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 Post subject: What food to take.
Unread postPosted: Wed Jan 01, 2014 11:08 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jan 01, 2014 8:09 am
Posts: 34
Location: AUSTRALIA
I hope I am in the right section for this request.
My mate and I fly in from Australia and have booked some 17 nights in Kruger NP.
It will be a self drive exercise and covering 11 different camps.(some bush camps)
My request is I need assistance with regard what food we need to take in and what is
available in the park.
We will eat at the food facilities at times but most of our time will be spent dawn to virtually dark
outside the compounds. Then basic night meal and retire.
It is 3 years since I have visited the park for a couple of nights and I had someone else
worrying about feeding me then.
Any assistance would be excellent
E Orix


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 Post subject: Re: What food to take.
Unread postPosted: Wed Jan 01, 2014 11:21 pm 
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Joined: Wed May 03, 2006 10:22 am
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Location: gauteng
I guess a few factors including your personal taste will take part in what you bring with you and eat. As you are flying you won't be able to take meat etc with you. All major camps have basically everything you need, ice, cold drinks, milk, wood, fire lighters, different kinds of meat, canned foods, coffee etc. I think a small cooler purchased at one of the camps, a few ice packs and ice will keep meat fresh for the days you are not at major camps. stock up for only as long as you reach a camp again and buy some more.

Hope this helps


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 Post subject: Re: What food to take.
Unread postPosted: Wed Jan 01, 2014 11:35 pm 
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Coffee and rusks. Nothing like stopping the car somewhere (we try for a waterhole) in the early morning and just letting the peace flow over you.

And now for something more practical. You don't say when you are visiting but please note that the some of the restaurants and cafes will be closing during Feb and March for renovations. The dates of the closures can be found here.

There are supermarkets near to most of the main gates and you can pick supplies there. There's information here.

All accommodation has a braai (barbie) grill and wood and charcoal can be bought at the shops. All units have a fridge with a small freezer section. If you have accommodation with a kitchenette you will have a 2 plate stove and some cast iron pans. If you are braai'ing then you will need a sharp knife as the one provided aren't up to much.

The parks shops have basic supplies like bread, milk, canned veg, meat, ice, soft drinks, water, wine and beer at fairly reasonable prices and quality, although supermarkets will give you more choice and are cheaper.

Two picnic sites - Afsaal and Tshokwane - sell food during the day so you can call in there.

Enjoy your trip.

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 Post subject: Re: What food to take.
Unread postPosted: Thu Jan 02, 2014 5:04 am 
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Joined: Wed Jan 01, 2014 8:09 am
Posts: 34
Location: AUSTRALIA
I wish I had come across this Forum a few weeks earlier.
We fly into J/B Sept 9, Pretoria,Nelspruit. Arrive Kruger NP 12th Crocodile 2nights,Satara 1n,Olifants 2n, Mopani 2n, Shingwedzi 1n, Sirheni 2n, Punda Maria 1n, Bateluer 1n, Letaba 2n, Tamboti 2 n, Skukuza1n. White River then back to Pretoria for 4 days to recover.
The reason for the querie is do we load up with food prior to the park entry or is there provisions available in the park. We will eat at times in the restaurants but most time s I think we will shower eat and crash.
My mate I am travelling with is a very good Avian photographer and we decided on this time as I have toured
around Nov when the Weavers etc were in colour and the area was very wet.
We will buy Eskies in Pretoria after we pick up the vehicle.
Any advice at all would be greatly appreciated, I have travelled extensively through Sth East Asia and your country is so different.
Thanks for the replies


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 Post subject: Re: What food to take.
Unread postPosted: Thu Jan 02, 2014 6:00 am 
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Joined: Thu Jan 04, 2007 10:11 pm
Posts: 139
Location: Canada - West Coast - Victoria
Hi E Orix and welcome,

Entering from the south of the Kruger your best bet IMO would be the Malelane Spar they have pretty much everything you will need, here is a link to shopping options on the way to Kruger. http://www.sanparks.org/forums/viewtopic.php?f=67&t=5933&start=90

There are restaurants and take aways in all the main camps http://www.sanparks.org/parks/kruger/camps/default.php but you will have to fend for yourself at the others, the main camps also carry most supplies however it is slightly more expensive.
Click on the above link, then on the camp of your choice, then on the left click "Travel" and thats all the information about what the different camps offer.

For the most part BBQ's are the way to go and everywhere you stay will have a private BBQ for your personal use.

As far as advice goes, the best advice I can give you is start your morning drive as soon as the gates open in the morning and dig through these forums, everything you can think of has been discussed here :)

Oh yes, I recommend that you purchase a Wild Card, it will be a lot cheaper than paying daily conservation fees https://www2.sanparks.org/wild_new/ its valid for a year so you can buy it at anytime and they will mail it to you in Australia.


Last edited by Shutterbug on Thu Jan 02, 2014 6:16 am, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: What food to take.
Unread postPosted: Thu Jan 02, 2014 6:05 am 
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Hi E Orix, you have a wonderful itinerary there, but I see that you are staying at many camps that have no restaurant facilities. You will have to self cater at Croc Bridge, Tambotie, Sirheni and Bateleur.

The other camps to have places to eat. By September the restaurants should be fully functioning. I hope that they will be able to provide you with a few good meals. If you are leaving in the early morning, you will have to get food from the camp shops the night before.

Tshokwane picnic area is a good snacking place to stop on your way to Satara. As far as I know, the little shop at Orpen has a very limited supply of food, it might be necessary to have a meal or two at Satara, or at least use their shop facilities while staying at Tambotie.

I suggest that you stop in at the SPAR shopping center in Malela or Komatiepoort and stock up for your Croc Bridge time. They do supply some good ready made meals that might serve your purpose. I usually have barbequed chicken, salad and fresh rolls for my first night, as it is hassle free and tasty.

Make sure that you have a good cooler bag. You will need lots to drink as September can be extremely hot at times.

Sirheni and Bateleur will be eating challenges. If you don't feel like braaing, you might just have to eat at Singwetzi, or Mopani.

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 Post subject: Re: What food to take.
Unread postPosted: Thu Jan 02, 2014 6:49 am 
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Location: CAPE TOWN
As usual you are getting a lot of excellent advice from the experts. From a different perspective - when I travel with a friend (2 girls) we NEVER braai :shock: :shock: it often causes great concern from our neighbours in the evenings who always try to invite us to their braai or offer to assist us with making a braai but believe it or not we are one of the few who don't. For me KTP & KNP is a time for nibbling - no cooking at all - I do that at home. When we cannot eat at the restaurants we stock up on - nuts, dried fruit, biltong (I do hope you try and love that) definitely rusks and coffee in the morning. Malelane Spar is excellent. you will need a thermos for the coffee, long life milk, rusks/biscuits and then stock up on the goodies available. Eggs are good - hard boil a whole lot & they serve as a good source of protein. Definitely get a good cooler box (eski) and you can get fruit, tomato and all sorts of things so that on the nights you do not have a restaurant available you can just snack on the various goodies you have bought. No standing over a fire or washing up afterwards. Another good idea is fry up a whole lot of bacon and there is nothing like bacon sarmies the next few days. Buy a few packets of sliced bread - it lasts for ages. Have a wonderful time


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 Post subject: Re: What food to take.
Unread postPosted: Thu Jan 02, 2014 8:38 am 
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I like the sound of bacon Sarmies. 8) Sometimes I do light up a braai and then do lots of boerrie. Nothing like cold boerrie rolls on a drive.

Boiled eggs sounds excellent.

E Orix, if you can stop at a food Woolworths in Nelspruit, they usually have some good choices of packed foods suitable for snacking and keeping on hand. Their hot cross buns really last a long time. I am usually not a fan of processed cheese, but it does last forever. Also a good thing to keep available for hot toasties.

Macadamia nuts can be another excellent snack. They keep the blood sugar constant and stop the nibbles. Not to be eaten with crisps though.

It is often difficult to find fresh fruit in some of the northern camps. Dried fruit is a great alternative. It can be bought at most shops, but Woolworths will possibly have the best quality.

If the weather is very hot, I take a small six pack freezer bag and freeze isotonic drinks overnight. It is a perfect drink on very hot days. September is possibly the most unpredictable month. I have experienced extremes of temperature.

Milk often goes sour. In summer I take Enrista, or Nescafe coffee packs, the ones ready to be popped into boiling water. A good flask is another essential. Nothing like a steaming cup of coffee at an early morning waterhole. I don't take sugar, so I do sometimes struggle to find ready mixes without sugar.

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 Post subject: Re: What food to take.
Unread postPosted: Thu Jan 02, 2014 12:19 pm 
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Welcome to the forum E Orix, you won't go hungry, so don't worry.

Starting at the least effort to most.
1. You can eat at the camp restaurants and picnic sites that provide food.
2. You can buy tinned almost anything from supermarkets outside Kruger (and lots inside) and a tin opener and a pot. If you are staying in chalets etc the utensits will be provided.
3. Freshish bread, sometimes veggies & fruit and frozen meat are available from the park shops and supermarkets outside. Again if you are in a chalet etc there is a freezer compartment.
4. Drinks (alcoholic & not) the same as above.
5. Each unit and camp site has a barbecue thingy with a tray where you burn the wood/charcoal and a grid above for your meat.

I am not sold on your itinerary mate. You will get sick of packing & unpacking and be tempted to do it in prime viewing time, and maybe miss some wow moments.

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 Post subject: Re: What food to take.
Unread postPosted: Thu Jan 02, 2014 2:20 pm 
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Location: AUSTRALIA
To all the people who have responded thank you very much, but being a greedy Aussie keep them coming as
the data is priceless.
Our itinerary had to be changed as apparently several of our first choice camps were not available for two and in some other choices not available for 3 nights.
It is not easy trying to make bookings from so far away which can be frustrating at times.
As I mentioned earlier I wish I had of come across this forum earlier, my life would have been easier and I think a lot less expensive but that's life and once in the park all will be forgotten and the time enjoyed.
I am a bird person but on my last short visit to KNP it was the animals that blew me away, most Sth Africans wouldn't realise the impact of large animals have on people that are not used to them.
Here in Australia I recently went on a bird count(Gouldian Finch) in our far north which has a population of 1 person for at least every 50 sq klm .
To get there 3 flights all up 6 hours in the air then a 120km 4 wheel drive. It is real wilderness.
Apart from feral cattle, the biggest animals seen were small wallabies less than a metre high plus some big lizards(crocs)
You can walk anywhere without finding anything with BIG teeth but the bird life was staggering.
Your Wildlife is priceless and must be appreciated and protected by all.


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 Post subject: Re: What food to take.
Unread postPosted: Thu Jan 02, 2014 2:26 pm 
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Another great topic to help with ideas! :D

Your Kruger menu

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 Post subject: Re: What food to take.
Unread postPosted: Thu Jan 02, 2014 4:18 pm 
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In broad terms you should cater for the first few days and nights at one of the Supermarkets before you first enter the Park. But with a decent length trip like yours you will need to top up from time to time in the Park shops.
The Park shops are pretty good; fresh milk, fresh veg and Ice is usually available. Once you've popped in to 1 or 2 you'll get the idea, beware that north of Letaba supplies may not replenish quite as frequently.
So, by & large with a bit of forethought you will be able to have enough food & drink on hand; and mix in restaurant visits to suit.
The coolbox (coolboxes?) will be key. They are useful daily when driving around to keep sarnies / beverages cool, and critical on camp - to - camp days.

We tend to buy Cap Classique and Lemons and Honey for the whole trip as these items seem to be hard to find in the Park Shops (I am sure others will chime in with other such oddball necessities!).

Tip. There is a good Supermarket just a km outside Phalaborwa gate. I see in your itinerary you pass there twice. So easy enough to build in a small diversion if need be.

Oh, one other thing. Some of the bushcamps don't have the fridges running all day. Not a problem if you plan for it, and decant stuff you need that day into coolbox(es) during the 'on' times. Ice for purchase is your friend.


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 Post subject: Re: What food to take.
Unread postPosted: Thu Jan 02, 2014 9:03 pm 
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Hi e orix

Welcome to the forum. Your trip looks great but I agree with BB,lots of unpacking, but on the positive side, you will see a lot of camps.

1. The bushveld camps have utensils, kitchenette but no shop. You can only purchase wood and ice at the bushveld camps.

2. At the main camps, check if you have utensils. If your accommodation on the booking form says communal kitchens , then assume no utensils at all. You may wish to bring/purchase a pot and some utensils. All communal kitchens have boiling water urns for tea/coffee.

3. We have found that the shops at lower Sabie, Skukuza, Letaba Berg en Dal and Mopani, have the best selection. Satara shop is okay but I find the food selection small for the size of camp. I am not sure of the status of the Shingwedzi shop. It should be rebuilt/reopen by September. Their temporary shop had a limited selection, but you will not starve. Croc Bridge and Punda Maria are smaller shops but do have a reasonable selection. We usually buy most of our food outside the park, and try and top up with a quick stop at Phalaborwa somewhere during the trip. The food at the KNP shops is more expensive but not so bad for those from overseas. It has a convenience factor.

4. We use the restaurants more for brunch, however that may change with the new franchises.

5. I would suggest stopping at picnic sites for breakfast/brunch etc. Only Afsaal, Tshokwane and Nkhulu have food service. All the others have BBQ facilities or skottles (gas cookers) for rent. We usually rent a skottle and cook breakfast or make toast, but you need your own supplies and utensils. Some of the picnic sites, like Pafuri, are great for birding.

6. If you can get hold of a park map, then this will help you work out distances/time between camps etc. assume an average of 20km/hr. This may affect your decision re food. I have a few old ones, so let me know and I can mail one to you.

7. Be aware that you will probably have to pay cash for fuel and things like skottle rentals. Cards can be used for the rest, if you are okay with the foreign transaction fees. We tend to carry cash. There are ATM's at Skukuza and Letaba, but these have not always worked for us. There is a thread on the forum regarding this.

Have a great trip.

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 Post subject: Re: What food to take.
Unread postPosted: Fri Jan 03, 2014 1:27 am 
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Location: Redmond,WA USA
As an overseas visitor it is hard to prepare for Kruger because we can't take too much.Two things I do take are a sharp knife and a frying pan,believe it or not! I braii most nights but sometimes just want to cook something quickly in a pan and frankly the pans suck at KNP. I also use charcoal(sacrilege!) as it it easiest to transport.You can always buy wood when you restock later I bring some of my own spices also.The meat in SA is excellent and I just buy packages of various sauces to vary the menu
I concur with whomever said to restock in Phalaborwa. That's what I have done.The shops are very close to the gate.Do it after your morning drive.There is an excellent butcher,a woolies and Pick and pay
I have the list that fee emailed to me after my first trip saved on my google drive.I will
certainly post it here or PM it if fee doesn't return in a timely fashion

isinkwe-that breakfast looks awesome!
Have never used a skottle because not a huge breakfast eater.

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 Post subject: Re: What food to take.
Unread postPosted: Fri Jan 03, 2014 1:42 am 
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Taking a frying pan is a great idea. :clap: We took a small camping pan that was totally inadequate for 3 people. Not sure what I was thinking. :)

We brought along empty tupper-ware containers, some plastic utensils, a sharp knife, a few flexible shish kebab thingys for grilling up chunks of meat and veggies, and my personal favorite, a charcoal chimney starter. We also brought along those little Starbucks single serving tubes of coffee, but forgot to bring along splenda packets. That is on our list for next time.

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