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Travelling Alone in the Park

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Travelling Alone in the Park

Unread postby Jazil » Mon Oct 03, 2005 11:07 pm

I need advice and help on where to stay in the Park if one is alone.
I have been to the Park often, not for a few years, but never alone.
I have 10 days in November when I am alone at home and would like to spend some of those days in the park, I am actually DESPERATE to get there again.

I love my own company so have no problems with that.
I travel to Jhb and Durban alone all the time, so have no problem getting to the park.
Its close anyways.

Its so much nicer to share ones sightings with someone but that cant be, so I am going alone.
The one thing that bothers me, and I am embarrassed to say this, is the ellies!!!
I love them, but not too close.
I have had a kinda "scary" meeting with them here, in Swaziland, it actually was fine, but they rubbed up against our vehicle and their wonderful fine trunks brushed all over our windscreen....... it was actually "awesum" when you think of it, the game guard was with us and we obviously listened to him, and we kept as quiet as little mice and never moved, but I have a great respect for all animals especially ellies, (they are so large,) and it is their territory, not ours, I am an intruder into their environment, so I am weary of meeting ellies too close, alone.
Does that make sense to anyone else? (In the past one ellie stopped us going along the dirt road to Lower Sabie from Thokwane, years and years ago, we made it into the camp gates about half an hour late due to this ellie not letting anyone pass - that was scary too.......... not being late, but the ellie!).
Am I a wimp?

I am rambling on sorry, but am so desperate to get to the park.

Where do members feel it is best to stay when one is alone?
(Obviously need to check what accommodation is free then)
Which roads are the best to travel alone?
I know you can never say what you will see where....... but any advice is welcome.

(Maybe a case of Amarula would help!! :lol: )

Please any suggestions or ideas, and I dont mind if anyone feels that I am being stupid, please tell me.
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Unread postby arks » Tue Oct 04, 2005 12:37 am

I've always travelled alone in KNP and can assure you that it's just fine.
I've certainly never worried about my safety.
In fact, you're more likely to meet people just because you are alone and don't have built in entertainment. I've met many interesting "neighbors" on my visits.
And I've stayed in a variety of camps, tho never camping, always in a bungalow.

Of course a downside to travelling alone is that you have to do all the driving, but that has never kept me from seeing lots and lots and lots.
There's always the chance of encounters with ellies, but you clearly know how to handle those.
I've been mock charged (main road south of Shingwedzi) and once almost backed into a lone young bull, but he was much less fussed by the encounter than I :D

I've never worried about travelling on the less travelled roads and actually prefer them, but I've also never been stranded.
I think that's a rare occurrence and less worrisome now that most people have a mobile to use in case of emergency. I'd relax and not worry and just enjoy the chance to go.

Have a great trip!!

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Re: Travelling Alone in the Park

Unread postby lam » Tue Oct 04, 2005 7:16 am

I would seriously think about doing one of the guided 3 day walks. That way you wouldn't be on your own.

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Unread postby wildtuinman » Tue Oct 04, 2005 11:01 am

DuQues wrote:Lam's suggestion sounds good, just a bit of walking around seeing Kruger differently....

Although it is not 3 days on foot, but actually 2 it is not a too bad idea. But I wouldn't. To be stuck with other people you don't know for 3 nights is not so great IMHO. I visited Pkop, Skukuza and Bnd alone in March this year. And it was great. I did not even took a tent along. It was a lovely though of WTV to have chased me away from home for 3 nights. I particpated in 2 sunset drives, a nightdrive, trainspotting and a morning walk.

I say, just go and visit alone. No better way to rest and clear out your head.
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Unread postby acekam » Tue Oct 04, 2005 11:17 pm

Hi Jazil. I went to the KNP by myself for the first time earlier this year and really enjoyed the experience; truly spiritual.

If you are not camping, then the most cost efficient options if travelling alone are the old one-bed huts at Lower Sabie, the old 2-bed huts at Orpen and the old 2-bed huts at Balule.
Although the LS and Orpen small huts lack a bit of character, the camps themselves and the game in the areas more than make up for it.

I found myself striking up conversations with far more people travelling on my own, obviously because you are less absorbed in your own immediate group.
If you're flying your yellow ribbon proudly, you may have trouble avoiding curiosity.

In terms of sharing sightings, I'm sure one of the local forum members will happily relay your daily sightings and you can share your trip with 1000+ forumers each day, plus have a reminder of your great trip waiting for you online when you return.

Ellies? My rule is always try to get slightly ahead of them so that you won't have to be in reverse gear in the unlikely event of having to make a hasty exit.
Of course, if they're in the middle of the road when you first see them, that's impossible, so just give them their space and be patient for them to move on.

My biggest concern travelling alone was arriving at a get-out point or hide, where there may be a hidden predator lying in wait.
If I was the only one there, I would wait for another vehicle to arrive before getting out.
I realise this was more of psychological than logical physical benefit, but we all have our weird phobias.

The main unknown with travelling in the park alone is how many sightings you may be missing out on by not having extra pairs of spotting eyes; but that's something you'll never know.

One other piece of advice for travelling alone is that you overlook the simple advantage of having someone in the car to pass you binocs, camera, guidebooks, drinks, biltong, etc.
One thing I found useful was having a plastic crate on the passenger seat with all non-perishables.
That way things didn't roll around on the dirt roads and everything was ready to hand in an organised manner as needed.

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Unread postby simonb6 » Wed Oct 05, 2005 9:14 am

Hi Jazil/all

I spent a very pleasant 11 days in the Kruger on my own in April. I am somewhat self-centered at the best of times so it was very nice to be able to do what I wanted, when I wanted, without having to take anybody else's wishes into consideration.

I spent most evenings editing my pics on my laptop on the bungalow stoep and on several occasions the neighbours came over to have a look, so there was aways someone to talk to if I wanted to.

I had no hassles or worries whilst out on the road (or at Sable Dam!) and it was probably my most enjoyable visit to date.

It was certainly better than my first visit where one of my companions was a friend of a friend who was pathologically averse to following rules! He will never go on holiday with me again. Anyway I believe he's currently in prison after being caught speeding (excessively) and producing his father's driving licence - his own licence being suspended for an earlier speeding offence. You get the picture?
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help travel alone

Unread postby BUSHBRO » Fri Mar 10, 2006 4:24 pm

Hi All,

Booked to go to KNP on the 17-21 March with a friend but unfortunately he will be unable to make it because of work:(

Don't really want to go by myself since I enjoy the company and the extra pair of eyes .

Is it safe to travel alone in the park with the current conditions ? Don't really want to get out the car if i have a flat tyre or stuck in mud and not have anybody watching my back especially with all the thick bush from all the rain.

Not sure if I should go tried calling about everybody I know but haven't found any takers yet .

Whats the general opinion on my questions.

Would rather drive that distance and be in the park than be at home .So you have to do what you got to do :)

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Unread postby LittleLeopard » Fri Mar 10, 2006 5:00 pm

Hi BUSHBRO. I think it depends largely on what type of person you are. If you enjoy time alone on a regular basis, you should be OK. If you hate being alone, it might not be such a great idea. :?

Personally, I would be hesitant. Not because of any safety concerns, but because the magic of Kruger comes from sharing it with someone else. :D

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Unread postby peterpiper » Fri Mar 10, 2006 5:56 pm

Go BUSHBRO Go!!! Go Bushbro Go!!!!
Seems everyone is willing you on so you are just going to have to go. I often go alone and enjoy the park with or without companions. But if you've never done it solo before it's well worth a try. Amazing how many more people you meet on your own and how much better the photographs are.
You'll have a blast. Of course if you can get a really hot little number to join you then ignore all of the above!
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Unread postby Fizzpop » Sat Mar 11, 2006 5:54 pm

Hi there,
I travel to the park, twice a month, on my own mostly. While it is good to have company at times, i get by with going on the park game drives and walks... and sometimes... after some drives :shock: you cannot wait to be back on your own in your car!!
One thing being in KNP on your own, although talking as a SWM, i find the park a place where you can feel relatively safe and only vulnerable to the 'real' animals out there in the bush :lol:
Also, you can be selfish, and watch what you want, without any interruptions. You can even watch grass grow, and no complaints from the back seats :)
No substitute though, for having a frostie over a braai in the evening, with friends and family though, and swopping KNP stories :wink:
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Unread postby bucky » Tue Mar 14, 2006 9:40 am

Cruising about game viewing during the day is fine by yourself , actually quite enjoyable, especially if you want to take photos .

It gets a bit lonely in the evenings though , although if you eat your main meal at lunch , and grab a night drive its cool .
Night drive , hit the sack early , out early :thumbs_up:

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Driving alone in Kruger

Unread postby skywalker2251 » Mon Apr 28, 2008 4:27 am

Curious of those who have driven through Kruger alone. I am considering spending about 12 days in October by myself in Kruger. How much more difficult is it to spot animals while driving by yourself?

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Unread postby ecojunkie » Mon Apr 28, 2008 7:27 am

I do it all the time! And yes, you do miss things - but then so do car-loads of people. I have been behind safari vehicles that have missed things I saw. It is always a case of 'luck' - are you looking at just the right place, in the right angle, etc.....

More important therefore to drive slowly, be aware of the type of area you are in and the animals you are most likely to see and look for them. Try to learn something about their habits too as that helps.

But elephants can hide behind blades of grass if they want to, and giraffe are also good at hiding despite being the 2 biggest animals about.

Just enjoy it, don't worry too much about you miss - appreciate what you see.
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Unread postby oddesy » Mon Apr 28, 2008 8:04 am

I just cant get enough of kruger and i will probably end up going on my own quite frequently next year as often as i have time. It must be a slightly different experience by yourself as you have no one to share special sightings with, but its kruger and i would rather be there than anywhere else! so i will be going by myself :dance:
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Unread postby wingman » Tue Apr 29, 2008 8:39 am

Hi Skywalker
traveling in the park alone is not a problem I do it often the biggest thing is speed you need to travel a bit slowwer so as to cover the area around you properly because of this you tend to not cover the distances one would normally do so planning is a bit more important. from a danger point of view I have found even though I have come up with some very close encounters of animals that are on the side I have been looking away from, due to the slow speed I have not startled them and have had some very enjoyable sightings. The biggest problem is meals as being solo you dont use food stuffs as fast and waste becomes a problem so when alone in the park I buy my meat from a butcher who can pack it the way I want it, instead of buying off the shelf I ask the butcher to pack minipacks for me and I tend to buy basic long lasting fresh veggies but buy salads from the take away etc. By taking some resealable plastic bags and cligwrap/shrinkwrap I can reseal food for easier transport and later use.

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