Kruger and around 8 days January – feedback wanted
Replies: 4 - Last Post: Sep 24, 2012 1:11 AM Last Post By: RudiK
Sep 23, 2012 6:46 AM
Kruger and around 8 days January – feedback wantedWhat do you think about this plan? (many thanks to Rudi K for answers to other persons in this forum, I’ve stolen a lot of your ideas).
We’re a couple around 60, very experienced travelers. I’ve been to South Africa twice, but never to Kruger. My woman friend has never seen wildlife.
We fly in to Jo’burg from Denmark and after about a week we fly on to spend another week around Cape Town.
Day 1: (Sat January 26 2013) Arrive at Joburg airport 10 AM, i.e. leave airport in rented car 12:00.
N4 to Belfast, Dullstroom, Lydenberg /Mashishing, Long Tom Pass (4 h 10 min 325 km) Stop at the view-point before descending the Devil's Staircase and stop again at the replica of the Long Tom cannon.
Day 2 (Sunday full moon) Morning: Panorama route (God´s Window, Bourke´s Luck Potholes, three Rondawels…). Down to Hoedspruit.
Arrive at Gomo Gomo Game lodge in Klaserie before 2 PM www.gomogomo.co.za 3.800 ZAR/Double/day
Day 3 Gomo Gomo
Day 4 Leave Gomo Gomo at 11 AM after game ride and guided walk. Drive Phalaborwa Gate (2 hours), arrive Letaba Camp around 4 PM (gates close 18:30). Either that evening or next morning drive to the river about 5 to 10 km north of the camp
Day 5 Drive Letabe to Satara Restcamp, 72 km. Join the sunset drive which leaves Satara about 1/2 hour before the camp closes. Book activities in advance by mail?
Day 6 Stay at Satara. Morning do a bush walk (starts very early and is about 3 hours long). Tours in the area.
Day 7 Drive Satara to til Lower Sabie Restcamp 93 km. Start as early as possible
- S100, At the end turn south to the
- S41. Enjoy N'wanetsi dam and Sweni hide and then continue on the
- S37 (Trichardt road) after which you continue on the
- S35 to Orpen Dam loop (alternativt Orpen Dan Loop efter morgenmad) to Tswhokwane. Take a (breakfast)break at Tshokwane After you have left Tshokwane take the first tar-road left (H10) (Good chance for Rhinos) to Nkumbe
- H10 for 10 km and onto
- S122 (Muntshe loop) and
- S29 (Mlondozi road) to
Reserve at least ½ hour time for sunset dam by Lower Sabie.
Day 8 Drive to Crocodile Bridge gate 36 km 1½-2 h. On to Nelspruit Airport 120 km, 1t:51 min. Plane departure for Cape Town (direct) 13:15.
My questions are:
Q1 Overall comments on the itinerary. Ideas for changes?
Q2 Day one: A good place to stop for a light lunch/sandwich about one hour from the airport?
Q3 Day one: Where should we stop for the night? We’ve been on a plane all night after a working week. So don’t want to push it. Ideas: Misty Mountain Chalet by Long Tom Pass www.mistymountain.co.za or Graskop Hotel www.graskophotel.co.za
Q4 How do you make sure that you get a rented car with high seating for the view in Kruger? You order the size of car, not how high you’re seated.
Q5 Is a GPS of any value in Kruger?
Q6 Should we book an extra day at Gomo Gomo and perhaps skip the stay-over day at Satara – or take both?
Sep 23, 2012 4:29 PM
1Q2: Dullstroom is a good place for lunch, but it's about 2 hours from the AirPort. There Are several "gas stations" along the way with Spurs restaurants and sandwiches etc, the parking lot has guards.
Q6: I can't comment on Satara, but last year I stayed at Royal Legend Safari Lodge in Timbavati, and when you go out on game drives you go to many of the same places as Gomo Gomo does, and I must say that you're in for a treat. We spent four nights there, and every day we saw something new and exciting like bushbaby and civet.
I see that you have written down how long it will take to drive from A to B, I hope you have some leeway because very often there's roadwork or some other delay.
Sep 23, 2012 6:53 PM
2Day 4: you don't need to drive to the river - the river runs right by the camp and provides nice game viewing from within the camp. You can head out any number of roads from the camp itself but yes the road along the river is scenic. If you are not staying at Satara on Day 5 (?) you won't be able to do the sunset drive as you can't get back to Letaba in time for the camp gate closing. You can book the sanparks drive in advance (which I have done before) but we have also not had a problem getting places on drives 'on the day'.
GPS complete waste of time in KNP - not needed at all. You cannot get lost in Kruger. You need to book the right rental car 'group' ie a SUV if you want higher seating. Very hard to book a specific vehicle but you can always make a request and see what the response is. If you can I would book an extra night at Gomo Gomo (its a great camp) and still keep the Satara stop over.
Tip: Take a very good torch/spotlight (minus the heavy batteries which you buy when you get there at camp shop) and do your own night walk around the camps. We saw amazing wildlife in the camps and just outside the fences - civet, hyena, buffalo, porcupine, waterbuck, bushbabies, hippo, owls, genets at Letaba and Satara.
Sep 24, 2012 12:29 AM
3Now that is what I call detailed planning.
I have not been to Gomo-Gomo lodge, but have been to other lodges in the Klaserie.Umbabat area and thoroughly enjoyed the visits. I would have preferred to visit Kruger park first and then go on to Klaserie, lest you find Kruger an anti-climax after the (possible) close encounters with the big 5 in Klaserie.
Day 4: Letaba is about 50km from Phalaborwa gate. Allow at least 2 hours to get to the camp. The camp gates close at the same time as do the park's entry gates. I would most definitely take a drive along the Letaba river just north of the camp. Both in the late afternoon and again next morning - there always seems to be a great selection of animals and birds along that stretch of road. If you are lucky with the animal spotting it could take a couple of hours although the stretch f road is only about 10km long.
I would suggest that you do the sunset drive on day 6 as you are not moving on to the next camp on that day and don't have to rush to get to camp in time for that drive. It should not be necessary to book the activities before getting to Satara, but I would feel more comfortable doing so.
Day 7: The S100 is a must do. But do start early. Very early. Cook yourselves a good breakfast at Nwanetsi. Note that there are no toilet facilities at Sweni hide. Use Nwanetsi. We have seldom seen much game along the Trichardt road and you might consider taking the H6 tar road back towards Satara and then using the main H1 south to Tshokwane (also a tar road - whereas the Trichardt road is gravel). Have lunch (not breakfast) at Tshokwane either before or after doing the Orpen loop and spending an hour or so at the dam. The Mlondozi dam is also a good spot to stop and have a break. Do not under-estimate the amount of time you will spend at Sunset Dam - especially if you are a birder. 1/2 hour may not be anywhere near enough, but early next morning a return visit might be called for. The bridge over the Sabie river just before you reach Lower Sabie (along the H10) is another excellent game and bird viewing spot, so allow more time for that too.
Day 8: Get another early start - that road to Crocodile bridge usually has a lovely variety of animals. We have in the past seen all of the Big 5 along that short stretch of road. Unfortunately you will be there during February (+/- 3rd) when the camp gates open at 05:30 whereas in January they open at 04:30.
2) I agree with Cath81.
3) I would want to do the Long Tom Pass in the afternoon with the sun behind me. Not next morning driving into the sun and not getting the best of the views. Therefore I would prefer to get at least as far as Sabie before stopping for the night.
5) I agree with 3dogs - a GPS would be a complete waste.
6) Leave your plans as they are.
Sep 24, 2012 1:11 AM
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