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Camping in Kruger

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Re: Which Camp for the Southern Part?

Unread postby bambazonke » Tue Dec 27, 2011 9:26 pm


Have just got back from trip south to north and back (camping).

Croc Bridge Avoid Large ablution out of commission which may or may not be resolved by the time of your trip.
Lower Sabie How many more can we squeeze in??

Pretoriuskop Fantastic effort has been made. Much improved
Skukuza Fine if you can get a shady sport away from the safari tents (Noise)
Satara Very good if you can find a shady spot, but a very busy site lots of one night only campers.

Hope this helps
Did not stay at B and D this trip.
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Re: Which Camp for the Southern Part?

Unread postby Bush Baptist » Wed Dec 28, 2011 9:02 am

Meandering Mouse wrote:Alf, I did seriously consider Maroela. It fits the profile, is a great camp. I have a very soft spot for Maroela.
Only thing that stopped me was the location for potential drives.

:hmz: THe H7 is one of the best roads in the park. Then the S39 up to Timbavati, and the S36 south can also be good.
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Re: Which Camp for the Southern Part?

Unread postby JaniceE » Thu Dec 29, 2011 4:08 pm

Hi there,
We too have recently camped South to North Nov/ Dec..Some mixed feeling and a few surprises re the camps.

As lovely as ever...however the ablutions while we were there were not good. We managed to get a lovely shady spot near the fence and its the lowers ablutions Im talking about.
Crocodile Bridge
Very disappointing and yes the one Ablution block closed with quite a few workers around...felt more like a building site...working on water pipes as well.In the past it has always been a favourite but sadly not this time. I do however understand them doing work in the quiet period...but saw not much at all being done and very loud noises from staff who feel the need to call from one side of the camp to the other.
Lower Sabie
What a lovely suprise...great campsite good facilities and great sightings.
Really good camping and so very quiet...with wonderful roads to chose from. Took us years to stay there but now its always on our plan.
Busy but still a great camp...a firm favourite
Stunning...what a quiet peaceful glorious experience
Camp quiet and lovely as ever.Ablutions nearest reception closed but looked like nearly finished.
Birdlife in camp amazing and the pool sparkling clean. Sadly with no rain it was very very dry and the causeway no water.
Punda Maria
Lovely camp water hole and still a big favourire...but the ablutions have got to go...they are without doubt the worst in the park.
All in all I would go to any of the Camps...each has its own story.
We had an awesome trip... wild dog, leopard, lion, honey badger,civet and so many fact we saw the birth of an Impala and felt so blessed. The birds were stunning and to see the Parrots in the wild lifted my heart. Kruger is heaven on earth and I feel so very fortunate to be able to visit often...cant get enough!!!
KNP Nov/Dec 2013
23 days of heaven

Balule 3 days
Satara 7 days
Lower Sabie 7 days
Skukuza 3 days
Berg en dal 3 days

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Unread postby Wieger » Thu Jan 19, 2012 3:29 pm

Just joined this forum, i.e. am planning my first visit ever to the park...thinking of doing the "whole" park by caravan.

Questions/ thoughts ( please supply some other good to know things).

Good idea at all to do the full park in a caravan?
How much overall days?
What best camps to over nite?
How long to view most around?
Time need to travel between camps?
What areas not worth visiting?
Overall conditions for a non-4x4 caravan?
What time of year best suited for caravaning? in or out of season ( holidays etc)
intend to overnite 1-2 nights ( final treat) in some lodge...which is best / reasonably priced?

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Re: Caravaning?

Unread postby Hugh » Thu Jan 19, 2012 3:45 pm

The park can be done in a caravan whatever size .
Most camps have caravan spots and some are exclusive to caravans ( Tsendze)
Punda Maria in the far North has a super caravan section with power, clean ablutions and swimming pool and the sites are shaded.
Shingwedzi too has some nice sites on the fence not so much shade though,
Oh there are so many to mention.
I would stay at least three days at each.

Difficult to say what time between camps as they all different distances.
Travel about 25km/hour and allow for good sightings .
Cant think of any area not worth visiting.
There is no camp in the park that needs a 4x4 caravan
We usually camp in May or August/September avoiding the school holidays
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Re: Caravaning?

Unread postby DuQues » Thu Jan 19, 2012 3:53 pm

You are going to get many answers, but you'll also find that a lot of your questions have been posed before.
Let me give it a start, beginning with one that made me smile:
What areas not worth visiting?

None. :lol:
Each area is different, has different animals and birds, so visit all.
That brings me to another:
Good idea at all to do the full park in a caravan?
How much overall days?

Yes, but you are going to have a ton of days in Kruger, or skip past bits.
Not all camps have camping grounds, like Talamati and Olifants, so you'll be skipping some bits anyway.
It is usually best to stay at least 2 nights in a camp, saves packing hassle a bit and gives the chance to revisit that kill or whatever.
That also give you the option of driving around without the caravan, something you will want.
(How good are you at driving backwards at a good clip?
Ellies seem to like testing that ability. :roll: )
Time need to travel between camps?

Keep 25 km/h as a rule, and grab a map is all I can say.
That speed allows you to see the wildlife.
The camps have different distances between them.
Overall conditions for a non-4x4 caravan?

Totally good normally.
intend to overnite 1-2 nights ( final treat) in some lodge...which is best / reasonably priced?

That will double your budget!
The bungalows on normal offer are very good, maybe consider those?
Again that depends on your planning (when and route). Talamati is a jewel, Biyamiti is too, and I know some bungalows in Olifants you'll love.
Arriving currently: The photos from our trip! Overhere! :yaya:

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Re: Caravaning?

Unread postby DinkyBird » Thu Jan 19, 2012 8:49 pm

No better way to do the park bottom to top than with a caravan!
We did this for 3 weeks in Nov 2011 and for six weeks Sept/Oct 2010.

Length of stay depends on how much of the park you wish to see and then multiply that by a minimum of 4 nights a camp to a nice comfy time of 7 nights per camp.
We find the setting up and moving a bit hectic if you do it too often over a long period.
(suggest these camps to think about - Punda, Shingwedzi (less than a week there maybe), Letaba, Satara, Lower Sabie.
If you can mange without electricity, Tsendze and Balule are lovely camps to stay in.

Conditions are perfect for normal vans - tar roads between camps and good camp grounds.

In season is busy in the camping areas and many children there, so all the life that goes with kids in a camp is at that time.
Out of season, is quieter but still busy as camping in KNP is very popular.
If you are not sorted to keep cool, avoid the very hot months as camping in extreme heat can be uncomfy.

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Camping advice for beginner

Unread postby koshka » Thu Feb 09, 2012 10:06 pm

Hello All
I am going to be spending around five weeks in Kruger (yes five glorious weeks!!) from mid Sept to late Oct and will be camping for almost all the time.
I haven't camped before but thought it would be fun in Kruger.
I'm hoping some of you will give me some advice on facilities and provisions.
I've searched the forums and got a few tips but couldn't find answers to some of my questions.

I'll be birding and photographing all day, if the heat and activity lets me, and will be doing a sunset/night drive every night so the tent is really only for sleeping in and a quick meal.
I don't want to spend too much on camping gear as I'll have to leave it behind when I return to the UK.
Also I'll be staying 3-6 nights at each camp and I don't want too much to pack as I'll be on my own.
I'll try a braai for a few relaxing nights but mostly I'll just want something very quick.

So here are some questions, any help appreciated, sorry they are a bit dumb but I'm not very well domesticated ...

I will buy some provisions before I come into the camp and will probably nip out to pick n Pays a couple of times during the trip.
What do you guys recommend for provisions.
I'm not looking for fancy meals just quick and cheap.
I was thinking of getting some canned meals, also pasta and either dried or bottled sauces.
Would leaving cans/bottled sauces in the tent/car be okay for a week or two or do you think the heat would get to them?
Are there any other storage places in the camp for food or is it a choice of the tent or the car.

Do all the (main) campsites have a communal fridge.
How well does this work, do you just put your food in and hope nobody else takes it by mistake or do you have to label it.
Is fridge space a problem.
I will buy a cooler box, do these keep cool enough on their own or do you use them with an ice block (we don't really need cooler boxes in Scotland!).
Can you freeze ice blocks in the campsite.
Do the camp shops open before the gates open, to get milk etc.
I wouldn't want to be wasting time shopping when the gates are open!

Do I need to bring washing powder for the laundry or is it provided.

Not having a fully charged camera would be a major disaster so how do people charge their batteries. Hopefully I should be able to charge from the car but could you explain the camp power points to me.
Do they take standard South African plugs or is it some kind of special socket for caravans.
If standard plugs is there one per site or are they shared and would I need a long extension cable.

How is the heat at night in tents, I'm used to Scottish summers!
Also will I need to cover myself in insect repellent before I go to sleep.

Are the monkeys a problem, I won't be leaving food in my tent (except maybe cans) so what are the chances of coming back and finding a hole ripped in the tent, I think it will be quite a light weight tent.
Any tips other than not keeping food in the tent.
Any tips on making repairs.

Would I be better to rent utensils at the camp or buy a few.
I think all I need is a couple of bowls a set of cutlery and a small pot.

I was thinking of getting a OZ Trail ECO Switch Back 2 tent as it's cheap and looks very easy to pitch.
Does anyone have any experience of this one, do you think this would be tough enough for a month in Kruger.
I also noticed a special on Checkers store website for a Bush Baby tent and sleeping bag which was very cheap, are these any good.

The plan at the moment is to visit Pretoriuskop, Skukuza, Lower Sabie, Satara, Letaba, Balule, Shingwedzi, Punda Maria and Berg en dal.

Thanks all.

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Re: Camping advice for beginner

Unread postby Hugh » Thu Feb 09, 2012 10:30 pm

Welcome to the forum Kossshka..
No question is a stupid question,
Have you been to SA before ??
I wont be able to answer all your questions and there are many mites who are better qualified to answer some questions but will try to answer a few.
Proviso's can be bought at Malelane, Komatipoort and Phalaborwa ..
But all the main camps have shops with a fairly good supply of provisions ..
Can get meat, bread/rolls plus vegetables a bit more pricy but you wont starve.( no Haggis though I'm afraid !! :D )
Stock up with a powdered potato called Idahoan .
It comes in several flavours, is inexpensive and can be bought at Spar and checkers ... all you do is add a wee bit of butter, hot water and milk stir and you have a delicious meal .
No the camp sites do not have communal fridges except Tsendze, Balule , Maroela and Malelane
But Ice is readily available so a small cooler bag is a must.
storage is tent or car I'm afraid .
Camp shops only open after the gates have opened but you can a;ways buy milk if you stop at any of the camps .
You bring your own washing powder for the laundry .
Most camp sites have power plugs so you can easily charge batteries that way and of course use the car . Some of the camps use normal electric sockets and others you have to have those blue ones . usually can be purchased at the shops
It can be hot at night but still the temp does drop in the evenings.
Just cover yourself was mozzie repellent
Monkeys and baboons can be a big problem Just never leave any food in the tent take it with you ... even cans !!
I think you can hire cutlery but the shops have enough stuff and can be inexpensive.
use paper plates
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Re: Camping advice for beginner

Unread postby threedogs » Fri Feb 10, 2012 1:51 am

Hi koshka,
we are combining a bit of semi-camping (basic hut and safari tents) with bungalow accommodation this August/September.
What I have decided to do for this trip and future trips is equip a 'Kruger camping bag'.
I'm getting a duffel on wheels type of bag.
Apart from a tent (that will be next time) this is what is going in:

*basic plastic plates, bowls, travel mugs and tumblers.
* cutlery set and basic utensils ie wooden spoon, tongs, knife, peeler, flat grater, egg slide. Also a SMALL plastic cutting board is very useful.
*Trangia cook stove with associated pots.
*Tea towel x2 for drying dishes
* head torch and hand torch or battery lantern for tent.
* travel clothes line
*universal laundry plug (amazing how often this comes in handy)
*light drawstring laundry bag

This is the bare essentials (although I probably will think of other stuff as we go along)

Definitely buy a cheap foam cooler box when you arrive for filling with ice and keeping your stuff cold.

We always use car chargers for our cameras and phone but bring the right adaptors with you for electrical sockets in camp.
If you pay for powered camp sites you will have your own socket.

Monkeys and baboons are more of a problem in some camps and no problem in others.
That said ALWAYS keep your tent zipped!
Haven't heard of tents being damaged.
Don't forget a self-inflating sleeping mat - the ground is HARD and for that long camping I would spend good money on a decent one.

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Re: Camping advice for beginner

Unread postby RobertT » Fri Feb 10, 2012 6:26 am

Because of the time frame I would look at renting a trailer, keep all your foodstuff etc locked away when you are out. Also means you just need to remove essentials from trailer, (tent, bed and chair) rest of stuff can remain in the trailer and you live out of there which makes it easy to pack when you move often.

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Re: Camping advice for beginner

Unread postby Meandering Mouse » Fri Feb 10, 2012 7:38 am

Hi Koshka :D a very warm welcome.

Heat will possibly be your biggest challenge. I would not keep anything that has been opened. It is possible to stock up on tinned meals for easy use, just don't save any. The John West tuna meals are easy to tuck into if you want to eat "on the road". I also keep nuts and biltong available. Not "wet" biltong though, as that does not last as long.

Some camps have started stocking up more with fresh produce. I have found that I can buy fruit for the day. This is another "no/no" to keep.

I tend to make use of the larger picnic areas for the occasional quick snack, or meal. Each has their speciality. Remember to take lots of water. Hydration with Black Lable does not work. Believe me, I've tried it :wink:

Unfortunately, the only places with communal fridges are Tzenze and Balule.
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Re: Camping advice for beginner

Unread postby ils » Fri Feb 10, 2012 7:46 am

What I think you should do is the following:

It looks like you will be staying in Pretoriuskop first so:

Get to Nelspruit and stop at the Makro, this is a great store you can buy all your food and camping equipment there.
They have a range of different tents at good prices.
While you are at the store, why not buy a few cases of cold drinks and get all your other supplies!

As my fellow forumites have mentioned, there are not really communal fridge, so while at Makro get a decent sized cooler box and also get your pots pans and any other cutlery you will need.
you will get them at a better price than you can buy the in the park.
also buy your chips and sweets.

What we normally do when we go camping is:
We get a cooler box for drinks and then fill it with ice, this will last you the whole day and sometimes even the next day.
every day that your ice is melted just throw out the water and replace it with ice again.
I would suggest buying meat at the camp shops, it is a bit pricy but it really wont kill your budget! :wink: and it is a bit of a hassle if you don't have a freezer handy to store your things in.
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Re: Camping advice for beginner

Unread postby WendyA » Fri Feb 10, 2012 7:52 am

Koshka! I did exactly the same thing in Oct 2010 ...
Camped by myself in Kruger (but only for 3 weeks, not 5!).
It was the 1st time I'd ever been camping (apart from 2 organised tours).
I didn't want to splash out too much in case I didn't like it.
I had a tiny 2-person tent (R200!) into which my single inflatable mattress just fitted ...
And I realised after inflating it the first time that I had to do this inside the tent as the inflated mattress didn't fit thru the tiny door!
Like ur plans, I was out every day, all day, and my tent was only used to sleep in - it was fine. (check out my trip report from that adventure viewtopic.php?style=2&f=27&t=48237).

The weather should b nice ... that said, u can get extremes ... 40 degrees one day and 16 degrees the next so bring a sweatshirt & a light rain jacket/windbreaker for the cool days!
I also found that long cotton trousers for the evening were great as they prevented mossies (but do buy anti-mossie stuff as well and apply it liberally at dawn and dusk).

A coolbox is a must ... As Hugh told u, fridges/freezers are NOT available at most of the campsites but u can buy ice in the shops to put in ur cooler box & keep stuff cold.
Meat can be bought in the shops but I have seen too many people buy meat then find it is completely "off". If u want to do meat braais, do those when ur are in P'kop, Croc Bridge, Lower Sabie, Skukuza where u can pop into town quickly (and not waste too much park time!) & buy meat ...
If u bought frozen stuff it would prob last a couple of days in a cooler box with ice but I wouldn't trust it much longer ...

A hammer & long nails was one of the best bits of advice I got when posting a similar question seeking advice before I went camping ... The ground will b very hard and a mallet & tent pegs may not work.

Definitely take a sleeping bag, it does cool down at night; a camp chair is also a must but u can get cheap ones here for about R100 that will work!
To recharge batteries, etc, u can either use SA electrical sockets in the kitchens & bathrooms or get a caravan plug for use in the campsite.
Will u b camping at a powered site?
U will need an extension cord as well if u r as the electrical boxes can sometimes b a distance from where u get ur tent set up.
A headtorch/flashlight is def recommended.
I would buy a plastic plate, bowl, knife, fork & spoon, a sharp knife & a chopping board, a bottle opener/corkscrew (very important!) a can opener; washing up liquid, a sponge, a couple of T-towels, clothes pegs, string (very useful for a number of things, including a washing line) canned meat, fish, eggs ... a stable Kruger food, a little saucepan and maybe a little frying pan too.
Last edited by WendyA on Fri Feb 10, 2012 11:13 am, edited 1 time in total.
07-11 Nov - Skukuza & Croc Bridge with a Kruger Newbie!
12-17 Nov - Roodewaal with Porridge, Jaxidean & Friends!
12-22 Dec - Satara/Sable Hide/Lower Sabie with another Kruger Newbie, Heksie, Sparrow & Friends!

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Re: Camping advice for beginner

Unread postby PeterPM » Fri Feb 10, 2012 8:31 am

WendyA wrote:A hammer & long nails was one of the best bits of advice I got when posting a similar question seeking advice before I went camping ... The ground will b very hard and a mallet & tent pegs may not work.

Just remember a washer on the nail to stop the guy rope from slipping off the top of the nail when the wind picks up.
Enjoy it. Lucky So n so.

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