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 Post subject: Just returned from a very wet KTP
Unread postPosted: Thu Mar 20, 2008 2:26 pm 
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Just returned from the KTP where we had plenty of rain, so much that the Twee Rivieren to Nossob road from Twee Rivieren was shut. The only way to get to Nossob at the time was via Kielie Krankie road.

Will post update later, but in brief:

Overall Value for Money: 2 / 5

Experience: 5 / 5

Camp Sites: 2 / 5

Road Coditions in the KTP Camp: 1 / 5 (Very bad around Nossob )

Would I go again: Possibly not. Cant justify the cost as a foreign traveller to go to the KTP , hiring a 4 x 4, and paying lots of money for very outdated accomodation units (except Twee Rivieren)

I know this might cause loads of debate, but will update in my detail report.

What did we see:

Leopard, Cheetah, Lion, Gemsbok, Springbok, Hartebeest, Jackal, Long Haired heyena, cape cobra, scorpions etc etc

:D


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 Post subject: Re: Just returned from a very wet KTP
Unread postPosted: Thu Mar 20, 2008 4:02 pm 
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Hi Propolis,

I'm sorry to hear that you think KTP is not good value for money. If it rains in KTP the road from Twee Rivieren to Kij Kijk will be closed pretty soon after the rain starts. The reason is that the Leeudril area becomes totally undrivable. This is unfortunately a major problem if you're staying in Twee Rivieren as this seriously limits you in the roads you can drive. To make it worse this stretch is of is in my opinion one of the most productive roads in the park.

As to the outdated accomodation, some of the units are outdated but I've seen lots worse in Africa. In general the accomodation is all right. If you are looking for more luxurous accomodation then it's best to book a wilderness camp like Urikaruus or Grootkolk.

The roads in KTP can be horrendous. I've complained on this forum about the roads (and received some flak about it) and I really think that more time should be spent on keeping them in driveable condition. I love the park to bits though, it's my favourite park in South Africa by far. In Southern Africa only Moremi and Chobe would top it I think.


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Thu Mar 20, 2008 6:55 pm 
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Just before anyone else talks about luxury of the camps - its not the case.

I will point out later today in my report re the accommodation issues I had related to what you pay for the accommodation

:D


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 Post subject: Please dont do this in the KTP
Unread postPosted: Thu Mar 20, 2008 10:13 pm 
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This guy went walkabout to photograph animals at a water hole

Image

Image

There was various animals around the water hole but as he approached to take pictures of them they all left the water hole

:shock:


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 Post subject: Re: Please dont do this in the KTP
Unread postPosted: Thu Mar 20, 2008 10:46 pm 
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propolis wrote:
This guy went walkabout to photograph animals at a water hole

Popolis, did you report this to the police at TR?!? They are very pro-active and would have made sure that this oke was at least fined, if not worse. :evil: You pix, which clearly show the guy's number plate, plus your signed statement, are all they need for the maximum fine.

I would also have personally read the riot act to this idiot — politely, of course :wink: but forcefully as well :twisted: :twisted: At KTP you are required to read and sign a list of rules upon entry. No one can claim to NOT know the park's rules :twisted: :shock: :twisted:

_________________
RSA 2014
20-16 Oct Joburg
27-30 Oct Mapungubwe: Limpopo forest tented camp, Leokwe camp
31 Oct-1 Nov Pafuri River Camp
2-15 Nov KNP: Punda Maria, Sirheni, Olifants, Tamboti, Skukuza
16-22 Nov Cape Town
23 Nov-20 Jan Darling


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Thu Mar 20, 2008 11:04 pm 
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Reported to TR and I believe that they have given him his marching orders as he left the KTP the following morning. The time I have spotted him wasnt his first offence as he has had one warning already.

:D


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 Post subject: Camp Site Report
Unread postPosted: Thu Mar 20, 2008 11:14 pm 
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Before any more debate on the camps, I would like to do the report so that everyone can see what I am trying to get over.

I am SA (now resident in the UK) and my partner is British.

I was in the SA Air force and was stationed in the Caprivi and Hoedspruit and have a passion for the wildlife.
I would tolerate much more harsh conditions than loads of camping people, BUT, as my partner is not used to these environments, we agreed that we won’t go camping, but stay in chalets / bungalows.

1st Camp - Kielie Krankie (1 night) in a Dune Cabin 3/5
It’s a fantastic location, fantastic sunsets and the only place we saw a long haired brown hyena.
The fridge worked well, bedroom and kitchen OK, bathroom clean, but oh dear, what about the holes and zips not closing letting unwanted creepy crawlies in.

2nd Camp - Nossob (2 nights) in a Chalet 2/5
We just could not believe what we saw.
The beds were clean and tidy but this is all. There were insects all over the bathroom floor and in the bedroom. The fridge did not work and we asked to get it repaired to no avail, so we lost our fresh produce and some fresh meat.
None of the windows had mosquito frames, neither did the veranda zip’s work, so we could not leave the windows open as there was no means to keep the bugs out - and not to mention the bat that got into the bedroom.

3rd Camp - Bitterpan (1 night) Reed Bungalow 4/5
What a fantastic camp. Not many animals about, but the cheer delight to sit around the fire pit and have a good old chat.
The fridge worked, the chest freezer worked, the room was clean and tidy and so was the bathroom area.
We only had one small issue with the Velcro on one of the flaps, but I managed a work around.
Having dinner with the ranger and listen to all the tales he has to say, you could not ask for more

4th Camp - Mata Mata (1 night) 2/5
The beds were clean and tidy but this is all. The fridge did not work well (the same temp as the cold tap water) and we asked to get it repaired to no avail.
None of the windows had mosquito frames so we could not leave the windows open as there was no means to keep the bugs out.
This camp really needs a bit of an update

5th Camp - Urikaruus (1 night) Riverside Cabin 1/5
Fantastic camp, view and surrounds, but that’s where it ends.
None of our zippers or flaps would close. As we had rain, it entered the kitchen area from underneath the kitchen door and from underneath the kitchen veranda flaps. So we had a very wet kitchen floor.
The same for the bedroom. Everything was damp. The flaps facing the river in the bedroom would not shut, so we had water coming in up to under the first bed, the wind was blowing the flaps around and what about all the insect that entered the bedroom - not very pleasant for my partner.

6th Camp - Twee Rivieren (2 nights) Family Cottage 5/5
Had no problems with this camp

My point is that either the cost for Kielie Krankie or Urikaruus (one night) would allow me to stay 2 nights in Twee Rivieren
So, I don’t mind if they give me tin cups and plates at these camps, have to bring my own drinking water, towels whatever. What we expected was that the rooms would be secure from insects, rain and be able to close the flaps to keep the wind out.

The comment I received from my partner was that at some of these camps we might as well have stayed in a tent and saved some money.

Off course, other than the camps itself and the awful state of the roads around Nossob, the atmosphere of the KTP was great and good animal sightings (to follow).

:)


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 Post subject: What animals did we see
Unread postPosted: Thu Mar 20, 2008 11:55 pm 
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I am not going to post many pictures, because so many people have already posted fantastic pictures.

I have problems vith my video footage, but will post later

Spot the lion (Nossob)

Image

Lions near Mata Mata

Image

Image

Leopard

Image

Image

Image

Cheetah

TR to Nossob Road - Mother and Cub

Image

Image

TR to Mata Mata Road - Mother and Cubs

Image

Image

Enjoy

:D


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Fri Mar 21, 2008 12:55 am 
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propolis wrote:
Reported to TR and I believe that they have given him his marching orders as he left the KTP the following morning. The time I have spotted him wasnt his first offence as he has had one warning already. :D


:clap: :clap: :clap:

I'm sure that the TR security force really appreciated your input. They have such a huge area to police and rely very much on help from concerned and observant visitors. I'm not at all surprised that this idiot was required to leave the park. Some people just never learn :roll:

Seems like you had very bad luck with your accommodation, I certainly had no such problems, apart from sand blowing everywhere at KK one very windy afternoon and night. But for me that was just part of the adventure. Of course, I also tend to keep my tent flaps and even the netting open, but there are likely fewer bugs about in early Spring? In any case, I wasn't bothered by any, and while I did zip my netting shut at night, I left most flaps open, as I like being able to hear as much as possible and am moderately claustrophobic, so avoid dark, enclosed spaces. My only "invader" was a yellowbilled hornbill at Uirkaruus that came right into the kitchen! Oh, and the little skink that lived under the fridge, but I like most creepy crawlies, they're part of the bush experience for me and as long as they don't/can't hurt me, I'm content to share my space with them. 8)

As for water (or sand) getting under doors and tent flaps, I don't think it's possible to make such accommodation impenatrable, as even if doors fit tight to start, in the harsh bush conditions they will inevitably warp, velco will become detached or less sticky (yes, some flaps were harder to keep closed), but I think in a place like KTP you have to accept some maintenance and repair problems. I'm sure the smaller camps don't have immediate access to spares when a fridge breaks down, nor do they have maintence personnel who can attend to repairs immediately. However, I would agree that it should be possible to combat excessively buggy floors and mend damaged mosquito nets, or replace missing ones quickly. And I do think that it sounds like you had more than reasonable accommodation problems.

It's a real shame if it has put you off KTP for good. :|

_________________
RSA 2014
20-16 Oct Joburg
27-30 Oct Mapungubwe: Limpopo forest tented camp, Leokwe camp
31 Oct-1 Nov Pafuri River Camp
2-15 Nov KNP: Punda Maria, Sirheni, Olifants, Tamboti, Skukuza
16-22 Nov Cape Town
23 Nov-20 Jan Darling


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Fri Mar 21, 2008 1:03 am 
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Pumbaa wrote:
Sorry to hear about your bad experience with the creepy crawlers but you are in the nature and it is summer and also these animals have the right to exist. It can ever happen that some insects try to enter your chalet but compared to those other sightings????


I agree with everyone that we are coming into the animals environment, but if I get offered accommodation that should protect us against these creepy crawlies then I expect those items to be in functional working order.

I have not been put-of the KTP, maybe the circumstances of roads being limited to view game on and then being shut because of rain (and believe me the KTP needs every drop of it) as well as the status of the camps and the prices you pay made it a bad experience. Of course this can be all fixed in the near future and who knows, we might be back.

The KTP has a feeling that you cant describe to anyone. It is magic.

:D


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 Post subject: Accommodation Comments
Unread postPosted: Tue Apr 08, 2008 10:53 pm 
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Hi Propolis and others

Just got back from 10 days in the KTNP (my 9th trip in 12 years). WONDERFUL trip and will return, but I agree to some extent with Prop's comments:

1. Bugs – Insects are part and parcel of the KTNP experience. It is usually an inexperienced visitor that have their units inundated with insects. DON’T leave your lights on at night with doors and windows open, while braaing, or sitting outside. I have seen a German visitor who left his lights on while braaing to return to his room after eating only to abandon it to the bugs and sleep in the car! He left his lights on and windows and doors open. Use light sparingly (it is pollution too!) and switch off as soon as possible or use a candle.
2. Fridge’s – well in a semi-arid area what can one expect from a poor fridge pumping its heart out. In March we had days of 35 to 38 C and did not expect much from the fridges – especially if the doors are opened often. However, we kept it closed as long as possible and it was cooler. We also moved the fridges away from the wall to allow more air to circulate around the back. Perhaps the park should replace the swing door units with chest fried types when they next replace them (cold air stays in the unit when opened). I have previously found that the staff have always tried to help by offering some place in the shops fridges or freezer should one have a fridge problem – but have not had a fridge problem since 1995.
3. Mosquito Mesh on windows and doors – Here I completely agree with Props that ALL units should have mosquito mesh covering all windows and doors, so that visitors can leave light son and not be “attacked” by insects. This is a simple solution, and encourages visitors to leave windows open to get some air (which in March is in the 30s at night too). Wow the fan at Mata Mata in Unit 1 is disastrous – it is about to lift off!
4. Maintenance – Basic maintenance is needed on most accommodation units (Mata Mata MOSTLY, but also Nossob and Grootkolk). Velcro flaps need to be re-attached and secured where they are falling off. Visitors are extremely HIGH USERS of things and the difference between Grootkolk in 2005 and 2008 is chalk and cheese – most Velcro flaps are damaged, zippers broken and so on. That however is no excuse park management MUST repair these units back to the original condition when launched.
5. Mata Mata – well what a change here from a quiet little camp to the bustling border post. What a pity. There is so much traffic at MM now that visitors seem to be neglected. There is no privacy for visitors staying in units 1 – 6 as the road to the gate is adjacent to them. Further, the light and noise form the Namibian side is regrettable, as I go for the wildlife experience not a border post with its action. Could the Manager not place a modesty wall of wooden poles between the accommodation and the road/border.
6. Value for money – While the KTNP is getting relatively expensive, ALL visitors need to realise it is an “African” wildlife experience – which for me means not to expect ALL the luxuries of home. It is amazing to have running water and flush loos in the accommodation and not to have to use a spade! I do feel the KTNP should shoulder some blame for the maintenance though as it appears to be slipping.
7. Roads – see my comment on the roads thread. Simple maintenance need. Hey I would even drag the tyre triangle during a drive to smooth the road!

Until next time.

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