Eating and Cooking in Kruger

Oct 10th, 2010, 12:07 AM
  #1  
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Eating and Cooking in Kruger

Does anyone know if the communal kitchens in Kruger's camps have pots/pans, etc.? Has anyone cooked in the communal kitchens? Any recommendations for how to survive as a vegan in Kruger? Any good places to shop for natural foods between Nelspruit and Kruger?

Thank you,

Audrey
asilverfoote is offline  
Oct 10th, 2010, 07:16 AM
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The SANParks website describes each rest camp and if the kitchens provide utensils and cooking implements when you click on the accommodations you are interested in. I can't answer the rest of your questions.
christabir is offline  
Oct 10th, 2010, 08:57 AM
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Thanks. I will look again. What I have noticed is that some say "no utensils", but I haven't known exactly what that means. When I wrote them and asked, they wrote back, "It means there are no utensils"!
Thank you. Audrey
asilverfoote is offline  
Oct 10th, 2010, 09:08 AM
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I don't think that the communal kitchens have cooking utensils for common use, as chrisabir says, some types of accommodation include it and some don't. When we're self-catering/camping somewhere like that we buy a cheap pan and couple of tin plates plus utensils and do stews and pasta - anything that can be done in one pot. We're not big meat eaters so our standby is pasta with a jar of sauce, but if we can find fresh vegetables & potatoes we'd just put them all in pot with a tin of beans & a tin of tomatoes & some curry powder to make a passable stew. You can use the braai or the camp kitchen (using a fire is nicer!) You can find these things even in a small supermarket and also in the camp shops in Kruger. I don't know about the shops between Nelspruit and Kruger. I think a vegan would struggle to find a vegan meal in the Kruger restaurants, but I haven't been for a few years so maybe someone else is more up to date.
tockoloshe is offline  
Oct 10th, 2010, 01:01 PM
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Thank you so much. I appreciate the suggestions.
Audrey
asilverfoote is offline  
Oct 10th, 2010, 01:36 PM
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Some (I believe all) of the camps with communal kitchens DO have pots and pans; I know because I've used them. The utensils for your unit are stored in locked cabinets in the communal kitchen that have your unit number on them, so you don't have to worry about someone else using the particular pan you need. They're well stocked, with dinner plates, luncheon plates, cereal bowls, soup bowls, silverware, cups and saucers, tea pots, coffee pots, wine glasses, tumblers, skillets, pots, pans, spatulas, etc. We're never had any problems using the communal kitchens. Sometimes they're a bit far away from your unit, but not far enough that the food gets cold or anything.

"No utensils" means there is nothing at all, not even a coffee pot or mug.

The vegetable selection in the camp shops can be a little iffy sometimes, but they always have something. We always stock up on veggies in Nelspruit or whatever town is near the gate we're using, and hope to supplement at the camp shops.
Celia is offline  
Oct 10th, 2010, 04:24 PM
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sorry if I was wrong about the communal kitchens - must have changed since we were there!
tockoloshe is offline  
Oct 10th, 2010, 08:51 PM
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I did just look at all of the camps I will be in, and saw:
"Cutlery and Plates Hampers (from Reception).
Is that what you are referring to Celia?
Thanks,
Audrey
asilverfoote is offline  
Oct 10th, 2010, 10:13 PM
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Buy one of those big ice chests (they only cost about $12) at the supermarket. You can use these to transport your groceries from place to place (or camp to camp) without worrying about spoilage (buy some ice as well).
Before you head off to Kruger, buy your groceries at a supermarket in Nelspruit. Riverside Mall is enormous and is home to a Pik-n-Pay. The variety of groceries will astound you. As a vegan, you will have no problem finding groceries.
The wine selection is also a dream.
If I think I am going to be doing cooking on a trip, I generally bring my own wooden spoon, a pairing knife with a blade cover for slicing fruit, bread or cheese for impromptu picnics, a corkscrew, and a tiny can/bottle top opener. I also bring my own sponge and a small container of dishwashing detergent, but you won't need these for the communal kitchens in Kruger as cleaning supplies are provided.
We bought a couple of metal cups while we were there. They came in handy.
As I am a tea drinker, I also bring a small thermos on all trips.
We found the communal kitchens in Kruger to be well-equipped. They also offer hot water dispensers, for making tea or coffee or for boiling water.
Diamantina is offline  
Oct 11th, 2010, 02:12 PM
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Audrey, I think the hampers available from reception are for use in the units that have stoves and fridges; I think when it's communal kitchen, the supplies are all there in the kitchen. But it has been a few years since we were at a communal kitchen place, so things may be different now.

The hampers that are available from reception cost a few rands rental, and have everything you need. We've been in several camps that had these hampers. However, it might be worthwhile to e-mail and ask exactly what the hampers contain. Things may have changed since our last trip.

We always buy a cooler as described above, and we also usually travel with a diaper bag, because it's insulated enough for things like wine and veggies.

Celia
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Oct 11th, 2010, 08:16 PM
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Thank you Celia. that is helpful.
How did you do driving on the "other" side of the road?
Audrey
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Oct 11th, 2010, 08:31 PM
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Audrey - I'm so nervous to drive (and it'll be a manual) on the other side! I have a friend who rented a manual transmission car in Ireland (other side driving, too). She promises me it's not as difficult as it looks. I don't believe her.
christabir is offline  
Oct 12th, 2010, 03:53 AM
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Audrey,

Do you have any ideas on what you might want to cook? That could help you determine what (if any) utensils you may need to pack with you. I like to backpack, and there are lots of miniature versions of common utensils that are made for backpackers.

Christabir--it's really not that difficult to drive on the left. For me, it's more difficult to drive a manual (I'm young and learned to drive only on automatics). I borrowed a car with a manual before the trip to get the hang of it. Once you're in Kruger, it's really easy to get the hang of driving on the left, and it's a safe place to get used to it. I got so used to driving on the left that I had to force myself to drive on the right once I got back home.
Gritty is offline  
Oct 12th, 2010, 05:52 AM
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About driving, Audrey, we got used to the left when we were living in SA for several months, and driving ourselves to work and wherever we went. Jim was actually there for several months before I arrived. He had to be vigilant, but he got the hang of it pretty quickly. I'm ok on streets and highways, but not so good at estimating distances to the sides of the car, like in parking and knowing where the shoulder is. The biggest problems arise in parking lots and other places where you're not on an actual road; it's easy to forget and revert to instinct. Now when we visit SA, we always have the passenger remind the driver at intersections and turns to "keep left". This helps keep the driver's mind in the right place.
Celia is offline  
Oct 12th, 2010, 11:48 AM
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Thanks so much, It is fun and helpful to hear everyone's experiences and solutions. I don't know what I will be cooking, although my daughter, who has been in Ghana since July, is excited to eat foods she doesn't get there. It just depends what we find to work with that is vegan (for me), and vegetarian (for her). She is looking forward to tomato sauce in a jar, and cheese! Audrey
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