Quick trip report: KNP

Tell us about your recent trip. Please add some photographs.
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optirite
LR 4WD Full Lockers
LR 4WD Full Lockers
Posts: 723
Joined: Fri Feb 13, 2009 12:00 pm
Town: Hartbeespoort Dam
Vehicle: 1993 80 Series Land Cruiser (3UZ-VVTi)
Real Name: Mike
Club VHF Licence: J91
Location: Hartbeespoort Dam

Tue May 06, 2014 1:05 pm

Swambo (Estelle) and I went to the Kruger National Park for just under two weeks. The time there was deduced by the bookings available at the SANPARKS offices in Heathway Shopping Centre in Cresta, Gauteng.

Due to advice on this very forum I decided to go from south to north through the park. Further advice dictated that I stay from the Malelane and Crocodile Bridge gates due to the bad surface of the N4.

Left home at Hartbeespoort Dam on the 14th April 2014 and drove through Pretoria and onto the N4, first stop at Milly’s for breakfast. Drove down to Nelspruit and then up to Hazyview. Refuelled and into the park to Skukuza where we spent 5 nights. There is alot more game in the south of the park but the vegetation was bland. The bush is very thick and overgrown, and without the height of the 4x4 we would not have seen much.
Saw basically everything except wild dogs. On one of their morning game drives saw a solitary male lion hunting, three cheetah hunting followed by two leopard crossing the road.

After Skukuza we exited the park and took the R40 up to Phalaborwa. Sheesh but that road is a mess of pot holes, and the scary thing is that oncoming trucks dodge potholes all over the road in front and towards you. Breakfast at Home of Amarula , and back into the park up to Mopani camp where we were booked in for two evenings. On the second evening we did one of their game drives (saw very little) and at the end of the drive we were taken to a dam. We parked in the river (on a road) and turned off all lights to be engrossed by thousands of fire flies. A truely pretty sight indeed.

After Mopani we drove down to Tsendze camp for two nights. On our own morning game drive we came across a parliament of Hyaenas with two cubs suckling their mom in the road.

After Tsendze we drove up to Punda Maria campsite for three nights. What a beautiful place with huge Baobabs and then Fever tree forests en route to Crooks Corner.

After the three nights at Punda Maria we bode fairwell to the park and headed homeward bound. En route home we googled a place to stay over near Naboomspruit as we were not quite ready for home and came across a little place called Kazi Mingi (Gps: S24 27,484 E028 20,852). What an awesome place. One cottage and four or five camping or caravan sites, right in the bush in literally the middle of nowhere. Will definitely go there again.

The next morning had breakfast at Beestekraal Station Restaurant near Brits and trundled home.

Good points:
1. The Land Cruiser was faultless, and comfortable enough to allow us a couple of ten to twelve hour drives in the park (with the odd stop or two).
2. Staff at the entrance gates were friendly and efficient.

Bad points:
1. The staff at and around Skukuza follow their own rules. We could hear vehicles driving around in the park till around 10pm at night. I queried this and was assured it was staff. They also all speed, I decided to catch up to the one staff member’s car and he was doing just short of 80 kmph. I mentioned this to one of the Honorary Rangers and she replied that it was all beyond their control.
2. On our Skukuza morning game drive we came across an Elephant in the road. One of the staff buses came by and didn’t even brake for the Elephant nor us, nearly colliding with us and then narrowly missing the Elephant.
3. Whilst on our Skukuza game drive the driver kept cutting off and parking in front of private cars at sightings. After the drive I asked him about this and he said that we are paying guests and therefore deserve better sightings than any private vehicle, guest or otherwise.
4. Whilst passing by Shingwedzi camp we popped in and drove around to see the condition of the camp since the damage from the rain. Whilst driving around we came across a group of staff whacking the crap out of something in one of the trees. A white staff member came up to me and asked me to turn around and get out of the area as the staff were trying to kill and remove a python snake that someone found in a tree near the laundry room. Funny enough they were beating the crap out of the python with a pair of snake tongs. Very sad to see.
5. We came across a huge heard of Buffalo busy crossing the road. Everyone stopped and watched as an idiot in a Hilux bakkie nudged his way through the heard, actually bumping a few out of his way. As he passed the bakkie bore the identification of the Kruger National Park Veterinary section (with the Buffalo head). I kakked him out but he swore at me and drove off.

All in all a stunning break away. Until I get my arse into gear and post my pics to Flickr, those of you with Facebook can view some of my pics at: https://www.facebook.com/mike.cliff.3/m ... 605&type=1" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Cheers
Mike Cliff
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CasKru
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Posts: 24225
Joined: Tue Dec 04, 2007 11:52 am
Town: Benoni
Vehicle: '94 Hilux Raider 2.4i (22RE) DC 4x4
Real Name: Cassie
Club VHF Licence: B15
Location: Rynfield

Tue May 06, 2014 1:16 pm

Thanks for the report Mike. Glad you enjoyed
To God be the glory
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4x4BEES
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Joined: Wed Nov 20, 2013 10:13 am
Town: Brackenfell
Vehicle: Hilux 4.0V6
Real Name: Kevin

Tue May 06, 2014 5:22 pm

Beautiful pics Mike :thumbup: :thumbup:
Sorry about the neg parts :thumbdown:
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Family_Dog
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Town: Klerksdorp
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Real Name: Eric
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Location: Klerksdorp, NW
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Tue May 06, 2014 7:16 pm

Mike, you need to make your pics for public viewing. :boss:
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