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 Post subject: Camp Site Selection Help
Unread postPosted: Sun Jan 04, 2015 10:02 am 
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Joined: Sun Jan 04, 2015 6:24 am
Posts: 7
Hi All,

I am planning to visit Kruger national park for 10 days.
My plan is to land at Nelspruit airport and drive to park:

1N at Skukuza (first night)
2N at Satara
??N Lower Sabie
??N Berg-en-Dal
??N Mopani

?? - Need suggestion how many nights to spend on those three camp sites?

In addition, what airport would be recommended for more budgeted travel?

Looking forward for any good suggestions

Thanks
Viral


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 Post subject: Re: Camp Site Selection Help
Unread postPosted: Sun Jan 04, 2015 3:14 pm 
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Joined: Tue Nov 01, 2011 5:57 am
Posts: 217
Location: CAPE TOWN
Your question is a bit like "how long is a piece of string" Absolutely everybody will have a different suggestion about where to stay and for how long. Anywhere in Kruger is wonderful.

With regard to airports - I have flown to Nelspruit and Phalaborwa many times but used the newly opened Skukuza airport for the first time in November and will be using it again in in February - a stunning little airport and it is now definitely my favourite starting point for a trip to KNP. Arriving this way avoids any travelling on the open roads outside the park. Avis has a car hire office both at the airport and at Skukuza camp itself. I have found recently - with the new restaurants and better stocked shops that there has been no need to shop outside the park

Enjoy the planning of your trip - for me a very exciting part of my holiday


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 Post subject: Re: Camp Site Selection Help
Unread postPosted: Sun Jan 04, 2015 6:51 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jan 16, 2005 3:19 pm
Posts: 8331
Location: Portsmouth, England
Hi pviral, welcome to the forum.

Firstly is this the order you want to stay at the camps? If so then Berg-an-Dal to Mopani is a very long trip. Doable but it won't give you a lot of options for stopping and staying at good sightings.

Secondly, collective wisdom is that 2 nights at a camp is a good minimum. I personally like to stay a minimum of 3 nights at both Lower Sabie and Satara. Although things don't always work out that way. Mopani is worth a couple of nights.

I'm afraid I can't help with the airports, I normally drive in from Joburg.

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 Post subject: Re: Camp Site Selection Help
Unread postPosted: Sun Jan 04, 2015 7:59 pm 
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Joined: Tue May 02, 2006 11:07 am
Posts: 280
Location: Western Cape
I concur with everything Saraf said;
Regarding the airports; it very much depends from where you will be flying, but i would suggest Nelspruit (KMIA) if you are starting off with Skukuza, otherwise Hoedspruit. While the airport at Skukuza (inside the park itself) might be very convenient, the flights to and from there are (in my opinion) ludicrously expensive. Not for a budget traveller! Budget-wise the best option would be to fly to Johannesburg and to drive from there.
Enjoy the planning!

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 Post subject: Re: Camp Site Selection Help
Unread postPosted: Mon Jan 05, 2015 12:55 am 
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Joined: Sun Jan 04, 2015 6:24 am
Posts: 7
Thanks for your suggestions. It is really useful in thinking through.

We are 3 adults.

Suggestions: ?? Is renting price the same at all airports??
We are debatting to fly to JNB and rent a car
Vs from JNB to Skukuza/Nelspruit airport and rent a car.
We are paying approx. same price for renting an automatic SUV from any of these airports. (555$-JNB, 640$- Skukuza, Nelspruit). We are also paying 500-600$ per person for flights from JNB to Kruger(Nelspruit/Skukuza)


1 N at Skukuza (first night)
1 N at Bergen-Dal (Shall we stay here or skip it)
2 N at Lower Sabie
2 N at Satara
1N at Olifants
1N Minopani
1 N Skukuza (Sabi Sand Game Reserve??)
1 Full day of game reserve?

9 Nights

Will this be too much driving around?

We heard great things about Sabi Sand Game Reserve. Do you have suggestions for any open vehicle FULL DAY safari tours in Sabi Sand Game Reserve and also at Kruger Park Safari?

Few more questions regarding activities

1. We are taking sunrise; sunset; nightdrive; morning walk at Satara and taking sunset drive/sunrise drive at Lower Sabie and night drive at Olifants.
2. Shall we take more drives? If yes, which main camps would you suggest?
3. Minopani - Not sure if we stay there for 1 night or can we see any animalls at this site?


Looking forward for any good suggestions

Thanks

Viral


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 Post subject: Re: Camp Site Selection Help
Unread postPosted: Mon Jan 05, 2015 11:14 pm 
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Location: Portsmouth, England
Sabi Sands is a private reserve and not part of SANParks and although is part of the so-called "Greater Kruger" is not part of Kruger National Park. As this is a SANParks funded site I am going to ask people to comment on Sabi Sands via PM and not openly, as we aren't allowed to discuss the competition.

Most people here will tell you that self drive is the way to go. A full day game drive sounds great but from experience it is very tiring. However if you do want to do the "full on" experience at a private reserve then maybe do it at the start rather than the end - that way you can put the tips you pick up from the guide into practice when you are driving around on your own. As a counter to my own argument, a little bit of pampering at the end is also welcome.

Again I would really advise a minimum of 2 nights per camp. Choose either BnD or Skukuza for 2 nights, whichever you choose you can visit the other on a day's drive. Not sure where Minopani is - do you mean Mopani? If so I would swap a night at Olifants for 2 nights at Mopani. Olifants is easily doable as a day trip either from Mopani or Satara. While not as game rich as other areas, it is in a beautiful position on the Pioneer Dam and has some interesting roads around, with a different ecosystem.

I would actually take less drives, maybe 1 per camp. I think they cut into your day - for the sunset drives you would be rushing back early - and you are likely to get the same guide, with the same stories taking the same route.

There are pros and cons of driving vs flying. Hiring a car from Joburg you will get more choice, both of companies and the car models. I think they are slightly cheaper. You will also see a lot more of South Africa than from an airplane.

The downside is the time and strain of driving, minimum of 4-5 hours each way. It's tiring, especially around the busy roads of Joburg (although maybe as there are 3 you can share the driving). You also need to take into consideration the fuel and toll fees (again split between 3 people they may not be too much).

Hope this helps.

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