp.

There were no foreign accents, we were the maggots of the world.

Do I love change?

Actually I do.

I love listening to the chirping of excitement of foreign tourists.. I love their joy, their curiosity.
Thing is, I have heard the silence of fear. I often hear it on the forum.

Do I want those days of fear back?
No never... :big_eyes:
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Re: How has the park changed in the last 10 years?

Unread postby Elsa » Fri Mar 25, 2011 2:26 pm

twigga wrote:What happened to the movies? I can remember as a child we never missed one! Even if you've seen it a hundred times. Are there still camps that shows them? :huh:
Yes, they do as far as I know, certainly B & D, Skukuza and Satara anyway.
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Re: How has the park changed in the last 10 years?

Unread postby Bush Baptist » Fri Mar 25, 2011 2:56 pm

Letaba also.
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Re: How has the park changed in the last 10 years?

Unread postby GlenD » Fri Mar 25, 2011 4:25 pm

Also Pretoriuskop and Skukuza.
Besides increased bad manners which is a worldwide problem, change has been slow but constant.
When I think of how my Dad describes the way some camps used to look in the earlier years, not to mention change that I myself have witnessed since my earliest memories of about 1977 as a 5 year old(being going since 1972).
Back then with excitement we welcomed the new modernised camps like Berg-en-Dal in 1984, the first time we stayed there.
Traffic jams were always there as far as I can remember, in the early 80's you just needed someone with a CB radio to stop at a sighting and within minutes you couldn't move ( manners seemed to be better though).
MM I also remember my Dad writing for accommodation back then and sometimes having to just take what you got given.
Some change is good, some like has been mentioned, detracts from that old Kruger magic.

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Has much changed since 2002?

Unread postby BrawlerO » Wed Nov 13, 2013 5:11 pm

Hi everyone,

My name is Rob and I've been keeping an eye on these forums on and off for several years now but as I was not able to visit I have been keeping a low profile- mostly from great envy! :-)

I'm from the UK and have been to Kruger on two occasions, once in 1997 and again in Jan 2002. I've since visited Kagalgadi Transfrontier park in Nov 2004 but it's now been a long while away from the fantastic wildlife and scenery. I am pleased to say that I am now planning to return in Feb 2015 to celebrate my SO's 40th birthday and I want to make the trip a very special one. (She hasn't been to Kruger before but this is my opportunity to introduce her to one of my favourite places on the planet and I really hope she will love it as much as I do). Hopefully she'll be hooked and I'll be visiting more often in the future.

My main question is as per the post title- by the time Feb 2015 rolls around it will be 13 years since my last visit. What are the biggest changes to have affected the park in that time? I'm hoping not too much!

I am starting to plan a travel itinerary which is really fun and even though I have been twice before I have never been further north than Letaba so I am hoping to spend two weeks making my way through the whole park this time if possible. In the last few years I have also really got into my photography hobby in a much bigger way than 10years ago so this will add a whole new dimension to my visit too. I cannot wait and am getting excited already!! Hopefully some of you might be able to bring me up to speed! Thanks, Rob
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saraf
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Re: Has much changed since 2002?

Unread postby saraf » Wed Nov 13, 2013 6:08 pm

Welcome to the forum Rob.

Well my first visit was in 2003 and there has been some changes since then, but maybe not as many as you may think.

In 2003 I found some of the units, while perfectly clean, were a little "tired". Since then some of the camps - Satara, Lower Sabie and Skukuza mainly - have had renovations, but please note not all accommodation has been upgraded and not all to the same level. Shingwedzi has been completely redecorated following the floods in Feb this year. In Punda, some of the cottages have had a makeover.

The shops have been outsourced and now stock more souvenirs and less basics. By the time you arrive the new franchises of Mugg & Bean, Wimpy and Cattle Baron will have been operational for a year and will be providing the restaurant services.

Kruger has got more popular and in the south of the park you will see more traffic on the main roads. It's easily avoidable by using the dirt roads and we still find places away from it all with decent viewing. A few of the artificial waterholes and dams have been closed or mothballed but some are still opened on a seasonal basis and the most popular are still there.

The main change you will find is in the Wild Card. In 2003 it was just being introduced and was extended for use for International visitors. If you have been to KTP you may be aware of it. I haven't done the calculations for 2014 yet but at 2013 prices with 6 nights in the park you broke even - less nights and paying the daily conservations fees is cheaper, more than 6 and you make savings.

But the most important thing, the animals and scenery, hasn't changed at all.
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Re: Has much changed since 2002?

Unread postby John Burton » Wed Nov 13, 2013 7:55 pm

Hi Rob,

I would agree that there are no really significant changes. I have travelled down to kruger seven times since 1998, most recently two months ago. As you will have read elsewhere on this forum, the restaurant experience, particularly in the evening is not what it once was, but hopefully the new contracts will remedy this. The big exception we have found is Selati restaurant at skukuza, which we hope will retain its special atmosphere.

A strange phenomenon that I experience is that in the intervening periods between visits, I always forget just how big the park is and how long it takes to cover the ground. We always come for 9 nights at a time and still feel rushed just covering the areas surrounding our bases in two camps. Covering the whole park you will need to be careful that you are not preoccupied constantly with getting from A to B on Tarmac rather than savouring the back roads. This would be especially true if you are not entering the park at one end and exiting at the other. The mopani dominated areas from olifants north can be hard going and thin on wildlife, although I often read passionate postings from devotees of the north.

Another change since 2002, I would highly recommend flying into to KMIA airport rather than trying to drive from Joburg after a long night flight from Heathrow. All the main car rental companies have vehicles there.

One thing that hasn't changed - it is still fabulous! Have a great trip

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Re: Has much changed since 2002?

Unread postby BrawlerO » Thu Nov 14, 2013 12:31 pm

Thanks for your comments.

Saraf- yep, I had a Wildcard from my visit to Augrabies and KTP in 04. I still have the actual card but I don't know if I can actually reactivate it?

I did consider flying into KMIA but I am thinking of entering in the South and winding my way through the park and exting via the north so will probably pick up a rental vehicle from JoBurg and do a big loop. Luckily we both drive so can share the driving.

I don't want a mad rush around and want to show my SO a bit of everything so that we can return and concentrate on specific areas in the future. I think I will stay at a few camps for 2/3 nights each using them as a base to explore that area and then do a bigger drive between them.

My rough itinerary would be something like:
Lower Sabie 2/3 nights
Satara 3/4 nights
Mopani 2/3 nights
Punda Maria 2/3 nights

Cannot.Wait. :D
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Re: Has much changed since 2002?

Unread postby saraf » Thu Nov 14, 2013 12:39 pm

No you can't reactivate it unfortunately.

Your's will be an Infinity card and SANParks took it inhouse in 2010, so you will need to apply for a new one. You can do it online.

That's a really nice itinerary.
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Re: Has much changed since 2002?

Unread postby Elsa » Thu Nov 14, 2013 12:39 pm

Warm welcome BrawlerO :clap:

Your itinerary sounds good and I am sure your SO will be suitably impressed. :thumbs_up:

Your wildcard will be one of the old ones so you will need to apply for a new type one.

Wild Card

And you might also be interested in reading through This Topic
Where ever you go, go with all your Heart.

Kruger - 22nd May - 5th June 2015


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