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South to North or North to south in october?

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South to North or North to south in october?

Unread post by chouboule » Sun Jul 31, 2016 8:38 pm

Hi everyone,
Next year we want to drive the whole Kruger from either north to south or vice versa. The trip will be in October-November. Which way is best? My reasoning was south to north because rains come from the south. Is this correct?
Any recommendations? Has anyone been in Pafuri camp mid November and if so what can we expect?

Many thanks,
Gigi (from Switzerland)

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Re: South to North or North to south in october?

Unread post by Meandering Mouse » Mon Aug 01, 2016 8:15 am

Hi chouboule, firstly I feel very :mrgreen: What a fantastic opportunity. :dance: :dance:

It is so difficult to predict when the rains might come at the moment. They do often start in the south, but during this last drought, the south seems to have been more affected.

The north is often considered to be a birders paradise, so if you are interested in birding, leaving this to last would allow for more returning migrants.

My own personal experience of October and November, has been one of extreme heat, but also brilliant sightings. Early November is actually my favorite month with all the little new born antelope.
The bird doesn't sing because it has answers, it sings because it has a song.

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Re: South to North or North to south in october?

Unread post by Yoda » Mon Aug 01, 2016 9:49 am

If it was me, I would go north to south.

The drive to the north is longer. So while you are driving up, you have something to look forward to over the longer drive.
Once a trip is finished, I find I want to get back to Jhb as quickly as possible :(
So I always leave from one of the gates in the south - Melalane or Phabene.
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Re: South to North or North to south in october?

Unread post by bushguy » Mon Aug 01, 2016 10:03 am

Either way I am :mrgreen:

How long do you have ? I agree with MM that starting south would give more time for migrants to arrive up north.

Conditions - Hot , hot, hot ! I generally spend a week/10 days in Knp in the first week of Nov and really enjoy it. Gate opening times allow for longish morning drive , time for a nap/swim and an evening drive (still very hot). Summer in the north also brings many insects - alfresco dining at night is not always pleasant ! But bug hunting is ! Always look on the bright side !

Because of the heat and long days , I suggest spending a bit more time at fewer places, rather that changing camps too regularly. But if your mission is to visit more camps , just be aware that by 10/11am it is already likely to be in the 40's.

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Re: South to North or North to south in october?

Unread post by JaniceE » Tue Aug 02, 2016 9:27 am

Hi...we do the same trip every November and have tried both ways...North to South is our favourite by far..The reasons being

Road to Punda the longest but really nice run up to Giyani and Punda Gate and then quicker home from Malalane
Also November bookings can be changed.. so sometimes we stay longer in one place ...sometimes we move on.
Its such a nice way to travel and go with what makes you happy...

Kruger Park Punda Shingwezi September 2016
Kruger Park North to South November 2016
Kgaladadi Botswan April 2017
Kruger Park South to North to Mapunguwe to Moremi...long trip August 2017
Punda 17 -19 Nov 2016
Shingwedzi 20 - 21 Nov 2016
Satara 22 - 25 Nov 2016
Lowe Sabie 26 Nov - 2nd Dec 2016
Skukuza 3 - 8th Dec 2016

Twee Rivieren 20 - 21 March 2017
Mata Mata 22-26th March 2017
Nossob 27 - 31st March 2017
Rooiputs 1st - 5th April 2017

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Re: South to North or North to south in october?

Unread post by chouboule » Mon Aug 15, 2016 8:18 pm

Hello everyone,
Thanks for all your comments. Ir's going to be South to North because we can fly directly from home to Nelspruit via JNB and rent the car there and just recover for a few days after the 28 h flight in Skukuza before starting up. We also like the idea of seeing the predators in the beginning and then once expectations have been fulfilled enjoying the scenery and learning more about birds as we go higher up. That will be something new for us but our friends are excellent bird spotters. The trip will be 3 full weeks inside the park so we'll have time to really explore each area.
Yes the trip driving back to JNB will be long but we will have seen so much that we will be full of memories :D :D :D

Thanks again for sharing

E Orix
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Re: South to North or North to south in october?

Unread post by E Orix » Tue Aug 16, 2016 1:38 am

Once again we are about to tour Kruger.
As I have people to meet up with in JB we fly into Tambo, next morning pick up our rental car and drive directly to
Croc Bridge, to us it's the easiest access to the park, basically all freeway and one left turn into the park.
We then casually drive north trying to stay at least 2 days per camp and eventually returning to Croc Bridge for our final
night then back to JB, quit the car and let our friends do the driving around JB.
The less camp changes the less time lost in packing and unpacking. If you are one of the first out of the gate in the morning
you can cover a large area at a very casual rate. The earlier you get out and the slower you cruise the more you see.

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Re: South to North or North to south in october?

Unread post by Elsa » Tue Aug 16, 2016 9:35 am

Have a wonderful trip E Orix, sounds like an amazing itinerary you have. :thumbs_up:

Best wishes for your trip as well chouboule! :dance:

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Re: So uth to North or North to south in october?

Unread post by TripleTail » Tue Aug 16, 2016 10:23 pm

Rather than spend hours on boring and possibly unsafe roads travelling around the Park, do what we did and travel up through the Park. Spend first night at say Croc Bridge or higher depending where you coming from, second night, Letaba or higher and then through to Punda. You can then travel back down slowly stopping where ever you want.
It is easily doable provided you do't spend too long at sightings or rest stops. This way you gain a day in the Park and get the benefit of the extra sightings

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