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Camping in Kruger

Discuss and find information on the Kruger National Park
Smitte
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Best caravan sites in the Kruger

Unread postby Smitte » Tue Apr 05, 2005 5:15 pm

Hi there, My wife and I are wisiting the park now for more than 15 years and always made use of bungalows. We now have two little gils (4 years and the other 2 years) and decided to buy a caravan as the bungalows stay was a fiasco with the two the last time went. I have never paid any attention on the camping sites and have no idea what the best camps are for children i.e. safety, grass etc.

We want to visit the Kruger in April, buy got no idea on where to book where the children would be acommodated the best. Any suggestions from campers?

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Jock
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Unread postby Jock » Tue Apr 05, 2005 5:39 pm

Firstly welcome Smitte.

We use to do the caravan thing when I was a kid and it was fantastic, they will never forget the experience. Speaking to my mom (Elsa) she says we found Shingwedzi the best. We were not all that keen on Skukuza because it is such a busy camp.

I think most camps are great and I would suggest getting your caravan positioned by the fence so you can see the animals in the evenings. Taking a bright lamp is a must (but remember not to shine it in their eyes).
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DinkyBird
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Unread postby DinkyBird » Tue Apr 05, 2005 6:00 pm

Hi and welcome Smitte!

We have caravanned for the past 17 years - our boys grew up caravanning and there is no better way to holiday as a family!

Each camp site in Kruger has its own special qualities and you are going to get a variety of answers from the forum. None provide more for children than the other so the choice will be a personal one.
If you wish to camp near a swimming pool you will have to choose a camp that has one such as Skukuza.
Letaba has a lovely camp site, lots of grass and shade with bush buck roaming about and lots of bird life and is a good camp to go to with children.
Lower Sabie has demarcated sites and not much grass, more gravel, so children would be restricted in their playing areas.
Skukuza is a big camp and is very busy and if you do end up on the road as Jock did, can be noisy, but it has quiet corners too and lots to do in the main camp.
Satara can get dusty if the wind blows and there are not many sites that are shady.
All the camp sites in Kruger have electricity (except Balule) and access to taps close by and very nice ablutions.
We see young children at all the camp sites and they always seem to be happy.
Take toys etc for them to play with and try and get close to the fence as Jock said - not only for your children but for yourselves too!
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Unread postby Guinea Pig » Tue Apr 05, 2005 6:09 pm

We go tenting and it's very difficult to say which is best.
We all have different choices.
We've never been at a camp where there were no children - and they certainly looked like they were enjoying themselves thoroughly.
Mine are older so they enjoyed the swimming pool at Skukuza - were there until 10 at night with lots of friends.
Letaba would be my choice for a smaller kid - Elephant museum, animals roaming the camp, lots of birds.

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Unread postby Meg » Tue Apr 05, 2005 6:18 pm

Although we almost always camp I've never taken small children along.
I would imagine Letaba would be a big hit as there is quite a lot to do - river frontage for using the binocs while having lunch, bush buck in camp grazing, the ellie museum and quite a nice shop.

Camps with swimming pools are another good idea with kids I'd imagine, providing you don't mind using the larger camps.
One nice thing about Skukuza is that the nearby day visitor centre also has a lovely pool, so you could swim, take a drive, swim at another pool, take another drive, etc.
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Unread postby Oumie » Tue Apr 05, 2005 9:09 pm

Welcome Smitte :)

We have been camping with a caravan and tent for the last
26 years, and my two children literarily grew up at the park :!:
We stayed at every camp and we loved them all exept for Skakuza :( too busy, but the roads around Skakuza for animal sightings are good. Also lots to see at the Museum and the pool are a blessing when you have kids 8)
So you will have to try a differrent camp every year :!:

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Unread postby DinkyBird » Thu Apr 14, 2005 8:39 pm

madach wrote:My favourite spot would be Balule! I like it for a number of reasons:

1. Not a lot of camping spots so it's very quiet
2. No electricity so not a lot of light which makes it feel 'cosy' at night.
3. Close to the low water bridge so you stay at the bridge till 5 minutes before the gates close (lots of kingfishers there)
4. Excellent area for wildlife

Oh yes, how could I leave out Balule!! Was there last a good few years back but it is a special place! Love the lamps they use at night to light the ablution blocks and so on.
Sawubona
Dalene

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Re: Advice on Camping @ Kruger!

Unread postby Wild@Heart » Tue Aug 30, 2005 4:38 pm

Gunner wrote:- is it possible to "Tent out" at any Camp? :D

Majority of the main camps ... yes

Gunner wrote:- is it advisable to travel up north? :?

Definitely, even if you only do it once in your life ... you need to see the north.

Gunner wrote:- will malaria be a problem if i tent out?

Malaria will always be a problem ... tent or bungalow, so make provision.

Gunner wrote:I have also heard that Satara is a good central camp to be based, for one to cover all regions of the park!
Is it true & do they offer camping sites?

Satara does offer camping ... when you say "cover all regions of the Park" meaning you can drive all the way to the north or south in one day ... then definetly no! ... the distances are to great to cover in one day ... if you plan on going to another camp, north or south .. then you could do it (although some you will not have time to stop and see nice game ...

It's a very beautiful area and would recommend it any time ... it's also close to the S100 :twisted:
NO TO HOTEL DEVELOPMENT IN KRUGER

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Unread postby Bush Baptist » Tue Aug 30, 2005 10:29 pm

Maroela, near Orpen is a great camp site, on the Timbavati river. The malaria situation is the same as for huts & cottages.
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Unread postby DinkyBird » Wed Aug 31, 2005 8:18 am

Couple of tips for camping in KNP:

Take a long electric lead if you plan to use electricity as some camp sites are far from elec points.

You cannot beat setting up camp at the fence so try and time arriving fairly early ie as soon as the people leaving the camp for that day go, about 9am.

As the weather warms up you should try and set up under a tree for some shade.

Many sites do not have grass so take a mat to wipe off shoes before entering tent etc.
Sawubona
Dalene

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Unread postby DinkyBird » Thu Sep 01, 2005 8:19 am

If you intend camping at Satara you really must try and get a fence camping site and take a long elec. lead as the elec points are very far apart.
There is not that much shade along the fence so maybe pack a beach umbrella to put up for a bit of shade.
There is no grass along the fence.
Sawubona
Dalene

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Advise on Camping @ Kruger!

Unread postby Snoobab » Thu Sep 01, 2005 3:45 pm

If you are planning an electric site !!!
I took out my extension cable of 20m thinking it was long and then I saw the guy in the caravan next to me take out something that looked like the coil of rope Sir Edmund Hillary used to climb Everest.
20m is not long enough!! 50m + will do the trick

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Unread postby Guinea Pig » Sun Sep 11, 2005 4:20 pm

Punda Maria - if possible get to camp as early as you can.
They tend to overbook the camp site and there aren't enough camp sites with power to go around.
The area around the bird hide has a lot of traffic and the kids can be noisy.

Shingwedzi - lovely as ever.
Ground hard as ever - take with a proper hammer and strong tent pins.
Again - try as early as you can.
Spots under nice shade trees are hard to come by at the fence.
Beware of the dwarf mongooses - they've become very cheeky.

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Unread postby Oumie » Sun Sep 11, 2005 4:21 pm

Hi DB,
Just take a good sleeping mattress!
Please not the blow up ones :evil: Done that, got the t-shirt.
They always go flat and you have to pump them up twice a day.
Every time we go to Kruger we hear these people pumping mattresses for Africa :!:
As I said I have a list for camping with our tent and we stick to that.
Croc Bridge 17/4 - 19/4
Lower Sabie 20/4 to 10/5
Satara 11/5 to 17/5
Letaba 18/5 to 24/5
Shingwedzi 25/5 to 31/5
Tsendze 1/6 to 4/6
Satara 5/6 to 7/6
Maroela 8/6 to 11/6

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Freda
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Unread postby Freda » Sun Sep 11, 2005 5:00 pm

We used to use the blow-up mattresses and blew them up from a pump that fitted the cigarette lighter in the combi. After burning the lighter out a few times and still having the mattresses deflate we changed to stretchers.
We did go for the best we could find, don't think I'm allowed to name the brand :roll: ,
We have tried them with the mattresses off pool loungers and also with nothing and we prefer them without mattresses.
We now put a sleeping bag on the stretcher and throw a duvet over us and we sleep like babies :D
I've only camped at Punda out of school hols. and there has never been more than 3 tents on the whole site.


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