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How has the park changed in the last 10 years?

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arks
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Re: KNP after 50 years

Unread post by arks » Fri Jul 10, 2009 1:39 am

My first KNP visit (and first RSA visit) was 25 years ago this coming October. KNP has changed quite a bit since then, so it will have changed even more over 50 years.

I think, given your familiarity with KTP and Namibia, that you might prefer the less traveled northern parts of Kruger, but of course there is more concentration of game in the south (but also far more visitors and less likelihood of having sightings to yourself, altho of course it does happen — but in my experience, rarely :( ). I think that if you go with an open mind, you will have an enjoyable and rewarding time, but you may want to return again to explore the north and to try some of the lovely bushcamps. Just don't wait another 50 years!! :wink:

Have a great trip!
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Re: KNP after 50 years

Unread post by saraf » Fri Jul 10, 2009 9:39 am

Tony T wrote:In Sept 09 I'll be returning to Kruger after 50 years. My SO has never been. I'm just wondering what to expect.
We are sold on Kgalagadi. My SO is a Namibian so I've grown to love the open spaces of the arid plains and wilderness.
We love birds and animals in the wild; we love nature!
We've been to most Parks in SA, but not Kruger over the past 40 years. We want to keep an open mind. One hears so much about comercialisation; the shops, fast food outlets, laundries, conference centres etc. People having come away not seeing the "Big 5" and traffic jams.
As I said I will keep an open mind and rather enjoy the beauty of the bushveld which I vaguely remember.


Hi Tony,

Which camps will you be staying at? Camping or more "solid" accommodation? I hear you about the development and yes you will probably see a lot of changes, but then you will have seen the changes at KTP and Etosha too.

The north is very quiet - I read one trip report recently when the author thought that it was too quiet. But you can usually go a few hours without seeing another car.

The south is busy, because that's were all the animals are and people follow the animals. However even there it is possible to find peace and quiet. There are some lovely roads around Lower Sabie that hardly anyone goes on and we've had some wonderful sightings there.

The shops and fast food - well we have to eat and drink. But they aren't huge Pick n Pays and McDonalds in the middle of the bush either. They stock the basics. The only place I would say to avoid is Skukuza, as that is a big place. But then there's a lovely board walk around the nursery and Lake Panic, which shouldn't be missed.
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Re: KNP after 50 years

Unread post by Elsa » Fri Jul 10, 2009 10:11 am

Tony T wrote:We are booked into Croc Bridge 14/15 Sept. Lower Sabie 16/17/18/19 and Satara 20/21.

Tony, I think you are going to see a LOT of changes after 50 years, but the animals are still the same! :wink:
The camps you have chosen are all in very good game viewing areas.
You will be there just before the school holidays start so crowding should not be too bad.
Other than that, get yourself a new map book as you check in and enjoy. :D
And please let us know how it went and what your thoughts are afterwards, I would love to know.

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Re: KNP after 50 years

Unread post by Bush Baptist » Fri Jul 10, 2009 1:21 pm

Tony T wrote:Just after the lion kill around a bend in the road we came across a lorry and workers doing some road repairs. My dad stopped and called to the forman that there were lions just around the corner. He reply was "It's OK we work for the government". A classic that has stayed with me for the 50 years.


Yeah, my friend Betty tells the same story. :thumbs_up:

We saw a picnic site attendant in similar situation and we said 'Don't worry, they don't eat the wekkas'.
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Re: KNP after 50 years

Unread post by wingman » Fri Jul 10, 2009 7:51 pm

Hi Tony T
like BB Ive been going for to KNP for the past 45years I remember and even earlier so my parents told me , Just take it as it comes relax and enjoy yourself, with your knowledge of the other SA parks you will know to just accept what you get and make the most of it dont go with expectations each park has its own special points and placed but KNP is a lot more commercialised and modern than any other park but it has to be that way to cope with the numbers it does and to be the show case for SANP as it is.
Hope you have a great trip you have chosen a good time of year to go to the KNP the south and especially the central region is superb at that time of year.

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Re: KNP after 50 years

Unread post by Elsa » Fri Sep 25, 2009 8:27 am

Tony T wrote:BTW is there a thread somewhere on the Leopard that was put down at Tamboti? I've heard conflicting stories from visitors who were in the camp at the time. I was hoping that the parks' side of the story has been aired, by say a KNP Guru.

Tony, so glad you had a great time in the park and we look forward to that TR. :D
If you have a look Here you will find the thread on the Tamboti Leopard.

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Re: How has the park changed in the last 10 years?

Unread post by Meandering Mouse » Thu Mar 24, 2011 9:37 pm

I remember having to write requests for accomodation, by post. :hmz:

We were granted... max 5 nights . We had little control. We were allowed to give our preferances.... and we just had to wait.

I remember very stern folk at the gate, it was another era.

If anyone could counteract my first comment about booking and availability, I would be grateful.
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Re: How has the park changed in the last 10 years?

Unread post by Meandering Mouse » Thu Mar 24, 2011 9:47 pm

I do remember being granted 2 nights in Berg n Dal in 1992. It was seen as a new and revolutionary camp.

There were no foreign accents, we were the maggots of the world.

Do I love change?

Actually I do.

I love listening to the chirping of excitement of foreign tourists.. I love their joy, their curiosity.
Thing is, I have heard the silence of fear. I often hear it on the forum.

Do I want those days of fear back?
No never... :big_eyes:
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Re: How has the park changed in the last 10 years?

Unread post by Elsa » Fri Mar 25, 2011 2:26 pm

twigga wrote:What happened to the movies? I can remember as a child we never missed one! Even if you've seen it a hundred times. Are there still camps that shows them? :huh:
Yes, they do as far as I know, certainly B & D, Skukuza and Satara anyway.

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Re: How has the park changed in the last 10 years?

Unread post by Bush Baptist » Fri Mar 25, 2011 2:56 pm

Letaba also.
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Re: How has the park changed in the last 10 years?

Unread post by GlenD » Fri Mar 25, 2011 4:25 pm

Also Pretoriuskop and Skukuza.
Besides increased bad manners which is a worldwide problem, change has been slow but constant.
When I think of how my Dad describes the way some camps used to look in the earlier years, not to mention change that I myself have witnessed since my earliest memories of about 1977 as a 5 year old(being going since 1972).
Back then with excitement we welcomed the new modernised camps like Berg-en-Dal in 1984, the first time we stayed there.
Traffic jams were always there as far as I can remember, in the early 80's you just needed someone with a CB radio to stop at a sighting and within minutes you couldn't move ( manners seemed to be better though).
MM I also remember my Dad writing for accommodation back then and sometimes having to just take what you got given.
Some change is good, some like has been mentioned, detracts from that old Kruger magic.

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Has much changed since 2002?

Unread post by BrawlerO » Wed Nov 13, 2013 5:11 pm

Hi everyone,

My name is Rob and I've been keeping an eye on these forums on and off for several years now but as I was not able to visit I have been keeping a low profile- mostly from great envy! :-)

I'm from the UK and have been to Kruger on two occasions, once in 1997 and again in Jan 2002. I've since visited Kagalgadi Transfrontier park in Nov 2004 but it's now been a long while away from the fantastic wildlife and scenery. I am pleased to say that I am now planning to return in Feb 2015 to celebrate my SO's 40th birthday and I want to make the trip a very special one. (She hasn't been to Kruger before but this is my opportunity to introduce her to one of my favourite places on the planet and I really hope she will love it as much as I do). Hopefully she'll be hooked and I'll be visiting more often in the future.

My main question is as per the post title- by the time Feb 2015 rolls around it will be 13 years since my last visit. What are the biggest changes to have affected the park in that time? I'm hoping not too much!

I am starting to plan a travel itinerary which is really fun and even though I have been twice before I have never been further north than Letaba so I am hoping to spend two weeks making my way through the whole park this time if possible. In the last few years I have also really got into my photography hobby in a much bigger way than 10years ago so this will add a whole new dimension to my visit too. I cannot wait and am getting excited already!! Hopefully some of you might be able to bring me up to speed! Thanks, Rob
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Re: Has much changed since 2002?

Unread post by saraf » Wed Nov 13, 2013 6:08 pm

Welcome to the forum Rob.

Well my first visit was in 2003 and there has been some changes since then, but maybe not as many as you may think.

In 2003 I found some of the units, while perfectly clean, were a little "tired". Since then some of the camps - Satara, Lower Sabie and Skukuza mainly - have had renovations, but please note not all accommodation has been upgraded and not all to the same level. Shingwedzi has been completely redecorated following the floods in Feb this year. In Punda, some of the cottages have had a makeover.

The shops have been outsourced and now stock more souvenirs and less basics. By the time you arrive the new franchises of Mugg & Bean, Wimpy and Cattle Baron will have been operational for a year and will be providing the restaurant services.

Kruger has got more popular and in the south of the park you will see more traffic on the main roads. It's easily avoidable by using the dirt roads and we still find places away from it all with decent viewing. A few of the artificial waterholes and dams have been closed or mothballed but some are still opened on a seasonal basis and the most popular are still there.

The main change you will find is in the Wild Card. In 2003 it was just being introduced and was extended for use for International visitors. If you have been to KTP you may be aware of it. I haven't done the calculations for 2014 yet but at 2013 prices with 6 nights in the park you broke even - less nights and paying the daily conservations fees is cheaper, more than 6 and you make savings.

But the most important thing, the animals and scenery, hasn't changed at all.
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Re: Has much changed since 2002?

Unread post by John Burton » Wed Nov 13, 2013 7:55 pm

Hi Rob,

I would agree that there are no really significant changes. I have travelled down to kruger seven times since 1998, most recently two months ago. As you will have read elsewhere on this forum, the restaurant experience, particularly in the evening is not what it once was, but hopefully the new contracts will remedy this. The big exception we have found is Selati restaurant at skukuza, which we hope will retain its special atmosphere.

A strange phenomenon that I experience is that in the intervening periods between visits, I always forget just how big the park is and how long it takes to cover the ground. We always come for 9 nights at a time and still feel rushed just covering the areas surrounding our bases in two camps. Covering the whole park you will need to be careful that you are not preoccupied constantly with getting from A to B on Tarmac rather than savouring the back roads. This would be especially true if you are not entering the park at one end and exiting at the other. The mopani dominated areas from olifants north can be hard going and thin on wildlife, although I often read passionate postings from devotees of the north.

Another change since 2002, I would highly recommend flying into to KMIA airport rather than trying to drive from Joburg after a long night flight from Heathrow. All the main car rental companies have vehicles there.

One thing that hasn't changed - it is still fabulous! Have a great trip


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