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General advice needed

Discuss and find information on the Kruger National Park
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Re: First time in Krugher (and South Africa)

Unread post by balengo » Thu Jun 30, 2011 2:24 pm

Bush Baptist wrote:
balengo wrote:Do I need to book walks in advance or I could get to the camp and book for the morning after?
End of july, out of school holidays, should be ok to book when you get to the camp. N.B. Just remember you will be self catering in Tamboti and Croc Bridge, there is no restaurant, but take aways at CB and I believe a 'cafe' at Orpen, 2 km from Tam.

balengo wrote:Another stupid question: how do you organize your day in the park?
I mean: first of all early exit at the moment of the gate opening.. and then? do you raom all day long or you split the tour in 2? morning and evening drive? Do you calculate the returning back to the camp at night for being there at the right moment of closing gates? (I know these are stupid questions....).!!
There is no stupid question. You organize your day as you want. You can cover about 200 km per day. Get a map book at the gate. There are 5 or 6, all good. We leave as the gates open and often change the planned route. We do mainly day drives. Others go on a morning ride of 3-4 hours and return to camp for lunch, then do a 3 hour afternoon drive. Just make sure there are pitstops en route and that you are stocked up with food & drink if you are not going to pass through any rest camp, or SOUTHERN picnic site. I am usually back in camp with a minute or 2 to spare....

balengo wrote:Do walks start from camp or are you going to drive from camp to the walking area?
You meet at reception and the guide drives you in a SANP vehicle to the sart of the walk, and brings you back afterwards.

thank you very much! :wink:
I hope that main camps have well stocked shops for 3-4 days supplies...
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Re: First time in Krugher (and South Africa)

Unread post by arks » Thu Jun 30, 2011 8:13 pm

balengo wrote:My concern is about meat and vegetables... I can't take it with me for 6 days!!!

You can easily take 6 days' worth of meat and veggies with you, all you need is a cooler bag — sold at the Phalaborwa Pick 'n Pay — and some ice.
The butcher at the Pick 'n Pay will vacuum pack your meat for you in meal-sized portions and if you order your meat ahead, it can even be frozen for you.
Then put the frozen, vacuum-packed meat into your insulated cooler bag with some bags of ice.
At each camp, transfer your frozen meat into the freezer in your fridge and when you move camp, put the frozen meat, with more ice, back into the cooler bag.
You can keep your veggies cool in a separate cooler bag with ice and pop them into the fridge once you've arrived at camp.

This works for me over a period of several weeks — at least for the meat, fresh veggies usually only last about a week, but frozen meat lasts easily for a couple of weeks if you plan and keep what you're not ready to use frozen.
You should be fine for six days! :D

Edit: I use both frozen water bottles and frozen juice boxes as "ice" for my cooler bags when traveling between camps.
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Re: Top planning hints for your Kruger visit

Unread post by Cape of Storms » Mon Jul 18, 2011 12:38 pm

I have been to the park almost anually for almost 15 years and last year did my first Trail.
In April I did another and now I am addicted.
I am 34 year old female and moderately fit.
The normal trails provide all you need except for drinks (they do have water and coffee)
It is the best way to see Kruger and if like me you like the peace and quiet you will love it!

Plus the rangers and guides are amazing. Every hour you learn something new!!!

All I can say is GO for it!!!

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Unread post by unclek » Tue Sep 13, 2011 1:57 pm

Hi folks,

We are headed to Lower Sabie towards the end of December this year. Lower Sabie, as it came highly recommended from an active Sanparks forumite (who also happens to be my brilliant travel agent)

This is our first "in the wild" experience and are very much looking forward to it.

Your tips and guidance will be greatly appreciated.

1) Our preference is to fly to Kruger from Jo'berg. Would you recommend any airlines/flights?
2) Which is the closest airport to Lower Sabie?
3) Do we have to hire a car? Any other alternatives?
4) I assume accomodation can be booked through this website? How about game drives and experiences?
5) I assume there is food available at the camp? or does this need to be pre-organised?
6) Any safety concerns?

Many thanks in advance,


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Unread post by wbevents » Tue Sep 13, 2011 2:10 pm

Welcome to the forum unclek !!

Yes Lower Sabie are one of our favourites, but it's allot of peoples favourite thus on of the camps mostly on 95 -100% occupancy whole year around

1) Our preference is to fly to Kruger from Jo'burg. Would you recommend any airlines/flights?
SAA, Kulula all fly to Kruger Mpumalanga airport which will be your nearest airport
2) Which is the closest airport to Lower Sabie?
3) Do we have to hire a car? Any other alternatives?
Yes, do have to hire car for Kruger as itself drive.
4) I assume accommodation can be booked through this website? How about game drives and experiences?
Yes you can book trough this site but I do hope your brilliant travel agent did already book for Lower Sabie for December this year otherwise you are really going to struggle for place..?
5) I assume there is food available at the camp? or does this need to be pre-organised?
All the main camps in Kruger do have restaurants and shops were you can get food, etc
6) Any safety concerns?
Yes, do not get out of your vehicle in the Kruger, only at designated spots !!

You are going to have an expereince of a life time !
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Unread post by DinkyBird » Tue Sep 13, 2011 3:06 pm

1) I believe once you land at the park, you are relatively safe even if you were to hire a car and do the self-drive. I would really just be hiring the car to get to "base camp".
Do you mean safe as in from the animals, or crime in SA? On both the answer is yes, you are safe. Animals will not bother you as long as you are inside your car; and crime wise, we personally have never had a problem driving to and from the park. If you land at KMIA (Nelsrpuit) the road to the nearest Kruger gate is really safe and easy to navigate and well marked. With regard to crime in SA, the same common sense rules apply as in anywhere else in the world.

2) Do people tend to explore on their own or stick to the professionally organised game drives? Quite a bit of difference in the two I assume?
Personal choice. I would self drive during the day and at night take a sunset drive, and an early morning bush walk.
3) Does the camp organise any transport from the airport and back? I am a little nervous on the self drive option as I wouldn't know where to start.
Not that I know of - see my reply to 1) here.

Edit: I see on this useful link there is a shuttle service.

4) What is the link to book game drives / experiences? or is this something we can do once we arrive there?
Rather book beforehand to avoid disappointment. You will need to email your booking through. Have a look at this reservations link.

Please feel free to ask any Q's you have :thumbs_up:
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Unread post by rusky » Wed Sep 14, 2011 3:42 am

I have been boasting that Kruger is THE destination to visit in S. Africa and you forumites are the tops when it comes to helping out with planning a trip.

Some answers
1. You definitely need a car (hire).
If you are flying to KMIA (Nelspruit) you can rent the vehicle from here – please book in advance though.
In the park organised drives are conducted by the camp (eg Lower Sabie LS).
There are normally morning (3 hrs from dawn), evening 3 hours to dusk) and sunset (3 hrs from dusk) drives.
Bigger camps like LS also have morning bushwalks – a totally different experience to driving.
However the best bit about Kruger is being able to drive around in the park between dawn and dusk on your own.
The place is well planned with picnic areas/toilets/camps with day visitor areas at about 1 hour intervals. Roads are sealed or unsealed but of good quality (especially in the South of the park)
2. Book your accommodation pronto.
Dec is holiday season.
When we checked (almost a month ago now) accommodation was available but you’ve gotta get moving on this.
Use the website to book accommodation, drives , walks.
You don't need a travel agent (can't believe I said that)
3. LS has a restaurant and buffet for all meals.
The restaurant has possibly one of the best views in the park – overlooking the Sabie river with wildlife (elephants, antelope, hippo, crocs) a stones throw away.
The food and service is a bit erratic – just depends on the day.
We loved the chicken pies and boerwoers(sausage) in rolls with sheba (sauce)
Most visitors do their own food.
Ingredients can be purchased from the shop within the camp or you can shop on the way in.
Select accommodation that has cooking facilities and utensils included ( Luxury Tents, Chalets, Bungalows). Just be aware that the shop and the restaurant do not have a huge range of items but what they have is more than sufficient keeping in mind that you are in a wildlife reserve.
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Unread post by noel » Wed Sep 14, 2011 2:47 pm

Apart from the excellent advice already given, I would suggest you do not confine yourself to Lower Sabie, as great as it is.
Consider other camps -Berg n' Dal is is a wonderful camp too, more modern, and more spacious, as the chalet are far apart enough to allow privacy and also has a large dam on the doorstep with a wonderful walk along its edge.
Crocodile Bridge too is wonderful, also on a river, as is Skukuza.
Pretoriuskop too is wonderful.
Depending on how many days you are planning to be in the park, I would suggest spreading your stay over a few camps-that's the best way to get a feel for KNP.
Each camp is unique, with its own contribution to a wonderful experience that is Kruger.
Especially if you opt (which you must do) for the self drive.
2-3 days in each camp is the most rewarding.
Consider buying your own food to prepare-some of the camps food can be horrendous and potentially it can spoil a wonderful time in the Park.
You should have very little difficulty in finding a suitable place to but food in Nelspruit, White River, Malelane or Komatiepoort.
It is also a good way to get to know your neighbours for some chit chat.
And then as far as booking on-line- check every day-there are always-I repeat always cancellations, but then you must be quick.
I have had several occasions in which I have found bookings on the day before I arrived, and also have found accommodation the day I arrived there, though I would not recommend taking that risk if you are coming from abroad.

Hope you get your accommodation.
Remember to bring you swimming costume (almost said swimming gear then I had visions of someone arriving at LS with snorkels, oxygen tanks and the likes :D ) as it can be unbearably hot in December.
Most camps have wonderful swimming pools.

You do not have to confine yourself to the south of the Park.
The North is even better, less crowded, and you can fly to places such as Phalaborwa.
Satara is well known for lion and wild dog sightings.
You also get to see more big tuskers in the North.
But I should mention that the north is even hotter.
Personally, I would recommend a drive from Johannesburg to the KNP- but then I am a local and have been doing that for 30 odd years- I never get tired of it!

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Unread post by ockiev » Wed Sep 14, 2011 3:14 pm

The closest airport will be the one at Nelspruit/White River.
It has car hire facilities there and there are shopping malls close by to get stuff for self catering if you want to do it that way.

The closest gate from White River/ Nelspruit is Numbi Gate, not recommended due to road conditions.
The best is to enter via Phabeni Gate or Paul Kruger Gate.
From White River travel to Hazyview.
Phabeni Gate 12.5 KM from Hazyview and Kruger Gate 32 km.

When booking your accommodation at LS or Skukuza make sure that you have allowed enough time to travel from KMIA to the camp as you need to be in that camp before the camp gate closed 18H30.
On the travel link check the "how to get there' tab, it will give you the estimate travel time.
I suggest that you add a hour on to the estimated time as you never know what will be on or next to the road "sightings" Rhino or Elli road block, that could delay your time of arrival.

Car Hire:

I suggest that when book a car through Avis Car Rental book it from one of the following groups: K,L or I. Remember December is raining season and the grass can be high that time of the year and you need something higher.

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Visit to Kruger Park in August 2012

Unread post by Audrey » Thu Feb 09, 2012 11:21 am

Hello there,

I am planning my second trip to the park in August this year.
Was thinking of going on a night drive, but was unsure if children were allowed.
Will have a child of the age of 5 and one of the age of 12 travelling with me.
Could anyone give me any advice. Thanks

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Re: Visit to Kruger Park in August 2012

Unread post by Bush Baptist » Thu Feb 09, 2012 2:09 pm

I am pretty sure it is 6 and up.
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14 Days in the Park- What season,camps, accommodation types?

Unread post by BerkiSA » Sun Apr 15, 2012 11:43 am

Hi all,

If you had 14 days to spend in the park, what season, camps, accommodation types would you choose?

Looking for ideas for my next trip :dance:




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Re: 14 Days in the Park- What season,camps, accommodation ty

Unread post by threedogs » Sun Apr 15, 2012 12:33 pm

A lot depends on budget, preferred accommodation style and whether you can handle the busier south or want to seek out quieter places. For our next trip we decided on a few things:

1). longer amount of time - 3 weeks
2). we had a smaller budget so a mix of accommodation utilising mostly cheaper budget safari tents, unequipped bungalows and huts but also a couple of good bungalows too.
3). a complete mix n match to see some of the south, central and north.

We choose to start at Phalaborwa every time, so we will stay at Shimuwini, then Shingwedzi, Punda Maria, back down to Shipandani Hide then Letaba. On to Satara, Lower Sabie and then finally Tamboti and last night in Phalaborwa with a Bush Braai from the P'borwa gate! We will definitely do a couple of walks, but haven't decided which camps yet. We will be in KNP from third week of August to mid September which is the same time I went last year. It was quite dry already and so visibility for game viewing was good even though the bush itself can look a bit scruffy. I love the weather at that time coming from home which is wet and bleak in winter and early Spring! Having said that I really would like to see Kruger green and blooming. But that will be another trip.

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Re: 14 Days in the Park- What season,camps, accommodation ty

Unread post by roaneric » Mon Apr 16, 2012 11:01 am

Hi there

We like to go in the winter. The weather is perfect then, not to hot during the day.

We like to book accommodations that have a view, but the bungalows in skukuza, in a circle is also nice. We always try to book something with a bathroom, but a kitchen is not always necessary.

Our favorite camps are Shimuwini, Letaba and Lower sabie and we always stop at Olifants for a photo of our kids at the little elephant statue.

Enjoy planning. How long are you planning to stay?
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Re: 14 Days in the Park- What season,camps, accommodation ty

Unread post by roaneric » Mon Apr 16, 2012 1:00 pm

That looks good.

Why don't you try to fit in a few bush camps while you are there. Shimuwini is my favorite and so nice to sit there on the veranda and looking at the view... see these Photo's

And Sirheni is also VERY nice. See Photo's Even if you stop over for just one night in the bush camps. The atmosphere there is just amazing.
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