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Lower Sabie Rest Camp

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Junior Virtual Ranger
Joined: Mon Aug 05, 2013 4:54 pm
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Location: Noordheuwel Krugersdorp
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Mon Jun 09, 2014 10:46 am Unread post
A big welcome to you ilovenationalparks. :mrgreen:

We stayed in LS over December 2012, and enjoyed it very much. We stayed in the river view safari tents, not quite suitable for your group size. Are everyone adults, or are there some kids aswel. If you have children in the group you can just ask for a extra mattress which I'm sure management will gladly supply.

I am not sure what negative things you read about LS, but everyone has their own opinion about every camps good and not so good things.

In my opinion the game viewing in the area far exceeds the "negative" things about the camp.

Hope you have a wonderful time planning your trip and I"m sure you will get all the advice you need to plan your trip on this forum :mrgreen:
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Re: lower sabie

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Location: Ballito, KZN North Coast, South Africa
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Mon Jun 09, 2014 11:04 am Unread post
Warm welcome to the forum ilovenationalparks! :clap:

Lower Sabie is an extremely popular camp and often difficult to find accommodation in unless one books far in advance especially in the holidays and peak times which would indicate how good it is.
Its also in a very game rich area.

Have you had a read through the topic we already have for Lower Sabie Camp where I am sure you will find lots of advice and info and answers to many of your questions. :thumbs_up:


Re: lower sabie

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Location: Pretoria
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Mon Jun 09, 2014 11:10 am Unread post
Also not sure what 'negative things' you've read about, but if it was about the restaurant (likely) that's now sorted with Mugg&Bean & Debonairs being the new service providers :lol:

The only problem we've had in Lower Sabie were noisy (read drunk) neighbours - sorted out by the camp manager who came and had a talk to them about the sounds of nature being the preferred music in the park ... and with noisy staff on their way to/from work at 4:00 AM - this did not last long as they were only noisy for as long as it took for them to walk out of earshot of our bungalow - about 3 minutes :D

And the BD3U bungalows may just be the nicest and most comfortable bungalows in the park. With a well-designed bathroom and kitchenette. Not to mention the view. If you can get two attached BD3U units you'll be sorted with regards to your family of five. I do not recommend the huts in Lower Sabie. Cheap they may be, but the last time I stayed in them (granted over 10 years ago), they were musty and murky and cramped (the last likely did not change, but the 'musty and murky' might have been taken care of...)


Re: lower sabie

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Junior Virtual Ranger
Joined: Sat Oct 07, 2006 8:24 pm
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Location: Somerset West
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Mon Jun 09, 2014 1:50 pm Unread post
Hi ilovenationalparks,

Yes, half the fun is the planning and anticipation!

Contrary to what some responses have been, I have NEVER stayed in any of the "luxury" accommodation units in Kruger Park -- maybe as a child when they were affordable...

Reason: Too expensive!

If you are not too fussy, you can have a wonderful time at Lower Sabie in the huts (we love the EH2 huts -- very cute and NO bats the last few times we used them). I know there used to be a few 5-bed huts for bigger families at a very reasonable rate...

If you are only staying 4 nights, why move around so much? You miss half the first day (14h00 start) and half the last day (10h00 exit), so you actually only have 1 day in the camp if you stay for 2 nights. Repeat at Satara, and you actually really only relaxed 2/4 days... not worth it.

There is so much to do around Lower Sabie, a lovely pool for the kids, lots of place to play around, good game viewing along the river from the restaurant deck, picnic sites at Mlondozi, Nkuhle, Tshokwane... lovely drives to Crocodile Bridge, Skukuza, H10...

Do let us know what you have decided!

And if you ever go in December, choose Pretoriuskop for its amazing rockpool and shady surrounds to relax in during the heat of the day with the kids...

God bless,

Friedrich von Hörsten


Re: lower sabie

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Mon Jun 09, 2014 3:51 pm Unread post
Thanks Friedrich

Has anyone stayed in the EH5 huts recently? I wont really need to make use of the communal kitchen facilities as we would braai for the most part. I just want to know whether the huts are clean and comfortable and what the ablution facilities are like.

I must say that i have already fallen in love with the views from some of the bungalows.

I see the value of the staying in just one camp on such a short trip and there are many interesting routes to take from LS. However, part of me feels like I would be missing out if we didn't explore at least one other camp. So hard to decide :hmz:

My most recent, ever changing plan, was to enter the park very soon after the gates open and drive the approximate 4hrs to Satara. As we will enter the park early will will be able to take a leisurely drive to the camp and hopefully have some exciting sightings on the way. We will have some time to relax at the camp an then take a short afternoon drive before camp gate close. I was considering a guided sunset drive on day 2. On the morning of the day 3 we would drive to LS. We would spend most of our mornings driving anyway, so this wouldn't be 'wasted hours'. I was considering a sunrise drive on the morning of day 4. Any opinions?


Re: lower sabie

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Mon Jun 09, 2014 4:27 pm Unread post
The 5 beds huts are reasonable value for money. There are 4 of them, numbers 49, 54, 55, and 60 with 3 bed huts in between them, so slightly similar to dormitory style accommodation in the shape of a U. Unit 49 is my favourite as there’s nobody next to you (end of the U) and 60 has an FU5 next to it. 54 and 55 are in the middle of the U.

A boma is currently being built in front of the U, which will be a good asset for all if it rains because the huts have no veranda.

The ablutions could do with some care.

Beware of bats in the huts though as I have seen plenty in all of them

The BD3 units are great, especially if you book 2 as they are joined, therefore you will have the entire space, which I mention as the only down fall in my opinion is the close proximity of the unit’s braai area to each other, but you won’t have this problem as 2 units make a “building” if I’m making sense. (Provided they are allocated this way by sanparks, which I’m sure they will be under 1 reservation number) I think the best BD3 units are 17/18, 19/20 and 21/22

Will your kids sleep in their own unit

The FU4V units are 95 and 96 I think (pity there aren’t more of them) I have stayed in these also and they are very nice; however I find it almost impossible to get a booking

The last time I enquired about the tents no additions were permitted, even a small child, which is a pity

There is only 1 x FU5 left at Lower Sabie also, so for 4 or more in a family you don’t have much of a choice as there’s only 7 units which take 4 or more besides Keartland guest house


Re: lower sabie

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Legendary Virtual Ranger
Joined: Tue Jun 07, 2005 8:47 pm
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Location: meandering between senility and menopause
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Tue Jun 10, 2014 7:39 am Unread post
Chirinda posted this picture in our trip report. This is of the older block. There is a new block that is excellent.

viewtopic.php?f=27&t=79160&start=120


Re: lower sabie

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Virtual Ranger
Joined: Tue Nov 30, 2004 12:08 pm
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Location: GAUTENG , S.A.
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Tue Jun 10, 2014 2:45 pm Unread post
I can only recommend the spacious EH5 huts at Lower Sabie (like Meandering Mouse said). Perfect for a family with kids as the base rate is for 2 adults and you only pay children's additional rate for the kids and they are in the hut with you and not in a separate unit. Family units are scarce in all camps.
Only downside is that you need to walk to the communal bathrooms, but you will save big money for that.
Reserve them as soon as possible as they do get snapped up especially in peak times.


Re: lower sabie

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Location: GAUTENG , S.A.
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Tue Jun 10, 2014 3:51 pm Unread post
For a family - 2 adults and 3 children. Some comparisons.

Lower Sabie EH5 - R650 per night with communal facilities (note only Pretoriuskop has similar )
Lower Sabie FU5 - R1830 excellent alternative with own bathroom and kitchen
Lower Sabie FU4V - R1945 river view and self-contained. Fifth bed added by camp for child.
Taking 2 BD3U will cost R2210 (children will be alone in separate hut).

Taking a fantastic Guest Cottage in Satara or Orpen for arguments sake would be R2020 which is good value.

This is the dilemma facing larger parties about the vast amount of 2 bed bungaloes in Kruger and the short supply of family units.

Solution is to reserve family accomodation early to avoid taking the 2/3 bed bungaloes which are designed around couples.
We like the Guest Cottages over Christmas and New Year (special treat) and then take more economical Huts and Safari Tents between.


Re: lower sabie

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Tue Jun 10, 2014 4:37 pm Unread post
ilovenationalparks wrote
I generally find that finding family accomodation in most national parks is a problem. I've had on occasion had to book three two bed units, only to use two of them. I would never let a child stay in a bungalow or tent without supervision ... criminal masterminds might also enjoy wildlife.)

While I obviously do not have have statstics, I would asume that a large portion of KNP visitors must be families with young children. Why isnt there more family accommodation? Does anyone know the reason for this.

I noticed that you could book a hut with one bed. Now that seems like a waste of space. If you are alone (and I cant imagine too many people visit the park solo) you may as well book a 2 bed bungalow. One room bungalows could be turned into private bathrooms or kitchens which could be hired at an additional cost for campers etc.


I quite often visit the Park solo. It is my retreat.

I do agree that there is a strange mixture of bungalows. I did find that finding family accommodation was the most challenging.


lower sabie

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Location: Port Elizabeth, South Africa
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Tue Jun 10, 2014 4:56 pm Unread post
We stayed in the EH5 during the June/July holidays last year and found them very good value for money, clean and comfortable. We enjoyed socializing and chatting to our neighbors in the communal kitchen, ablutions and braai area. The drives in that area are usually very rewarding.


Re: lower sabie

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Junior Virtual Ranger
Joined: Tue May 02, 2006 11:07 am
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Location: Western Cape
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Wed Jun 11, 2014 9:29 am Unread post
ilovenationalparks wrote

While I obviously do not have have statstics, I would asume that a large portion of KNP visitors must be families with young children. Why isnt there more family accommodation? Does anyone know the reason for this.



This is an interesting point. I seem to recall that stats that were gathered before the latest strategic planning document was released (sometime late 2012 or beginning of 2013?) indicated that the largest proportion of visitors to Kruger were in the age group 50 and older. This is of course an annual number. During the 8-odd weeks of high season school holidays, undoubtedly the number of families visiting the park must be in the majority.

I have lived through the school holiday Kruger visits both as a child and as a parent; during the latter we did the family cottage thing when the boys reached their teens; this meant careful planning and booking 11 months in advance! So, it tended to be family cottages in (a) Letaba (b) Satara (c) Shingwidzi (only 2 there as I recall), or Mopani (almost always possible to get accommodation there in family cottages). Otherwise it was the bush camps; Sirheni, Talamati, Shimuwini, Biyamiti. Overall it was a lot easier to find accomodation in the northern part of the park than in the south. Which was fine by me!

I see this topic has been hijacked comprehensively. :twisted:


Re: lower sabie

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Location: The road less travelled
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Thu Jun 12, 2014 2:58 pm Unread post
I found that camping with the family was good family time, the family that can camp together stays together.
Nothing like pitching some tents to sort out the differences :D

Family accommodation had to be booked 11 months in advance, and when the time came some of the children had other commitments (sport etc)

And I can definitely vouch that KNP would be a great place to think and gain perspective.


Re: lower sabie

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Thu Jun 12, 2014 4:24 pm Unread post
:hmz: perhaps they need more 2 bed units, think part of the problem is a couple end up booking the bigger more bed units as there are no more 2 bed units available and you pay just base rate which is for 2 people.


Re: lower sabie

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Thu Jun 12, 2014 8:34 pm Unread post
The family accommodation with ablutions are always the first to go in most camps. In Lower Sabie the FU4V’s go first and then the FU5. One pays for a base rate of 4, not 2 for these units. A close second are the BD3U’s then the new BD2V’s. Last to go are the huts (which tells me they are the least popular) and it’s these that are the issue because a 5 sleeper hut, of which there are only 4, have a base rate of 2.

Tamboti and Pretoriuskop have the same problem, so it seems that all the family units with toilets have a base rate of 4 and those without toilets a base rate of 2.

All family units should have a base rate of 4
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