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Camping in Kruger.

Discuss and find information on the Kruger National Park
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Senyetse
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Unread post by Senyetse » Wed Oct 24, 2007 9:40 am

Hi Richard

The only problem I can foresee on gravel roads is corrugations that could shake things loose. Take it slow in these areas. Other than that it should not be a problem anywhere in KNP, I have seen many campers on gravel roads in KNP.

I don't know how noisy the aircons in campers are but if not then it should be no problem.

One thing I have noticed with other campers in campsites is that they pack up everything and then go on a drive only to find their site occupied by newcomers upon their return. I would leave something on the site such as a table and chairs or something obvious to indicate that the site is occupied.
Dec '11 - Storms River
June '12 - Berg-en-Dal

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Senyetse
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Unread post by Senyetse » Thu Nov 08, 2007 9:29 am

Camping where?
Depends on if its a high rainfall area or not.
Its not too bad as long as you make sure you don't pitch tent in a depression that could be prone to flooding.
If you have a large tent / gazebo then it makes it easier to escape the rain.
There's nothing as bad as sitting out the rain in a 2 man tent.
A canvas tent is better than nylon since water does not come through as easily -
I lived for 2 years in a canvas tent as a student while doing field work - the only problem I had was fungal growth.
When you get home make sure you dry out the tent before storage to prevent fungal growth.
Take along a ground sheet so that your tent does not stand in the mud.
Dec '11 - Storms River
June '12 - Berg-en-Dal

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Skydiver
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Unread post by Skydiver » Wed Nov 21, 2007 10:43 am

Camp sites are on a first come first served basis at Balule.
The shady ones are along the fence that divides the huts from the camping area.
The best sites as per my opinion are:-
1) The North West corner next to the corner of the perimeter fence and the fence for the huts.
2)The North East corner.
3) The Northern perimeter fence.
Its just a luck of the draw, but this is a great little camp. Hope you have a ball.
WHO NEEDS WINGS?

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BunnyHugger
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General camping tips

Unread post by BunnyHugger » Tue Dec 11, 2007 10:12 am

Hi Fellow forumites.
Having read a number of posts, it appears that there are some of you who may benefit from this general topic.

When camping (or visiting any of the SANPARKs), it is vital to have good reliable kit. (if we have the correct toys, we can play any game).
Before undertaking your journey, make sure the car is serviceable and reliable.
Check the small things like fan belts before you are due to leave.
Never assume that the mechanic did this.
He may have charged you and overlooked the item.
Rather pay a little more and get a higher spec item than paying bottom of the range prices for your gear.
You get what you pay for as I have found out by experience.
If you buy cheap stuff, it costs more in the long run as you will no doubt go out and buy what you should have bought the first time around.
I bought a cooler some years ago and although not used much during my period of ownership, I am very disappointed in the performance of the product.
The manufacturers and or importers of the item say it's just tough luck and I have no option but to accept the item.
When buying coolers, always ask yourself how long you will need it to keep your ice or items cold and try to get one which will last longer.
Don't assume that the cooler will keep your ice for four or five days.
Get a basic first aid kit and keep the contents current. (make sure that any medication is within the expiry date.)
Get extra batteries and make sure your torch works.
If possible have spare globes for all your torches.
Keep spare jets for your gas equipment and if you have Cadac stuff, then keep an 11 mm spanner to change the jets with.
For gas lights, keep a few of spare mantles.
For extension cords which have plugs (especially if you need to use two cords to reach from the box to your tent) take a 2l bottle and cut the bottom off.
Make a whole in the top and feed your cord through the top, keeping the plug / joint inside the bottle.
This will help keep the "joint" dry and reduces the chance of electrical shock.
Get a few citronella candles to keep the bugs away.
Use yellow light bulbs to help keep the insect population away from you.
If camping in a tent / caravan, keep the doors closed.
Even your bungalow door should be kept closed.
The relative dark during the day makes it ideal for mozzies to seek a hiding spot and the relative light at night attracts the bugs.
Remember that prevention of malaria is better than cure.
Try to avoid being bitten and keeping doors closed helps to keep the mozzies away.
(I also carry mosquito coils, but dislike the smell, besides the toxicity aspect.)
Have a container of wet wipes in the car (especially if in the park) to clean sticky fingers and hands or just use to wipe you face on hot days.
If you are travelling in a park, keep books and other entertainment for the kids in the car.
It's really boring for them when you are not seeing game.
A distraction may just keep everyone's temper in check as it is frustrating and distracting for the driver with a car full of whining kids.
Share knowledge with them about the animals, they will learn and be distracted if you are not seeing game at certain times.
Wherever you go, especially when travelling with children, plan your trip and know where the local hospitals are.
This saves a huge amount of anxiety if you have an emergency and kids sometimes do things which give rise to an emergency.
Planning also helps for you to get to the right equipment when you stop for brekkie at a picnic spot.
Rather annoying when you get somewhere for brekkie and the bacon is frozen, right at the bottom of the cooler and the skottel is also at the bottom of the boot or trailer.
Try not to feed the children sweets in the car. Increased sugar gives rise to increased energy levels.
If you have no children on your park trip, keep a deck of cards, travel chess or some other games in the car.
It helps while away boredom when waiting for action at water holes.
Have plenty of water to drink in the car in a separate cooler if space allows.
You will sweat a lot and run the risk of dehydration, especially in summer.
Have a rain coat or umbrella handy, you never know when it may be needed.
Keep your maps, bird and animal identification guides, binocs, cameras and video cameras in the car, or get them into the car at the entry gate.

The above are general tips and very basic common sense ideas, but it amazing how often we overlook the obvious.
Bunny Hugger

Conservation is not an option.
It's imperative.

Leave KNP alone. Go build a hotel someplace else. Reserves are for the preservation of wildlife.

Think Pink. ..

Richprins

Camping

Unread post by Richprins » Tue Dec 11, 2007 7:23 pm

More specifically pertaining to camping in tents, there is one innovation which has made a big difference to my trips throughout Southern Africa...

At most curio stalls along the way one can purchase cheaply one or two "woven" grass mats, of various sizes, but equivalent to a "Welcome mat" outside a normal home's front door.

Put this at the entrance to your tent, and you will virtually remove the sand and dust taken in from shoes and feet!

Most are about 1.5 inches thick, and less than a metre by 0.5 metres, and let the sand through very well!

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BunnyHugger
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Unread post by BunnyHugger » Thu Dec 13, 2007 3:58 pm

john n poppy wrote:thanks senyetse,
I think this might be too much to bring on a flight,
Does anyone know where you can rent or buy this stuff on the way to Kruger from Jo’burg ? john

J and P.
There are a number of shops in and around JHB where you can buy tents relatively cheaply.
I am not certain of your age group (Don't laugh.
Older people tend to struggle to get up off the ground more than younger people.
Our bones also hurt more in the morning.)
The size of the tent will determine its price, but I just bought one at Macro in JHB for my son.
It was around R300.00.
The size is about 2.5m by 2.5m and about 1.2 m high. It packs away into a bag that is smaller than a selling bag roll and could be adequate for your needs.
Coolers vary in price from R300 to R800 depending on spec, size, make and where you buy them.
Stores like Game, Macro and Dions usually have a comprehensive range of camping gear at reasonable prices.
Also at Outdoor Warehouse and Sportsmans Warehouse stores,although the latter do not stock "Camp Master" brand tents.
These tend to be more cost effective than the brands sold at the warehouses.
As to whether or not you need folding chairs and tables.
If you have the correct toys, you can play any game.
I drag the stuff around in a trailer and do so because I like to be comfortable when I camp.
Trailers can be hired, tents and other camping gear, alas, I know not. (mmmm, perhaps there is a marketing idea here.)
You can also purchase plastic cups, mugs and other inexpensive items to take on the trip and if it is cheap enough stuff, makes disposal easier at the end.
It may become a reasonably expensive exercise buying all the kit you need in one go.
If, you like I can get a comprehensive list together for you and give you an idea of pricing and if you are in dire need, I can help by running you around when you get to SA to get the basics together.
Just let me know. (Heck, I might just have an excuse here to tell SO that we HAVE to go to KNP in August 08 to assist the touring fraternity.
ANY excuse will do for me to go to the park.)
I will pay my own way John. Promise.
Bunny Hugger

Conservation is not an option.
It's imperative.

Leave KNP alone. Go build a hotel someplace else. Reserves are for the preservation of wildlife.

Think Pink. ..

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Skopsie
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Unread post by Skopsie » Thu Dec 13, 2007 6:15 pm

We bought ourselves a camper van, specifically for Kruger.
Not big, not high specs, but wonderful. IMHO it is the best vehicle to travel Kruger, or any other SANPARKS park, with.
It can travel on every gravel road a normal sedan, or even 2X4 bakkie can go.
Park management will quickly close a dirt road if it is not accessible for cars, due to damage.

You must accept that you are camping.
That means a little more effort than staying in a chalet.
We take a gazebo along.
That solves the “keeping your site” problem.
It takes us about 5-10 min to get up and go if we are not moving to another camp.
We usually take a trailer along as well. Y
You can lock stuff away from both people and primates.

It’s true, you have to take your home along, but that is the beauty of this vehicle:
you have your home with you every where you go.
Always cold stuff, hot stuff and any other stuff around!!
The kids have a bit more space to keep themselves busy in.
And you can make your brekkie at a waterhole, if you wish.

We installed a small 240V air conditioner in the vehicle.
You are allowed to use it in camps where electricity is available.
It makes a huge difference, especially in summer.

It is easy to level the vehicle as well.
We used short wooden planks, +- 30mm thick, to level the vehicle.
One is limited in this regard, though.

My advice would be to “test drive “the vehicle for a weekend to any caravan park, get the feel of it and decide then.
If this is not possible, GO!!

If you have any further questions, let me know.

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Bush Baptist
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Unread post by Bush Baptist » Thu Jan 03, 2008 2:13 pm

Satara - there were quite a few empty camp sites and people were being turned away.
Probably no shows.
Nice birds in camp site, demarcated large sites, unallocated, so an empty site is yours.
Entrance to camping area requires 'luck' to find.
Ablutions adequate, good shop, swim was very nice at sunset with bats flying around.

Croc Bridge.
Open camping area, no demarcated sites.
We camped next to safari tent no 8 (in which I have stayed with my dad), next to the fence the lions didn't walk down.
We had to be satisfied with 7 hyenas one night, 5 the next and a rhino while we were packing up at 7h15.
Good ablutions,
good shop.
Whatever (according to BB): "You are correct but I don't want to admit it".

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Unread post by BunnyHugger » Wed Mar 05, 2008 8:35 am

Hi Lynda.

I can only speak for Satara, having never camped at P/Kop.

The entire camp is very flat so you will definitely find a nice level place to park your tent.

The camp sites are situated on the northern boundary of Satara (on the opposite end to the shop and admin complex, but it is not a great distance to walk.)

I would try and get a site close to the fence as first choice. The camp site that we were on in July had a lot of loose surface stones so check this out if you have a choice. Also try to fund a site with trees.

In July, as indeed any other time I have camped at Satara, the sites are sandy with very little or no grass.

I found the camp sites to be clean, the braais being cleaned daily and the ablutions were reasonably maintained. I had no problems with the comunal kitchens. Hot water available all the time for dish washing and the hydroboils providing boiling water for coffee or tea, worked well.

There are two (I think,) resident Scops Owls in the camp and if you listen for them they are relatively easy to find at night).

There were several spotted hyena doing their nightly patrol of the fence.

The Satara Webcam waterhole is visible from the fence on the south side of the camp close to the shops.
Bunny Hugger

Conservation is not an option.
It's imperative.

Leave KNP alone. Go build a hotel someplace else. Reserves are for the preservation of wildlife.

Think Pink. ..

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G@mespotter
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Unread post by G@mespotter » Wed Mar 05, 2008 8:42 am

Have camped in Pretoriuskop in July 2006 and in Satara in July 2007 :dance:
Great choice anyway.

Starting with Pretoriuskop, there are actually 2 camping areas (ask at the reception, they will help you),
well my advice is take the one the furthest from the camp gate, as it is relatively small and quiet.
There is a nice ablution building 'across the road', and serves only a small number of guests...and should thus be relatively clean.
On that specific camp site, try to get a site the 'furthest' from that specific ablution block.
I know it sounds funny, but its will still not be far anyway, otherwise you will be wakened by other campers walking to the ablution in the early morning.
Although Pretoriuskop isn't the best wildlife area....the loops are nice to do and I have a wonderful memory of it, the camp has something special
We were lucky to spot 13 Sables that roam around Pretoriuskop :D

As for Satara, this also is a wonderful camping, all sites nicely demarcated, new (close) electrical points as well as a water tap and a bin.
My advice is, when you drive through the camping entrance (with a boom) try to keep a right as possible, move towards the fence and you will see some lovely spots on the right hand side of the camping along the fence.
There also is a new ablution block, and was relatively clean....
One more tip as to Satara, take a rake with, as some camping spots are lovely but quite stony.
To prevent damage to your tent, rake the area and set up your tent if applicable.
Don't miss a sunset drive here, as you are likely to see many nocturnal animals.
Tlopi 11 July Tambotie 12 July, Olifants Backpack trail 13-16 July, Letaba 16 July, Balule 17 July, and Sable Hide 18 July and Lower Sabie 19-20 July Can't wait actually :)

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Unread post by Elsa » Sat Mar 15, 2008 10:07 pm

Hi Angela,

Not a stupid question and no need to apologise.

I am pretty sure that as long as you've paid for your camping spot I don't think they can stipulate whether you sleep in a tent or your car on that spot.
So if you feel safer, then I would say go for it. :D
Where ever you go, go with all your Heart.
Kruger - 16th May - 3rd June 2016

Have you nominated someone in the Annual Forum Awards yet?

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Goggo EJ
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Unread post by Goggo EJ » Sat Mar 15, 2008 10:43 pm

I am definitely not in my youth any longer, but have regularly camped in Kruger alone - both in a tent and more recently in an old caravan.
I have never felt unsafe.
The main dangers are vervets and/or baboons raiding your site for any food left unprotected!
And even that is worse at some camps and almost non-existent at others.
Smiling is contagious. Start an epidemic today!

Have you read the entrance permit? Do you KNOW the Conditions of Entry?

Completed over 7 years in Kruger in my caravan.

If I was normal I wouldn't be me!

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Hugh
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Camping ettiquette

Unread post by Hugh » Sun Mar 16, 2008 8:24 am

We always sleep in the Venture...take the tent.
Put it up. put all your belonging in the tent and then sleep in the car and no one will say a word.
And its very safe apart from the ones with long tails.
Keep a nice fat rubber snake handy( we have one called Cedric) and the monkeys and Baboons will leave you alone.
Don't leave food in view.
Oh and take a small bucket with you in case you need to go in the night!!
Then its no long trips to the little girls room in the middle of the night.
Anyway you should see what people sleep in from the House on wheels to the tiniest tents so no one will give you a second glance

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Unread post by christo » Sun Mar 16, 2008 11:31 am

You may sleep where you want, no rule against sleeping in a car. Hope it is comfortable and you'll enjoy the trip.
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Goggo EJ
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Unread post by Goggo EJ » Sun Mar 16, 2008 12:37 pm

Perhaps the really important thing is to be considerate to your neighbours!
Don't pitch tent/park so close to them that you are on the doorstep..... and if they have a caravan do check that you have not blocked exit route!
I have seen a tent moved so someone could get a caravan out - they could not go the other way because of a tree.
Smiling is contagious. Start an epidemic today!

Have you read the entrance permit? Do you KNOW the Conditions of Entry?

Completed over 7 years in Kruger in my caravan.

If I was normal I wouldn't be me!


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