Kruger Park trip

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Mar 5th, 2013, 06:33 AM
  #1
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Kruger Park trip

Single older guy, I am flying to Joberg, renting a car there and driving to Kruger. When I get to Kruger I want to drive from south to north for 7 full days stoping at different camps thru the park. After leaving the north end drive back toward Joberg to catch the plane. Is there a small city going and coming from the Park to stop in that would be interesting? One in the south, one in the north side. When in the park does it make sense to stay in one camp one night, drive to another the next day sightseeing along the way...and do this for 6-7 days?? Is there an advantage to stay in a camp for 2 nights?? I plan to rent a small hut or furnished tent. I'll eat out of my cooler or in the cafeteria. How much do furnished tents of small huts cost?? I rerad they have drives from some of the camps(day or night)...how much does that cost?? what are 2 things I must see in Joberg or that reagion? thanks, paul t
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Mar 5th, 2013, 10:12 AM
  #2
 
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If you not already gone to the South African National Park (SANP) Kruger web site then do it now. It tells you everything you need to know about Kruger, types of lodging/camping, locations of such, distances between, much more. You will find hut/bungalow availability by camp, date, and rate. A nice private bungalow for example at camp Satara is 850 Rand or about $90USA.

Kruger is s wonderful, we love it, been there three times, all in month of September. We also love the private camps around/outside of Kruger. Here's links to a few of my photos taken in Kruger -
link to all safari photos - http://tomgraham.smugmug.com/
link to our 2009 safari in Kruger -
http://tomgraham.smugmug.com/SAFARI-...9892105_RpLrLk

regards - tom
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Mar 8th, 2013, 10:32 PM
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I love Kruger too. When I was there 2 years ago for 6 days, we only stayed in the south. 3 nights at Berg en Dal, 2 Skukuza and one at Lower Sabie. Lower Sabie was our favorite but as it is very popular we could only get one night here.

We might go back in May to do a trip North to South but it would be for 15-17 days. I think your 7 days is too short to drive the whole park. I really like spending more than 1 night in a camp, for me 3-4 is ideal. We are pretty hard core self drivers on safari, up and out when the gate opens and usually back in camp just at closing time. I like to get settled into a camp and not pack up every day. It is also enjoyable to spend some time just being in camp, sitting on your deck with a glass of wine or taking a walk in the camp (Berg has a nice Rhino travel in camp and within 15 minutes of arriving we saw 3 rhino right up to the fence).

In the 6 days in the south, I don't think we ever drove the same route twice. There are some great picnic areas to stop at and don't miss some time at the various hides, where you can get out of the car and sit and observe the wildlife.

We didn't do any of the organised drives as we saw so much on our own, but you can get the prices on the sanparks site. I do recommend doing a bush walk, this was one of the highlights. We did one from Berg and saw rhino very close and elephants at a distance. I haven't been yet, but at Oliphants they offer trail bike rides which look great.

If you are interested, I have photos of our trip including some of the camps where we stayed here :

http://kellyee21.smugmug.com/SouthAfricaApril2011-1

Have a great trip.
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Mar 8th, 2013, 10:42 PM
  #4
 
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I forgot to add that you may want to look at the Panorama route if you are looking for a stop on the way or back. I haven't been yet but will go if we make this trip. You could stay in or around Graskop.
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Mar 12th, 2013, 04:37 PM
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A panorama route? North of Jo'burg is territory worth exploring. In addition to Kruger (www.krugerpark.co.za). There is the Blyde River Canyon and lunch stop at Graskop. Also old gold mining town of Pilgrim's Rest, lunch at Royal Hotel restaurant. Go to www.places.co.za and type in Pilgrim's Rest.

Surely want to see Maropeng with a fine museum exhibit about the dawn of human existence (www.maropeng.co.za) and enter Sterkfontein Cave. See www.discover-yourself.co.za). And how about evening entertainment in a Shangaan settlement with dancing and food? www.shangaan.co.za

Bill in Boston
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Mar 16th, 2013, 06:49 AM
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The SANParks website also has its own excellent forum where you'll find a lot more info and tips about all aspects of visiting KNP - http://www.sanparks.org/forums/viewforum.php?f=67. That's not to direct you away from our nice hosts here at Fodors, it's just that most of the people round here seems to be able to stretch to the hugely expensive private camps when they come to South Africa. You'll find a lot of info here about Sabi Sands etc, but much less about the SANParks accommodation. We've visited Kruger twice and it's one of my favourite places on the planet, not just for the amazing scenery and wildlife - but because you can explore it on your own terms as a self-driver without eye-watering expense.

Do be sure to book accommodation well in advance as demand often outstrips supply (especially during SA school holidays!). Bear in mind also that you'll have to pay the daily "conservation fees" on top of the accom cost - this is charged at a much higher rate for foreign visitors than locals, but it's still great value.

Roads in KNP (both tarred and dirt) are normally well maintained and there is good sign-posting (on little stone cairns) to rest camps, viewpoints etc. Kellyee is right that 7 days is insufficient to travel the length of the park from south to north - it is after all bigger than some European countries and the low speed limit is strictly enforced. Don't under-estimate the travel times either as you'll be making frequent stops for animal spotting and photos. For a first time visitor, I'd recommend concentrating on the southern half of the park and staying a couple of nights at each rest camp.

We always self-drive in a hire car from JNB. A normal car is perfectly adequate for touring KNP (no need for 4x4), but some visitors (certainly the locals!) prefer a more rugged SUV type vehicle with a slightly higher viewing position - obviously that's more expensive though.

Graskop/Blyde River is a must-see on the way to/from JNB.
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Mar 17th, 2013, 09:52 PM
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Due to major flooding this year, many of the camps in the northern part of Kruger are closed. Some have major damage and may remain closed for some time. Check the SANParks website (on the home page or under "news") for up to date info.

Here's the time/distance info so you can plan easier:

http://www.sanparks.org/parks/kruger...ween_camps.pdf
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May 18th, 2013, 05:39 AM
  #8
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Thanks to all of you, everyone was spot on except for the 7 days. I did go south to north and stayed in 6 camps for 7 total nights and did not feel rushed and saw over 2000 large animals and almost got run over by 4 elephants. It was spectacular and I will be going back within 12 months as I bought a year pass. I did go back thru the Blyde canyon area and it was also great the people and places to stay were wonderful. The only hard part is getting there....2 full days of travel,, yuk! paul
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May 18th, 2013, 08:30 AM
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Great to hear you enjoyed it, and saw so much wildlife - you want to watch you don't get too close to those eles! I fully agree that once you've been once you'll want to go again. By annual pass, I assume you're referring to the Wild Card. It definitely works out more economical for international visitors if they can get more than one short trip out of it.
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