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First time in Kruger National Park - Help Needed!!

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camposleo
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First time in Kruger National Park - Help Needed!!

Unread post by camposleo » Wed Feb 01, 2017 3:44 pm

Hello folks,
I'm from Brazil and will be traveling with my family (wife and 3 kids (8, 4 and 2 year old) to South Africa. We're planning to visit The Kruger National Park for 3 or 4 days but i would like to ask for some help on what to do, how to get there, tips, advices...and so on. We will arrive on the first week of March.

Appreciate your help.

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Elsa
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Re: First time in Kruger National Park - Help Needed!!

Unread post by Elsa » Wed Feb 01, 2017 4:03 pm

Welcome to the forum camposleo! :clap:

Firstly I would advise you try and stay for at least 4 days which would allow you to stay 2 nights in 2 different camps.
and as a first time visitor, concentrate on the more southern camps which are tend to have a higher density of game especially for the kids who might be a little bored if the sightings were more scarce.
Firstly you need to check which camps have Availability for the dates you are thinking of and then book as soon as possible after that to ensure you can get accommodation.
Most of the main camps have swimming pools for the kids to cool off in and release some energy either during the middle of the day or afterwards.
There are several options on how to get to the park, either drive from Jhb, or fly to KIA which is the airport outside Nelspruit and not far from the park or you can either fly directly into the park, landing at the Skukuza airport and you can hire a car from any of those places.
Here are links to some useful topics you can have a read through Re: Kids/Babies in Kruger NP info. and the Index to Kruger National Park Topics where you will find lots of info, advice to most of the questions you have.
But please do ask if there is anything further we can help with.
Kruger - 16th Feb to 8th March 2017

camposleo
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Re: First time in Kruger National Park - Help Needed!!

Unread post by camposleo » Wed Feb 01, 2017 6:12 pm

Thanks a lot Elsa for the tips.

Is there any other advantage staying at this camps on the park besides being closer to the park? I mean, if I stay on a hotel out side of the park, would that be a good idea? I'm thinking in case if I want to go shopping with my family at night, maybe the hotel it would be better. What do you think?
Also regarding the game safari, I understand there are 2 types...lets say: one where it's the private one where you pay for the tour company and they take you to into the park, and this are the ones that we have the most chance to see the Big 5 and the other type is where I can drive into the park but must stay at the road. Am i right?

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Re: First time in Kruger National Park - Help Needed!!

Unread post by Hippotragus » Wed Feb 01, 2017 8:31 pm

With young children it would be best to stay in a camp in the park and do self-drive. You can then go for an early morning drive, return to camp and rest and go out again in the afternoon. You can decide on your own route, where to stop for a snack etc.

The tour operators have open vehicles and no child under 6 years of age is permitted.

There are hotels and guest houses outside the park, but most are at least 30 minutes drive from a gate. There are shops outside the park, but again at least 30 minutes drive away and they are unlikely to be open at night. Most of the large camps in the park have a shop, restaurant and fuel.

The park gets fully-booked and the first thing you must do is find accommodation available. For a first visit it would be best to stay in the south of the park - Skukuza, Lower Sabie, Berg 'n Dal, Pretoriuskop, Satara.

Good luck with your planning - ask any questions here.
Skukuza 2nd-5th March 2017
Satara 5th-8th March 2017

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Re: First time in Kruger National Park - Help Needed!!

Unread post by Cecilec » Wed Feb 01, 2017 10:06 pm

Hi Camposleo,

welcome in the Forum. :dance:

Wow thats a long flight, comming all the way from Brazil. :dance:

Like all others,I also would suggest to stay in the Park.

Maybe you could tell us about your other days of the trip.because in the Krugerpark, in the Camps, are also Shops,where you can spend a lot of money. :clap: :clap:

If you fly in to Joburg,you could even take a flight into Kruger to Skukuzs,where you can hire a car ,or into Nelspruit , ,then you need to drive 80 km to arrive the entrance of the Krugerpark.

Greetings

Cécile :gflower:
19.04.-21.04.17 Berg en Dal
21.04.-25.04.17 Crocodile Bridge
25.04.-30.04.17 SATARA
30.04.-06.05.17 LETABA
06.05.-08.05.17 Lower Sabi
08.05.-10.05.17 Crocodile Bridge

[b] "Try to have always your ducks in a row."
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Re: First time in Kruger National Park - Help Needed!!

Unread post by Meandering Mouse » Thu Feb 02, 2017 5:44 am

camposleo wrote:Thanks a lot Elsa for the tips.

Is there any other advantage staying at this camps on the park besides being closer to the park? I mean, if I stay on a hotel out side of the park, would that be a good idea? I'm thinking in case if I want to go shopping with my family at night, maybe the hotel it would be better. What do you think?
Also regarding the game safari, I understand there are 2 types...lets say: one where it's the private one where you pay for the tour company and they take you to into the park, and this are the ones that we have the most chance to see the Big 5 and the other type is where I can drive into the park but must stay at the road. Am i right?


Hi camposieo, and a warm welcome. :gflower:

I would possibly suggest Skukuza camp as a first choice for you. It does offer everything that you would need for a young family. It would also give the opportunity to wander around at night looking for night animals.

The hotels in the Kruger area are pleasant, but they are limited in what they can offer. If your wish is to have a close bush experience, staying in a camp cannot be beaten for the many advantages. The more popular hotels are a bit of a drive from the Kruger Gate and the drive, plus checking and queueing to get into the Park will take away enjoyment time. With very young children it can be a nightmare.

I have travelled with very young children and it has been a great help to have a bed in the camp. They might need to rest, or they could be out of sorts. When we stayed in hotels, we actually found it a strain to take day trips into the Park with very young children. They do not cope well with long drives that can sometimes bore them. If you are in a camp, it is possible to take more frequent, shorter drives.

The bigger camps also offer swimming pools and play areas for children. This is most helpful to add entertainment value. Skukuza offers more than most camps for youngsters. There are also a number choices of places to eat, plus lovely grounds where children can stretch their legs. The Lower Sabie River promenade is a wonderful way to end the day.

As has been stated, bush drives in open vehicles are not allowed for children under six. This is for their own safety. It can also be very boring for very young children, as there are long periods of time where nothing happens and children are expected to sit still and remain quiet. For bright, intelligent children, this is an almost impossible task.
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Re: First time in Kruger National Park - Help Needed!!

Unread post by camposleo » Thu Feb 02, 2017 10:18 pm

Thank you very much guys for the replies...it's helping me a lot.

I have a question regarding the game safaris....I have seen games safari from the camps but also full day game safari from Tripadvisor....what is the difference? which ones is better?
Also staying at the camps, I just do safari with my own car....right? do i pay per car or per person? or the entrace to the park is already included with the accomodation?

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Re: First time in Kruger National Park - Help Needed!!

Unread post by Elsa » Thu Feb 02, 2017 10:59 pm

When you stay in the camps you do self drives out on your own with your rental car once the gates open in the morning and you must be back in camp by gate closing in the evening.
You can book guided morning, sunset or night drives from the camps.
Info on Sunset/Night drives taken from camps
All-day and Half day drives from camps
You can book those when you book your accommodation or once you get to the camps.
but remember children younger than 6 are not permitted on the drives.
You pay a Daily Conservation fee per night you stay in the park or per day if you stay outside the park and it is per person only.
Kruger - 16th Feb to 8th March 2017

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Re: First time in Kruger National Park - Help Needed!!

Unread post by Meandering Mouse » Fri Feb 03, 2017 5:35 am

camposleo wrote:Thank you very much guys for the replies...it's helping me a lot.

I have a question regarding the game safaris....I have seen games safari from the camps but also full day game safari from Tripadvisor....what is the difference? which ones is better?
Also staying at the camps, I just do safari with my own car....right? do i pay per car or per person? or the entrace to the park is already included with the accomodation?


Hi camposieo, as Elsa has stated, the age of your children limits what you can do. Drives in open safari vehicles are not allowed. This is for the safety of your children. It is also not pleasant for children, as they have to sit still and silent for too long. Children are also at greater risk when there are predators around. I have seen a lion get very interested when a child started crying. The high pitch of a child's voice is more like the sound of prey.

Self drive is the best option. It puts you in charge and you can plan your own trips to fit in with what is most suitable for your family. The major restriction with self drive is the camp opening and closing times. There are enough roads to explore with lots of possibilities.

Self driving also offers the option of stopping as long as you want at the various picnic sites. These offer places where the children can be more active and it breaks the 'monotony' of the car drive.
The bird doesn't sing because it has answers, it sings because it has a song.

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Re: First time in Kruger National Park - Help Needed!!

Unread post by Hippotragus » Fri Feb 03, 2017 3:05 pm

Elsa and Meandering Mouse have both made very valid points and made good suggestions, with which I totally agree.

Try and stay in a larger camp in the park, hire a car and drive yourselves around. The larger camps have good shops, restaurants and fast-food outlets. By doing self-drive you can be very flexible and go where and when you want, for however long or short a time.
Skukuza 2nd-5th March 2017
Satara 5th-8th March 2017

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Re: First time in Kruger National Park - Help Needed!!

Unread post by Yoda » Fri Feb 03, 2017 3:51 pm

Lots of good advice above

Having travelled to Kruger a few times with young kids, I would add - take lots to keep them occupied. Books, games toys etc.
Game viewing can be slow now and then and they will get bored!
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Re: First time in Kruger National Park - Help Needed!!

Unread post by Mischief » Sat Feb 04, 2017 11:32 am

Excellent advice has been given to you from very seasoned Kruger Park visitors.I would heed their advice particularly where the young children are concerned.My personal opinion is that if you really want to enjoy the essence of The Kruger National Park you need to stay in the Park itself. :thumbs_up: :thumbs_up: :thumbs_up:

Skukuza is probably the best recommendation as they have a large shop,swimming pool and many interesting things to do in the camp itself.Just sitting on the bench next to the river has rewarded many a visitor with some wonderful sightings. :gflower:

What you need to concentrate on right now is firstly securing your accommodation! :dance: :dance: :wink: :wink:
"Nature is not a place to visit. It is home."- G.Snyder
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Re: First time in Kruger National Park - Help Needed!!

Unread post by IceT » Sat Feb 04, 2017 4:40 pm

camposleo wrote:Also staying at the camps, I just do safari with my own car....right? do i pay per car or per person? or the entrace to the park is already included with the accomodation?


You must also note that over and above paying for your accommodation inside the park, you must also pay a daily conservation fee ( look for the international rate). Or you could buy a Wild Card and then not need to pay the daily rate. See which would be cheaper for you.... depends on where all in South Africa you will be travelling, it is valid for a year and allows entry to about 80 different parks, you also get a Wild Card magazine quarterly and monthly emails which are great and help keep you in touch with all that is natural and beautiful in South Africa. :gflower:
http://www.wildcard.co.za/

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Re: First time in Kruger National Park - Help Needed!!

Unread post by cheetahlady » Sun Feb 05, 2017 12:37 am

Hi camposleo

As an overnight visitor, you will pay the per person daily conservation fee. You will not pay extra for the vehicle as you are staying in the camp. A family wildcard may be a better option depending on the number of nights you are staying.

Daily conservation fees for 2 adults & 3 children amount to ZAR 1064 per day (international guests)

https://www.sanparks.org/parks/kruger/t ... ariffs.php

An international family Wildcard is ZAR 4130. The wildcard will cover daily conservation fees at any on the SANParks for 1 year. If you are staying 4+ nights or if you will visit other parks, a wildcard is definitely a better option.

https://www.sanparks.org/wild_new/tourism/pricing.php
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KNP June 2017 Mopani, Shingwedzi, Letaba, Satara, Pretoriuskop, Berg-en-Dal

camposleo
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Re: First time in Kruger National Park - Help Needed!!

Unread post by camposleo » Tue Feb 07, 2017 8:05 pm

Thank you guys for your help.
I got another, if I stay on Crocodile Rest Camp, am I allow to drive to other camps? I'm asking this, because I'm getting hard time to find a available room to fit my whole family (2 adults and 3 kids). So I'm thinking to stay in one camp (where I found an avaliable room) and drive around to see the Big 5s.


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