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 Post subject: Re: Christmas dinner and food in general
Unread postPosted: Mon Oct 07, 2013 4:14 pm 
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Location: Western Cape, South Africa
Hi Koen

We did the Christmas lunch at Satara in Dec last year. The only problem we had was that it was so hot and the aircons didn't really work..... nothing wrong with the food though.

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 Post subject: Food for vegetarians
Unread postPosted: Fri Oct 18, 2013 12:32 pm 
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Having just returned from the Park, I need to comment on the "vegetarian" item on the cafeteria menu served at the Lower Sabie restaurant. This menu is also used in the dining room at night at Lower Sabie. I did not want a heavy meal so opted for the "Vegetable Bake served with napolitana sauce and pap or rice". What was served up was shocking. A plate of frozen sliced beans (not cooked properly) and three pieces of sliced carrots (also not cooked). This was covered with tinned tomato and onion mix (napolitana sauce ??), and served luke warm. The pap was ok. The kitchen staff at Lower Sabie do not understand that food needs to be served hot - not luke warm or cold. Other people were complaining that their food was cold. All I can say is that it is just as well that changes are coming.


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 Post subject: Re: Restaurants/Menus at Kruger Restcamps.
Unread postPosted: Wed Oct 23, 2013 12:37 pm 
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Location: Rome, Italy
Hi, I’ve been to Kruger last August.
Here my opinion about food and restaurants: it’s not very good as I read here before to leave.
- Punda Maria is a very small restaurant, but staff is kind and food quite good.
- Mopani is not managed by Compass, but it’s even worse: the choice of food is scarce, the staff is very slow and lazy, they took more than 20 minutes to tell us that ostrich kebab we ordered was run out! Finally we ordered a venison bobotie and a kudu schnitzel, in both case the meat was hard and with fat. I don’t know how is possible to find so bad meat in South Africa! Everywhere in the country meat is so delicious! The service is very slow, we took almost 2 hours to have dinner!
We had one breakfast there too (how stupid we are!) and we waited for more than 30 minutes to have a wrong omelette (not the filling we asked, that it could be very dangerous in case of allergies). There were only 3 other tables to serve, so I don’t know why they took so much time and got confused with the fillings. Our second evening in Mopani we decided to cook on our own, as most South Africans do!
- Satara: we ate quite good meat, the waiter was very kind and the service quick enough.
- Skukuza: we went to “Selati” and we had good dinner, chicken and wood-oven pizza: both were good. It’s a bit more expensive than other restaurant in Kruger, but it worth.
- Lower Sabie: very slow service and some food was run out (e.g. stew of the day), the meat we ate was hard.
For breakfast sometimes we did self-catering, because breakfast on Compass menu has a poor choice, and it’s expensive compared to the quantity offered.
We also had a very good breakfast in Afsaal and a good lunch in Tshokwane with a kudu roll.

Compared to my first time in Kruger (2007), when most of restaurant had buffet breakfast and buffet dinner and were managed by SANP, I found the quality of food worse, a big waste of time in the restaurant waiting to order and to be served and much less people in the restaurants. We noticed that most of people in restaurants are from abroad.
Moreover at buffet there is a much wider choice, you can eat e.g. salad and vegetables if you want to avoid meat for the dinner or you can have an egg and cereals for breakfast. The menu for breakfast has the eggs and cereals separate (no menu with them together) and if you want cereals you have to order fruit and yogurt too, I like cereals with milk but not fruit and yogurt, so I couldn’t order it!
I think that SANP should set again buffet breakfast and dinner, as in the past, improve the quality of food and increase the choice in the menu.
If we go there again we’ll try to do more self-catering dinners.


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 Post subject: Re: Restaurants/Menus at Kruger Restcamps.
Unread postPosted: Thu Oct 24, 2013 2:37 am 
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Flavia,
Your report on the restaurants is interesting,
and your mention of SANP bringing back the good old buffet meal
is certainly what most people would like,...so it would seem... :hmz:
It worked well in the past and was nearly always good no matter which camp you were in..
BUT seems that "no one " is listening
why they had to change something that worked well is somewhat disappointing and confusing :?


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 Post subject: Re: Restaurants/Menus at Kruger Restcamps.
Unread postPosted: Thu Oct 24, 2013 11:17 am 
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Hi Koen
We never dash out of the park to buy fresh
And whenever we move to a camp without a shop we always stock up or stop at a bigger camp during the day to buy fresh
We always travel with 2 basic foldable cooling bags, in which we add 2 small frozen water bottles each day.
Keeps the fresh fresh and the cool cool.
(what a nice sentence. could be a lyric for a song)

About the restaurants. Can only hope with everyone else that when the new chain opens the quality of the menu
(especially dinner) will be much better and nicer.

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 Post subject: Re: Restaurants/Menus at Kruger Restcamps.
Unread postPosted: Fri Oct 25, 2013 10:06 pm 
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Posts: 96
Interesting to read other peoples experiences - re. the camp restaurants. Some 10 to 12 years ago we used to use all the camp restaurants - 2 nights at each camp - 1 night in and 1 night out. The restaurants used to be packed. Now if you use most of the restaurants in the evening you are eating alone.

However, on recent experience I think both Punda Maria and Letaba are worth a visit. As for the others I go under sufference when my wife decides that we should eat out for a change.

We fill the car before we leave Jo'burg, and often stop at Hazyview for fresh milk, etc. The camp shops are variable and depends on the manager. We are in the Kruger for 18 nights so like a few other people include a trip out at Phalaborwa to the Super Spa, 5 minutes up the road.

In the past the park seemed to have 2 different caterers - split at Olifants - A La Carte in the north and buffet in the south - the better restaurants also seemed to be in the north. Can't agree about the buffet. Years ago the buffet was good value but then the price went up and the quality down. Do agree that they need better trained staff and managers. About 6 years ago we went to Pretoriskop restaurant and there was a stand off between the young female manager and the rest of the staff. She eventually took them into the back room for a talking to and eventually we got served, but I can only say we were thoroughly dis-appointed with the meal. We have used it once since but still dis-appointing.

Best meal in the park is to hire a skottle braai and cook your own breakfast at the picnic area overlooking Mlondozi dam.

bondm UK


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 Post subject: Re: Restaurants/Menus at Kruger Restcamps.
Unread postPosted: Sat Oct 26, 2013 12:27 pm 
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Flavia wrote:
Hi, I’ve been to Kruger last August.
- Mopani is not managed by Compass, but it’s even worse: the choice of food is scarce, the staff is very slow and lazy, they took more than 20 minutes to tell us that ostrich kebab we ordered was run out! Finally we ordered a venison bobotie and a kudu schnitzel, in both case the meat was hard and with fat. I don’t know how is possible to find so bad meat in South Africa! Everywhere in the country meat is so delicious! The service is very slow, we took almost 2 hours to have dinner!
We had one breakfast there too (how stupid we are!) and we waited for more than 30 minutes to have a wrong omelette (not the filling we asked, that it could be very dangerous in case of allergies). There were only 3 other tables to serve, so I don’t know why they took so much time and got confused with the fillings. Our second evening in Mopani we decided to cook on our own, as most South Africans do!


So sorry that your experience at Mopani was not a good one. :cry:

However, I am very surprised, because we live in Phalaborwa 6 months of the year, and eat quite often at Mopani, usually brunch or lunch.

Since their new management I cannot fault them in any respect. The manager is always on hand to check all is well, and the staff are both efficient and polite.
We have always had very hot and tasty food (the Cajun chicken wrap is yummy!!)

WE can't wait to get back there in December!!!! :dance:

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 Post subject: Re: Restaurants/Menus at Kruger Restcamps.
Unread postPosted: Sun Oct 27, 2013 7:05 pm 
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I agree with Val, we visited Mopani and had something to eat there, service and food was excellent :clap: :clap:

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 Post subject: Re: Restaurants/Menus at Kruger Restcamps.
Unread postPosted: Mon Oct 28, 2013 10:47 am 
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Location: Johannesburg (No Mopani trees...yet)
Had a meal at Selati Restaurant in Skukuza (the one next to the old train, not the main one at the shop).

BEST MEAL I EVER HAD IN THE PARK!!!

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 Post subject: Re: Restaurants/Menus at Kruger Restcamps.
Unread postPosted: Mon Oct 28, 2013 12:52 pm 
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We also had an amazing meal at Selati last year!!! :thumbs_up: :thumbs_up:

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 Post subject: Re: Restaurants/Menus at Kruger Restcamps.
Unread postPosted: Wed Oct 30, 2013 10:20 am 
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Koen wrote:
elma kuyler wrote:
Hopefully Mopani will stay with the same people as we were very impressed with their food and service.


Seems to be very hit and miss if Im reading this correctly. We had lunch there 2011 and it was terrible. For starters we had to go and find someone to serve us. No one was around at lunch time no one at all. So we went to the shop and asked and they went and found someone.

A few more cars arrived and just left as no one came. We stayed as the view is nice and it was hot hot. Anyway they managed to eventualy arrive put a buffaloe pie in the microwave and make a toasted sandwich. We asked for a milk shake but they didn't have anymore only coke. So that was it a plain pie and coke with a sad looking toasty think it was chicken. They were under compass then so..........who knows.


The Mopani restaurant only came under new management at the end of last year if I am correct.

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 Post subject: Re: Restaurants/Menus at Kruger Restcamps.
Unread postPosted: Wed Oct 30, 2013 11:36 am 
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Koen wrote:
Im not thrilled to be honest. Mug and bean maybe just....the commercialisation of the Kruger is just not a good idea at all IMO :( I think they needed to do more (some, any) public consultaion on this one.

Koen a survey was sent out by SANParks last year where it was asked for our input re restaurants/brands types etc that we would prefer, so I am sure this decision would have been based on the results of that survey.
You can read about it here Here

Also, don't judge Mopani on the service and food from 2011 when its been stated here on more than one occasion that it has much improved with the new contractor who has taken it over.
We also had a couple of fantastic meals there last year and earlier this year.
I would suggest you try it out in December and sure you will agree! :thumbs_up:
Lets give credit where credits due.

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 Post subject: Re: Restaurants/Menus at Kruger Restcamps.
Unread postPosted: Wed Oct 30, 2013 11:38 am 
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Koen wrote:
Is the food more than just the generic "buffalo" pie now too?
Try it, I'm sure you will be pleasantly surprised! :thumbs_up:

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 Post subject: Re: Restaurants/Menus at Kruger Restcamps.
Unread postPosted: Wed Oct 30, 2013 12:10 pm 
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Elsa wrote:
credit where credits due.


Always. :D

However reading through that link I get the decided drift that most people were against commercial enterprises in the park beyond what are already there, and stated so in the questionnaires sent?
Wonder how many people got sent questionnaires and who? Was it broadcast in national news-papers for example? A send in option?

Hmmm anyway you know as long as they are so camouflaged that you cant tell even what they are until its in your mouth then it should all work out. :mrgreen:

Even Im rather looking forward to a M&B coffee, maybe they will do delivery to the bush camps :lol:


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 Post subject: Re: Restaurants/Menus at Kruger Restcamps.
Unread postPosted: Thu Oct 31, 2013 12:08 pm 
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I was wondering about the need to book a table at the restuarants. I'll be at Lower Sabie 9-11 Dec and Mopani 12-14 Dec and plan to have dinner at the restuarants as we are too lazy to cook :tongue:
Do you book dinner for all evenings when you arrive at the camp, or just daily? I'm a bit worried as a reckon we will be driving most of the day and not really able to drop by during the day to book a table.


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