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Coming back

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elpaco
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Coming back

Unread postby elpaco » Tue Jan 12, 2016 10:17 am

Hello guys,

It's been a while (nearly 10 years) since I last joined this forum. No trip to SA due to the birth of my kids.
Now they are growing up and I am thinking of coming back.
I was wondering if you can advise me a little :

-At what age do you start bringing kids to the KNP ? people coming from abroad please, I guess that SA residents start pretty early :lol: . My last one will turn 6 in March and I am thinking of coming for Easter. but is he too young ? I am thinking of trying to see different things and not just the KNP (go to Cape Town, see the penguins at Boulders and the Cape Gannets at Lamberts Bay before flying to Nelspruit and spend a full week in the KNP). Any other ideas for kids ?

-Any major changes I should be aware of before planning a trip ?

-Can you please tell me the dates of the SA school holidays in April (if any) when the parks are crowdy ?

Thanks for your help
cheers
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salamanda
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Re: Coming back

Unread postby salamanda » Tue Jan 12, 2016 1:34 pm

Hi elpaco and welcome back! I can't answer all your questions but I can tell you that the April school holidays are from 18 March to 5 April and for some Independent schools - those with only three terms a year - from 8 April to 3 May. The park will be particularly crowded around the Easter weekend - 25 - 28 March.

As for the age question, it rather depends on two things - first, if your youngest child can sit in the car for longish periods without becoming bored and fretful and secondly on whether he is able to take the right malaria prophylactics because at that time of the year there are still plenty of mosquitoes around. There are lots of car games and colouring books available here and who knows, he may be a budding biologist and just love the animals. Maybe there are overseas visitors who might have more to say regarding this.

Regarding major changes - the park is becoming more crowded, especially in the South, but we have still managed to have great days out seeing few other people. Picnic sites are however, pretty crowded and beware of baboons and monkeys in these. There are some very nice new restaurant concessions so the food has improved immensely in most places. Service levels have risen to a very high standard thanks to stringent training and the instilling of pride into the service industry (I'm talking about in the park ).

Hope you get more feedback, and good luck with your plans.

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elpaco
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Re: Coming back

Unread postby elpaco » Tue Jan 12, 2016 5:14 pm

Thanks for the details.

I said Easter in my first post, but it was a mistake: I meant French Easter Holidays which are at the end of April this year. I shall not be in the KNP before the 21st of April at best which is a good news relating to your school holidays.

I know that my 6-year-old son's ability to stay quiet in a car to key to this trip and I am a little worried especially as he will have to be quiet several days in a row. He loves animals and already knows a lot about mammals and birds so I am sure he will be much interested. Still, he also like to run and play so I have to elaborate a nice schedule with a few breaks ...

Good point about malaria. I have always come to SA either in May or August and was told on my first trip that malaria mosquitoes were gone at this period of the year and that I shouldn't worry too much. Do you think that the kids would need prophylactics late April ?

Having nice restaurants is surely a good thing though it wasn't that bad the last time I came, especially the one in Skukuza (don't remember the name).
thanks again.
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salamanda
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Re: Coming back

Unread postby salamanda » Tue Jan 12, 2016 6:09 pm

The highest risk time for malaria is between about November/December and April. However it is also dependent on whether there is still water around so if it is still raining in April, the season might go on longer. You can take other precautions - use citronella candles, citronella soap, mozzy wipes, citronella cream and so on, plus wear long sleeves and long pants outside in the evenings. We do this and have not yet been bitten. We also use a homeopathic prophylactic. But I wouldn't like to say this is OK for your child - you should probably take medical advice there, especially as you are from overseas - we may have a little built-in resistance which he would not have.

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Hugh
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Re: Coming back

Unread postby Hugh » Tue Jan 12, 2016 8:00 pm

Bonjour from Cape Town .A six year old will love the penguins and Cape Point with its vernicular Railway to near the light house Nice walks at Cape point and suoer picnic sights at silver glen .
. There is Kirstenbosch gardens with great areas to picnic under trees and it s new boomslang tree canopy walk . a trip to Robben island can be fun and if you PM me I can tell you of other places children might enjoy I have had my French Grandson of 4 and he loves everything ..
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Elsa
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Re: Coming back

Unread postby Elsa » Tue Jan 12, 2016 10:33 pm

Great that you are planning a trip back to S.A and Kruger elpaco! 8)

Do have a read through Re Kid/Babies in Kruger info and advice
Where ever you go, go with all your Heart.
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Meandering Mouse
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Re: Coming back

Unread postby Meandering Mouse » Wed Jan 13, 2016 5:05 am

Hi elpaco, lovely to see you around again.

When my children were very young we tended to do more sea holidays, but we did take the occasional Kruger break.

Although Skukuza is a very busy camp, it is the camp most geared towards the children. It also has a lot of shorter drives that are more suitable for children. There are the monkeys and a group of banded mongoose in the camp that are delightful to watch. I also noticed that a few warties with babies had moved in.

I visited the nursery this time. It is really a lovely place for children to explore.

Enjoy your planning.
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leervis
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Re: Coming back

Unread postby leervis » Wed Jan 13, 2016 7:08 am

Hi elpaco and welcome back. My 2c worth. If your budget allows it, hire a Kombi, a bus type of vehicle for your Kruger visit. It gives lots of room for kids and they can keep themselves busy with games or just nap in the back. We always try to get to Kruger in May, lower temperatures, fewer bugs and lower malaria risk, but malaria is such a deadly disease that I would not take children, or myself to Kruger without protection. Best to check with your doctor and bear in mind that the prophylactics that are available now are far more user friendly than those we used 20 years ago. Our daughter spent many holidays in the Park from the age of 3, and loved all of them till she found out about boys. She has since returned with her husband to enjoy once again.
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elpaco
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Re: Coming back

Unread postby elpaco » Wed Jan 13, 2016 10:46 am

thanks all for your answers.
I will keep you posted if we come.
I am more than ready but my wife would prefer to wait one more year...wait and see...
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