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Re: Kids/Babies in Kruger NP info.

Discuss and find information on the Kruger National Park
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Exploring KNP with a 2 yr old

Unread post by cronil » Thu Apr 12, 2007 10:57 am

Just wondering if anybody can give me some advice, we are travelling to SA from Ireland in Dec 07 and will have our son with us who will just be 22months old... just under 2 yrs old.
We are flying in to Jo Burg and were hoping to explore KNP for a few days we think its probably best to hire a car and head off ourselves.
We want to get to Durban a few days later and from there will fly to Capetown for the 2nd week of our holiday, where we are meeting friends.
So we were thinking we would only have 3 - 4 days to explore KNP.
Any longer with such a small child might be too much.
Can anybody give us advice on a route to drive and accommodation that would be suitable for us.
Also advice on travelling with a young child in SA would be appreciated as well!

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Unread post by LizzieO » Thu Apr 12, 2007 12:32 pm

Welcome Lisa
From personal experience I can say that how your 2 year old will take to a trip in KNP really depends on your childs personality.
Active or calm.
Children who can entertain themselves and keep themselves busy will easily adapt to travelling in KNP.
My eldest daughter was six months old when she went to KNP for the first time and sixteen years on she still loves every holiday is the park.
Their are some logistical nightmares eg. water (take bottled water for milk formula) bathing (bath in the basin) as huts have showers only, malaria medicine, etc. etc.
But is can still be very rewarding and pleasant.
Remember to bring along the baby car seat and light clothes as December in KNP are extremely hot.


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Unread post by Meg » Thu Apr 12, 2007 1:21 pm

My son was fascinated by KNP at 9 months old, probably because he wasn't all that mobile yet.
We did find that it was best in the mornings and late afternoons when we were likely to see game (herds of impala are more fascinating to little ones than a solitary lion :lol: ) and staying in camp, esp ones with swimming pools, during the heat of the day worked well for us.

He's currently 22 months old and if yours is anything like ours then frequent breaks will make things a lot better for you I'm sure!
They simply can't stand being cooped up at this age :lol: .
If it were me going in with a 22 month toddler I'd stick to the South where there are more frequent facilities.
Lower Sabie is a lovely camp with a large deck overlooking the river and also has a long grassy area in front of the huts to the right of the restaurant which you could kick a ball around on with him to get rid of some of his energy.
Drives from Skukuza to Lower Sabie would probably be within what he could endure, especially as there is the Nkulu picnic spot for a break along the way.
At Skukuza there is a super day visitors facility with a swimming pool.

Pretoriuskop also has a pool and a nice large grassy area for running and ball play - and often some impala there too which would fascinate your little boy.
There are also lots of birds, but you may find some fellow residents in the camp take an exception to the little boy basic instinct of bird chasing :wink: .
In all the camps/picnic spots you will be able to find interesting lizards, moths, etc which should be great fun for him to look at.

I'm sure after the plane trip car trips between the camps won't seem too difficult.
The major problem I guess will be curbing his natural curiosity when out of the car - keeping him away from water, possible snakes, etc.
I bet you'll all be sleeping very well at night :lol: .

Other than that, just hats, cool clothing, high factor sunblock and of course mozzie repellent.
I hope you have a super trip and that he soaks up the experience 8)
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Unread post by Mgoddard » Thu Apr 12, 2007 1:58 pm

The alternative now is the Microbus, Merc Vito and another one,cant remember exactly.
I have also been going to the Park since my girls were as little as 5/6 months old and as long as you choose your camps, so not too much time is spend in the car, I had no problem.

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Unread post by bucky » Thu Apr 12, 2007 2:43 pm

a camp like pretoriuskop , even though possibly not the best viewing is good with a 2 year old , as the pool is suitable in places for a baby to play in and cool off .
Berg en dall is also a good choice .
Satara will have good viewing , and is also in less of a malaria risk spot , although it may be a bit far north for your short stay of 4 days , especially when heading towards durban .

I would book all 4 nights in 1 camp , or at least 2 nights per camp .

I suggest these camps as I reckon there is silghtly less malaria risk than at the river side camps , also they are also less hot and humid than lower sabie or crocodile bridge.

Cool full length night clothing is essential .
Read up on the malaria threads etc also .

Take any medicines with he may need , get things for stomach cramps , teething etc, maybe even a powdered antibiotic that you can mix with distilled water if needs be .
The baby supplies such as disposable diapers , foods etc are not always in good supply in the shops .

As for a vehicle , the microbus is not a good choice even though big , because kids tend to climb about and fall onto hard parts on the vehicles seating stands (I have kids , I have a microbus I know :lol:) .
The best bet is to get a station wagon (estate) , so you can put the seats down and create a nice play area for him to move about in .
Whatever you get , make sure you hire a car with aircon , or the heat will make the little 1 very irritable .

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Unread post by Meandering Mouse » Tue Apr 17, 2007 10:31 am

I agree with all of the above.

I would also give Skukuza serious consideration. T
There is the pool, lots of facilities and distractions for a little person.
Skukuza also has a wide variety of places to visit, such as Lake Panic, or the plant nursery.

Pretorius Kop is also lovely with all the little animals which would give a little one lots of pleasure.

If he is old enough to sit with ear phones, music is often a way of keeping him happy.
I would also pack "presents", something simple to be unwrapped and examined when boredom sets in.

Take shorter early morning drives and late evening. It can be really hot.
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Unread post by bert » Tue Apr 17, 2007 12:55 pm

Camps great for little ones with nearby drives and enough getout places are in order of best for little ones imo
Berg en Dal

Great spacious cars (the ones instead of the Condor) are
Volkswagen Toureg or Toyota Verso

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Unread post by Albert » Tue Apr 17, 2007 3:44 pm

On a practical side, enough in-car entertainment is a must. We have travelled extensively in the parkk with our kids since they were about 3 or 4. A good supply of books/toys/etc is a must.
As a cautionary note, however, I would urge you to discuss the implications of anti-malaria medication for a 2-year old with a physician. The threat of Malaria is a real issue, particularly in the summer months. (Not trying to be a wet blanket here....)
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Unread post by Bush Baptist » Fri Apr 20, 2007 3:10 pm

October should be stunning.
It is just before the rainy season and should be as dry as a bone.
There is no surface water and the animals stay near dams & rivers and the predators know this, unless it rains early, but this tends to soak in quickly and green things up slightly.

I would stay all 3 nights in one camp like Satara or Skukuza or my favourite south camp Croc Bridge.
There are many roads to explore from these three camps and all are good for predator sightings.

To keep your family interested I would offer a reward for the first big 5, cat or dog sighting of each day.
This works still for my family even though they are all adults now.
We used chocolate bars. Just keep a good stock.
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Unread post by Mgoddard » Fri Apr 20, 2007 4:28 pm

Hi K, i wont stay at Tambotie with a small child, rather look at P/kop or L/S....very child friendly camps.

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Unread post by bert » Sun Apr 22, 2007 11:26 am

In my opionion go for the childfriendly camps
Lower Sabie
Berg en Dal

Been to Kruger with my son, then 10yrs and he loved Berg en
Dal, Satara and Skukuza the best
Book a camp with a pool
And the biggest adventure he did was going on a Bushbraai.
And always enjoyed the birdhides and picnic spots
No fence between you and the animals and a armed guard to watch over you

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Unread post by wildtuinman » Fri May 04, 2007 7:45 am

One thing that all parents must remember is that no matter which camp you stay at, small kids of age 4 and 7 can't be left alone to wander around.
All camps are safe, but leaving your kids unattended is irresponsible.

Thus by saying that: Go to any camp with kids.
Yes some camps have swimming pools but even in Kruger the winter time makes it quite cold to swim in.

I suggest that safety for malaria should be considered.

My daughter of 4 yrs sleep quite alot in the car in Kruger.
So I make sure that there is enough room for her in the back of the car to move around in and to sleep in.
I also make sure that there are enough toys available.

Frequent stops are a must!
Take picnic equipment and have a picnic @ one of the many picnic spots.

Its not where you stay thats important, its what you do to keep the lil ones entertained.
Kids love binocs, btw!

Go and have fun with the family, its a priviledge to have that. :wink:

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Unread post by wildtuinman » Thu May 17, 2007 6:08 am

sammylou wrote:Hi,
I'm planning on spending 2 weeks in SA next Feb. with my husband, our son (will be 2 yrs 7 months) my sister and her boyfreind. we were planning on spending 5 days in KNP with 2 nights in Lower Sabie and 3 in Letaba does that sound like a good idea?

Also could anyone tell me the minimum age for bush braais.


Sam, Feb is high time for mosquitoes in the abovementioned camps. You will have to take great care in keeping them off your little boy.

It was exactly one of these two camps where we've picked up our malaria case in 2003.

Bush braai minimum age I think is 12.

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Unread post by Senyetse » Thu May 17, 2007 8:42 am

Hi sammylou

I suggest you speak to a doctor/pharmacist about the safety of malaria prophylaxes for children under 5. I may be wrong but I think it is not recommended. In that case your only option is, as wildtuinman says, to prevent your child from being bitten.

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Unread post by Wild-doc » Thu May 17, 2007 4:09 pm

As a rule, most medication can be given to children older than 2 years. Just remember no prophylaxis is 100% effective, so keep a eye out for flu symptoms after you leave. Also malaria treatment is much easier for 2 year old's and above.
Last edited by Wild-doc on Mon May 21, 2007 7:03 am, edited 1 time in total.

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