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 Post subject: Re: First 'serious' trip to Kruger - Help needed please!
Unread postPosted: Wed Sep 26, 2012 4:12 pm 
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DuQues wrote:
neilo wrote:
Go for a volkswagen Kombi, or mercedes microbus. Everyone is comfy with a high seat and a great view.

First check if the windows can open on those. Otherwise photography is going to be hell.


Very good point DQ, Most of the minibuses with sliding doors cant open the back windows for safety reasons. :thumbs_up:

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 Post subject: Re: First 'serious' trip to Kruger - Help needed please!
Unread postPosted: Wed Sep 26, 2012 8:55 pm 
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Ask for unit 1 at Bataleur, it is right next to the waterhole and you can see from your verandah what is happening. We were there in August and the waterhole was visited by buffalo , ellies and lions . It was a lovely camp. Leopard and cubs at Red rocks aswell asgood sghtings at the two dams only accessible to residents of Bataleur


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 Post subject: Re: First 'serious' trip to Kruger - Help needed please!
Unread postPosted: Tue Oct 02, 2012 12:29 pm 
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Hi all,

Thanks a lot for very useful information and tips!

I have a few more questions, sorry!

Car rental – we have been looking at VW combi but it seems like there will be very little space left for luggage and food with 6 people in it. Any other suggestions? Do any of the main car rental companies rent a luggage trailer? neilo – www.sacarhire.com don’t seem to do large vehicles.

Cool boxes etc – Thanks a lot for your suggestions. We will definitely be getting a couple of cool boxes and bags etc. This got us worried about the space available in a combi. We will also get a few bags for cans and other groceries.

Camps – Thanks for your suggestions re the camps. However, as we left the booking so late and had 6 people to sort out, we were not left with too much choice on the camps. The booking is for –

Berg-en-Dal – 1 night – Perimeter Bungalows - BA3U (Have booked 3 of these)
Satara – 2 nights – Bungalow – BD2N (Have booked 3 of these)
Bataleur – 2 nights – Guest cottage – GA6

Can you please suggest any specific units that I should request at these camps?
Anabel1 – Thanks for suggesting unit 1 in Bataleur. I had a look at the map and it looked like unit 7 is the furtherest away from the conference centre. What is the difference between 1 and 7? Is no 7 likely to be more quiet but at the cost of views?

Picnic sites – Do all picnic sites have cooking facilities? How about tea/coffee facilities?

Thanks a lot guys!


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 Post subject: Re: First 'serious' trip to Kruger - Help needed please!
Unread postPosted: Tue Oct 02, 2012 1:01 pm 
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Hi Kavita
Go for a Toyota Quantum
More then enough space
8 seater with ample bagage space
And less expensive then VW
Will pm you the link of the rental agency
(They are the taxis of SA)

All official picnic sites ( they are on the Kruger maps) have skottels for cooking
None have coffee/tea facilities and most dont have hot water
The 3 bigger picnic sites even have restaurants
Tshokwane, Nkhulu and Afsaal.
But suspect on route you will visit other camps and they have all the facilities

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 Post subject: Re: First 'serious' trip to Kruger - Help needed please!
Unread postPosted: Tue Oct 02, 2012 1:26 pm 
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Kavita , all the units are quiet and private , not too far from the fence, just that unit 1 is right next to the waterhole and hide. Enjoy !


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 Post subject: Re: First 'serious' trip to Kruger - Help needed please!
Unread postPosted: Tue Oct 02, 2012 1:37 pm 
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Pop in to Rooibosrand dam while in Bateleur Kavita.

When I did, I saw 10 sable antelope there.

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 Post subject: Re: First 'serious' trip to Kruger - Help needed please!
Unread postPosted: Tue Oct 02, 2012 2:57 pm 
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Location: Lancashire UK
Hi.
We too are from UK, all over 60 and very regular visitors to SA. ( At least once a year and twice if possible.) We are usually 3/5 people.
We stayed at Bateleur in March 2010 in Unit 1.
It is solar power so no power at night.
We were brought oil lamps just before dusk.
We travel in 2 vehicles as we find it gives just that bit more space especially when you have got all your luggage and your shopping as well.
Plus it gave us the opportunity to do different things and to get some space!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Our trips are usually for 5/6 weeks.
Shopping is never a problem.
It depends what sort of experience you want and what you are prepared to do without or compromise on! We have never gone short of anything when in the park.
There is refrigeration at all the camps and considering that you are in the bush it is all very good.
Just make sure that you have at least one reliable torch per couple.
My husband says that headlamps are good as they leave your hands free for cooking on the braai!
Another thing that we have found very handy recently is an adaptor that fits into the cigarette lighter of the car so that you can use it for charging your phone, MP3 players, ebooks etc.
We too will be in Kruger February/March 2013.
Enjoy your trip.


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 Post subject: Re: First 'serious' trip to Kruger - Help needed please!
Unread postPosted: Tue Oct 02, 2012 9:21 pm 
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We were at Bataleur August 2012. Was not solar pwer then . No oil lamps at night. We had full electric power. and there is a spot light at the hide, switch on the post as you enter. A person still needs a torch to walk around at night.


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 Post subject: Re: First 'serious' trip to Kruger - Help needed please!
Unread postPosted: Mon Oct 08, 2012 9:13 am 
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Lots of good info - just to add to all the info (BTW I live in the area and visit KNP every other weekend)

Vehicle - definatly a Toyota Quantum

Cooler Boxes for 6 people - you will need at least three for food - buy outside the park as everyone has suggest the park is very expensive and not great Quality.

Your first night is in Berg and Dal so I suggest that you stop at the SPAR in Nelspruit at the crossing centre (that is as you enter Nelspruit proper). The other suggestions are good but I find the the P&P and Spar in Malelane are a litller limited compared to Nelspruit - in any event I am sure a brief stop in Nelspruit will not go amiss

Route - I suggest that you take the Schoemanskloof route after the Machado Plaza - there are now road works on the N4 route vis Waterval Boven and Waterval Onder - also more heavy duty traffic on the N4 section.

I can suggest the Rump in Grill butter (1 kg pieces of meat and enough for 5 or 6 people) Teh centre is goo becasule there are several places you get carious things - Woolworths where the Veg is a bit more expensive but it does seem to last longer - there is a pharmacy and places to have a quick snack. Spar also seel Cooler boxes and ready frozen Ice pack as well as Ice.

Buy your drinking water outside the park - 5 litres about R14.99 in Nelspruit and Nearly R30.00 in the park.

If you do not have a good map - there is an Automobile Association branch there and you can get a good map there - also suggest that you get a Kruger Park Bok as you go into the park - or at the camp - there are several good ones - but get one that has pics of the animals and birds with the maps - about R45.00

Hope this helps

Be carefull on the road to the Malelane gate - lots of local drivers who do not care about road rules.

Have a wonderfull trip - and I hope you see many animals and don't forget the birds


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 Post subject: Re: First 'serious' trip to Kruger - Help needed please!
Unread postPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2012 11:34 am 
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Location: Heart, Soul and Mind in the Bush. Body, sadly, in Fourways
1 night - Berg-en-Dal
2 nights - Satara
2 nights - Bateleur

Pretty much from bottom to top :clap:

Just one word of caution though. Distances in the Kruger do not corelate to distances in the "real world".

The trip from Satara to Bateleur is a looooong one. Around 200 km's (about 124 miles).

Probably best to stop off at Mopani (which has a terrific viewing deck over the Pioneer Dam) for lunch. Mopani is 115 kms (72 miles) from Satara, and will take at least 5 hours without stopping to look at much.

Not stopping is not an option in the Kruger. You will. There is too much to see :shock: . So, even with a few stops you're going to take around 6 hours to get there.

The road towards Shingwedzi is going to offer plenty of sightings too...... :cam: It's about 70 k's on tar, and about 15 on dirt. This will probably take you the better part of 4 hours without stopping, so add the usual extra hour :wink:

All-in-all the trip up from Satara should take you around 12 hours. If you're doing this leg of your journey in April, the camp gates open at 6:00 am and close at 6:00 pm....... :tongue:

Quite a long day, but believe me, you will enjoy every second.


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 Post subject: Re: First 'serious' trip to Kruger - Help needed please!
Unread postPosted: Tue Oct 16, 2012 9:33 am 
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kavita wrote:


Do any of the main car rental companies rent a luggage trailer?

We will also get a few bags for cans and other groceries.

Camps – Thanks for your suggestions re the camps. However, as we left the booking so late and had 6 people to sort out, we were not left with too much choice on the camps. The booking is for –

Berg-en-Dal – 1 night – Perimeter Bungalows - BA3U (Have booked 3 of these)
Satara – 2 nights – Bungalow – BD2N (Have booked 3 of these)
Bataleur – 2 nights – Guest cottage – GA6

Can you please suggest any specific units that I should request at these camps?

Picnic sites – Do all picnic sites have cooking facilities? How about tea/coffee facilities?



Hi there,

I'll try and answer a couple of questions.

In SA there is something called a 'venter'. It's a trailer that comes in many different sizes, goes easily on the tow bar. It can be locked. Put the luggage bags in that. I'll add my vote to taking the Schoemanskloof route after the Machado Plaza.

The old 'kombi' had the engine at the back and there was plenty of space. The new ones have engine in front, with less room, so the Toyota Quantum will be perfect.

At Satara we normally stay in the D ring (family units), but if I was staying in 3 x 2 units I would like units 179 to 170, along the perimeter fence. They are quiet ...... 161-163 are the closest to the camp dining and patio , and there will be noise. Also, being by the perimeter gives you a chance to see hyena's that prowl the fence at nice :D

when moving between berg-en-daal, satara and bateluer (it's plenty of driving), you really want to avoid unpacking food/coffee/tea etc. Just go with what's available. Its reasonably difficult to screw up :roll: a toasted sandwich, or a fried egg and a pot of tea. These things are available at the places listed below.

Afsaal has full cooking facilities, you can purchase tea, coffee, snacks (toasted sandwich etc) there.
You will probably stop at skukuza, for a toilet break, leg stretch. You can get what you need there. If you can , try and see lake panic bird hide next to skukuza (best birding / photo chance you will get).
Tshokwane will be the next break point. It's a big picnic spot, again you can get tea coffee there, and lite snack's. Then onto satara, unload and relax, go afternoon game drive.

Satara to bateluer. Break the journey at olifants camp. Satara to Olifants (2.5 - 3.5 hours depending on what u see) (You can sit on the deck there and have really nice brekkie at your leisure. The view over the elephants river is fantastic. If you have not been there you will be stunned by the vista. It's a special place....

Then onwards and upwards, stop at mopani, and have lite lunch on deck overlooking the lake

At each stop find the spotting board (board of sightings that people have seen, current day and yesterday). Even check it at melelane gate, Stop on the bridge before melalane entrance gate and check out the crocodiles.


Something I would consider at satara. You can also get 1 family unit (GC5, or GC6B) and 1 BD2V / BD2N unit (about the same price as 3xBD2v). The patio area can accommodate 6 people at dinner time (in the family unit), while you will struggle with the three smaller units (area is for 2/3 people) to seat everyone.
BD units 64 63 and family 87 are close.

http://www.sanparks.org/parks/kruger/ca ... satara.jpg


NOTHING of your booking is set in stone. If it's available you can trade up and change as required. Central bookings in jhb # is 011 6788870.

Between the fly-in and drive down, melelane to satara, satara to bateluer, it's a mountain of driving, packing and unpacking in 6 nights :shock:


Good luck & great spotting,

Neil.


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 Post subject: Re: First 'serious' trip to Kruger - Help needed please!
Unread postPosted: Tue Oct 16, 2012 11:09 am 
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Joined: Tue Sep 25, 2012 11:05 am
Posts: 58
neilo wrote:
kavita wrote:


Between the fly-in and drive down, melelane to satara, satara to bateluer, it's a mountain of driving, packing and unpacking in 6 nights :shock:



Was thinking about the length of travel. If you want to see large areas of the park its your only way.
If you would like to chill more, unpack once and settle in, then maybe you need 4 nights at one place. If I was staying 4 nights, at one place only i would stay at satara.


Good luck & great spotting,

Neil.


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 Post subject: Re: First 'serious' trip to Kruger - Help needed please!
Unread postPosted: Sun Feb 17, 2013 3:45 pm 
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Hello everyone.

Our trip is coming close and we're making final preparations, so some more questions if I may

I was planning to carry a stove similar to this one - http://www.argos.co.uk/static/Product/p ... 278534.htm for tea/coffee stops, I cannot carry cartridges for this stove from the UK so I wanted to find out if cartridges are readily available in SA (we have booked another trip to SA in December to visit KTP so it would be worth buying one for future use).

Are the fruit markets around Malelane reliable? We expect to reach Malelane around 1 pm and if I can buy fruit at markets I wont buy them at the supermarkets.

As per your advise, I was going to buy a couple of 25l cool bags and bring them with me to SA. Are polystrene boxes better and readily available? How much do these cost?

Are the supermarkets the best place to buy disposable plates etc?

That's it for now but I am sure there will be more questions. Thanks very much for your responses in advance


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 Post subject: Re: First 'serious' trip to Kruger - Help needed please!
Unread postPosted: Sun Feb 17, 2013 4:18 pm 
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Hi kavita :D

Have a look here, not sure if it is the correct model though. link

There is an Outdoor Warehouse en route on the N4 at the Highveld Mall.

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 Post subject: Re: First 'serious' trip to Kruger - Help needed please!
Unread postPosted: Sun Feb 17, 2013 6:36 pm 
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Hi Kavita,

If you like smoked trout stop at Millies which is a 'pitstop' at a Caltex garage on the left, after the Belfast turnoff and before the Machado toll plaza, some 200 km from the airport. You can buy trout pates, fillets and various other items as well as jams and pickles. They also do home made bread but it sells out early. Last time I went that way I got trout and bread and had that for my supper. Delicious.

Watch out for the turning to Nelspruit/Barberton if you want to go through Nelspruit town otherwise you will find yourself on the bypass. Halls farm stall in Nelspruit, on the old main road before you get into the town, does vegetables and all kinds of jams and pickles but their veggies are no cheaper than in the supermarkets. I don't often stop at farm stalls so cannot comment there.

With regard to your drive to Mapungubwe, I don't know if you are aware that there were floods in the north of Kruger and Mapungubwe almost a month ago and some camps were flooded and roads closed. Have a look at the thread "Update on Mapungubwe floods" in the Northern Parks forum and also the "Kruger floods 2013" for the latest updates on roads still closed. The Pafuri gate road is not open at present.

The road between Musina and Mapungubwe is still closed after a bridge washaway, so you would be best to take the Alldays route if it has not been opened by the time you are here. There is a road going west out of Louis Trichardt (R522) which links up with the R521 Polokwane (Pietersburg)/Alldays road but I have never been on it and don't know what it is like. It's probably a reasonable road unless there has been deterioration from the recent rains.

You can get inexpensive cooler bags at the tills of most big supermarkets but they are not thick, quality ones.

Enjoy your visit and please give us a report back/Trip Report.


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