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General advice needed

Discuss and find information on the Kruger National Park
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Unread post by Morphoso » Fri Jul 25, 2008 2:41 pm

Hi Forumites!

Just a quick question, we're going to be in KNP next week; When entering at the gates in the morning, can you bypass the day visitor car queue if you have a booking in the park? I have seen cars pass us in the queue when on a day visit and would like to know if we can do the same?

Thanks in advance
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Unread post by Pjw » Fri Jul 25, 2008 3:02 pm

I don't think you can, if the people in the queue are wating to get in. If however the day visitor quota has been reached, then you can pass those in the queue that are waiting in the hope they can get in.
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Re: General advice needed

Unread post by anne-marie » Sat Aug 23, 2008 6:39 pm

JeanS wrote:I'm visiting Kruger in Dec.
:clap: :mrgreen:
JeanS wrote:I'm wondering if it is best to book activities in advance?
You can book directly at the camp, depend of your mood... and your tiredness... :wink:
morning drives are very early and night drives late... not to much time to sleep :|
JeanS wrote:Given the distances do you think that they are feasible?
Skukuza - Satara - Lower Sabie - Crocodile Bridge... all feasible.
I don't know how are bush breakfast and bush braai, I think it's a very good idea :D and about morning walk... it's just fantastic :dance:
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Top planning hints for your Kruger visit

Unread post by Bush Baptist » Sat Nov 08, 2008 2:44 pm

I so often give the same advice to first timers to Kruger.
Maybe this thread will be a repository for the best advice.

1. The most important.
Unless you have at least two weeks in the park, don't try to see it all.
Book 3 or 4 camps.
If you have 6 or less nights, book 2 camps.

2. Try to avoid just 1 night in a camp.
Spend at least 2 nights in each camp.
This is linked to no 3.

3. Try to spend the very early morning and last thing in the evening out in the park.
These are the best viewing times and often give great sightings.
You don't want to spend this time packing and unpacking because you have only 1 night in a camp.

4. Decide on your level of accommodation.
There are 4 levels.
Firstly, the luxury, for those who are prepared to spend the most.
The sponsored houses etc are more swish than most people's homes, with most mod cons, like microwave etc.
Next, the comfortable, like cottages, with most things you need.
Thirdly, budget, like huts, safari tents etc, with no utensils and NO ABLUTIONS OR KITCHENS.
You have to use the communal ones, which I have always found clean and acceptable, but you pay a lot less.
Lastly camping, where you take everything you need and use the communal facilities.
There are also trails etc.

5. Time of year.
Avoid school holidays if you do not HAVE to go then.
The park will be full.
Each month has its attractive features, so research this.

6. Security.
All the camps are fenced, most with electric fencing, to keep the big and hairy out.
Very occasionally something potentially dangerous gets in, but not often.
You are likely to see some antelope that have sought refuge, inside some camps, and at night, nocturnal species can be seen in some camps.

7. Decide on priorities of what you would like to see.
There are no guarantees, but certain areas are hot spots for species.
Browsing the forum is one way of getting a broad picture.

8. Broaden your view.
It is NOT just about the big 5.
You might see a great rarity and not know it.
Get to know the birds, trees and other things.
There is nothing in Kruger so sad as the mugus who just drive around looking for lions.

9. Bring reference books and preferably familiarize yourself with what you are looking for/at beforehand.

10. Expect the unexpected
You might have a great sighting within half an hour of arriving - or 100 metres from the exit gate.
Enjoy what Kruger serves up, she will not disappoint.
Do not try to dictate to her, just be alert to possibilities.

Hope this helps you as you prepare for your first visit to a very special place.
Last edited by Bush Baptist on Sun Nov 06, 2011 6:18 pm, edited 6 times in total.
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Re: 10 Top planning hints for Kruger

Unread post by p@m » Sat Nov 08, 2008 6:56 pm

Well done BB :clap: :clap:

Add to that :

1 You do not need a 4X4 for Kruger -- a higher clearance vehicle is nice during seasons when the grass is long, but not a necessity.

2. You do not need a GPS -- the roads are well sign-posted and the maps obtainable from the gates and camp shops are more than adequate.

3. Most shops accept credit cards -- petrol is CASH only. (unless you're a Saffie with a garage card)

4. Read, digest and obey the rules printed on the back of your entrance permit -- just because someone else is doing it, it does not mean it's allowed.

5. You DO need binocs, camera, hat, sunblock and insect repellant.

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Re: 10 Top planning hints for Kruger

Unread post by Guinea Pig » Sun Nov 09, 2008 8:12 am

Get hold of a map of KNP way ahead of your planned trip.
You know which camps you're booked at and what time of year you'll be there, right?
I plan my routes weeks ahead of the trip using Trip reports and such on the forum.
Plan at the slowest speed possible it'll take so long to get from Point A to B.
Not 100% accurate but it works.
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Re: 10 Top planning hints for Kruger

Unread post by Richprins » Thu Nov 27, 2008 8:46 pm

If I may add one, especially for foreigners or relatively new tourists...

Should one be in Kruger between September and March, beware the heat!

Try to get an air conditioned bungalow and rental car!

It could make a Huge difference!

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Re: 10 Top planning hints for Kruger

Unread post by DuQues » Fri Nov 28, 2008 12:24 am

Don't try to cover huge distances! 25 km/h is about the speed you'll drive at, so use that for planning. Crocodile Bridge to Punda Maria is really out of the question, even Olifants is a long drive!

Don't forget that herds of elephants, or just 1 playful young bull can effectively block a road for a very long time, allow for that in your planning!

In the rainy season the gravel roads may be closed, allow for that in your planning.
Even allow for roads becoming impassable, which means you have to backtrack!

Want to do photography?
Get up early, and get into camp almost at the last moment, those are the Golden Hours!
But plan your drive that way as well!
Don't do the S100 early morning from Satara, you'll be driving into, not with, the light.
Rather head for Orpen from there.

Bring two, not one, cameras!
Dust, mechanical failure, software failure, dropping it, all can happen.
And with just 1 camera that means....

Remember you're on holidays, don't cram too much into your days...

In camps you can see / photograph a lot as well, often the little things you can't see from your car, like grasshoppers, or at night bushbabies.
Not posting much here anymore, but the photo's you can follow here There is plenty there.

Feel free to use any of these additional letters to correct the spelling of words found in the above post: a-e-t-n-d-i-o-s-m-l-u-y-h-c

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Re: 10 Top planning hints for Kruger

Unread post by Meandering Mouse » Fri Nov 28, 2008 5:25 am

Nice thread :thumbs_up: and good tips..

my little bit:

if you are going to do a night drive or early morning drive, dress warmly, very warmly, no matter what the weather.

keep hydrated at all times. Don't be tempted to think that beer will do the trick, trust me, it doesn't. :redface: I often freeze bottles of water or sports drinks and keep them in the car to defrost through the day.

I want to stress that cash is king in the Park. Always have some on hand. There can sometimes be power failures and credit cards are then useless.

never leave doors and windows open at look out points. Monkeys are often waiting for their chance to redistribute your wealth.
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Re: 10 Top planning hints for Kruger

Unread post by Xmantis » Fri Nov 28, 2008 9:46 am

We like driving with the windows open rather than having the aircon on.
So what we do is take a wet cloth and put it into a zip lock plastic packet, then freeze it overnight.
Put that into the cooler for when you're really feeling hot the next day.
It works wonders just behind the neck :)
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Re: Restaurants at KNP Rest areas

Unread post by Meandering Mouse » Tue Apr 14, 2009 5:46 am

I cannot comment on Mopani as I have not yet had the pleasure of staying there.

All the larger camps have an outsourced casual eating facilities to the same company.
This means that they have the same menu but the pricing and service do differ.
The menu ranges from breakfast fare to toasted sandwiches to burgers to desserts.
They do have a few salads, something I hope they increase.

Like many take-a ways, this tends to be typical quick food fare.
These menus can also be found at the bigger picnic spot, such as Tshokwane, Afsaal and Nkulu.

While I mention these spots, they are quite innovative and offer something special.
Nkulu is particularly beautiful with it's riverside setting.

Tshokwane is another delightful stop over, with it's array of visiting birds.
Just watch out for the monkeys.
They offer splendid boerri rolls. (A South African speciality minced beef sausage)
A couple of people have commented on how much they have enjoyed the boerri braaied at Tshokwane.

Afsaal is well known for it's pancakes with a variety of savoury or sweet fillings.
I have tried the savoury lamb filling and found the servings to be very generous.
They also have the little resident scops owl that is a great dis/attraction.

I have read a few complaints about the commercialisation of the picnic areas, but they offer job creation and a lovely place to just relax. I have always found the ablutions spotless... and welcome :wink:

Satara has a coffee bar, serving the most delicious array of coffees. It also serves daily cooked fare, but I cannot comment as I have not tried it.

Skukuza has the best choice of Restaurants. I am sure that many can comment here. I would say that you will be spoilt for choice.

I have eaten at the more formal Restaurant at Lower Sabie, but I think that it has since changed management.

EDIT * Note Franchise restaurants now in operation.
Last edited by Elsa on Wed Apr 15, 2015 2:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Edit
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Re: Correct check-in procedure at a campsite?

Unread post by Stephan & Junita » Fri Jun 19, 2009 2:51 pm

Thanks guys, think I will check in first.

Another question:

Is there a specific time period in which to check in?
Like say between 12:00 and 15:00 ? The reason for my question is that we will only arrive at BnD at around 15:30. :?
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Berg en Dal - 1,2,3,4 July

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Re: Correct check-in procedure at a campsite?

Unread post by Goggo EJ » Fri Jun 19, 2009 3:30 pm

Rules say any time after 1200 - but for camp sites they will usually allow early check-in.
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Re: return trip to kruger advice

Unread post by ndloti » Wed Jul 08, 2009 4:25 pm

There is so much that can be said on the topic .

The north is a lot less populated than the south - both people and animal wise , but due to that it has a different "atmosphere" than the south , the vegetation is also so different - in most areas it consists of mopani veld which support less grazers , thus less of the plains animals .

In January it will be very hot indeed (this applies to the whole KNP) , and being the rainy season the animals will be distributed more widely than in the dryer season (May - Nov)

I hope this will be of assistance to you , you can expect much more advice from other forum members ...
KNP is sacred. I am opposed to the modernisation of Kruger and from the depths of my soul long for the Kruger of yesteryear! 1000+km on foot in KNP incl 56 wild trails.200+ nights in the wildernessndloti-indigenous name for serval.

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Re: return trip to kruger advice

Unread post by Elsa » Wed Jul 08, 2009 5:40 pm

We go to Kruger more or less every May/June and again in Feb. and it will be very hot as has already been said, altho having said that we were very lucky this Feb/Mar as we had a lot of rain and cloudy days so if I recall correctly, our highest temp was only 38.5C.
We love summer as all the migrant birds are back and in full breeding plumage so lots to see in that department.
The park is looking good, lots of greenery and lovely flowers are abundant.
The camp/gate hours are open for longer. :D

The North of the park is not to be missed, we did it for the first time in years and absolutely loved it.
You might need to do your drives a little differently, out early in the mornings and then back in camp for the hottest part of the day and out again from 4pm.
Get a car with air-conditioning as well as your chalets.
So I would say go for it, sure you will not be disappointed. :D
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