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 Post subject: Top planning hints for your Kruger visit
Unread postPosted: Sat Nov 08, 2008 2:44 pm 
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Legendary Virtual Ranger
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I so often give the same advice to first timers to Kruger. Maybe this thread will be a repository for the best advice.

1. The most important. Unless you have at least two weeks in the park, don't try to see it all. Book 3 or 4 camps. If you have 6 or less nights, book 2 camps.
2. Try to avoid just 1 night in a camp. Spend at least 2 nights in each camp. This is linked to no 3.
3. Try to spend the very early morning and last thing in the evening out in the park. These are the best viewing times and often give great sightings. You don't want to spend this time packing and unpacking because you have only 1 night in a camp.
4. Decide on your level of accommodation. There are 4 levels. Firstly, the luxury, for those who are prepared to spend the most. The sponsored houses etc are more swish than most people's homes, with most mod cons, like microwave etc. Next, the comfortable, like cottages, with most things you need. Thirdly, budget, like huts, safari tents etc, with no utensils and NO ABLUTIONS OR KITCHENS. You have to use the communal ones, which I have always found clean and acceptable, but you pay a lot less. Lastly camping, where you take everything you need and use the communal faciliies. There are also trails etc.
5. Time of year. Avoid school holidays if you do not HAVE to go then. The park will be full. Each month has its attractive features, so research this.
6. Security. All the camps are fenced, most with electric fencing, to keep the big and hairy out. Very occasionally something potentially dangerous gets in, but not often. You are likely to see some antelope that have sought refuge, inside some camps, and at night, nocturnal species can be seen in some camps.
7. Decide on priorities of what you would like to see. There are no guarantees, but certain areas are hot spots for species. Browsing the forum is one way of getting a broad picture.
8. Broaden your view. It is NOT just about the big 5. You might see a great rarity and not know it. Get to know the birds, trees and other things. There is nothing in Kruger so sad as the mugus who just drive around looking for lions.
9. Bring reference books and preferably familiarize yourself with what you are looking for/at beforehand.
10. Expect the unexpected (Thanks Jannie!). You might have a great sighting within half an hour of arriving - or 100 metres from the exit gate. Enjoy what Kruger serves up, she will not disappoint. Do not try to dictate to her, just be alert to possibilities.

Hope this helps you as you prepare for your first visit to a very special place.

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Last edited by Bush Baptist on Sun Nov 06, 2011 6:18 pm, edited 6 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: 10 Top planning hints for Kruger
Unread postPosted: Sat Nov 08, 2008 6:56 pm 
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Senior Virtual Ranger
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Well done BB :clap: :clap:

Add to that :

1 You do not need a 4X4 for Kruger -- a higher clearance vehicle is nice during seasons when the grass is long, but not a necessity.

2. You do not need a GPS -- the roads are well sign-posted and the maps obtainable from the gates and camp shops are more than adequate.

3. Most shops accept credit cards -- petrol is CASH only. (unless you're a Saffie with a garage card)

4. Read, digest and obey the rules printed on the back of your entrance permit -- just because someone else is doing it, it does not mean it's allowed.

5. You DO need binocs, camera, hat, sunblock and insect repellant.


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 Post subject: Re: 10 Top planning hints for Kruger
Unread postPosted: Sun Nov 09, 2008 8:12 am 
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Get hold of a map of KNP way ahead of your planned trip. You know which camps you're booked at and what time of year you'll be there, right? I plan my routes weeks ahead of the trip using Trip reports and such on the forum. Plan at the slowest speed possible it'll take so long to get from Point A to B. Not 100% accurate but it works.


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 Post subject: Re: 10 Top planning hints for Kruger
Unread postPosted: Thu Nov 27, 2008 8:46 pm 
Very good, BB! :clap:

If I may add one, especially for foreigners or relatively new tourists...

Should one be in Kruger between September and March, beware the heat!

Try to get an airconditioned bungalow and rental car!

It could make a Huge difference!


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 Post subject: Re: 10 Top planning hints for Kruger
Unread postPosted: Fri Nov 28, 2008 12:24 am 
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Don't try to cover huge distances! 25 km/h is about the speed you'll drive at, so use that for planning. crocodile Bridge to Punda Maria is really out of the question, even Olifants is a long drive!

Don't forget that herds of elephants, what, just 1 playful young bull can effectively block a road for a very long time, allow for that in your planning!

In the rainy season the gravel roads may be closed, allow for that in your planning. Even allow for roads becoming impassable, which means you have to backtrack!

Want to do photography? Get up early, and get into camp almost at the last moment, those are the Golden Hours! But plan your drive that way as well! Don't do the S100 early morning from Satara, you'll be driving into, not with, the light. Rather head for Orpen from there.

Bring two, not one, cameras! Dust, mechanical failure, software failure, dropping it, all can happen. And with just 1 camera that means....

Remember you're on holidays, don't cram too much into your days...

In camps you can see / photograph a lot as well, often the little things you can't see from your car, like grasshoppers, or at night bushbabies.

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 Post subject: Re: 10 Top planning hints for Kruger
Unread postPosted: Fri Nov 28, 2008 5:25 am 
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Nice thread :thumbs_up: and good tips..

my little bit:

if you are going to do a night drive or early morning drive, dress warmly, very warmly, no matter what the weather.

keep hydrated at all times. Don't be tempted to think that beer will do the trick, trust me, it doesn't. :redface: I often freeze bottles of water or sports drinks and keep them in the car to defrost through the day.

I want to stress that cash is king in the Park. Always have some on hand. There can sometimes be power failures and credit cards are then useless.

never leave doors and windows open at look out points. Monkeys are often waiting for their chance to redistribute your wealth.

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 Post subject: Re: 10 Top planning hints for Kruger
Unread postPosted: Fri Nov 28, 2008 5:38 am 
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Great thread folks! :clap:

We had a map of Kruger and marked sightings etc... so later when you do your TR :dance: you can reference the roads to the sightings...also CC kept a daily diary, which was Priceless when recounting our travels.
Good Luck :thumbs_up:

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 Post subject: Re: 10 Top planning hints for Kruger
Unread postPosted: Fri Nov 28, 2008 9:46 am 
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Great thread! :clap: :clap:

We like driving with the windows open rather than having the aircon on. So what we do is take a wet cloth and put it into a zip lock plastic packet, then freeze it overnight. Put that into the cooler for when you're really feeling hot the next day. It works wonders just behind the neck :)

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 Post subject: Re: Top planning hints for your Kruger visit
Unread postPosted: Tue Jul 14, 2009 8:24 am 
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Hi BB,
Thanks for giving some heads start on Kruger, we plan to visit for 2 days (unfortunate) but that's all time we have. Which camp do you think will be suitable and can we do a day trip inside the park. In terms of accomodation we wish to stay in a full furnished location - kindy suggest one as we plan to fly in from singapore, can be carrying a whole lot. lastly do you think with 2 kids (age 9 & 4) we will be able to manage a lot. What do you think is better to drive from Johannesburg or to fly in to save on time, (but cut the thrill)

kind regards


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 Post subject: Re: Top planning hints for your Kruger visit
Unread postPosted: Tue Jul 14, 2009 9:43 am 
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Sudhindra, if possible, I would fly to Nelspruit if you are going to be staying for such a short time. The trip from J'burg is long for little ones, about 6 hours. From there you could hire a car.

Your children will manage just fine and probably have a great time. My children have visited Kruger since the age of 10 months for my youngest.

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 Post subject: Re: Top planning hints for your Kruger visit
Unread postPosted: Tue Jul 14, 2009 2:11 pm 
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Hi Sudhindra & welcome to the forum.

For your first visit, I would stay 2 nights in the same camp, maybe Skukuza or Pretoriuskop, do self drive and make the most of the time here. Both camps have restaurants and there is 'fast food' available at a lot of places in the south. In May I saw some orientals with a huge plate of chips at 7h30 am at Afsaal.
Sleep well before you get there and when you leave, but while in Kruger, enjoy every minute. :thumbs_up:

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 Post subject: Re: Top planning hints for your Kruger visit
Unread postPosted: Tue Jul 14, 2009 2:36 pm 
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HI again Sudhinra,

Here's where Meandering Mouse and I disagree,,, I recommend driving from Joburg airport to Kruger. Yes it's a loing drive (4.5 hours) but the road is good, you see something of the country and you don't have to drive throuh downtown joburg (the airport is on the east side of the city, the same side as the park).

By the time you make connections, get to Kruger Mpumalanga Airport, hire your car and get to the park you could have already driven there. Plus, the flight from joburg to KMIA is ridiculously expensive compared to other internal flights in south africa.

(Sorry, MM - but I always agree with you in every other respect!!!)


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 Post subject: Re: Top planning hints for your Kruger visit
Unread postPosted: Thu Nov 05, 2009 11:01 pm 
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Can someone post the best/cheapest/safest hotel near JNB?


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 Post subject: Re: Top planning hints for your Kruger visit
Unread postPosted: Thu Nov 05, 2009 11:36 pm 
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Depends on what you're looking for. If you put up some of your criteria or wants/needs, you'll get plenty of pm's from helpful 'mites. :thumbs_up:

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 Post subject: Re: Top planning hints for your Kruger visit
Unread postPosted: Fri Nov 06, 2009 1:44 am 
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what about Outlook Lodge in Benoni - it looks like it is on the way to Kruger.

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February 25th & 26th @ Lower Sabie
February 27th & February 28th @ Tamboti
March 1st/2nd @ Satara
March 3rd/4th @ Letaba


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