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General advice needed

Discuss and find information on the Kruger National Park
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Re: General advice needed

Unread post by Stark » Tue Dec 14, 2010 8:20 pm

I'm not sure where you're flying from, but for international flights originating from the US children are subject to the same ID requirements as adults. Better be safe than sorry and bring documentation of who everybody is on the trip. :thumbs_up: You won't need proof of ID for minors once you're in-country.
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Re: General advice needed

Unread post by Lionspoon » Wed Dec 15, 2010 1:55 pm

Anne-Marie :yaya: I can't comment on the cancelling stuff with existing reservations, but I would like to give my perception about the private lodges: Although game viewing usually is pretty good, I didn't like being with strangers basically all day. You get up early in the morning (as you do when you do a self-driven drive :wink: ) and hop on the vehicle with other people. If those have the same ideas as you concerning what they want to see - fine. If not - :( From my experience you stay with them for all other drives, if the camp is fully booked and nobody wants to swap with you. You get back for breakfast which you have together with ALL people in the camp. Then a morning walk, if you feel inclined, again with possibly everyone else staying there. After that a short break before having lunch with ALL other guests again. From there almost right into the afternoon / evening drive and then another meal with everybody else. You usually don't get to bed too early, because dinner drags on and we found it not polite to get up and disappear right afterwards. So there was a lack of sleep. The whole procedure done for three days in a row... For me, it was just too much to spend so much time with other people. Especially, since most of them did like to see their game as well, but I considered them being 'different' wild lovers compared to the mites here on the forum. Hard to explain what exactly I didn't like. Maybe, I found most of the other guests too full of themselves. :? Having said that, some really down to earth fellows appeared the day when we had to leave. So maybe it was just tough luck.
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Re: General advice needed

Unread post by Elsa » Wed Dec 15, 2010 2:32 pm

We stayed at Tinga Narina for 2 nights a couple of years ago, due to credits SO accrued through travelling, and an offer we could not refuse. 8)

maybe we were lucky but we had a super guide and great folk on the drives with us, all so friendly and full of fun.
There, you get allocated the guide for the duration of your stay and therefore have the same people on drives and at meals as well altho we didn't generally sit with them to eat.
I will agree with LS, the stay is somewhat regimented but on the whole we thoroughly enjoyed the pampering and luxury as its not something we would get to do very often, if ever again.
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Re: General advice needed

Unread post by Elsa » Sat Dec 18, 2010 1:15 pm

Lowveldboy wrote:I am wanting to know which tent numbers is the best to book for Punda and Tamboti.
From what I have read, Punda Maria, Tent # 4 seems to be the favourite.
Tamboti Tent # 40 provided you are wanting one of the luxury ones with en suite.
Not sure of the one without bathrooms.
Hope this helps. :D
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Self drive advice - please?

Unread post by AnitaLV » Thu Jan 13, 2011 7:00 pm

What is the recommendation for self-drive safari in Kruger? Are there travel guides that we can purchase? What is the recommended amount of time that we should allot? We have approximately 2 weeks and love to photogaph. Would we get bored alloting 2 weeks to the park? We do not want to go luxury but want accommodations with private baths.

Should we rent a car and drive from Johannesburg or fly to KMIA and rent a car there? How much does it cost to fly to KMIA from Johannesburg? How often do they fly? Are there places to stay enroute from Johannesburg to the park?

Should we also visit Sabi Sands?

Should we rent an SUV or a Van? The suggestion is the higher vantage point for viewing game.

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Re: Self drive advice - please?

Unread post by Elsa » Thu Jan 13, 2011 7:40 pm

HI Anita, and a very warm welcome to the forum. :clap:

I am presuming this will be your first first to Kruger and I am sure 2 weeks will be just fine and I can almost guarantee you will not be bored. :D

There are very good and comprehensive map books that you can buy at most of the gates, and all the shops in the camps and I would recommend you get one of those as soon as you arrive.

A self drive option is usually the one we always recommend and is the best option as you can stop at sightings as long as you like and travel the roads or routes you decide on.
Basically you are your own boss.

There is plenty of accommodation in the park to suit the type you require, with en suite bathrooms and kitchettes.
There are also smaller bush camps that are less crowded but do not have restaurants, so you would have to be self sufficient.
The others do have all the facilities.
Please do a search around the Sanparks availability/reservation page.
The South of the park usually has the abundance of Big 5 sightings but is more populated and the North of the park the quieter and more scenic part.

I think whether you fly from JHB or drive is a personal choice and depends on how comfortable you feel driving on strange roads and tired you are liable to be on arrival.
You can get prices from Airlink or Kulula Airlines both of which fly into KMIA the airport nearest Kruger.

I think whether you hire a SUV type vehicle is also dependant on your budget, it can be a advantage but is definitely not a necessity.

Whether to visit one of the luxury lodges like Sabie Sands is also really up to you and dependant on whether you want a bit of pampering but not strictly necessary.

I am sure others will give you lots of good advice as well.
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Unread post by justbarb » Mon Jan 17, 2011 12:46 am

Hello everyone,

I am new to the forums and am not sure just where to ask some questions. I am going to SA from Canada the first of March and am looking for advice on packing light for a 2 week vacation in and around Kruger National Park. Also, I am going to purchase a new camera and would like some advice. Something easy to use and suitable for wildlife photos.

Any suggestions would be great.


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Re: Travel

Unread post by Dabchick » Fri Jan 21, 2011 11:48 am

Hi justbarb! Welcome to the forums :D

I agree with the other replies.

It's likely to be somewhere between warm, hot and very hot in March. Probably dry, sunny weather most of the time, but the possibility of rain (especially thundershowers) can never be excluded (especially not this year).

Thus - mostly cool clothes: t-shirts, shorts / capri pants, swimwear if you like to swim, sandals etc. One or two long jeans and a warmish (e.g. light fleece) jacket should suffice. A rain jacket may be useful if you don't like being rained upon while dashing between the bungalow / car / toilets at the picnic spot etc :lol:

Regarding a camera, first answer this question:
Do you want to get into serious photography and spend a lot of money for professional equipment?
If YES: then go for a Canon / Pentax / Nikon DSLR camera and be prepared to spent some serious dosh on a telephoto lens (at least 400mm is essential for wildlife photography).

if NO: go for a nice superzoom camera such as Nikon Coolpix P100, Fujitech HS10 or HS11, or Pentax X90 (There may be newer models out - this list comes from about 6 months ago when I was in the market for a superzoom camera). Canon may arguably the best when it comes to DSLR camera's (or at least one of the best), but it doesn't have a superzoom that measures up to the 26x to 30x optical zooms (equal to > 600mm SLR lens) of the cameras listed above. It's much lighter and one can get decent wildlife photographs without spending serious money. The only problem that I have with my Nikon P100 is that it doesn't have manual focus (the other listed all have), which can be a problem with the subject is small (such as a malechite kingfisher), and the background is noisy (e.g. reeds) - the autofocus doesn't always focus on the right thing :roll:

Hope this helps and enjoy your time in SA! 8)

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Re: Please help us to organize our 3 day Trip to Kruger Park!

Unread post by FlorisCathy » Sat Feb 12, 2011 4:25 pm

Our experience from 3x Kruger:

Food / restaurant:
For all restaurants (exept selati) don't forget that you're in a wild park. The food is eatable, but don't expect a 5 star restaurant.

Skukuza: there is a special restaurant, named Selati train restaurant, the food and service is amazing. I think there is no place in Kruger to have a better dinner / lunch.

Satara: We think that the food in the Satara rest camp is not good. The dinner is mostly from a buffet, which we think wasn't very good. (we still keep going to satara because of the lion populations around satara.
The take away (for lunch) is good in Satara.

Lower Sabie: Very nice restaurant and take away. Dinner is also much from a buffet. Breakfast here is good. Also the take aways are good (salades / burgers etc.)

Olifants: Very good restaurant / food (but long way driving if you start in Skukuza for only a couple days).

Crocodile brigde: We never slept here, but I thought that here was no restaurant facility.

Stay / bungalows:
Skukuza has some very nice luxury guesthouses. There are also familiy cottages (we were in one with my parants). You share one livingroom / kitchen, but there are two bedrooms with a bathroom onsuit.

Lower Sabie has some old bungalows.So be sure you got a luxury bungalow (no hut, if you don't want a shower in a communual bathroom). But book on time, because this is a popular camp.

Satara has also som luxury accomodations. For more info about those accomodations, take a look at this site.

Place to be for wildlife: Lower Sabie / Skukuza / Satara

Good luck finding some good accomodations.
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Re: A few questions about costs and more..

Unread post by TonyP » Sun Feb 20, 2011 5:35 pm

homer.s wrote:Thanks for every one who helps and answers questions in here!
It makes the preparation much easier...!

A few additional questions about costs:

1. Can anyone tell me whats the avrage price of a full tank of fule in SA or specificly in the KNP? Depends on the size of car & tank R9.30 per litre
2. Is there a fee that i have to pay at JNB airport before departing back to my home country? Maybe airport departure tax, but this is usualy included in the cost of the ticket
3. Any one knows what the toll at the toll booth between Nelspruit and KNP? (on the N4) R44.00

4. How much time is the drive between Nelspruit airport and melalane Gate? 66 kilometres = approx 1 hour

5. - And most important - who do i have to inform if there is a chance that ill arrive abit late... (if possible specific e mail - will be grate)...The camp reception, maybe someone else can help witht the email addy

I know - a long list of questions - but thanks in advance to any one who can help !!


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Re: A few questions about costs and more..

Unread post by saraf » Sun Feb 20, 2011 7:39 pm

homer.s wrote:Thanks for every one who helps and answers questions in here!
It makes the preparation much easier...!

A few additional questions about costs:

2. Is there a fee that i have to pay at JNB airport before departing back to my home country?
>No, you should not be asked for any additional fees. However please be careful of people who offer to direct you to your check-in desk and then ask for a fee - they are NOT airport employees. Either ask at one of the police desks or someone in uniform with a name tag.

5. - And most important - who do i have to inform if there is a chance that ill arrive abit late... (if possible specific e mail - will be grate)...
>Depends on when you will be late and where you are going. If you expect to be late to a gate on your first night you can arrange an escort to the nearest camp. From Malelane Gate this would be Maleleane Camp or Berg-an-Dal. You would be expected to pay a fee (currently R150) for this to cover the cost of getting someone to escort you. It's best to arrange it with either the camp or gate in advance. Malelane Gate tel number is +27 (0)13 735 6152. There is no late entry once you are in the park. If you are late back to a camp then you will be fined R1500.

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Re: Which is best and why?

Unread post by Wild about cats » Sun Apr 24, 2011 12:39 pm

:hmz: I'd go for option three. The longer you spend at one camp, the longer you get to explore the area unique to that camp. It's less packing and unpacking; and Lower Sabie and Satara are two fantastic camps. Both are great for family, birding, game ad stunning scenery. :thumbs_up:

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Re: Which is best and why?

Unread post by bambazonke » Sun Apr 24, 2011 2:41 pm

Also depends on time of year, if you are going school/public holidays I would avoid Skukuza, unless
you like to be crowded. Berg en dal chalets have a little more privacy and it is a nice camp if you have
children. For me Satara has the best layout of the bigger camps and it is an excellent viewing area
for the more general species as well at the Big 5, also seeing things regularly helps with the children.
For other facilities, i.e. shop. take away etc all three have.
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Re: Top planning hints for your Kruger visit

Unread post by ace717 » Tue May 10, 2011 7:55 am

Hi I'm from the USA and first time to Africa and want to spend 2 days at the park...either Lower Sabie or Crocodile Bridge....suggestions on which is better?
Also is it possible to get to Lower Sabie without a car, can you get a driver once in the park?
I'm leaning towards lower sabie but need to make sure I can actually get there!

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Re: Top planning hints for your Kruger visit

Unread post by DuQues » Tue May 10, 2011 9:39 am

Hi and welcome to the forums!

And I have bad news for you... You really, really, need a car!
Not a 4x4 or such, any small car will do, as long as it's not one with an open roof.

If you do not have a car you'll have to hire a taxi, which can be iffy in SA. That will drop you off in camp, and then.... You can do as good as nothing. All you can do is the sunsetdrive, and the next morning the morningdrive.

As for the camp, I actually think Skukuza would be better as I saw that you have not booked yet, but want to be there in 3 weeks.
Croc bridge and Lower Sabie ar popular camps, and may be fully booked. Skukuza is way larger and should have space. Check here what is available for you.
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