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 Post subject: Kgalagadi booking advice sought
Unread postPosted: Tue Aug 13, 2013 7:43 pm 
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Joined: Mon Aug 12, 2013 12:20 pm
Posts: 3
Location: P.E.
Hi all, I'm a new member to the Forum. My husband and I and our "old" friends are planning a visit to the Kgalagadi in Sept 2014 and would like advice about whether we should try and do the bookings ourselves or whether to appoint an "agent" to handle the bookings for us. We would appreciate any advice/suggestions/pointers in this regard. The planned itinerary is as follows (in chronological order) from 6 Sept: Twee Rivieren (2 nights), Urikaruus (1 night), Mata Mata (2 nights), Bitterpan (2 nights), Nossob (1 night), Polentswa trail (3 nights), Grootkolk (2 nights), Nossob (2 nights), Matopi 1 or 2 (1 night), Mabuesehube (3 nights). Thanks in advance!


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 Post subject: Re: Kgalagadi booking advice sought
Unread postPosted: Tue Aug 13, 2013 9:39 pm 
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Joined: Wed May 22, 2013 12:39 pm
Posts: 3
Hi Luikat, are you from ZA?
If yes,there is nothing complicated in doing your own bookings.
Even if you are not a ZA resident, the procedure would be simple.
Phone 021 552 0008 and speak to Trudie or any one that answers and make your booking. Simple as that.

Just realised that some of your bookings fall on the Botswana side. Polentswa, Matopi, Mabua....For these you would have to phone Botswana reservations in Gaberone on 00 267 397 1405. The Botswana ringtones could be mistaken for an engaged or out of order tone but don't hang up they will answer eventually.

Trudie can only do bookings on the ZA side.
I have just last week finalised my bookings for Kgalagadi, both ZA and Botswana sides for June/July 2014 by using the numbers above. Good luck.


Last edited by Sigmund on Tue Aug 13, 2013 9:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Kgalagadi booking advice sought
Unread postPosted: Tue Aug 13, 2013 9:44 pm 
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Legendary Virtual Ranger
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welcome to the forum Luikat :D
also easy "online booking" in reservation above (in the green band) :thumbs_up:
I use this way, because I can't speak English... and still more with a phone :lol:

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 Post subject: Re: Kgalagadi booking advice sought
Unread postPosted: Wed Aug 14, 2013 6:08 am 
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Joined: Mon Mar 17, 2008 6:56 am
Posts: 92
Location: Kleinmond
I would suggest doing your own bookings as you may not be able to get the dates you want at the small camps (Urikaruus and Grootkolk) so if you have to juggle your bookings you can find out what is available. They are always very helpful and patient at the call centre in Pretoria and will help give you the dates that you want. I first check online to see availability at the camps before calling in so that I have a better idea as to where I may have problems when making my booking.Good luck


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 Post subject: Re: Kgalagadi booking advice sought
Unread postPosted: Wed Aug 14, 2013 7:43 am 
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Luikat wrote:
The planned itinerary is as follows (in chronological order) from 6 Sept: Twee Rivieren (2 nights), Urikaruus (1 night), Mata Mata (2 nights), Bitterpan (2 nights), Nossob (1 night), Polentswa trail (3 nights), Grootkolk (2 nights), Nossob (2 nights), Matopi 1 or 2 (1 night), Mabuesehube (3 nights).



Hi Luikat,

You might have one problem with you itinerary...........the Mata Mata ..........Bitterpan.......Nossob will be problematic.

You can only reach Bitterpan from the Nossob side (one way) and driving from Mata Mata to Nossob and then to Bitterpan will just not be possible in the day hours you have. The next day you could exit via the escape route and then back to Nossob.

Enjoy your visit ............. :thumbs_up:

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 Post subject: Re: Kgalagadi booking advice sought
Unread postPosted: Wed Aug 14, 2013 7:55 am 
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Legendary Virtual Ranger
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Location: Lausanne (Switzerland)
I also saw that lion queen :hmz:

but a lot of people are going in all senses at the moment... so I didn't intervened :?
and seems love to do a lot of km :wink:

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 Post subject: Re: Kgalagadi booking advice sought
Unread postPosted: Wed Aug 14, 2013 12:28 pm 
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Joined: Mon Aug 12, 2013 12:20 pm
Posts: 3
Location: P.E.
Thanks all for your input and advice. Much appreciated and helpful.
We'll relook our itinerary.
My concern was that sometimes they say they're fully booked when, in fact, they are not (it's happened!) and that's why I thought it might be better for an agent to book on our behalf.
Will give feedback once bookings made.
:thumbs_up:


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 Post subject: Re: Kgalagadi booking advice sought
Unread postPosted: Thu Aug 15, 2013 8:35 pm 
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Joined: Fri Feb 01, 2008 11:37 am
Posts: 392
If you do register for online reservation and try to make a booking at SANParks you may find that the system will not allow you to leave a 3 day gap between Nossob and Grootkolk. On-line can only be done 10 months in advance, while telephonic reservations 11 months. I would advise to try the first possible chance to book although your bookings will not fall during the school holidays and maybe not that busy then. When booking telephonically you may not be hindered by the 3 day gap and can explain why you book that why. The best might be to first complete your SA booking and then start the Botswana section there after in case you cannot get the 3 days at Polentswa.

Looks like Sigmund has the right contact because my July 2014 holiday was cancelled on 1 August when all the camps were booked out by the time I could view the availability. :cry:

Good luck with your plans and bookings.


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 Post subject: Re: Kgalagadi booking advice sought
Unread postPosted: Fri Aug 16, 2013 8:36 am 
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Joined: Mon Aug 12, 2013 12:20 pm
Posts: 3
Location: P.E.
Thanks for the advice. Yes the problem is that the availability at this stage only shows up to 31 July 2014 and we're going in Sept 2014. Also the Mabue trail is meant to be the highlight of our trip so we need to sort out that booking first, then the rest of the bookings can follow. I have faxed Botswana Reservations and requested availability at Mabue camping and trail and eagerly await their response. Will follow up with them in a few days. :pray:


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 Post subject: Re: Kgalagadi booking advice sought
Unread postPosted: Fri Sep 20, 2013 3:22 pm 
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Joined: Fri Apr 26, 2013 6:27 pm
Posts: 30
Sigmund wrote:
Hi Luikat, are you from ZA?
If yes,there is nothing complicated in doing your own bookings.
Even if you are not a ZA resident, the procedure would be simple.
Phone 021 552 0008 and speak to Trudie or any one that answers and make your booking. Simple as that.

Just realised that some of your bookings fall on the Botswana side. Polentswa, Matopi, Mabua....For these you would have to phone Botswana reservations in Gaberone on 00 267 397 1405. The Botswana ringtones could be mistaken for an engaged or out of order tone but don't hang up they will answer eventually.

Trudie can only do bookings on the ZA side.
I have just last week finalised my bookings for Kgalagadi, both ZA and Botswana sides for June/July 2014 by using the numbers above. Good luck.



Hi am a bit confused I thought you had to call sanparks main number to make all bookings 0027124289111. I am booking Kgalagadi and Kruger for September 2014 on 1 October, telephoning from Uk. Is it better to phone 'Trudi' as I need to make sure I get the camps in Kgalagadi I want so will be up at the crack of dawn. Would appreciate clarification on this. also can anyone tell me if , when I ring at 7.30am SA time, I will likely be kept on hold?do sanparks have lots of operators answering on those busy days? Want to get myself well prepared so it all works out well. thanks Pen


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 Post subject: Re: Kgalagadi booking advice sought
Unread postPosted: Sun Sep 22, 2013 5:43 pm 
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Senior Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Sun Oct 26, 2008 5:10 pm
Posts: 2214
If there is a gap in your booking you just end up with two separate bookings, before and after the gap. It is not a problem.


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 Post subject: Re: Kgalagadi booking advice sought
Unread postPosted: Wed Sep 25, 2013 1:10 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jul 09, 2013 12:32 pm
Posts: 18
Location: Stellenbosch (KTP in my Dreams)
Hey Pen,

You can phone Trudie or the other number. Not sure though how early the call centre opens, but that other number may be better for very early or very late due to it being a call centre.

Trudie works at a SANParks office, but is really friendly and it is a pleasure dealing with her.

Having said that, my dad made a booking for our trip in October 2013 on the call centre number, and also got great service.

G

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Can't wait to get back in May for a 4th trip.

KTP: 19-26 May 2014


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 Post subject: Re: Kgalagadi booking advice sought
Unread postPosted: Sat Sep 28, 2013 6:07 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jun 16, 2013 12:02 am
Posts: 47
I am very impressed by the online booking system.

I had booked a 8 day trip to KTP for Nov. taking advice from fellow mites I have been watching the availability of some of the wildernesss camps almost daily since June when I made the original bookings.

When I booked in June I could not get anything for Urikaruss or Kieliekrankie. So I booked pretty much TR, NO, GG, BP and KTC.

Suddenly this morning I see that a number of camps have become available e.g. UR and KK. I went on the online booking system and started amending my booking working out what I ditch and what I fill up with the new availability. It was pretty straight forward and managed to amend and extend my entire trip online.

So I am very happy that the camps I wanted became available and btw, I see a lot of availability! What is disappointing is that clearly people book at the SANpark centers way before then when it comes to paying up they seem to ditch their bookings. That can be the only explanation on these sudden availability on the camps that were not available 4 months ago.

Is this the normal process?

But seriously, good online booking system with a couple of quirks that took me a while to work out.


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 Post subject: Re: Kgalagadi booking advice sought
Unread postPosted: Sun Sep 29, 2013 7:22 am 
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Joined: Tue Sep 21, 2010 8:38 am
Posts: 13
When I did my June/July booking for next year, particularly July as I had to wait a month to complete the booking, the booking office in Northcliff JHB had a queue of about 40 people when I got there at 5:45am on 1st August. Bookings open at 7.30am but if the personnel are dealing with walk in clients they do not answer the phones. The majority of people were booking for Kruger. It is school holidays so very busy!!!


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 Post subject: Re: Kgalagadi booking advice sought
Unread postPosted: Tue Oct 01, 2013 11:55 am 
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Joined: Fri Apr 26, 2013 6:27 pm
Posts: 30
In case anyone is interested here is what happened to me this morning. It was a nightmare.

Booking for Kgalagadi September 2014. Phoned just before 7.30 SA time, 6.30 UK time. Saw the availability online at 7.15am SA time, on some days the wilderness camps were already booked??? how was that? who got there before the official opening time? :evil:

Held on for 45mins and watched as all the wilderness camps except for Khalari Tented Camp got booked before my eyes. By the time I got through Urikaruss was gone, :doh: I had to change our itinerary drastically to get anything like what we wanted but needed to put more nights in at KTC than we wanted.

Ended up with:-
KTC 1 night
Kieliekrankie 2 nights
KTC 3 nights
Gharagab 3 nights
Grootkolk 1 night
Bitterpan 2 nights

Will have to wait now and see if over the months Urikaruus becomes available. :pray:

Also booked Augrabies, no problem and Kruger, Byamiti bushveld was the problem there. :shock: Well I was shocked and the lady doing the booking kept saying "Hurry up Mam and make your mind up as its going fast!!!" Plan B, Plan C forget it, just grab what you can. Still at least we are GOING :clap: Only 11 months to wait. Pen


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