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Pretoriuskop Rest Camp

Discuss the different camps and roads of the Kruger National Park
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Guinea Pig
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Pretoriuskop Rest Camp

Unread postby Guinea Pig » Mon Feb 21, 2005 11:00 pm

Going to Pretoriuskop for the first time in June. What can we expect? What routes are worthwhile from there? Any "special" places to look out for?

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Re: Pretoriuskop

Unread postby Wild@Heart » Tue Feb 22, 2005 6:16 am

As far as one of the "current/previous ? residents of P/kop" mentioned, you can see the following "special" sightings:

1 ) Black Rhino
2 ) Sable
3 ) Reedbuck
4 ) Lichtenstein
5 ) Lion
6 ) Elephant
7 ) Wild Dogs also frequent the tourist roads in that area.
8 ) Kudu
9 ) And the usual ... Impala, warthog etc.

Reason why not so many people there as in other areas is because of the long grass, which makes it a bit more difficult to spot. But well worth the effort once you see on of the top 4 as mentioned above.

Enjoy... That area is my next trip ...
NO TO HOTEL DEVELOPMENT IN KRUGER

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Unread postby Aquilla » Tue Feb 22, 2005 8:29 pm

The camp is one of the original and has much of the old charm.
Pay a visit to Shitlhave Dam, Mestel Dam and Transport Dam. Take a swim in the pool and do short trip around Shabeni Hill....Plenty Rhino there abouts.

A few years ago i met a student ranger there who , so he said, would take his Bible and go for a walk in the bush. He said he would never be taken out......mmmmmm

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Unread postby Herman » Tue Feb 22, 2005 8:48 pm

Lovely area - Kobie Kruger said in one of her books it was the area she liked best- but not good for animal spotting because of the tall tamboekie grass? For years we firmly believed that there weren't any lions in that area, untill four years ago - we had hardly left the camp when five of them crossed the road right in front of us ! And that was at 1 p.m. !

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Unread postby Freda » Fri Aug 26, 2005 10:15 pm

Shitlhava and Transport (Vervoer) dams on the H1-1 are nice dams to spend some time at. Saw Sable, rhino and secretary birds on this road at the end of June this year.

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Unread postby bert » Sat Aug 27, 2005 10:29 am

leopardspotter wrote:Is there any nice views (look out points),were you can relax when not on game drives?


I love the scenery.
Love the camp
Nice restaurant
Two nice lookoutpoints
Shitlhave Dam to Skukuza
Mestel Dam on S3 to Phabeni
And you can get out at the Phabeni picnic site which is nice
The drive on the S3 is very nice with the Drakensberg always in full view

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Unread postby wildtuinman » Mon Aug 29, 2005 6:41 am

Pkop is one of my favourite camps. Stayed there 2 nights this year so far. Saw the all of the big 5 in those two nights.

It is one of the better places to see rhino and buffalo. Lion sightings are also very frequent. Read some of my previous sightings here.

Lovely rustic camp and awesome breathtaking views around the camp. There are plenty of roads to be driven. the scenery is breathtaking. Remeber to visit Jock of the Bushveld's birthplace.

The Shabeni loop is a must. For birders look out for purple-crested turaco and brown-headed parrots in the camp. Best swimming pool in the whole Park.

I love this camp!!
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Unread postby Stoffel » Mon Aug 29, 2005 3:36 pm

Pretoriuskop is one of my favourite bigger camps. Definitely not for good game viewing, but certainly for tranquility and some "old-world" charm. To me the mere appearance of quiet calmness is the greatest power of attraction. The history of the camp also adds a certain nostalgic value (to me at least).

For sure Pretoriuskop is not known as the best game viewing area in the park. This is mainly due to the dense vegetation of tall thatching grass in the region - known to be quite unpalatable. The silver cluster leaf (also rather unattractive for most browsers) is about the most dominating tree in this section of the park. But Pretoriuskop is one of the best areas to find kudu. Sable is also quite commonly seen, especially in the vicinity of Ship Mountain (next to the H2-2).

Although not a mecca for predators like lion and cheetah, I have seen both species on various occasions in the area. Entering the park at Numbi one year, our first sighting was a big male lion between Numbi and Pretoriuskop. I had my one and only caracal sighting in the park very near to the camp. One of the largest pack of wild dogs I ever saw was on the H1-1 (Napi Road) ear to Shithlave.

The bustle of loops around the camp is prime territory for white rhino. The only black rhino sighting on my list was recorded on the S3 (Albasini Road) between Shabeni and Phabeni. I agree with Wildtuinman - the Shabeni Loop (S10) is a must. Sightings of klipspringer are about guaranteed on this road. It is also one of very few roads in the park where you have a chance to see red duiker (although I have never seen one myself).

Up to a certain stage one was nearly certain of finding common reed buck at Shithlave. (Wish I know what happened to this family). Big herds of elephant are nowadays quite common if you travel on the Voortrekker Road (H2-2) towards Afsaal picnic spot.

If you are keen baboon watchers (like me and my wife) you will struggle to find better places to watch these creatures' behaviours than around the rocky outcrops surrounding Pretoriuskop (yes, it is better than the Lower Sabie Road - also known as the Piccadilly Highway).

In spite of the fact that Pretoriuskop is a rather big camp, you will not experience the same numer of vehicles on the tourist routes around the camp as with other bigger camps. This is probably because of the many different routes around the camp.

Thus, if you want to see big herds of game - Pretoriuskop is not for you. But if you want to experience real serenity, mixed with some nostalgia and the chance to see some of the more uncommon species - go for Pretoriuskop (the warm and friendly camp).

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Unread postby wildtuinman » Tue Nov 29, 2005 7:03 am

Hi Mollie, I have mentioned many times here before that Pkop is probably one of my most favourite camps. Why do I love it? It is still that primitive camp which it was all these years. It has the best pool IMHO and is extremely big and quiet.

Birding especially at this camp is awesome. Brown-headed parrots and purple-crested turacos are aplenty. the camping area is divided into 2 areas really. One being smaller and closer to the fence. In summer I have heard in one night after a thunder storm which no other area in Kruger can compare to as pkop has the highest rainfall in the whole Park, 4 diff types of owl as well as 2 diff types of nightjars. That was one of the best experiences of night sounds I have had in Kruger.

Pkop is simply awesome!! Like W@H said, your more seldom seen animals are often found here. Sable, black rhino etc. There is also a resident leopard nearby and is very often seen.

The Shabeni loop is IMHO one of the pretiest in the Park. The crisscrossing gravel roads south of Pkop is very quiet traffic wise and produces awesome sightings of Rhino.

The Napi boulder is very good for Sable.

As for the Napi trail. You will not be dissapointed. It was just a pity that the old trails camp burnt down earlier. It had a special ambience no other trials camp had. But it is still pretty awesome. Wild dogs, cheetah, black rhino and brown hyaena have been seen on this trail in the past.

My main reason for going to Pkop would be to spot the Pennant-winged nightjar. This area together with the Punda/Pafuri areas are the only real places to spot them.

You have to do a nightdrive. The owls around there are simply awesome. Pkop being the oldest camp give you that ghostly ambience. Especially in between the stands of silver cluster leaves and the last strecth before you hit the gate. I would not trade a visit to Pkop for any other camp.
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Unread postby Shidzidzii » Tue Nov 29, 2005 11:31 am

There is an annual floating trophy - Yvonne Knobel Cup - for the best run camp in the park .

PRETORIUSKOP has won it more often than any other .

Another little secret are the "School Huts" . Rondawels without fridges or bathrooms but dirt cheap (hardly more than a campsite) . I often book it for the Friday night of a weekend when rushing off lunchtime from the office for a short break.
The travel time is at least an hour less that to Skukuza , say .

Anyway you arrive late in the afternoon , have a swim , a drive around the kopies and short loops and then a pleasant evening . You hardly need to unpack much out of the car .
Braai or eat in the restaurant ( arguably one of the best) , and the next morning you can leave as gates open for whichever more glamourous camp you have booked for . The Numbi road to Skukuza will produce the goods , guaranteed . Definatly a worthwhile stopover .

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Unread postby bucky » Sat Dec 03, 2005 8:44 am

The grasses are at there shortest in august all through the park, as it is right at the end of the dry winter season .
August is normally very good viewing all round .

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Unread postby Stoffel » Wed Jun 14, 2006 10:35 am

I still have a little brochure (25 pages) on the Sable Trail in Pretoriuskop. I bought it for R5 (quite a few years ago) but cannot remember where - surely not in Pretoriuskop. The full title is: Pretoriuskop - The Sable Trail (sponsored by Mazda). It was printed for the first time in 1993. I never walked the trail in the camp (don't know if it still exists), but the brochure gives detailed info on various trees which you pass on the trail, a short history of the camp, the Royal Huts and a few mammal species found commonly in the area. On the last page is also a check list of animals found in the Pretoriuskop area. The brochure was written and compiled by the Honorary Rangers of the Lowveld region and acknowledgement is also given to other contributors. One of the contributors was Mrs Irene Grobler - also interestingly called "Mrs Skukuza".
Chris Boucher

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Unread postby Freda » Fri Oct 06, 2006 5:17 pm

This is one of the 4 bed cottages on the perimeter, No 114:
Nice position :)
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