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Overnight Hides

Discuss activities available in the Kruger National Park, and follow all the sighting reports.
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Bushbaby
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Overnight Hides

Unread postby Bushbaby » Sun Jan 30, 2005 6:12 pm

Have any of you experience the "sleep out hides"
We have visited Shipandani numerous times and absolutely love the solitary feeling of being "the only people in Africa". What is the other hide like?
We have spent some time at Hwange in Zim and they have a novel idea.
During the day the hide (which is completely fenced, a bit like Pilanesburg) operates as a normal hide, pitstop and loo break.
But at night the gate is shut and the hide area becomes all yours!
The choice is either sleep in the hide or pitch a tent or two.
Facilities are very rudimentary but there is a tap and a flush loo (french drain) and a built up braai.
You book to stay in these places when you book your other accommodation.
Some of these sites are serviced in other words there is an attendant (and family) who keeps a general eye and will keep fires etc going - they are also excellent bush men and are invaluable when you sit in the dark as they know all the calls and noises.

These type of experiences really enhance your understanding of the bush and its beauty.
Would KNP consider opening more of them up?
What do you guys think?
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simonb6
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Unread postby simonb6 » Thu Mar 17, 2005 2:17 pm

I don't expect to sleep much either 8)

As for lighting - well, I'll have a decent torch anyway but I'm not sure about a spotlight. As per one or two other threads, I'm not keen on shining a light on the animals - also I think it would spoil the ambience. The whole point to me is to get as close as possible to a night out (on my own :D ) under the stars in the African bush.

With no artificial light anywhere near, and a 1/3 moon until 21:52 local time, and a cloudless sky (Admin to organise, please :lol:) I think I'll just make do with my own night vision.

As for lion roaring in the night - I've heard about it but never experienced it - yet.

For information - if anybody is thinking of doing this in April, the 24th would be perfect as it is a full moon which rises at 18:36 local (two minutes before local sunset) and sets the following morning at 08:03 - some 50 minutes after sunrise. Subject to Admin arranging a cloudless sky you would have a full moon all night. Pity that's the day I get back to the UK :cry:

These times are all based on the Lat/Long of Phalaborwa airport and are assuming local time is UTC+2 hours.
Cheers, Simon
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Unread postby Bushbaby » Sun Mar 20, 2005 9:46 pm

Hi Simon, we have not stayed at Sable but have stayed at Shipendeni hide twice.
It is really a magical experience.
You can start to unpack 1/2 hour before camp gate closes.
You will need a really good, large (powerful) torch - you have no idea how dark it can be.
You could have a herd of elephant 3 feet away and you wouldn't know!
You don't need a torch for general lighting however, as the camp will throw in 2 rechargeable lanterns with all the kit as part of your deposit.
They give you bedding (duvets etc no less!!) the lamps and if you need it crockery and cutlery.
There is a loo but no water so all water must be carried in.
Also if you intend to braai you need to take in charcoal or wood.

What we have found is that braaiing takes away from your viewing time, so our best meal is cold meats and cheeses, dips and pates etc.
A good bottle of wine or two and you are set for hours of entertainment.
Remember to make beds while you still have daylight!
You can lie in bed and view - you only discover this after beds are made!
Remember to put the mozzie screens up relatively early as this is the danger period but by 8ish you can take them down to take photos and have a good look at what is going on.
Insect repellent is a must as the hide is not mozzie proof but when screens are up is relatively big bug proof.
Remember to sit in total darkness and watch the fireflies and bats, quite a show.
The problem with staying up all night is that you get so sleepy!!!!!!!!!
I think it is a combination of the night air, the bush music and maybe a few glasses of wine but I guarantee you the best nights sleep you have ever had.

This is truely a life changing experience - enjoy every minute of it. The only disturbances are maybe a nightdrive who will stop for a loo break but they try to be so quiet it is comical. Obviously they have been warned about invading someone elses privacy. Anyway, there is a door that you can bolt between the loo and your little castle! We got cheerful wake up calls from the rangers who drive past to make sure that you are up and about and not greeting the general public in your jammies! You need to be packed up 1/2 hour after camp gates open. The bush noises see to it that you are up and viewing anyway. Anyone still in bed is criminally insane.

Hooo! Now I am envious - have a great time
Not all who wander are lost.

J.R.R. Tolkien

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Unread postby simonb6 » Wed May 18, 2005 9:14 am

Guinea Pig wrote:Do you have electricity or is it a real camp-out?

Nope - no electricity, water or any other services.
Cheers, Simon
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Unread postby francoisd » Wed May 18, 2005 11:20 am

Guinea Pig wrote:What would you say do you need to take along yourself?
In other words, stuff from your own camping gear?

Have not stayed there but I had a good look at that hide last year when I was there, and Simon can confirm this. To me it looked as if you'll need everything in your camping gear except the tent and bedding. There was no visible source for lighting and then you will need all your cooking utensils.

If I remember you can only book the hide for one night at a time?
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Unread postby mfb » Fri Oct 06, 2006 4:52 pm

Shipandane hide is near mopani and Sable dam hide is near Phalaborwa gate ... the mozzies for that matter all the flying insects are numerous :lol: ...
I just ended up taking the crunchy ones out me food :lol: ..
but I can highly recommend the experience ...
the booking is the same as if you were booking a camp
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Unread postby MalcolmDee » Mon Dec 18, 2006 11:40 pm

Andrea & I are due to be at Shipandane on Christmas Eve.
We stayed at Sable the night before full moon in August.
On the way home we bought our African Bonsai Christmas tree for the Hide, got home and booked for next week.
This is the first time since I was a kid (40 years ago, but still one at heart), and first time ever for Andrea that we will be away from home for Christmas.
And I cannot wait.
We will be back to Sable Dam for a night between Christmas and New Year.

I think this will tell you how special the night at Sable in August was, even though like many others we did not see too much during the night.
Two elephants had a night time skinny dip at the waterhole at the look out point a few hundred metres to the north of the hide while we were braaing .
Overnight we saw 1 Scrub hare, 1 Steenbokkie and one Impala.
The next morning the wildness of the site was confirmed with sighting two lionesses at the water hole where the ellies had swum the evening before.

The two downsides of our Sable experience: (a) some daytime visitors to the hide had used the one (fortunately there are two) of the braai facilities as a toilet between the time the parks staff had cleaned the area and us getting there, and (b) that there were strong lights from the mine/industrial area at Phalaborwa till about 8 'o clock (maybe even later) in the evening.
It would have been nicer if the hide faced east, so that the lights would have been behind the hide.
Still a good enough experience to want to go back straight away for more and more.

I hope we do see the White-backed Night Herons at Shipandane.
The wilderness lifts my spirit like hot air does a balloon, and I can soar with eagles (and vultures).

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Shipandane and Sable Overnight Hides - December 2006

Unread postby MalcolmDee » Sun Jan 07, 2007 8:55 pm

Well I can only say the week over Christmas and New Year flew past far too quickly and we had a great time in THE Park.

Christmas Eve in Shipandane was great.
We did not see any mammals till Christmas morning (Some waterbuck and a Klipspringer on the koppie behind the hide) but the night sounds and the mobile and natural Christmas light display by the fireflies were fantastic.
Although we did not see too much we found the atmosphere at this hide very special and more 'intimate' than that of Sable Dam.

Sable, by contrast, was more 'busy'.
With ellies coming and going all night.
We were privileged to see two doing one of their favourite sports, a noisy pass-time they find quite embarrassing and only partake of on moonless, dark nights when they think no one can see them- namely swimming backstroke.
Again the night noises were absolutely out of the Bush.

Thank you SAN PARKS for making this experience available to us.
We are already planning another visit to these two hides and look forward to the introduction of new Overnight Hides.
Nyawutsi Hide would make a fantastic overnight Hide!
The wilderness lifts my spirit like hot air does a balloon, and I can soar with eagles (and vultures).

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Unread postby Josh. W » Mon Apr 30, 2007 9:22 pm

LindaS wrote:My SO and I will be visiting Kruger in September and as part of the trip will be spending two nights at Mopani. We are seriously contemplating spending one of those nights at the Shipandani overnight hide.

My SO is very keen, but on reading through this thread, there are some references to a rodent problem at the Sable hide, and he is concerned that if there is a similar problem with rodents at Shipandani hide, I may not enjoy the experience! :shock: :cry:

Has anyone who has stayed at Shipandani hide experienced a problem with rodents?



I stayed at Sable Dam Hide recently, saw no rodents, or any other fauna for that matter, however I wouldn't know about Shipandani.

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Sable overnight Hide

Unread postby wachinda » Sat Aug 04, 2007 8:29 pm

Just 16 days till our overnight at sable.
Can not wait.
Does the phase of the moon affect the game viewing ?
The only "attraction:" that I am not to keen on are the rodents I have read about on this forum, any tips on how to discourage them from making their presence known ??

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Overnighting in bird hides

Unread postby ndloti » Mon Aug 06, 2007 7:57 am

I believe the full(er) moon , due to increased visibility , does effect the behaviour of predators and prey species .
As far as rodents are concerned , you will never be able to exclude them , best just accept their presence , they are more more important to the ecosystem than humans are .
KNP is sacred. I am opposed to the modernisation of Kruger and from the depths of my soul long for the Kruger of yesteryear! 1000+km on foot in KNP incl 56 wild trails.200+ nights in the wildernessndloti-indigenous name for serval.

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Unread postby restio » Thu Aug 16, 2007 10:38 pm

Cadac, to add what Foxy has said, there are pages on the SANParks website for Sable Hide and Shipandani Hide. There is also a whole thread on the forum about Overnight hides.
Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former. - Albert Einstein (1879-1955)

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Re: Overnight Hides

Unread postby ndloti » Thu Dec 18, 2008 7:55 am

Shipandane would be my choice .
Although I have not been to Sable hide I think the view is better , esp at fullmoon .
The fact that the former is deeper in the KNP is what attracts me .
Remember Sable is closer to light pollution from the opencast mine at Phalaborwa .
KNP is sacred. I am opposed to the modernisation of Kruger and from the depths of my soul long for the Kruger of yesteryear! 1000+km on foot in KNP incl 56 wild trails.200+ nights in the wildernessndloti-indigenous name for serval.

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Re: Overnight stay in bird hides

Unread postby Pjw » Tue Jun 16, 2009 4:02 pm

We have stayed at both hides.
Bedding is provided- you pay a deposit which is returned to you when you return the bedding.
I loved both hides.
They have different atmospheres.
Sable dam gives you a better chance of seeing game due to the general lie of the land at the hide.
We saw mating lion there and in the early hours of the morning we saw 3 females.
The only down side is you can see the "orange glow" of the town of Phalaborwa in the distance.
Shipandani is great as you are truly in the bush.
The feeling of being alone in the bush is amazing.
You can neither see nor hear signs of human activity!
We saw a lot of hippo there and heard ellies and lion.
Given the time I would do both again!
"In the end we conserve only that which we love, we love only that which we understand, we understand only that which we are taught"
(Baba Dioum, Senegalese Ecologist)

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Re: Staying in a hide

Unread postby Pamwe Chete » Thu Feb 11, 2010 1:37 pm

Hi,

They do provide blankets etc in the hides. I stayed in one in January this year, and therefor no need for sleeping bags.

Have a great trip to this very special part of the world.

Regards
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