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Camp Choice??

Discuss the different camps and roads of the Kruger National Park
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Re: Shimuwini OR Sirheni???

Unread postby Pikkie » Thu Jan 22, 2009 2:41 pm

A stoep is the front veranda or porch!?!?
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Camp Choice??

Unread postby Mant » Tue Jun 14, 2011 2:32 pm


I can't think of which camp is nicer Sirheni, Shimuweni or Mopani? I want to go to one of them in December.

Does anyone have any ideas or photos?

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Re: Decisions, decisions???

Unread postby Son godin » Tue Jun 14, 2011 9:26 pm


It all depends if you would like to have a shop and restaurant in the camp. Shimuweni and Sirheni are small bush camps without a shop and restaurant.

I've stayed at Shimuweni before and found it to be a lovely camp with great view over the river and there is also a small pool to cool down.

Mopani is a very large camp and not all the bungalows have view over the dam. The pool is very nice and then there is the plus that the shop on site is well stocked with fresh bread.

Sirheni looks great but I've not visited the camp yet.

My choice will be to stay for a few days in each, because game viewing can be good from all the camps, otherwise go for the two bush camps only if you enjoy the smaller camps.

See roaneric's Thread on accommadation to see some :cam:


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Re: Decisions, decisions???

Unread postby Daffy » Tue Jun 14, 2011 11:22 pm

Hi Mant,

I agree with Son godin. We do like sirheni very much. Great sightings we had and one of the best drives in the park, Mophongolo!! Shimuwini is also great but we got a bit bored by mopani trees. And very nasty behaving ellies, but that was just bad luck I presume.
As for the restaurant and shop. We got our bread in Shingwedzi after taking lunch on the deck. Great service and very quiet.

What ever you decide, have a great trip.

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Re: Decisions, decisions???

Unread postby roaneric » Wed Jun 15, 2011 8:40 am

Hi Mant :D

Ooh that is a touch call.
All 3 are very nice.
But if I have to choose, I would go for Shimuwini.
The peace and quite of that camp is just great.
I can sit on the veranda the whole day, watching the fish eagles fly past over the river.
I have a little video on my TR here taken from the birdhide.
And as Son Godin said, I have some pictures on this thread.

Good luck deciding :tongue:
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Re: 5 Nights in Kruger- What camps?

Unread postby Meandering Mouse » Tue Sep 18, 2012 8:14 am

There are a few places that are fairly "fail proof".
This is why I gave the Lower Sabie tented camp option.
It is private, yet close to amenities, stunning views and although not luxury, it does offer a comfortable experience.

I have made the mistake of thinking that everyone wants pure bush.
For the uninitiated, Skukuza is a lovely camp, particularly if money is no object and the river view bungalows are an option.

To me, Talamati and Biyamiti are also fail proof in most respects.
There is, of course the Tambotie option, but it does make some people very nervous if they are unfamiliar with the wild.

I have a few "no/no's".. the north unless wilderness and birds are stipulated.
I am cautious of anything north of Olifants for once off travelers who might be making a short trip of a lifetime.
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Re: Tamboti vs Satara- worried about driving distances

Unread postby neilo » Sat Oct 13, 2012 3:14 pm

I have not stayed at Sable, but Satara and Biyamiti are two of my favourites.
I would not swap Satara for Tamboti for a few reasons ;

1) The Guest cottages (D ring) at Satara are very nice for 4 or 5 people.
You are all together, and it makes braai'ing, dinner, chilling out easier and more sociable.
Tamboti you are going to need two tents, and it splits you as a unit.

2) It might be very hot, and you will love a big air conditioner that you don't get with the tents.

3) From Tamboti you have to go up and down the H-7, and if there is nothing happening there, the same road gives you less sightings and becomes monotonous.
Also its an outside supply road, so you get delivery trucks, and more traffic disturbing your viewing by zooming by.

4) Satara you have options to go in 4 different directions.
Great viewing at Nwanetsi, drive to Olifants for brekkie, the well known S100 , and ratelpan / Timbavati picnic spot easily accessible.

5) Satara to Biyamiti ( and not tamboti to biyamit) will give you another hour of game viewing instead of driving time. Big difference.

6) You have many eye's looking for animals at Satara. Someone may see something that you might miss. Many eyes make light work ..... :hmz: . Every little bit helps !

Biyamiti is just fantastic. It's small, quiet , accommodation is great. Most of the time seeing stuff is pot-luck, good fortune, patience, and using the day correctly.
Last edited by neilo on Sat Oct 13, 2012 3:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Tamboti vs Satara- worried about driving distances

Unread postby cheetah2111 » Sat Oct 13, 2012 6:11 pm

Satara is my favorite camp!

That being said, if you want a more rustic bush experience, Tamboti will not let you down! :D
You will only be in Tamboti for one full day, so the lack of routes will not play a big part.
The H7 is one of the best roads in the Park.
The S39 to Timbavati picnic spot is scenic and special :D

You can book night or sunset drives at Orpen Rest camp to pick you up at Tamboti :thumbs_up:
Although looking at your schedule, it seems you are going to have quite a busy trip :shock:
I would recommend a chill pill at Tamboti and enjoy the peace the camp offers.
I have heard great things of Biyamiti guided drives!
Perhaps save up the guided drive for the last night 8)

It can be easily done to get from Tamboti to Biyamiti in a day :thumbs_up:

Your trip looks quite rushed!
It would be ideal if you could manage more nights at a camp without having to move so much :thumbs_up:
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Re: Tamboti vs Satara- worried about driving distances

Unread postby anabel1 » Mon Oct 15, 2012 8:22 am

Tamboti tents very basic, communal bathrooms etc, a long scary walk to the toilets at night,
The newer fully equipped tents are better.
When I was last there had huge baboon problems raiding the tents every morning .
The tents can also be extremely hot and if it is a cool evening freezing !
Only place in the park I have used a portable heater and hot water bottle in winter.
Satara is a fab camp with superb viewing.
A super little camp is also Orpen and very close to Tamboti.
Whatever you decide enjoy!!!

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Re: Tamboti vs Satara- worried about driving distances

Unread postby Bush Baptist » Thu Oct 18, 2012 12:38 pm

Welcome to the forum littleredcat.

I am known as the champion of Tamboti, but in November I would spend the 2 nights at Satara.

Before I get slaughtered, let me state my reasons.
I stayed at Tam in November 2009 and there had not been much rain yet.
The usually productive west half of the H7 was almost devoid of animals never mind the usual regular predator sightings.
It has to do with water availability.
I honestly think that the Satara area would be more productive for you, unless it rains big time.

But if you go to Tam, email Orpen about 2 weeks before you go to get tents next to each other.
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Re: Do you prefer Letaba or Shingwedzi?

Unread postby DuQues » Sun Jan 13, 2013 11:02 pm

Coming from overseas I guess you will not be camping. If you had been I would have said Letaba, its campingspots are way better and less hot.

I will however go for Shingwedzi. The bungalows are good (though there was a bat problem) and there are way more roads you can travel. Red rocks loop is a great road to drive, and Kanniedood dam is gorgeous. Both also give you great sightings.
Another reason is that you can in fact drive up to Pafuri, which is a birders heaven.

If you opt for Letaba do drive up to Giriyondo border post! That road is usually gives good sightings, and the bit in the Lebombo mountains especially.
Another not to be missed area is the one next to Mopani, around the Tropic of Capricorn loop. There you should find Roan, Eland and possibly even Sable. Cats, tuskers and so on can be seen there too.
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Re: Do you prefer Letaba or Shingwedzi?

Unread postby threedogs » Mon Jan 14, 2013 4:24 am

Very difficult to choose, these are two of my favourite camps!

Letaba pros:
Lovely camp ambience in general IMHO
Terrific camp to walk around at night with a torch for sightings of night critters
Beautiful view from the restaurant - always game to be seen down in the riverbed
Nice drives to Oliphants or Mopani for lunch or breakfast
The drive along the river road is always worthwhile

Shingwedzi pros:
Amazing and beautiful drive up to the camp - have had great sightings along there including lions
Red Rocks loop and Kanniedood dam road always a treat
Can drive up to Punda Maria area for a day
Around the bungalows it is a bit quieter than Letaba
I like the pool area better here
(have not experienced any bats in the bungalows the last two years)
Have had good guided walks and night drives from this camp

We always stay at both camps but if I had to choose I would go for Shingwedzi.

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Re: Do you prefer Letaba or Shingwedzi?

Unread postby saraf » Mon Jan 14, 2013 2:59 pm

I love Shingwedzi, it has a lovely atmosphere, the accommodation is slightly more modern, there are some lovely drives around there and the proximity to Pafuri is a huge bonus.

However if this is your first time to Kruger I would say Letaba, especially if you can get one of the river view rondavels. I've always found the view from the restaurant to be worth spending time there, nothing better than watching three or four big tuskers ripping up the reed beds. There are plenty of drives around - if you have a high clearance hire car you can travel on the low maintenance roads that go from the main road between Letaba and Phalaborwa Gate. Plus Satara and Olifants are a nice day trip from there. I've always found the staff there to be welcoming and friendly and in the evening you get the benefit of the bushbucks wandering around.

It would be useful to know what other camps you have booked so we know what areas you will have been to or are going to.

Let us know what you decide and why. Have a great trip.
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Re: Do you prefer Letaba or Shingwedzi?

Unread postby Bush Baptist » Mon Jan 14, 2013 5:18 pm

There is very little to choose from. I love both camps.
They are far from the hectic south, and the pace of sightings is slower.
Both have a shop, restaurant, deck with a view across the river, swimming pool, great riverine drives.
I have not had great sightings on night rides from either, but I think we were unlucky.
I have done 2 morning walks from Letaba which were most enjoyable.

Reasons for Letaba;
Near Mantanbeni hide - the best hide in Kruger
Elephant Hall - worth a visit
Great view from the restaurant area
Big tuskers in the area like Tsotsi
TV lounge where I watched Champions League football one dark late night

Reasons for Shing;
Causeway birding at sunset
Back door exit to Kanniedood road
Good view from the restaurant area
You can do a day's drive to Pafuri for the birds only found in that area, and see the concentration of baobabs.
Red Rocks drive.
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Re: Do you prefer Letaba or Shingwedzi?

Unread postby GlenD » Tue Jan 15, 2013 8:11 am

While both camps are equaly charming and unique in their own ways, I would personally go for Shingwedzi purely because there is less traffic on the roads, (compared to Letaba) and because it still has a remote - old world feel to it. Having said that it will also depend on the other camps you have chosen to stay at i.e. before and after.

Either choice you make will leave you with a wonderfull experience and great memories.

Enjoy your trip :thumbs_up:

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