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 Post subject: KNP Budget advice please!
Unread postPosted: Tue Jan 08, 2013 9:40 pm 
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Hey everyone, I'm not sure if everyone remembers me from a while back. I was on the forum when I was a young teen 13/14 and now I'm 20! What a long time hey!

I need some advice regarding my first trip to Kruger as a grown up please! :D A friend and myself are planning to drive up to Kruger in the June/July school holidays. And we need plenty of advice! It's his first trip and my first trip as an adult!

1. What budget accomodation should we go for?

We are going to be in the South of the park unfortunately, due to us being low budget students. We are staying a week in the park. Which accomodation would you recommend for us? We wanna split 3 nights at one camp and 4 nights at the other. And our options are:
* Crocodile Bridge Safari Tents
* Skukuza Safari Tents
* Pretoriuskop Huts
* Lower Sabie Huts

2. Petrol
A tricky question I know. We are driving from Bloemfontein. What is a realistic petrol budget from Bloemfontein to say Malelane Gate and back? And also a realistic petrol budget for driving around in the park for a week?

3. Food
A realistic budget for food in the park for a week? If we live off takeaways and food sold at the camps/picnic spots?

4. Communal Areas
Since we'll be making use of communal kitchens and bathrooms etc as budgeters, what are they like? How are the laundries? Do we make use of our own washing powder? And dishwashing liquid etc is that necessary?

5. Sightings Boards
When I was young, I made it my mission to bring pins every trip for the sightings boards which were constantly short of them and were in a terrible condition. What is their condition at the moment in the south? I read somewhere that magnets are now used? Should I stock up on magnets for my trip?

All advice would be sincerely appreciated! :D


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 Post subject: Re: KNP Budget advice please!
Unread postPosted: Tue Jan 08, 2013 11:25 pm 
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Mark
I don't know the answers to your questions, however try thinking outside the box!!
Thare are only two of you, both young and presumably reasonably fit - borrow a tent, cooking equipment etc.
Be prepared to 'rough it' it can be great fun and makes the trip more of an adventure.
Travel light - wash clothes in a sink everyday ensuring you wash out the soap suds. Don't use a launderette.
Work out what you want and what you need - there is a difference - as you will find out later in life.
Eat cheaply - buy food outside the park at supermarkets - it is a lot cheaper.
When driving (whilst not looking for game) ensure windows are closed - open windows will reduce your MPG by up to 30%.
Keep your speed down to about 50-55 mph.
Make sure your tyres have the right pressures - to soft or to hard will also reduce your MPG
Make sure your car has been recently serviced.
You will be amazed how cheap you can live.
And enjoy
Regards
JDW

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 Post subject: Re: KNP Budget advice please!
Unread postPosted: Tue Jan 08, 2013 11:56 pm 
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Hey Mark!!
Please come join us here in the Varsity Student Forumites room 8) Young adults sharing a love for nature in common and having a lekker time :dance:

1.

The cheapest accom is camping, but it involves needing space to pack camping stuff into :slap: A bit of a challenge when you a bunch in one car, but can be solved if you pack a trailer :thumbs_up: Half the cost of your other options 8)

I would say the safari tents at CB and Skuks would be really awesome though!

2.
Petrol will probably be a tank there, a tank back, and some tanks in the Park. I use about R2500 on petrol for 6 nights in Kruger in my corsa lite. So I would estimate over R300.

3.

A lot :lol: Best is to bring your own food of coarse :whistle: But there are fairly priced meals at the wooden banana at skuks, afsaal, tsokwane. I would not eat at LS restaurant if I were you :wink: But I'm sure you could buy stock in the park and cook up a brunch at a picnic site, a braai at night, and snacks in between to keep you going :) biscuits, rusks, chips, biltong, fruit and that sort of thing is a common Kruger diet :lol:

4.
the communal kitchens and bathrooms are usually in very good order :thumbs_up: Bring your sunlight along, and remember to bring a plug for the basin! If I were you, I would just bring along enough clothing for the week, and not worry about washing until you back at home 8)

5. Sightings boards are still around, although the pins are limited. If you would be willing to provide some magnets for the South, you would be a legend :D Although these days people keep updated on the latest kruger sightings on latestsightings.com, or get the updates on twitter, BBM, or whatsapp. I am a compulsive updates checker, wanting to know what is seen where and when! So I will easily hook you up with getting the latest updates :thumbs_up:

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 Post subject: Re: KNP Budget advice please!
Unread postPosted: Wed Jan 09, 2013 12:21 am 
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Thanks guys for the prompt, helpful replies! :dance:

We unfortunately have minimal camping equipment to do the camping thing! But we're more than happy to settle for huts and safari tents! The advice so far has helped a lot, thanks again!

We are just hesitant of bringing our own food because of the monkeys and as students are used to take-aways LOL. But we'll definitely compromise if it's cheaper!

We'll be driving in a citi golf! Just to give an idea regarding my petrol query.

I'm still indecisive about which camps to settle for. I like the more quiter camps, I was wanting to go with Croc Bridge and P'kop but then again I am a manic wild dog fan and I'd do anything to have maximum sightings of them so Cheetah if you could help me with those updates, it would make my YEAR!

Any further advice would help a lot. I am stressing a lot about the trip, as a teen, my family were the stressed ones, not me and now it's my turn! So as much expertise as possible would help so much! Thanks again guys!


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 Post subject: Re: KNP Budget advice please!
Unread postPosted: Wed Jan 09, 2013 12:33 am 
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My tip - don't stress. Its a vacation. Relax and enjoy it. Planning is half the fun :lol:

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 Post subject: Re: KNP Budget advice please!
Unread postPosted: Wed Jan 09, 2013 8:42 am 
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MarkWildDog wrote:
We unfortunately have minimal camping equipment to do the camping thing! But we're more than happy to settle for huts and safari tents! The advice so far has helped a lot, thanks again!


As it's only you two young dudes, not all that much is needed in terms of camping equipment, especially if you're considering the take away food option.

I reckon you need; a tent, two camping chairs, a power cable, bedding, your clothes and of course some braai equipment should you want to tan a piece of meat at night (almost compulsory :lol: ). My brother and I will be doing just that in 3 weeks time (and have done so before). We find that we really only use the tent as a place to rest our heads after spending the day out in the park, resting under trees, or sitting in the communal activity areas of the various camps (decks, cafeterias, etc).

Doing this really allows for extending your money to other areas of enjoyment, such as extra petrol for driving around, your take away meals, morning walks, night drives, etc.

Either way, have a great time planning and enjoy your trip in July! :thumbs_up:

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 Post subject: Re: KNP Budget advice please!
Unread postPosted: Wed Jan 09, 2013 10:22 am 
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I agree with Ian :thumbs_up:

In terms of searching for wild dogs, it HAS to be Skukuza 8) of coarse you could see wild dogs at any of the camps in the South, but Skukuza is within driving distance of a few wild dog packs 8) In October we saw the big Skuks pack on the Paul Kruger H11 road, and now in Jan saw a completely different pack between Skuks and Lower Sabi! Our neighbors saw the Berg en Dal pack near Afsaal on the same day :D

But just to bring you back to reality, the chances of wild dog sightings in June are not great :( Best is to pick your camps on different criteria! If you are more attracted to a charming camp than game viewing, then Tamboti and Pretoriuskop! If game viewing is priority, then Lower Sabi for all the nights :D 8)

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 Post subject: Re: KNP Budget advice please!
Unread postPosted: Wed Jan 09, 2013 10:23 am 
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Hi Markwilddog,
The most important question is, it being the June school holidays, have you checked availability in the accommodation you require? Remember it is one of the busiest times of the year. When you have booked accommodation, plan ahead, and if you need camping equipment etc, I am sure there will be some mites giving some tips.


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 Post subject: Re: KNP Budget advice please!
Unread postPosted: Wed Jan 09, 2013 10:43 am 
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Hey Mark

Well if you cant do the camping thing you budget options in the South are safari tents at Croc bridge, Huts at Lower Sabie, Safari Tents at Skuks and huts at p'skop. Bungalow's at Malelane are also slightly cheaper than the bigger camps but quite a bit more than the other budget options.

Petrol wise I wouldnt be able to comment as I am not from bloem but I usualy use between 1-2 tanks in the park.

With regards to food, if you not camping all the other types of accomdation have fridges with freezers, so I would say bring meat from home it will be cheaper and healthier than take aways and what is kruger with out a braai :rtm:

Unfortunately petra may have just brought us back to reality, availability in June is low, but dont let that get you down, just check availability every day, although it might mean you have to compromise having 3 nights at x camp and 4 nights at y camp.

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 Post subject: Re: KNP Budget advice please!
Unread postPosted: Wed Jan 09, 2013 10:47 am 
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I remember you 8)

Pretoriuskophuts and tents in croc bridge are my fav.
But the tents at Skukuza are also a great option.

Food: all accommodation have a braai.
Take along 2 plates each, basic cutlery and you are set.
Hire a skottel at the picnic sites (Believe R20) and make your own breakfast
scrambled eggs with tomatoes, onions.
Bread is widely available in the shops these days.
And buy the basics outside Kruger before entering

dont forget to pack 2 cooler bags for carrying the food

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 Post subject: Re: KNP Budget advice please!
Unread postPosted: Wed Jan 09, 2013 1:48 pm 
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Hi Mark,

I can add nothing that hasn't been said, but I can talk from experience as I myself were a student going to the park until a year ago.

Accommodation: Like Cheetah said, camping is the cheapest and you really do not need much. A tent, or 2 if you 2 dont want to sleep with :twisted: ( ok next) to each other. 2 chairs, a leet, cooler box and thats that. Well thats what I packed. And then a bag with your clothes. Nothing more is required.

Fuel, no depending on how you drive, I recon about R2000 will get you back home.

Food: Now, you are a student and students dont eat small amounts :lol: :lol: . But I will buy most of the stuff either in Bloemies and drive it along, or stop in Nelspruit and buy it there. For breakfast I took rusks, and a few packets of Instant Oats, which you just add boiling water. And then I took snacks for the day and for dinner I bought the first 3 days meat, frozen it at the house and kept it cold with ice till I needed it. Braai'ed every night except when it rained. The Wooden banana serves one hell of a Bunny chow which will fill you!
Alot of mornings ate left over meat from the previous nights. get a few potatoes and wrap them in foil and put them in the fire when you braai and there, you have your side dish. The same goes for an onion. Delicious!

You can also cook a few meals before you go, like lasange(spelling) and reheat them once you get there.

One last thing about the accommodation, if I were to choose form the accommodation you mentioned, CB and Skukuza would be my first 2.

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 Post subject: Re: KNP Budget advice please!
Unread postPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2013 11:27 am 
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Hi Mark, don't forget to budget for toll gates :evil:

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 Post subject: Re: KNP Budget advice please!
Unread postPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2013 12:38 pm 
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Hi mark, what kind of vehicle do you drive? We have a Volvo 4 by 2, and we are from Bloemfontein. We get to the park and back on about R1400.00 driving around the park depending on how long you are there for you can add another R2000.00 for about a week. Toll gates cost us about R480.00 one way.

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 Post subject: Re: KNP Budget advice please!
Unread postPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2013 7:28 pm 
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Thanx a BILLION for all the tips! Everyone of you have helped! :D I'm pretty confident everything will go smoothly now! TOO excited! Might even go earlier, it all just depends on when my friend can get leave! Will keep you guys posted!


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 Post subject: Re: KNP Budget advice please!
Unread postPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2013 4:21 am 
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Some really great advice here! Why R480 for toll roads one way? How many are there between Bloem and Kruger? Is this correct?


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