Skip to content

SANParks.org Forums

View unanswered posts | View active topics






Post new topic Reply to topic  Page 1 of 5
 [ 75 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2, 3, 4, 5  Next
Author Message
 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Fri Aug 12, 2005 4:45 pm 
Offline
Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Tue Dec 21, 2004 12:13 am
Posts: 265
Location: Wondering if I'll ever get back to SA!
The camp shop is pretty good, considering the size of the camp. There again, there is currently no restaurant at Orpen, so it needs to be. Satara is only a couple of hours slow drive away on the tar, and being a large camp has a better choice.

We have always had great game viewing in the area - rhino and jackals aplenty and a lion kill on the Tamboti turnoff once. There are also some lovely drives in the area (if you've not been there, visit the angels favorite, Bobbejaankrans :lol: . Have never seen much on the Timbavati road although the picnic spot down there is gorgeous. The Orpen area is not quite as open as the Satara area, but you should expect similar type of viewings, although maybe a few less cats.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Tamboti vs Orpen
Unread postPosted: Sun Aug 14, 2005 8:52 pm 
Bert I can ensure you that once you stayed in Tamboti you will not even concider Orpen again. Orpen is a splended little camp though and after the constructions will be even better. the shop is well equiped and game viewing is exellent. Rabelais dam in March produced some of the best game viewing of my life.

Joao

Six weeks to Kruger. (Shigwedzi)


Top
  
 
 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Mon Aug 15, 2005 8:51 pm 
Online
Moderator
Moderator
User avatar

Joined: Thu Dec 30, 2004 5:54 pm
Posts: 42618
Location: Somerset West, Cape Town
Plans for new Orpen gate proceed - Kruger Park Times.

_________________
Sawubona
Dalene

A roaring lion does not catch any prey - African Proverb


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Tue Aug 23, 2005 7:43 am 
Offline
Legendary Virtual Ranger
Legendary Virtual Ranger
User avatar
Award: Birder of the Year (2013)
Joined: Thu Dec 02, 2004 10:27 am
Posts: 5297
Location: Chasing down the rarities
One my very first trip to Kruger I saw a leopard catching a waterbuck calf here. The cow and calf came down to the dam to quench their thirst. A huge, probably one of the biggest crocs I have seen was lurking around and we waited in anticipation.

We held our breath as the waterbuck edged closer to the water. They moved purposely forward through some thickets. Wham!! then all hell broke loose! The calf screamed like a Blue bull supporter with his side trailing by 10.

The leopard kenw something would come down the gamepath to have a drink. He just laid there in anticipation for his next meal to arrive. The mother was calling her calf in vain. The little waterbuck was held steadily in the jaws of the leopard, busy suffocating. As the noise died down the leopard moved out of the thickets with its prey. Dragging it up the hill out of sight. I ended up seeing 3 leopards on that day. The other 2 were hunting an impala ram together, first and last time I saw that.

Back in the old days rnagers used to cull hippos in this dam. In one incident a hippo capsized the boat, causing the occupants to fall in the croc infested waters. The one helper could not swim and was saved from certain drowning by the ranger.

Cool dam, this one!


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Wed Aug 24, 2005 9:03 am 
Offline
Virtual Ranger
Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Tue Nov 30, 2004 12:08 pm
Posts: 500
Location: GAUTENG , S.A.
I agree with all the sentiments expressed.
Orpen is a lovely old world charming little camp with the bush on your doorstep and silence at night.
Tamboti is good value and an authentic BUSH tented camp an experience not to be missed.
Maraoela is in my opinion the best camp to caravan or camp - it's privateand intimate , surrounded by the bush and that special atmosphere and even has a communal freezer sponsored by the East Rand Honory Rangers (THANKS AGAIN).
As you may guess I stay regularly (first visit was 40 years ago) at all 3 and could not pick a favourite however they are all 3 rated above all the other camps in my opinion .
Game viewing in the area is excellent especialy when the undergrowth is burnt away. This has been a problem the last couple of years with less sightings (as elsewhere) but the resumption of a burn programme will restore the veld quickly. The only area I may concede as being beter is Lower-Sabie to Crocodile Bridge.
All the roads in the central area are feasable for day trips and lots of picnic sites to visit too.
And reservations especialy last minute one's are easy to get because of the larger camps holding all the reputation - long may it stay that way.
And the staff are all special too being less pressured.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Wed Aug 24, 2005 4:33 pm 
Offline
Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Tue Apr 19, 2005 4:51 pm
Posts: 510
Location: Kleinmond, Western Cape
I love Kruger in general.
And I always feel privileged to stay there - no matter which camp.
But everybody normally has a favourite (for various reasons).
Personally I prefer the smaller camps and bushveld camps (the latter is unfortunately normally too expensive for me).
We do not care about restaurant facilities, but some people do (especially overseas visitors as they normally cannot bring all necessities with needed for self catering).
For this reason Orpen is one of our favourite camps (actually the favourite).
I have not camped in many camps yet, but of the few I visited, Maroela is no. 1.
I have never stayed in Tamboti myself, but everybody that did so and which I have come upon, says it is tops.

But my main reason for giving preference to the Orpen/Maroela area is my personal experience regarding game sightings.
I have mentioned on some of the other forum pages before that I've been keeping record of all personal mammal sightings in Kruger since 1987.
During this time I travelled more than 9000 km's and stayed in the park for 70 nights.
I had some exceptionally good sightings in the Orpen/Maroela region (especially when Rabelais Dam was still in existence), but have never been really fortunate with predators.
But all in all it is a fantastic game area.
However, I also had my disappointing visits to the area.

From contributions to the forum, I gather that Satara and Lower Sabie are regarded by most forumites as the better camps in Kruger for general game viewing.
Personally I had wonderful experiences in the Lower Sabie region (which are according to my records the second best game area), but Satara is rather low on my personal list (for game as well as atmosphere).

I regard Pretoriuskop as a poor game area in general (although I had some exceptional sightings there too), but for my personal taste it is a camp with a lot of character and charm.
Therefore I love Pretoriuskop, although I never go there with expectations to see a lot of game.

But the diversity in 'first choices' regarding camps in Kruger amongst forumites is one of the nice things to read about on this forum.
If everybody wanted to go to the same place it would have been chaos.

Actually our Orpen lovers should stay quiet about our little haven.
Quite a pity that the rustic huts now also have to make way for "development and progress".


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Sun Oct 09, 2005 8:49 pm 
Offline
Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Fri Dec 03, 2004 6:51 am
Posts: 208
Location: Vanderbijlpark
Jose wrote:
Hope they will leave the spoors intact. Apart from the lion and leopard mentioned by Loams, there is also a nice buffalo print in the cement between the two office buildings behind the shop.


Image

When I first read about the spoor here, I thought real lions might have walked over the wet cement while they were still building the camp ! On our recent visit to Orpen we stayed in no 3 and right in front of that hut is giraffe and jackal spoor, so I guess they were made by the builders using moulds?
BTW the building site around 1 and 2 was fenced off so I couldn't see if they left the lion spoor intact - didn't look like they did, because there was new paving around. I must say the improvements in Orpen look nice. I agree that it will change the atmosphere a bit, but as long as the camp stays small it'll still be nice. In my book the best renovations ever done was in Punda, where they left the exterior of those old huts and just upgraded inside.


Last edited by Herman on Sun Oct 09, 2005 9:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Wed Dec 28, 2005 10:22 am 
Offline
Virtual Ranger
Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Mon Dec 26, 2005 10:58 pm
Posts: 198
Location: NOT in KRUGER!!!
Vonnie wrote:
Other than the presence of the webcam - what makes Orpen so special?


Like some other Forumites have mentioned on these pages, it has this kind of "untouched" atmosphere and character, more than any of the other major camps in Kruger.

I have always found Orpen-Satara one of the best gameviewing areas in the centre of the Park :P

_________________
KRAZY about KRUGER!!!


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Wed Dec 28, 2005 11:29 am 
Offline
Virtual Ranger
Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Sat Nov 26, 2005 3:28 pm
Posts: 653
Location: Bloemfontein, RSA
I suppose what makes a camp special differs from person to person.

For close up and personal game viewing I only need to refer to the webcam sightings, all visible from the camp.

The atmosphere has been written about, but if you have not experienced it firsthand, you might not understand.

My best experiences were out of season when only a few huts were occupied. The tranquillity and nightsounds are amazing.

I myself am always thrilled by the big cats, of which there are plenty in the vicinity.

Should you wish to venture to spots like Kapama, the Panorama route and the Blyderivierspoort, it can all be easily utilized as a daytrip from Orpen.

_________________
To change ones life start immideately. Do it flamboyantly. No exceptions.


Last edited by christo on Wed Jan 04, 2006 12:17 am, edited 1 time in total.

Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Sat Jan 21, 2006 1:52 pm 
Offline
Virtual Ranger
Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Sat Nov 26, 2005 3:28 pm
Posts: 653
Location: Bloemfontein, RSA
Been there two days ago.

All the huts will be replaced with more expensive upgrades with en-suite bathrooms.

The work on the pool has begun. When completed you should be able to watch the waterhole from the pool.

The new reception building is nearing completion.

_________________
To change ones life start immideately. Do it flamboyantly. No exceptions.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Tue Jan 24, 2006 8:55 am 
Offline
Virtual Ranger
Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Tue Nov 30, 2004 12:08 pm
Posts: 500
Location: GAUTENG , S.A.
The upgrade to huts no 1 and 2 is STUNNING .

Features :
Bathroom that is not pokey with toilet on one side, clear-glass shower on other and washbasin in centre opposite a space saving sliding door .
Natural slate tiles and wickerwork light fitting for a very African feel .
The original bedroom now has a slate tile floor, tinted glass sliding door and picture window , natural wood bedroom suite , airconditioner , BIC and matching curtains and quilts in very attractive fabric.
The original verandah is now a kitchenette with all the utensils and appliances that you may need including twin hotplate and sink .
Cupboards are natural wood with black marble tops .
The fridge has a key to lock up against the baboons but I wonder how long before someone "loses" that.
Arguably the most outstanding feature (as we are here for the outdoors) is the new verandah .
IT IS SPACIOUS (HUGE) extending in front of the bedroom and kitchenette with slate tile floors and attractive furniture .
The roof and screen wall is done in rough wood but it also has a polycarbonate (clear plastic) roof above (hidden) for waterproofing - best of both materials .
Where a tree encroaches they just let the roof go around it so you have roof and tree above you .

When all the other improvements are also complete ORPEN could really become the finest gem .
What with a "cuddle-puddle" overlooking the waterhole I imagine this could be ideal for a romantic second honeymoon or "whatever" .
It just gives that "feel" now as nowhere else .
A very warm congratulations to SANPARKS you have outdone yourselves here .

The other huts are being converted a pair at a time every 6 months .
The disturbance is very minimal .


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Sun Jan 29, 2006 10:31 pm 
Offline
Senior Virtual Ranger
Senior Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Thu Nov 10, 2005 11:41 pm
Posts: 1538
Location: Gauties .
I have always had brilliant trips in the orpen area .
It was better when the rabeleis dam was still a dam , but its still good .
The family cottages there are in my opinion 1 of the nicest family units in the park , with a great verandah .

The only drawback I found last trip , was being overtaken every morning by the staff bus motoring people to the concession camp past talamati .


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Wed Mar 15, 2006 3:24 pm 
Offline
Virtual Ranger
Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Tue Nov 30, 2004 12:08 pm
Posts: 500
Location: GAUTENG , S.A.
ORPEN REMODELLING
1. A new entrance gate reception office , parking area and commercial centre is being built (close to complete) just outside the current camp ensuring privacy to the camp in future. The idea is to keep the Orpen entrance gate aspect separate from the Orpen camp facilities .

2. A new day visitor centre and pool is being developed well outside the camp to keep Orpen private.

3. The 50 year old huts are being renovated (beautifully) as discussed before. The first pair is complete and a further pair will be completed every 6 months . The disturbance is minimal in the camp .

4. A small pool is being built for Orpen residents only . Should be complete by next summer (hopefully by August for Vaatjie).

5. A new gate (same as the one about a kilometer from Orpen is now) is being erected at the common entrance to KNP , Manyeleti and Timbavati (about 8 km Westwards). From there you drive in the Greater KNP Conservancy at 50 km/h until you reack Orpen entrance gate reception office and get your permit to enter KNP proper. All internal fences are already down ( or is that falling down rather ) .

6 The funding was given by the Poverty Alleviation Fund to create employment.

7. Unfortunatly the tar road to Satara - H-7 , will probably get busier not quieter.
Maybe it is time for a few gravel loop roads (a-la-Pretoriuskop) to be constructed to disperse traffic . In years gone by you just needed to go and park at Rabelais dam but the 2000 floods sadly put an end to that era. But Orpen camp is one where you can forego your afternoon drive and just birdwatch in camp and in the dry season watch the waterhole pantomime.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Fri Mar 17, 2006 9:26 am 
Offline
Virtual Ranger
Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Tue Nov 30, 2004 12:08 pm
Posts: 500
Location: GAUTENG , S.A.
In the 2000 floods the Rabelais dam wall broke and caused a severe erosion gully downstream.

Before that , and the dam still held water , there were always game around which was superb for parking and waiting any time of day and only 12 km from Orpen.

I have witnessed a pair of Cheetah males kill an Impala there .

Apparently the latest research on Sodic Soils points to the area as unsuitable for a dam because of the overgrazing impact . As conservationist we accept that but what a pity from a game-viewing aspect .


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Mon Jul 31, 2006 11:31 am 
Offline
Distinguished Virtual Ranger
Distinguished Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Thu Jan 13, 2005 9:02 pm
Posts: 17093
Location: mind in SA, body in The Netherlands
Was my first time at Orpen
Everybody working there, from the gate attendent, reception, shop to the hut attendent were all very friendly and helpfull
Did their best to make you welcome

Although its a gate camp, once on the terrace of your hut you never had the notion that many cars pass by.

And the waterhole is a gem. Always had something to watch and the nightsounds were great.

Just a pity that the pool wasnt leafless. A croc would have got lost there.

_________________
Submit your Images


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 75 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2, 3, 4, 5  Next



Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group

Webcams Highlights

Addo Nossob Orpen Satara
Addo Nossob Orpen Satara
Submitted by kcilliers at 08:02:30 Submitted by Anonymous at 08:32:50 Submitted by teddy_rsa at 08:43:34 Submitted by avidspotter at 15:34:36