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Re: Kids/Babies in Kruger NP info.

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Unread post by Meandering Mouse » Tue Feb 19, 2008 6:00 pm

Niki, I have a soft spot for Skukuza. The camping area can be a bit busy, but it is full of distractions for little people. You might even find that they will find little friends who will keep them happy.

My children remember Skukuza with great affection. It was where they could play on grass, watch lizards with blue heads, search for bush babies, watch the squirrels and naughty hornbills, do somersaults and children type things, go for walks... then there is a pool and if you wish. The Skukuza day visitors area also has a little walking path which might be lovely as an alternative picnic spot.

There is a very active hyena that patrols the fence. The paved walk next to the Sabie River is also lovely for children.

I am not sure what time you intend leaving. I liked to plan around 2 hours on the road.. a pit stop, a run around and then they would often fall asleep for a couple of blessed hours.

Music was always a big thing for us. At that age a CD of stories would be great. It must however be something that would not drive you mad. I know one that saved my sanity was "Joseph and his amazing technicolour dream coat". Another one was "Bart Simpson sings the blues"

Car colour competitions were also a thing at pre reading age.. "lets see who can see the next blue car"..
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Unread post by restio » Sat Feb 23, 2008 10:31 am

Meandering Mouse wrote:Music was always a big thing for us. At that age a CD of stories would be great. It must however be something that would not drive you mad.

SO and I were saved by a cheap MP3 player with headphones. :lol:

We went to Kruger for three weeks towards the end of last year, and my son adored it. 8)
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Unread post by Niki » Sat Feb 23, 2008 11:15 am

restio wrote:SO and I were saved by a cheap MP3 player with headphones. :lol:

:lol: I'm gonna have to buy rechargeable batteries then, as I go through 2 energiser bunnies on my 6hr long cycle races. Thanks for the great tip, it will really be a lifesaver.

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Unread post by debs » Mon Feb 25, 2008 2:29 pm

Hi Piet-Hein, I'd say a visit to Letaba is a must also so that you and the kids can have a look around the wonderful elephant museum :)
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Unread post by Pjw » Tue Mar 11, 2008 9:09 am

I have travelled with my 2 kids to Kruger since they were babies
My daughters 1st trip was at 6 months and my sons at 3 months.
The secret seems to be entertainment relevant to the age.
Colour in & activity books (yes we did have wax crayons melt on the seats in the heat, but such is life with young kids) progressing to playing cricket in the car.
eg if you see a lion you score a six. if you see an impala you are bowled out and so on.
Make up the rules as you go!
Reward them with an icecream or choclate for the 1st animal, 1st big cat, 1st big 5 etc.
It keeps them motivated.
If they gey bored turn on the aircon and let them sleep for a while.
As they got older we had to reduce the time on the road as they did get restless, but i-pods and magnetic travel games help.
They are now 17 and 18 years old and get most upset if more than 3 months pass between visits to the Kruger park.
So all the hard work planning activities whan they were younger was worth while.
They are both now"Kruger Park Junkies" Rather that than mall crawlers!!!!!!!!!!!1
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Unread post by DotDan » Tue Mar 11, 2008 10:12 am

Hi All, just my view on Kruger and babies/kids

Last year November we went to the kruger with our 6 month old boy, we stayed at Marloth as they had nice houses which have all the facilities you need when you have a baby that needs bottles, baths etc.

We went into the park every day of our 5 day stay and we could only drive to LS and back to CB every day. :roll:

I must admit that because Grandma was there it was alot easier, but still wasn't easy to enjoy it to the full as you cant really be out on the road for longer thatn 2 hours max, then they get irritated, hungry, hot, etc. 80-90% of our time was spent just to take care of the little one, and not much spent on actually enjoying the park/holiday

Some people prob have better experience's with their babies in kruger, but i feel that it should rather be avoided untill he/she is older.

Me and SO are going back to the kruger alone this time. Only problem now is we will miss him so much :cry:

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Unread post by Senyetse » Tue Mar 11, 2008 10:41 am

Sorry to say but you're doomed to maximum 2 hour drives for several years to come :roll:.
We have a 5 year old girl and we can't drive for more than 2 hours at a time, it gets too much for her, even with toys, games, books etc in the car.
And one can't leave the kid with the grandparents everytime because the kids do enjoy Kruger a lot.
And one also can't always take along grandma and grandpa.
You just have to adapt to the situation, it is just one of those things.
The plus is that you're bringing up another wildlife fan.
I view all our trips as educational and teach her as much as I can about the bush.

Funnily, last year in June we camped at Punda and there was this young childless couple that would be out of camp at gate opening time and would only return at gate closing time.
My SO and I would look at each other and reminisce about the days we used to do that :lol:.
We cannot recall what it is like to spend the whole day out in the park! :o

But then again seeing the expression on the little faces when they hear the family is going camping in Kruger is just worth it all.
Luckily my parents are going with us to Kruger in April so we can have a few longer drives.
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Unread post by safarihoneymooner » Tue May 13, 2008 5:05 pm

Just looking for some advice.
We were thinking of visiting Kruger next year with our four children, and are wondering what are the best options?
Is there a minimum age limit for children visiting the park, or staying in rest camps etc.
How child friendly is it?
We were there ourselves last October but unfortnately we wont have the luxury of a babysitter for three weeks in order to leave them at home next time round!! :)
Any info would be gratefully appreciated.

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Unread post by Senyetse » Tue May 13, 2008 5:20 pm

There's no age limit in the camps.
There is an age limit on activities - drives - no under 6's and walks no under 12's.

KNP is very child friendly and safe, providing your kids take malaria precautions.
The larger rest camps are generally more child friendly, having swimming pools, play grounds. shops, etc, eg Skukuza, Satara, Letaba, etc.
I have a 5 year old daughter and as long as there's a swimming pool and shop she is happy.
Plan drives so that you pass by picnic sites, hides and other places where the kids can get out and stretch their legs (remember you cannot get out of a vehicle just anywhere, only at designated sites).
We do 6 hour drives with our daughter, provided we can stop off somewhere every 2-3 hours and get out. Keep activity books, toys and games in the car to keep them busy.
There are plenty to buy in the shops in KNP.
Dec '11 - Storms River
June '12 - Berg-en-Dal

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Unread post by Stephan & Junita » Tue May 13, 2008 8:23 pm

We took our 2 month old baby to Kruger in July 2007.
Our trip was wonderful!!
It all comes down to planning.
Planning your routes, stops and planned time spend relaxing at the different camps.
If you find that balance you get the full Kruger family experience!!

We are going to Kruger in about 40 days time.
We've already planned every day to the second.
We will take turns to go on game drives on different days so that each of us gets to see the nightlife while the other babysit.
Pity we can't go as a family, but now each of us can share his/her experience over a cup of coffee before bedtime.

Take your children along... the future generation needs to conserve and protect all our parks when we are all gone!
Enjoy! :D

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Unread post by Pjw » Tue May 13, 2008 8:42 pm

I have taken my kids to Kruger from the age of 3 months.
They are now 17 and 18 and love KNP as much as we do.
Just remeber to bring games and other forms of entertainment for them, both for in the car and in the camps. You usually have to spend less time out on the roads as the younger ones do get restless, but then make the camps your play ground.
Go looking for the squirrels and birds , lizards and so on and make that activity exciting for them.
In the car, invent games to keep them busy.
Play the old "I went to dinner and ate....... " game but change it to "i went to KNP and saw........" and make sure they only use animals seen in KNP.
Makes them think a bit
We had a lot of great times with the kids when they were younger.
One of their favourite passtimes was to sit and watch baboons or monkeys for hours in end.
They used to giggle at their antics.
My advice: TAKE THE KIDS! 8)
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Unread post by kathy sa » Sat May 31, 2008 12:09 pm

I suppose its just a personal opinion but from experience I can say I would hire a mini bus / kombi.
You would be able to stop at picnic spots and camps to stretch the childrens legs (and yours ) and they can have all their colouring books and books and games with them.
Our girls loved the park from a very early age but they did need to be kept busy when the spotting was quiet.
Your children will have so many good memories of their KP trip!

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Unread post by francoisd » Fri Jun 20, 2008 2:39 pm

We last year took our daughter to Addo when she was 7 months old and too Kruger just before her first birthday (end September 2007).
This year we will miss out on Kruger (actually she as SO and I were in Kruger in Feb for the birding weekend) and she will be there next April again.

She enjoyed both trips immensely and saw nearly all the animals we pointed out to her.
Will never forget her face in Addo when she saw her first elephant!

In Addo she was still small so took a lot of naps in the car.
We then drove a Tazz so folded down the back seat to make a large play/sleep area for her.

In Kruger we had mom sit in the back with her and tried to keep the drives to not more than 3 hours at a time.
Mom would provide in car entertainment when the animals were far between.
We also spent some time during late morning/early afternoon in camp so we could walk around, play on the lawn or visit the pool with her.
We tried to keep her sleeping and eating times as close to home schedule as possible.

We all had a great time even though she wanted me to stop at every impala she saw :?

Looking forward to our visit next year as at age 20 months now she recognizes most of the common animals by name in her mammal book and just love the Roberts PDA version

Walks and game drives are something we did not do a lot in the past and decided we will refrain from them for the time being.

So trying to steer clear of all day driving, having some fun things to do in the car and spending time in camp will ensure that you all enjoy the trip
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Unread post by Scipio » Tue Jul 01, 2008 7:17 pm

Try any of the camps with swimming pools.
It is a winner especially in summer.
Sunblock is important for all.
Letaba has the museum, P/kop has the best pool, wildlifemovies are shown in the major camps at night.
Just enjoy it with your kids, they will force you to come back. :wink:

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Unread post by Kathy » Sun Jul 06, 2008 8:54 am

I have 2 small kids (3 and 6) - we've been going twice a year since the eldest was a year old, so I can give you all the inside info on do's and don'ts with kids.
We've found that the south of the park is better for kids, as there is generally more to see, thus avoiding boredom for the kids.
Having said that, Letaba is wonderful for kids.
It has the elephant hall which is fantastic, and the camp itself is lovely.
Satara has a kiddies pool, jungle gym equipment and great wildlife movies in the evenings.
Pretoriouskop is wonderful - as was previously mentioned on the forum - best pool in the park by far.
There are also wild impala and warthog inside the fence which is always a thrill for my kids.
Just keep in mind that they are wild and the kids should definitely NOT approach them.
Skukuza is always a hit with the kids too.
Great pools, bats nesting in the outdoor eating area (creepy, but my kids LOVE them), fantastic shop with dozens of goodies for them to beg you for :twisted:.
Oh, and I nearly forgot the Selati Train restaurant!
If you would like a break from cooking and braaiing, the Selati Rest. will be a definite hit with your kids.
The only camp that we found to be quite non-kid friendly was Lower Sabie - you only have to look at the accommodation available to family's to realise that they don't encourage kids - sad, as it could be a lovely camp.

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