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KNP LOSING MONEY WITH CAMPING.

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Madalla
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KNP LOSING MONEY WITH CAMPING.

Unread post by Madalla » Sun Mar 22, 2015 8:24 pm

The camps in KNP have two rates for camping: Without electricity and with electricity and the price difference is R25 per night.

I suppose those without electricity are meant for tent dwellers and the others are for caravans etc.
The problem is that those camping sites are not seperate in a group and thus easily identifiable.


The sites that are supposed to be without electricity are less popular and are usually the last ones available.
And campers will book them, just to get a spot, and hook up to an electricity point in any case. Just look at the long 60 meters extensions laid on.

I have looked around when camping and everyone has an extension running to his site. And it makes sense. People are travelling with so many electronic gadgets that they do need a hookup to electricity

It is my contention that sites without electricity can not be justified anymore. SANPARKS is losing a substantrial sum of income each year. They can abolish sites without electricity and charge all sites at the price for one with electricity.
I suspect that the existing hook up points were installed to provide for the number of sites scheduled to have electricity. They should just check that there are in fact enough hook up points and install additional ones where neccasry.

They should also check for hook up points where multiplugs are being used. This usually is an indication that there are not enough hookup points in that area.
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Elsa
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Re: KNP LOSING MONEY WITH CAMPING.

Unread post by Elsa » Sun Mar 22, 2015 9:03 pm

Thanks for your interest and observations Madalla.

I will forward your post onto SANParks for investigation.

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Re: KNP LOSING MONEY WITH CAMPING.

Unread post by Scottm » Mon Mar 23, 2015 12:11 am

Basic camping costs should be kept to an absolute minimum, and aside from the ground space and basic, clean ablution and washing facilities, a camper should expect nothing further. Sure, should they require additional services (like access to power), these can and should be available at an additional cost, but to price basic camping facilities well above actual cost of provision of these services is to deprive some people of their ability to experience the joys of "overnighting" in our national parks, simply owing to their lack of disposal income.

Over the years, I have been fortunate enough to enjoy both ends of Kruger's accommodation scale, from luxury Guest Houses to basic camping, and most types of accommodation in between, in large camps and bush camps. By all means, price accommodation according to the facilities and options available, and sure, price additional services required and/or consumed, with a reasonable "profit margin" included.

But camping in Kruger should be available at the absolute basic minimum cost of providing such services, for the benefit of citizens that cannot afford to experience Kruger by any other means.
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s2000ap
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Re: KNP LOSING MONEY WITH CAMPING.

Unread post by s2000ap » Mon Mar 23, 2015 12:18 am

Madalla,

Surprised to hear that they are losing money in that area, The sites are generally full up when I visit and that seems to be the case when trying to book as well. About the electrical sites though there probably is an issue there because when I go to connect up the connections have often all been taken and as you say the leads are very long and are connected to a site far away.
The expenses on the camping side shouldn't be that great, a bit of a clean up every so often and their share of ablution costs?
I know pensioners get the discounts out of season and that certainly fills up the camps and it's difficult to get a booking during those times even if your willing to pay the top $.
Great experience though and I hope they never have to price them out of the general peoples market. (that sounds weird)

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s2000ap
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Re: KNP LOSING MONEY WITH CAMPING.

Unread post by s2000ap » Mon Mar 23, 2015 12:23 am

Scott, they warned me to review yours as you'd posted but at least we can now show that it's a common view :)

Madalla
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Re: KNP LOSING MONEY WITH CAMPING.

Unread post by Madalla » Mon Mar 23, 2015 8:24 am

The point I am making is that it is impossible to identify campers who have paid for electricity and those who did not because their is no definte seperate camping sites to show where the non-electrisity sites are.
SAPARKS just sells x number of sites with electricty and x number of sites without. Its a numbers game for them and they lose all the way to the bank
The price difference being only R25 per night should not put camping beyond the reach of anyone camping in KNP.
For the individual camping 6 days means R150 more. That is not such a burden. For Satara, for instance, that can translate into say R500 PER DAY!!.! It can make quite a difference to their bottom line after 365 days.
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Madalla
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Re: KNP LOSING MONEY WITH CAMPING.

Unread post by Madalla » Mon Mar 23, 2015 8:58 am

S200ap.
I agree - the camping sites (I last camped at Satara) are not maintained properly. The ablution blocks were so-so but my greatest concern was with electrical hook up points. There are simply not enough of them and they are not spread out sensibly.

That why I said they should walk around during full capacity and identify those points that are overloaded with campers using multiplugs to supply more than one site from one 10 amp plug. It should tell them something.

The whole setup needs a rethink.

1. Campers now use much more electrical equipment in their caravans - there are fridges plus deep freezes and a lot more kitchen appliances then say 20 years ago. And a lot of caravans and nearly all motorhomes have air conditioning.

Having a 10 Amp trip switch in the supply box is not sufficient. It needs to be replaced with a 15 Amp switch. I even came across a camper in Skukuza who annexed two supply points because one 10 Amp point could not accommodate all his equipment.

2. The supply point boxes need to be replaced. Urgently. The boxes protecting the supply points are broken and delapidated. Some are outright dangerous.

3. Replacing them can be sychronised with the whole redesign of the electricity reticulation in the camping areas.
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Re: KNP LOSING MONEY WITH CAMPING.

Unread post by DinkyBird » Mon Mar 23, 2015 9:49 am

We camp extensively in Kruger. In all the camps too. Balule has no power at all. If we cannot book a site with power in the bigger camps, we take one without power, and then do not use the power points at all. I have seen many who come in and just pitch a tent and do not need power.

I have no doubt SANParks keep very good statistics as to the profit, or not, of camping, and know if they are indeed making, or loosing, money.

At times we actually seek out campsites without electricity - such as those at Satara on the fence ...
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Madalla
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Re: KNP LOSING MONEY WITH CAMPING.

Unread post by Madalla » Mon Mar 23, 2015 12:23 pm

DinkyBird,

You are definitely one of few who stick to the rules.

But I am addressing this from the business side as SANPARKS should do it.

It is not a numbers game selling stands with or without electricity. They are knowingly settling for a lesser income . They can rightfully do away with sites without electricity. Under the circumstances, where they have no control over the situation I will go so far as to say that it will be negligent on their part if they do not do it. Or alternatively make sure that those who take a site without electricity do indeed get the correct one. But the present situation is laughable.

And if they do that, then maybe the next increase in camping rates will be less. I hope?
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redlomo
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Re: KNP LOSING MONEY WITH CAMPING.

Unread post by redlomo » Mon Mar 23, 2015 12:38 pm

Don't you think you're making a mountain of a mole hill here? :tongue: In the vast majority of camps, it's not even possible to book a camping site without power. So in the few camps where sites are available without power, it's probably more for logistical reasons, like where the sites are located.

And as Dinkybird said, a lot of times those who camp with tents only don't even use the power outlet (I never did when I tent camped). So it more than evens out, I think...

Madalla
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Re: KNP LOSING MONEY WITH CAMPING.

Unread post by Madalla » Mon Mar 23, 2015 2:08 pm

redlomo,

It depends.

If you say it is none of our business, then you are right. I am making too much of the issue. But with this attitude you must not ever complain about anything, because you do not want to stir.

But I tend to think that it is my concern also.
I have an interest in KNP and I feel that I should speak up when I think that something is wrong. And you have to agree - something is definitely wrong.

But the conversation has gone off on a tangent. I was actually addressing two things: The "wasted income" and the need for a total redesign and revamp of the electricity reticulation in the camps.

See my other post "Bragging Rights" I did achieve something by speaking up.
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spargish
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Re: KNP LOSING MONEY WITH CAMPING.

Unread post by spargish » Mon Mar 23, 2015 2:31 pm

I certainly think it is interesting point Madalla!

After camping for a number of years and seeing how campers can behave during the busy period, I wouldn’t be surprised if this happens. Campers at Satara during December couldn’t even be bothered to fill up urns after they had used them.

I wonder if people who do this know they are stealing from SANParks :hmz:
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Son godin
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Re: KNP LOSING MONEY WITH CAMPING.

Unread post by Son godin » Mon Mar 23, 2015 6:42 pm

Interesting point about having two different sites with and without power. I would rather prefer power at all sites to make it more convenient to plan and make a booking. Usually we book power sites but last year I could not get a full week's booking on a power site at Shingwedzi and only no power for a few days. One of the rules are that you cannot book two different type of sites during your stay in one camp and we could not book to get power when it was available in the middle of our stay and in the end had to book n-power for the full week. If all campsites are the same with power this will not be an issue.

The other problem we had was that the non-power sites were nearly all occupied by people drawing power from the cooking hut resulting in no plugs available in case you want to charge your camera or even boil some water. Luckily we got the last site closest to the gate. When we complaint the answer was that you can camp anywhere but don't use power.

That does not work and will inconvenient others that want power just as much as those that did pay for power standing on the wrong sites without power.

Problem will be solve if we all pay the same and power at all sites.

Interesting to note that there is no difference in price between a site at Tsendze and other camps with power at R250 per site. If you book two days in advance you get 12 % discount.
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Delene D
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Re: KNP LOSING MONEY WITH CAMPING.

Unread post by Delene D » Mon Mar 23, 2015 9:59 pm

In 2009 we caravanned in Kruger for 6 weeks (so blessed). We had to change our booking near the time to leave as my SO had an emergency appendix op. So with schedule rearranged we set off a month later than scheduled.
Although when we rearranged our schedule we were told certain camps were full and we couldn't get in at certain dates, we found that those camps were half full and had plenty of spaces open, Which makes me wonder why camps that are supposed to be full are only half full - is it because they take only a certain amount of people per night, or do the powers that be really know how many caravans/tents are in their camping space. Just a thought!,
That said, we had a great time as usual. :lol:

Madalla
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Re: KNP LOSING MONEY WITH CAMPING.

Unread post by Madalla » Mon Mar 23, 2015 10:34 pm

Son Godin,
You hit the nail on the head - the uncontrolled campers who booked sites without power are using power. And it is causing major inconvenience for campers who booked sites with power.
It is illustrated by the clusters of connections where four connections supply power to 7 campers because there are not enough points for the legal campers to start with. Then all this spills over to the ablution blocks and the kitchens.
So why take bookings for non power sites if you can not control it. Every one is losing including SANPARKS. And they are aware of this problem. I had a long discussion on this very topic with the camp manager last June when we were forced to stay with a site with electricity instead of the one without that we booked. (Mechenical problems)
I explained all this to her but I could see that she did not understand what I was driving at. We even went for a tour of the caravan park and I pointed these problems out to her. Her only comment was that the campers who hook up wrongfully are causing problems for her as she gets to handle the irrate campers who booked sites with power.
I also showed her the dilapidated power boxes and pointed out the dangerous ones to her.

So, I still think that SANPARKS should do away with sites without power as it does not make financial or administrative sense.
And I reiterate - the electrical reticulation at the camps, especially Satara, should be redesigned ASAP. It is outdated, insufficient and in places downright dangerous.
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