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Kruger - Lodging Reservation Canceled - Need Alternate Suggestions

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Mar 29th, 2006, 08:37 AM
  #1
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Kruger - Lodging Reservation Canceled - Need Alternate Suggestions

Thanks in advance for any feedback. I have found this message board to be extremely useful in planning my trip. My friend and I have a vacation planned to SA - Kruger, Madikwe, and Cape Town in July. We are staying at Elephant Plains for 2 nights, then we were plannning to self-drive through Kruger and stay at Olifants and Talamati for the next 3 nights, followed by 3 nights at Buffalo Ridge. We just found out yesterday that our Kruger reservation was automatically canceled by Siyabona because we did not pay the deposit on time. They did not send me a reminder email and I forgot about it since I booked everything back in December. We are having a difficult time finding lodging in Kruger for 3 nights since it is so close to our trip (and it is difficult to contact reservations agents at Kruger). We might be able to stay at Punda Maria or Shingwedzi for 2 nights, but it looks like that would be at least a 10 hour drive from Elephant Plains. Does anyone have any suggestions for alternate, reasonably priced accomodation in or near Kruger? Are there any other places we can drive to for 3 days that would be an interesting side trip instead of staying in Kruger prior to our drive to Madikwe?
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Mar 29th, 2006, 08:40 AM
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I forgot to mention that we are staying 1 night in Pretoria between the Kruger and Madikwe legs of the trip.
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Mar 29th, 2006, 08:50 AM
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Call SANP in Pretoria +27 (012) 428-9111. Or better yet, you can check all availability within Kruger on www.sanparks.org
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Mar 29th, 2006, 10:05 AM
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I used sanparks.org to check the availability, but when I received an email response back the availability was more limited than it showed online. The agent who emailed me said that only Punda Maria and Shingwedzi are available and that they are not available for 3 nights. I will try the phone number you provided tomorrow.
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Mar 29th, 2006, 10:12 AM
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Call them directly. I have worked with SANP to book my lodging in Kgalagadi, and they are very helpful.

No where do they suggest that they will send a reminder email, so I'm not sure why you were counting on that.
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Mar 29th, 2006, 03:15 PM
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Punda Maria and Shingwedzi are in the northern half of Kruger park. This is an excellent area for bird watching but NOT a good area for game viewing. The northern half of the park is mostly dense Mopanie forest/bush which which makes game viewing VERY difficult (and I also suspect does not support the diversity of mammal species that the rest of the park does).

If this is your first trip to Kruger and you are interested in general game-viewing then you MUST stay in the central and southern section of the park (no further North than Olifants camp). I fear that if you stay in the Northern half you'll come away with completely the wrong impression of Kruger! Call the central reservations line as thit_cho suggested (they are quite efficient in my experience) and see what they can do for you.
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Mar 29th, 2006, 09:11 PM
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I received an email back from Siyabona today and they were able to reinstate my original reservation for Olifants and Talimati. Thank you all for your advice. I am happy that my original plans are back in place, and I'm looking forward to game viewing on my first trip to Kruger.
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Mar 29th, 2006, 10:29 PM
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Congratulations, those camps should give you a good experience!
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Apr 10th, 2006, 12:01 PM
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We are also currently planning to spend 2 nights in Elephant Plains and 2 nights in a Kruger rest camp, Satara. Please write back and let us know how it went. I have been wondering if we would be better of spending the 2 nights in another private camp, rather than Satara.

Thanks!
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