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To Camp or Not to Camp?! Whats your vote...

Discuss and find information on the Kruger National Park
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Maddie88
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To Camp or Not to Camp?! Whats your vote...

Unread post by Maddie88 » Mon Mar 09, 2009 11:40 am

Ok, so I'm 21, living in Australia for almost two years now and having grown up in Ellisras, heart of the bushveld, I must admit, I HATE camping. Don't know why, don't know how, I just do.

I would love to take my brother, his tagg along and all his friends to Kruger for a holiday when I get there in May, just the young ones, catching up and doing what we do best, yet, he won't go if we don't go camping. For some or other reason, it's his new found love and he wants to go bush.... What do I do?

I love my comfy bed, warm enclosed room when I wake, a nice hot relaxing shower on my own and a private braai to relax at in the evenings. :?

I have even offered to book us into the Luxury Guesthouses, but still he refuses....

I was hoping some of you could convince me otherwise, convince me that I love camping and why... :hmz:

Please share with me your amazing camping Kruger storeis and experiences. I'm a bit of a fussy one, but change is not always a bad thing I guess....
My Travel Tale: http://www.sanparks.org/forums/viewtopic.php?f=27&t=31301&start=0

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Suzz
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Re: To Camp or Not to Camp?! Whats your vote...

Unread post by Suzz » Mon Mar 09, 2009 12:02 pm

Hi Maddie88!
I was never a camp fundi, but fell in love with it. There are always clean ablution facilities so you can still take that hot shower. The nightsounds are so much more clearer when you camp. You tend to lose all those sounds when sitting in a bungalow or guesthouse. And just make sure to put up your tents and park your cars in a way that gives you privacy from other campers. Living in a bungalow is also nice and convenient, but I'm just trying to give you the pro's here of camping. :D
Planning our next trip...

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droopy
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Re: To Camp or Not to Camp?! Whats your vote...

Unread post by droopy » Mon Mar 09, 2009 12:24 pm

Maddie88, camping is :thumbs_up: :thumbs_up:
I have been camping now for my whole life, and will never exchange it for a bungalow or chalet, but if you don't like the idea of pitching up a tent, etc why not go for a Safari Tent???
I agree with Suzz, the night life is just great, and normally you can sit next to the fence, depending on what camp you'll be staying at.
So my vote is 100% for Camping :D
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Maddie88
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Re: To Camp or Not to Camp?! Whats your vote...

Unread post by Maddie88 » Mon Mar 09, 2009 12:40 pm

Thanx Suzz & Droopy!
Ok, so, which has been your favourite camp in Kruger in regards to the camp sites?

My brother also live in Nelspruit, Droopy, well, White River actually... Same place really....

I heard a while ago that the hyenas come into the camps and they have dragged a guy out of his tent before bu his ankles!!! :big_eyes: :big_eyes: :big_eyes:

Has anyone ver experienced/heard of something like that???
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Re: To Camp or Not to Camp?! Whats your vote...

Unread post by droopy » Mon Mar 09, 2009 12:48 pm

Hi Maddie88,
Also stay in White River YEAH!
I love Satara and Balule. But keep in mind Balule does not have power!!! So it's still a very raw camp, and I love it.
We camped at Lower Sabie 2 years ago, and believe it or not, we heard a noice in the early morning, went out and actually saw 2 hyenas in the camp,it was quite scary but nice to experience. :thumbs_up:
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Johan N
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Re: To Camp or Not to Camp?! Whats your vote...

Unread post by Johan N » Mon Mar 09, 2009 12:57 pm

Camping all the way - you can either camp in a caravan or a tent. I'm a caravanner so enjoy the "comfy bed" and privacy inside. The advantage of a braai at a campsite (i believe) is that people, can if they want to, talk to fellow campers about sightings as campers are generally very friendly. :thumbs_up:

We enjoy Lower Sabie (small stands) and Satara (large stands). Keep in mind that most stands are not grassed. They had a problem with a Hyaena at Lower Sabie but I believe he's been banned from camp :tongue: i.e. the hole in the outside fence has been repaired.

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Hugh
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Re: To Camp or Not to Camp?! Whats your vote...

Unread post by Hugh » Mon Mar 09, 2009 2:01 pm

Hire a motorhome and you sleep on a comfy bed and all the rest sleep in tents outside..Some motorhomes and a small shower and loo So you dont have to go trotting around in the dark. So you have your comfort and the rest have their camping. Problem solved.
We love camping but sleep off the ground in our old Toyota Venture.
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Re: To Camp or Not to Camp?! Whats your vote...

Unread post by DinkyBird » Mon Mar 09, 2009 2:28 pm

This is my story.

I have tried it all. Guesthouses, safari tents, bungalows, lux cottages and honestly none can compare to camping in Kruger, or in any SANPark.

When camping, one is always outside - you wake, and you go outside for your early morning bathroom call. You have your first cup of coffee outside. You cook and eat outside. I find I miss so much when staying in a bungalow. The morning birdsong, the dawn break .... and at sunset too.

There is nothing better than camping next to the fence and sleeping with just the flysheet on the tent closed giving one a view of the bush all night. Just a piece of nets between you and the bush, and the night sky.

I could go on - but I need to pack for our trip to Kruger tomorrow - camping of course :dance:

EDIT: One can make the bathroom calls very comfy too. Take along a bottle of toilet seat disinfectant spray, and wear slip slops in the showers.
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Maddie88
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Re: To Camp or Not to Camp?! Whats your vote...

Unread post by Maddie88 » Mon Mar 09, 2009 2:47 pm

Thanx Guys!! What great advice I have got so far, can't wait to hear your campfire stories.

I think that CamperVan idea is the best! Can't believe I didn't think of that! Now, can you rent those by the day? Do you need a special lisence? I can't even drive a minivan so I won't even dare, but I think my brother can... :hmz:

Here in australia they have these portable showers and toilets for camping!!! I couln't believe it when I saw them the other day! Have any of you ever used anything like that? hehehehehe

I reckon that would have to be weird!

Enjoy your Trip Dinkybird! Hope we hear all about it!
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Re: To Camp or Not to Camp?! Whats your vote...

Unread post by PetraJ » Mon Mar 09, 2009 3:03 pm

Hi Maddie, we had one of those old Volkswagen Kombi campers. The best trips with that camper - had 3 little boys aged 5,2 and 1 and what a feast. They were sitting either in their little safety stools or sleeping on my "modified" bed. We love parking at a water hole for more than an hour or so, and that was the best part of all. The toilet is in there, the gasstove for my coffee and the fridge for their milk. Even running water, and that is all next to one of the water holes! You can rent them by the day just like you would rent a car. Check the web for "rent a camper". We now only camp with a tent because the boys are grown up, and I usually get coffee for everybody while they put up my camp. :lol:

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Re: To Camp or Not to Camp?! Whats your vote...

Unread post by TheunsH » Mon Mar 09, 2009 3:38 pm

Hi Maddie88, my wife and I used to camp in the KNP prior to us having a daughter. For the past couple of years we were staying in the Bungalows...nothing wrong with it but wow those nights in Balule and Satara in our tent were awesome. :D

We use to camp in a little 3 man tent (It's about a meter high) and we are seriously thinking about buying a descent tent and start camping again! :thumbs_up:

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Re: To Camp or Not to Camp?! Whats your vote...

Unread post by Guinea Pig » Mon Mar 09, 2009 5:23 pm

I used to camp a lot before doing the bungalow thing. If you're iffy about it, Maddie, any SANParks campsite is the place to do it. Outdoor magazines in SA are filled with praise for them written by happy campers. I camped in most of KNP's campsites and honestly don't remember a single bad experience. Being with family and friends around a campfire? Better than a guesthouse anytime. 8)
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Re: To Camp or Not to Camp?! Whats your vote...

Unread post by OWLET » Mon Mar 09, 2009 6:32 pm

This is a very interesting thread. I have done a lot of camping, in a caravan, tent, and roof-top tent, and have also stayed in chalets, and guest houses. As far as I am concerned there is a place and time for each. When my children were young, camping was magic, all over South Africa - they loved the freedom, they always made friends in the camp grounds. Camping with a group of friends is also great - you can form a lager, and get together in the middle, and be very sociable.

But there are also some times when I want some luxury, like my own ablutions (nothing worse than having to wait for a shower or bath at 9 or 10 o'clock at night). For a weekend in the Kruger, chalets are the answer - don't have to tow a caravan or set up a tent, and all Sanparks accommodation is comfortable.

Then there are the tented camps, and they are quite different, but very comfortable. I am now at the stage of my life where the caravan has become another spare room in the back yard, and the tents and camping equipment is stored away. Maybe some time in the future I will yearn to caravan or camp again - you never know what the grand-children would like to do!! :hmz: :hmz: :hmz:

But enjoy your camping holiday - the atmosphere in Kruger is very special!! :) :)

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Maddie88
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Re: To Camp or Not to Camp?! Whats your vote...

Unread post by Maddie88 » Tue Mar 10, 2009 1:17 am

Thanx everyone! You have opened my eyes a bit bigger now and I'm kind of looking forward to it now.... :D

There's just one problem I'm having now, I don't have any camping equipment! :shock: Is it possible to rent some? My brother has only just started his fettish so I'm not sure if he's got all he needs. He loves going to his girlfriends game farm in the Timbavati for a "Survivor Weekend" with the boys, crazy youngsters I say(he's almost 25). All they need is a tent, flashlight and the booze.

I was wondering if it was actually possible to rent all these goodies....

Thanx for the great advice again! Keep them coming... Does anyone have photo's of the campsites???? I've been to Kruger every year of my life and I have no idea what their camping facilities look like.... :huh:
My Travel Tale: http://www.sanparks.org/forums/viewtopic.php?f=27&t=31301&start=0

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Re: To Camp or Not to Camp?! Whats your vote...

Unread post by Meandering Mouse » Tue Mar 10, 2009 6:03 am

Maddie, I don't know how to direct you, but EJ did the most brilliant tour and posted pictures of all the camp sites with details on all the facilities.

I am fairly new to camping, but I have grown to love it. I once compared camping to driving a moter bike. I used to have a motor bike when I was very much younger and the thrill of the open road was like nothing you can imagine. You feel so alive.

Same with camping. You are close to the elements, the noises, the smells, the wind, the rawness of nature. The heart beats a little faster, the smile's a little wider.

Having said that, I am happy with anything that is available. If you have a sense of adventure, then it is one of those experiences to go onto your "to-do" list.

In terms of equipment, find out what you still might need and get back to us.
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