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 Post subject: Re: Skukuza airport
Unread postPosted: Wed Jun 25, 2014 6:34 pm 
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Joined: Sat Nov 16, 2013 9:52 am
Posts: 56
Location: USA
Thanks ecojunkie,
I will review my reservation to ensure my flight info is included, so my car is available at the airport.

I never received a reply from AVIS, but now I no longer need one.


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 Post subject: Re: Skukuza airport
Unread postPosted: Wed Jun 25, 2014 6:40 pm 
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Joined: Tue Nov 01, 2011 5:57 am
Posts: 172
Location: CAPE TOWN
Thanks EJ - now to book for Skuks rather than Nelspruit. So excited to avoid driving that trip outside the park - what joy to land right in the park :D :D :D


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 Post subject: Re: Skukuza airport
Unread postPosted: Wed Jun 25, 2014 6:50 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jul 22, 2005 3:09 am
Posts: 49
Location: PICKERING, ONTARIO, CANADA
I'm trying to figure out the motivation for flying into Skukuza - especially for overseas visitors.
An add on flight from Joburg to Skukuza is about $100.00 per person. Depending upon arrival time in Joburg, there may be a layover for a couple of hours. The drive from Joburg to Malelane is at best 4-1/2 hours and no way is fuel & car rental going to amount to $200.00 per couple.
If one flys into Skukuza, you still have to leave the park to do grocery shopping unless you intend to eat in restaurants the whole stay.
After a lengthy flight to start with, I personally don't see hanging around to catch another flight to Skukuza to only exit the park the next day to do the grocery shopping. To me, it makes more sense to overnight in Joburg & leave whenever is convenient to drive to Malelane for example.
What am I missing?

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 Post subject: Re: Skukuza airport
Unread postPosted: Wed Jun 25, 2014 7:26 pm 
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Joined: Thu Feb 17, 2005 5:30 am
Posts: 142
Location: Beautiful northern California
Ecojunkie, thank you so much for spending all that time and effort doing research for us. Very kind of you, and it is really appreciated.
:gflower: :k


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 Post subject: Re: Skukuza airport
Unread postPosted: Wed Jun 25, 2014 11:50 pm 
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Joined: Thu Feb 01, 2007 7:08 am
Posts: 28
Location: Chicago, IL, USA
nighthawk2 wrote:
I'm trying to figure out the motivation for flying into Skukuza - especially for overseas visitors.
...
What am I missing?


I've made my own assessment, and I agree with you. Not worth it for me, but...

It is hard to overstate just what effect the jet-lag has on you when coming from my side of the world. After 30+ hours in transit with a 3 year old I have to take a deep breath and focus before that 4.5 hour drive. I've found that I need to make a printed shopping list because I can hardly think by the time I get to Malelane.

If I could fly in, pop out to Hazyview for groceries the next morning and get on with my trip it would be worth a certain amount. Perhaps fly in, then drive back to JNB at the end of the trip?


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 Post subject: Re: Skukuza airport
Unread postPosted: Thu Jun 26, 2014 12:16 am 
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Joined: Sat Nov 16, 2013 9:52 am
Posts: 56
Location: USA
We will be flying in to JHB for 2 days to acclimate to the time difference and check out the city.
Then, fly to Sku, as we do not prefer to drive to KNP and love the convenience of the Sku airport car pick-up.
Also will pick-up groceries at the camp stores and also eat in the restaurants for 5 days.
Afterwards, will turn-in the car at HDS, and will be picked up by private reserve from there.
After our stay, they will return us to HDS for our flight to CPT.

For us it is well worth it.


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 Post subject: Re: Skukuza airport
Unread postPosted: Thu Jun 26, 2014 3:22 am 
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Posts: 2192
Location: Arizona, USA
For us it all depends on when we reach Joberg. SA airlines gets us into Joberg in the morning, Delta at night. We've done both (catch a same day flight to nelspruit, and overnight in Jobeeg)

For me the biggest advantage is easy access to the airport on the day we leave.

I'm very interested in hearing the reviews of those that have used the Skukuza airport.

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 Post subject: Re: Skukuza airport
Unread postPosted: Thu Jun 26, 2014 5:46 am 
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Joined: Thu Feb 17, 2005 5:30 am
Posts: 142
Location: Beautiful northern California
nighthawk2 wrote:
I'm trying to figure out the motivation for flying into Skukuza - especially for overseas visitors.
What am I missing?


Welllllllllll.....

First off, I am old and the husband is even older. Traveling long distance is hard on these old bodies. What with the long drive to the airport, 1o+ hour flight to London, layover, 10+ hour flight to JNB, we are totally and completely spent by the time we arrive. Totally jetlagged. Exhausted. Haven't slept for a zillion hours. And did I mention my aching back? There is NO WAY we could safely drive the 5 hours to Kruger after all that...it would be suicide. We could spend the night in a hotel and try and recoup, but that would cost more than the flight and, more importantly, that would be one less day in the bush.

We have spent loads of time in Joberg and driven to Kruger many many times, so I do not feel like we are missing seeing something along the way that we have never seen. All I want to do is get to Kruger as fast (and painlessly) as I can. Now I can fly into Kruger, drive 5 km and spend the rest of the day getting rejuvenated looking at the river, unpacking, chillin'. Heaven!

We always stay for at least a month, so we have plenty of time to get to the market after a few days.

What's not to understand??? :dance:


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 Post subject: Re: Skukuza airport
Unread postPosted: Thu Jun 26, 2014 8:27 am 
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Joined: Tue Nov 01, 2011 5:57 am
Posts: 172
Location: CAPE TOWN
Excellent perspective iLoveMeerkats!. For me as a South African flying from Cape Town I want to spend as little time on the roads outside of Kruger as possible - for many, many reasons.

So I am THRILLED about the Skukuza airport. Phalaborwa is wonderful but expensive. We have just spent 10 days in Kruger and did not find it necessary to leave the park for shopping at all. The shops at camps had everything we needed and with the new restaurants we were totally spoilt for choice. For me future trips are going to start at Skukuza airport every time :thumbs_up: :thumbs_up:


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 Post subject: Re: Skukuza airport
Unread postPosted: Thu Jun 26, 2014 9:12 am 
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Location: Brecon Beacons National Park
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It's really a case of "Each to their own".

Those who want to drive to Kruger from either other SA areas or from Joburg airport will do so, and those who don't want a long drive can now fly direct to Skukuza...................the good thing is, we have a choice!!!

We have always driven in the past, but with my SO and I having various medical issues, we will most probably fly London-Joburg-Skukuza in future.

When we arrive we will buy necessities at the park shop, and eat the first night at the restaurant, and then go the following day to do a big shop outside the park.

I understand it is a bit of a faff to go back out, but Komatipoort, Malelane or Hazyview are only just the other side of the various gates, and you are still driving mostly in the park to get to them.

For us, weighed against that long drive from Joburg, that will be the way to go for us in future!!!

However, as I said.............each to their own!!! :dance:

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 Post subject: Re: Skukuza airport
Unread postPosted: Thu Jun 26, 2014 1:48 pm 
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Senior Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Sun Mar 20, 2005 5:53 pm
Posts: 3758
Location: Cambridge, MA (and home from home in Darling, WC)
For me, I love the funky Phalaborwa airport and for some years have only visited the northern and central parts of the park. BUT flying from Phalaborwa to Cape Town requires a change at OR Tambo and since I have two cases (because I'm generally staying in SA for 2-3 months and need 'city' clothes as well as KNP clothes :wink: ), one case is invariably lost/delayed en route :roll: with often much time wasted in locating the missing case and getting it back. Thus, the option of the direct flight SKU-CPT is most appealing!


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 Post subject: Re: Skukuza airport
Unread postPosted: Thu Jun 26, 2014 3:15 pm 
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Senior Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Wed Sep 30, 2009 11:11 pm
Posts: 1007
Location: Here...there, somewhere, where's my GPS?
Crested Val used a key word, choice. That is something that SANParks want to offer visitors, a choice. If you don't want to cook, eat in a restaurant (now that proper ones are in operation in most camps), Don't want to drive? The fly in to Skukuza. Don't want to spend a fortune, camping is the way to go.

Not everyone wants to holiday in the same way and we shouldn't be forced to or force others to do it our way.

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Study the past, if you would divine the future.
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 Post subject: Re: Skukuza airport
Unread postPosted: Thu Jun 26, 2014 4:58 pm 
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Joined: Sun Mar 20, 2005 5:53 pm
Posts: 3758
Location: Cambridge, MA (and home from home in Darling, WC)
Crested Val wrote:
Also Arks if you really only want to stay north, you can fly directly to Cape Town from Hoedspruit airport SA Airlink (50 seater.)

They also have car hire facilities. (Maybe you already know that though!!!!) :thumbs_up:

I actually hadn't been aware of that, Val, thanks, tho my preferred final camp in the north is Shimuwini, which isn't very convenient for Hoedspruit. And I'm just plain curious to see the Skukuza airport again, since I flew from there for my Emerging Tusker prize in 2007 :-) .


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 Post subject: Re: Skukuza airport
Unread postPosted: Thu Jun 26, 2014 5:42 pm 
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Joined: Mon Oct 26, 2009 6:27 pm
Posts: 266
Location: JHB
Thanks Ecojunkie for clearing up all the queries.
Glad everyone has a choice now of how to travel to the park.

For those of you who are still going to do shopping I use a wonderful list which I can share with anyone who would like to use it. It has just about everything one would need to buy and pack, except the kitchen sink.
If anyone would like a copy, please pm me with your email address and I will send it.
I


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 Post subject: Re: Skukuza airport
Unread postPosted: Tue Jul 01, 2014 11:50 am 
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Joined: Wed Jun 22, 2005 4:54 pm
Posts: 86
Location: South Wales, UK
Many thanks to ecojunkie and others for looking into these queries :thumbs_up:

I have called Avis reservations in the UK and added my flight number to the booking. Fingers crossed my Toyota Fortuner will be waiting at the airport for me :pray:

Also, to note. Before the airport Avis office opened, Avis were only able to confirm a limited amount of hire cars when booking. But now it seems an almost full range of hire cars seem to be available, e.g. Hyundai IX35, Fortuner which is a big benefit for those preferring to drive a higher sided vehicle.

4 months and counting and I will be there !!

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