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Picnic Sites, Info & Advice.

Discuss the different camps and roads of the Kruger National Park
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New day visitor's sites

Unread post by KNP Spokesman » Wed Jun 22, 2005 8:00 am

Dear Forum members

What we found during that survey (mentioned above) that people definitely thought that our facilities for day visitors were lacking.
Another result of that survey was that overnight guests (particularly those staying in units bordering the picnic area) complained about the noise particularly over busy periods.

Just looking at Skukuza (for example) the grassed area next to the take-away shop was simply too small to accommodate the increased numbers of day visitors.
There is also a security consideration here - any security consultant will tell you, as the crowds become bigger, security becomes more and more of a challenge.

I can just say at this stage that one of the ideas put forward at the time was to erect booms and a definite "barrier" between the grassy areas and the accommodation units and to fiercely control anyone crossing that line!
In my opinion, I am glad we haven't had to implement this as I feel it would have seriously affected the atmosphere of the place.

We thus had to make a decision to split the day visitors from those guests who are paying a little more (and perhaps deserve a bit of peace and quiet) and the decision was taken to establish day visitor's areas at as many of our camps as possible.

Skukuza was the first one to be built along those lines and is probably the most popular.
It seemed to have worked and the area in front of the restaurants aren't nearly as busy as they were 4/5 years ago.

I think at this time I must just make it clear that the whole idea isn't to chase people away from the camps - facilities like the petrol stations, shops, take aways, restaurants etc can and should still be utilised by day visitors - but to encourage people who have come for a picnic to rather use a facility better able to cope with their needs.

Lower Sabie is perhaps built in a bit of an awkward position but if you look at the camp layout - and keep in mind the restrictions placed on development by South Africa's Environmental Legislation (which is a good thing too!) - there is not really another suitable place to build it other than where it is now.

Naturally it is a learning process and we will take the lessons learnt at Skukuza and Lower Sabie and apply them at Orpen, Satara, Letaba etc.

These are all attempts at trying to accommodate both day visitors and overnight visitors the best way we possibly can, while trying to keep the KNP's atmosphere and naturally conserving the area as a national park.

I hope this helps to explain our thinking a little clearer.

Kind regards
KNP Spokesman

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Trying to satisfy most of the people, most of the time

Unread post by KNP Spokesman » Wed Jun 22, 2005 8:53 am

We want to make sure wherever you a booked in as an overnight visitor that you can enjoy peace and tranquility.
And we also want to ensure that wherever you choose to enjoy your picnic, you can do this with enough space, facilities etc that you might need.

Let us create a scenario here,
Person X is an overnight visitor at Camp A.
He decides to have a picnic at Camp B where Person Y is enjoying a late morning snooze in his accommodation.
Person X unpacks his picnic just a few metres away from Person Y's accommodation unit.
Through no fault of anyone (besides perhaps the person who originally designed the camp layout), Person Y comes over to Person X and a shouting match is the result.
We are trying to prevent this from happening and - added the fact that the area was hopelessly inadequate to cope with the demand of a busy weekend in the first place - the concept of a separate day visitor's camp is born.
Thus, we are trying to "satisfy most of the people, most of the time".

For everyone, the following about the EIA process of any development in the KNP (according to SA Environmental Law).
During the EIA process, notices for public comment were placed in the local newspapers and were placed at entrance gates and the camps itself.
The plans are still at the respective camps for public viewing - if you not sure or cannot find them, just ask for the Duty Manager and I am sure he or she will show you where they are displayed.

Kind regards
KNP Spokesman

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Unread post by wildtuinman » Fri Jun 09, 2006 7:08 am

I know of the following picnic spots with gas:

Afsaal
Nkulu
Skukuza day visitors
Mhlondozi
Tshokwane
Timbavati
Mooiplaas(which you will probably try)
Makhadzi(most probably will have some too)
Babalala
Pafuri
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Unread post by Johann » Fri Jun 09, 2006 8:31 am

Can add to WTM's list:

Masorini
N'wanetsi
Nhlanguleni
Muzandzeni
and Makhadzi definitely has got.

I think all the PS's do have have gas for hire. It is just that the price differs from site to site.
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Unread post by Foxy » Mon Jun 12, 2006 9:43 pm

Out of the map book

"Picnic spots " The following facilities are available at all picnic spots : Communal braai/barbeques, boiling water and toilets.
There are food kiosks and curio shops at Afsaal, Nkuku and Tshokwane and a food kiosk at Makhadzi. Cooldrinks are available at Babalala, Masorini, Mondozi Dam, Muzandzeni, Nhlangulemi, N'wanetsi and Timbavati.

Hope that helps a bit

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Unread post by Maargat G » Sun Apr 27, 2008 4:27 pm

Yes Skukuzas day visitors area is really nice!! between the bushes and the birdlife are great!

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Re: Picnic Spots, Orpen & Satara

Unread post by bert » Tue Sep 09, 2008 12:56 pm

Near Satara you have two decent picnic spots
Timbavati and Nwanetsi, with toilets.
At Timbavati you can buy cold drinks.

But they both dont have the take-a-way (food) facilities like the two you have visited.

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Re: Picnic Spots, Orpen & Satara

Unread post by BunnyHugger » Tue Oct 28, 2008 1:57 pm

When in KNP in April 2008, we found Muzandzeni and Nhlnaguleni an absolute joy.

They are very much "old Kruger" and both sites are definitely on my next KNP to do list.

From now on, next time and every time I stay at Satara, I will be having brekkie at Muzandzeni instead of Timbavati.

Don't get me wrong, Timbavati is 8) . Just not as special as the other two.

As for the s39 and s40, never seen anything special on either road, ever.

While at Tamboti / Orpen, take a spin down to Ngenyeni Dam the day you have brekkie at Muzandzeni. I loved this place.
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Re: How do you tell which Day Visitor Facilities have gas?

Unread post by Elsa » Fri Dec 05, 2008 8:41 pm

Orpen Day visitors centre should definitely have gas as its newly opened and upgraded.
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Re: Picnic Sites around Letaba

Unread post by Meandering Mouse » Mon Dec 22, 2008 9:24 am

Well starting from Tshokwane, which is about the the most far south, skottles are available, lots of shade, lovely birds, shop with eating facilities.
It's 69km from Letaba to Satara and then another 48 km to Tshokwane.

The other large picnic spot is Timbavati.
Again, skottles available, but no shop.
Tends to be rather crowded.
It has a couple of resident cheeky Bushbuck that make a living from begging.

That would be 68 km, taking the S39.
If you go further, keeping on the same route, you will reach Muzandzeni.
It will be about another 41 km.
This picnic spot is very small with pit latrines.
I did spot the most lovely Scops in one of the trees.
It does have shady trees though.

If you decide to go another 27km, you will get to Nhlanguleni.
Again, very small, I know, you can hire a skottel.

I would recommend Nwanetsi.
It would be 69km to Satara.
I would then do the S100 22km, then turn into the Gudzani road for the final 11km.
I have never stopped there, but it does seen to be a favourite with many members.

I will leave someone else to give tips going north.
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Re: Picnic Sites around Letaba

Unread post by oddesy » Mon Dec 22, 2008 9:41 am

DD and MM have already given you great advice :D
up north there is also mooiplaas below mopani .
A great picnic site with a look out over a small river that has great views :D
It has skottels for hire and is more or less 40km from Letaba.
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Re: Picnic Spots, Orpen & Satara

Unread post by cheetah2111 » Fri Feb 25, 2011 3:52 pm

I have checked out Nwetsi, Timbavati and Muzadenzi in November :D :D

Nwanetsi has a stunning view!! Braai skottels and everything was in order :thumbs_up:

Timbavati is also an enchanting spot in the park! all was in order here! Enjoyed watching a tame bushbuck, bataleur in the sky, and elephants in the river bed whilst at the picnic spot :thumbs_up: :thumbs_up:

Muzadenzi is the most inviting!! When I was there in the morning I could hear the lions roaring! :big_eyes: One cannot judge how far away they were, but we didn;t know if we should carry on at the picnic sight or go back to our car :big_eyes:

All three are fantastic!! :D :D
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Picnic Spots

Unread post by Bushdancer » Tue Apr 05, 2011 3:37 pm

Apologies if this question has been asked recently.
We will be visiting Kruger Park the week after Easter weekend and I would like to know if it is possible to take our own gas braai to use at the picnic spots?

As this will be a very busy time in the Kruger, I presume the picnic spots will be very crowded and taking our own gas braai might be useful?

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Re: Picnic Spots

Unread post by Imberbe » Tue Apr 05, 2011 6:13 pm

Yes, you may take your own gas braai. :thumbs_up:
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Not enough picnic spots in the north

Unread post by okie » Mon Apr 11, 2011 3:44 pm

And this is where I now see that basically , up north, there are only two - namely Pafuri and Babalala .
Further south, especially around Satara, there are at least 4 or even 5 to choose from and all within a ( relatively short ) driving distance of about 20 kilometers from camp.
But up north, those picnic spots are some distance away - Pafuri is about 50 km from Punda , and Babalala about 40 km.
Shingwedzi , certainly one of my favourite camps , is even worse off - 30 km from Babalala , 60 km from Mooiplaas , and a whopping 90 km from Pafuri :big_eyes:

So where else up north ?
Maybe Tshanga ( about 30 km ) can be developed into one :hmz:
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