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Camp Choice??

Discuss the different camps and roads of the Kruger National Park
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Son godin
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Re: Decisions, decisions???

Unread postby Son godin » Tue Jun 14, 2011 9:26 pm


It all depends if you would like to have a shop and restaurant in the camp. Shimuweni and Sirheni are small bush camps without a shop and restaurant.

I've stayed at Shimuweni before and found it to be a lovely camp with great view over the river and there is also a small pool to cool down.

Mopani is a very large camp and not all the bungalows have view over the dam. The pool is very nice and then there is the plus that the shop on site is well stocked with fresh bread.

Sirheni looks great but I've not visited the camp yet.

My choice will be to stay for a few days in each, because game viewing can be good from all the camps, otherwise go for the two bush camps only if you enjoy the smaller camps.

See roaneric's Thread on accommadation to see some :cam:

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Re: Decisions, decisions???

Unread postby roaneric » Wed Jun 15, 2011 8:40 am

Hi Mant :D

Ooh that is a touch call.
All 3 are very nice.
But if I have to choose, I would go for Shimuwini.
The peace and quite of that camp is just great.
I can sit on the veranda the whole day, watching the fish eagles fly past over the river.
I have a little video on my TR here taken from the birdhide.
And as Son Godin said, I have some pictures on this thread.

Good luck deciding :tongue:
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Re: Tamboti vs Satara- worried about driving distances

Unread postby neilo » Sat Oct 13, 2012 3:14 pm

I have not stayed at Sable, but Satara and Biyamiti are two of my favourites.
I would not swap Satara for Tamboti for a few reasons ;

1) The Guest cottages (D ring) at Satara are very nice for 4 or 5 people.
You are all together, and it makes braai'ing, dinner, chilling out easier and more sociable.
Tamboti you are going to need two tents, and it splits you as a unit.

2) It might be very hot, and you will love a big air conditioner that you don't get with the tents.

3) From Tamboti you have to go up and down the H-7, and if there is nothing happening there, the same road gives you less sightings and becomes monotonous.
Also its an outside supply road, so you get delivery trucks, and more traffic disturbing your viewing by zooming by.

4) Satara you have options to go in 4 different directions.
Great viewing at Nwanetsi, drive to Olifants for brekkie, the well known S100 , and ratelpan / Timbavati picnic spot easily accessible.

5) Satara to Biyamiti ( and not tamboti to biyamit) will give you another hour of game viewing instead of driving time. Big difference.

6) You have many eye's looking for animals at Satara. Someone may see something that you might miss. Many eyes make light work ..... :hmz: . Every little bit helps !

Biyamiti is just fantastic. It's small, quiet , accommodation is great. Most of the time seeing stuff is pot-luck, good fortune, patience, and using the day correctly.
Last edited by neilo on Sat Oct 13, 2012 3:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Tamboti vs Satara- worried about driving distances

Unread postby cheetah2111 » Sat Oct 13, 2012 6:11 pm

Satara is my favorite camp!

That being said, if you want a more rustic bush experience, Tamboti will not let you down! :D
You will only be in Tamboti for one full day, so the lack of routes will not play a big part.
The H7 is one of the best roads in the Park.
The S39 to Timbavati picnic spot is scenic and special :D

You can book night or sunset drives at Orpen Rest camp to pick you up at Tamboti :thumbs_up:
Although looking at your schedule, it seems you are going to have quite a busy trip :shock:
I would recommend a chill pill at Tamboti and enjoy the peace the camp offers.
I have heard great things of Biyamiti guided drives!
Perhaps save up the guided drive for the last night 8)

It can be easily done to get from Tamboti to Biyamiti in a day :thumbs_up:

Your trip looks quite rushed!
It would be ideal if you could manage more nights at a camp without having to move so much :thumbs_up:
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Re: Do you prefer Letaba or Shingwedzi?

Unread postby threedogs » Mon Jan 14, 2013 4:24 am

Very difficult to choose, these are two of my favourite camps!

Letaba pros:
Lovely camp ambience in general IMHO
Terrific camp to walk around at night with a torch for sightings of night critters
Beautiful view from the restaurant - always game to be seen down in the riverbed
Nice drives to Oliphants or Mopani for lunch or breakfast
The drive along the river road is always worthwhile

Shingwedzi pros:
Amazing and beautiful drive up to the camp - have had great sightings along there including lions
Red Rocks loop and Kanniedood dam road always a treat
Can drive up to Punda Maria area for a day
Around the bungalows it is a bit quieter than Letaba
I like the pool area better here
(have not experienced any bats in the bungalows the last two years)
Have had good guided walks and night drives from this camp

We always stay at both camps but if I had to choose I would go for Shingwedzi.

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Re: Do you prefer Letaba or Shingwedzi?

Unread postby saraf » Mon Jan 14, 2013 2:59 pm

I love Shingwedzi, it has a lovely atmosphere, the accommodation is slightly more modern, there are some lovely drives around there and the proximity to Pafuri is a huge bonus.

However if this is your first time to Kruger I would say Letaba, especially if you can get one of the river view rondavels. I've always found the view from the restaurant to be worth spending time there, nothing better than watching three or four big tuskers ripping up the reed beds. There are plenty of drives around - if you have a high clearance hire car you can travel on the low maintenance roads that go from the main road between Letaba and Phalaborwa Gate. Plus Satara and Olifants are a nice day trip from there. I've always found the staff there to be welcoming and friendly and in the evening you get the benefit of the bushbucks wandering around.

It would be useful to know what other camps you have booked so we know what areas you will have been to or are going to.

Let us know what you decide and why. Have a great trip.
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Re: Do you prefer Letaba or Shingwedzi?

Unread postby Bush Baptist » Mon Jan 14, 2013 5:18 pm

There is very little to choose from. I love both camps.
They are far from the hectic south, and the pace of sightings is slower.
Both have a shop, restaurant, deck with a view across the river, swimming pool, great riverine drives.
I have not had great sightings on night rides from either, but I think we were unlucky.
I have done 2 morning walks from Letaba which were most enjoyable.

Reasons for Letaba;
Near Mantanbeni hide - the best hide in Kruger
Elephant Hall - worth a visit
Great view from the restaurant area
Big tuskers in the area like Tsotsi
TV lounge where I watched Champions League football one dark late night

Reasons for Shing;
Causeway birding at sunset
Back door exit to Kanniedood road
Good view from the restaurant area
You can do a day's drive to Pafuri for the birds only found in that area, and see the concentration of baobabs.
Red Rocks drive.
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Re: Do you prefer Letaba or Shingwedzi?

Unread postby GlenD » Tue Jan 15, 2013 8:11 am

While both camps are equaly charming and unique in their own ways, I would personally go for Shingwedzi purely because there is less traffic on the roads, (compared to Letaba) and because it still has a remote - old world feel to it. Having said that it will also depend on the other camps you have chosen to stay at i.e. before and after.

Either choice you make will leave you with a wonderfull experience and great memories.

Enjoy your trip :thumbs_up:
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Re: January 11-12 RAIN kruger

Unread postby Ronniec » Tue Jan 15, 2013 5:05 pm

Hi, I have never visited Kruger National Park during Summer.
This year though we have decided to book a few days from 17 FEB onwards.
We will be staying in Pretoriuskop and would like to know whether we made a big mistake seeing it falls in the raining and mosquito season.
We were also told that P/kop area is not a very good game viewing area.
Give us hope someone. Regards, Ronniec

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Re: January 11-12 RAIN kruger

Unread postby Elsa » Tue Jan 15, 2013 6:45 pm

Ronnie, its a lovely time to visit, we have been going every Feb for many years now, its going to be hot, even very hot at times, could be a lot of rain, or just the occasional storm which does help to cool things down.
My advise would be, just go, take precautions against the mozzies, expect a wonderful experience and enjoy P/kop its a beautiful part of the park. :thumbs_up:
Come back and let us know how it went.
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Re: Do you prefer Letaba or Shingwedzi?

Unread postby onewithnature » Tue Jan 29, 2013 5:28 am

A limited choice, and one that is easy to answer. When both available, I prefer both equally. Letaba has The view from the restaurant that is perhaps only exceeded in awe-gasping delight by Olifants'. Both camps have a lovely ambience, although the magnificent shade trees and birding opportunities leans a tick the way of Letaba. Shingwedzi has the marvellous Kannidood Dam, Red Rocks, and Mphongolo Loop roads, while Letaba has the Engelhardt Dam, Phalaborwa road, Olifants tar and riverine drives; both superb. Given a choice, I have no choice; whichever one I go to I am inspired. Sadly, Shingwedzi will be out of commission for a while; let's hope it will get back to its former glory.

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Re: Pretoriuskop and Tsendze first timer

Unread postby Elsa » Tue Feb 05, 2013 3:52 pm

If you have a look Here there is a very good topic that gives great pics and info of all the camping sites.

Also have you had a read through Pretoriuskop Camp and Tsendze Rustic Camp

Sure you will find lots of great info and advice in there.

Good luck with finding the dogs. :thumbs_up:
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Re: Which camp is recommended in the late July - early Augus

Unread postby SAF » Wed Jul 03, 2013 9:53 pm

For game viewing I think Lower Sabie, Satara and Skukuza
For peace and tranquility I would suggest Talamati, I really found inner peace when I was there
Olifants is also a really good option
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Best KNP northern camps

Unread postby Terry73 » Sat Aug 31, 2013 12:28 pm

Hi fellow travellers
I am planning a trip to the Northern Kruger and need some advice on the best camps to visit north of Letaba. I would definitely like to stay at Punda Maria, but am toying between where else to go.
I don't like to jump too much, so would like to preferably keep it down to 3 camps, possibly staying 2 nights at each.
In the Mopani area, would Mopani or Shimuwini be better?
Any advice would be most welcome.

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Re: Best KNP northern camps

Unread postby chirinda » Sat Aug 31, 2013 6:37 pm

Welcome to the forums, Terry73.

Have you considered Shingwedzi? It is a lovely old camp and almost finished with the refurbishing after the flooding in January. There are very nice drives in the area. Bateleur is also a lovely camp, I haven't stayed there myself but have it on good authority. Mopani is also nice with lovely views of the dam and I have heard that the restaurant there is good.

Have a look at roaneric's trip report Roaneric's annual KNP visit as she takes you on a drive through several northern camps using a dashcam in the car. Cheetahlady also comments on some of the northern camps in her recent trip report Water, water everywhere ...

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