En Route Kruger National Park
- Are you planning a trip through the Kruger National Park? If so, and you have never been or don’t know where to start I will share our recent trip with you.
- Firstly, plan and book your trip well in advance to ensure you get the dates and camps you want. That is to say, at least 10 months to a year from your departure date.
- We planned our December 2018 trip from the north of the park through to the south.
- Our journey started from Durban to our first stop Ithala Game Reserve in northern Kwa-Zulu Natal near Louwsburg.
Itala Game Reserve – Doornkraal Campsite
- Wow Itala is spectacular! There is something magical about the sights and sounds of the bush.
- After our warm welcome at Reception we departed to our campsite for the night, Doornkraal
- The campsite has open air showers with hot and cold water and separate flush toilets.
- Each campsite has a braai, be sure to bring your own fire wood.
- This is a bush camp with no shop. Remember to stock up with supplies before you arrive. However, there is a curio shop with basic necessities at Reception.
- We chose a site along the river even though the river bed was dry. Swimming is permitted when the river is flowing.
- There are no fences so a chance of elephants or antelope visiting is good!
- For the 4×4 enthusiast there is a 17km 4×4 trail close by.
- Our next stop, Dullstroom.
Dullstroom On The Dam
- Our second stop was Dullstroom where we attended a wedding.
- Dullstroom is a beautiful little town known for its fly fishing. It is a great stop over en route to the park as it is half way between Johannesburg and Kruger.
- Besides the lovely little shops and restaurants to visit, if whiskey is your thing, be sure to visit the “Wild About Whisky’ shop and enjoy a whiskey tasting and some interesting facts about whiskey.
- Our campsite of choice was Dullstroom On The Dam. It lies within the heart of Dullstroom a few minutes drive from the main street.
- A short drive along a dirt road brings you to the gate of the campsite with spectacular views of the dam.
- All camp sites are on grass facing the dam, are unmarked and have power points.
- Built in braais are lower down from the campsites by the dam under lovely trees.
- Bring your own braai if you want to braai at your campsite.
- The ablution block is clean and spacious with hot and cold water with lovely quirky decor.
- There is an outside wash up basin.
- We thoroughly enjoyed the peace and quiet, the farm like feel with ducks and horses freely roaming the campsite.
- Remember to pack warm clothing, Dullstroom temperatures drop at night even during the summer months.
- Next stop, Kruger!
Kruger 1st Stop – Pafuri River Camp
- Pafuri River Camp lies on the border of Kruger next to Pafuri gate.
- We drove into Kruger through Punda Maria gate, and drove out at Pafuri gate where Pafuri River Camp borders the Kruger.
- The road to the camp is a bumpy stone road along the Kruger fence.
- On arrival we were greeted by the friendly camp managers, Sam and Martin.
- Sam took us on a walk about as soon as we arrived to show us around and to choose a camp site.
- Wow! A gorgeous rustic camp with a tea and coffee station, swimming pool and bar area.
- The campsites are all within walking distance from this area and well positioned from each other.
- There is no electricity, only paraffin lamps.
- Ablutions are immaculately clean and offer hot showers and flush toilets.
- Dinner and breakfast can be arranged.
- The camp offers self catering tents on stilts that overlook the river.
- A must stay for a great rustic bush experience.
- When in the area be sure to visit Crooks corner and the biggest baobab tree that is 22m tall! The road to the tree is on communal land and in poor condition but well worth the trip!
- Ask Sam or Martin for more info.
- Next stop, Punda Maria.
Kruger 2nd Stop – Punda Maria
Campsite with a hide overlooking a waterhole!
- Punda Maria lies in the most northern part of the park and is known as the botanical gardens of Kruger. It most certainly lives up to that name.
- Driving through the area is like driving through a beautiful lush forest. The vegetation is vastly different to the other areas of Kruger and the bird life is spectacular.
- The campsite has electrical points, however some sites do not have electricity.
- As one of the main camps of the park it has a well stocked shop and a swimming pool.
- Two ablutions are within the camping area. Considering the size of the camp, there should be more ablutions to accommodate the number of visitors during the peak season. In saying that, the ablutions were very clean and serviced daily.
- The highlight of this camp is the hide overlooking a waterhole! It is situated along the fence and within the campsite area.
- It is a great place for sundowners to watch the animals come down to drink.
- Late into the evening numerous buffalo and elephant come down to quench their thirst.
- How spectacular to camp with animals on your doorstep!
Kruger 3rd Stop – Shingwedzi
- Shingwedzi camp has an amazing lapa area with a restaurant overlooking the river.
- The food is delicious! I highly recommend the hamburgers.
- There is a well stocked Park Shop and a swimming pool to cool off from the summer heat.
- The campsites are under trees and along the fence. Some sites do not have electrical points.
- The ablutions are clean and serviced daily.
- A great camp to stay.
- Our next stop, Tsendze Rustic Camp!
Kruger 4th Stop – Tsendze Rustic Camp
- Wow! This camp is for the bush lover!
- It lies 7km south of Mopani Rest Camp.
- As you drive in you are surrounded by a forest of beautiful Leadwood, Mopane and Apple Leaf trees.
- It is a bird lovers paradise!
- The prime sites are along the fence, numbers 2,3,5 & 6.
- This is a rustic camp with no shop or swimming pool. Stock up on supplies before you arrive.
- There is no electricity, however the washup area and ablutions have solar power.
- The ablutions are modern & immaculate. You can even choose to shower beneath the stars in the open air shower.
- The wash up area is next to the ablutions.
- A true bush lovers paradise!
- Next stop, Letaba.
Kruger 5th Stop – Letaba
- Letaba, as one of the main camps of Kruger has a well stocked Park Shop and a swimming pool.
- The camp sites have shade and some sites do not have electricity.
- The ablutions are clean and serviced daily.
- New to the campsite is self catering tented chalets situated close to the swimming pool.
- A highlight to the camp is the Elephant Museum. Wow! A great place to learn all about elephants and about some of the great tuskers of Kruger.
- Our next stop, Balule.
Kruger 6th Stop – Balule
- Balule lies just south of Olifants Camp.
- A small, rustic circular camp with no electricity which is perfect for the bush lover.
- Due to the circular shape of the camp, all sites are along the fence which is great!
- There is a communal lapa wash up area with freezers .
- The ablutions have paraffin lamps, are clean and serviced daily.
- There is no pool and no shop, remember to stock up on supplies.
- Hyena’s frequent the fence all hours of the day. Please do not feed the hyenas!
- Balule is a bush lovers paradise!
- Next stop, Satara.
Kruger 7th Stop – Satara
- Satara is one of my favourite camps, besides the fact that it is a great game viewing area. The S100 never seems to disappoint!
- As one of the main camps of the Park, Satara has a well stocked Park Shop and a swimming pool.
- The shop and reception area lead to the Restaurant. The outside dining area overlooks a lovely grassed area with fever trees. It’s a great place to relax and enjoy a cold refreshment.
- The large campsite area has clean ablutions that are serviced daily. A laundromat is located next door with both washing machines and tumble driers. R5 coins operate the machines.
- There are various wash up areas located within the camping area.
- Some sites do not have electrical points.
- Next stop, Skukuza.
Kruger 8th Stop – Skukuza
- Skukuza is the hub of the park, and as such the busiest. As a result we usually only spend one night.
- The Cattle and Baron Restaurant has a wooden deck dining area that overlooks the Sabie River.
- Evening dining on the deck overlooking the river beneath a star lit sky has a magic all on its own, I highly recommend it!
- Besides the well stocked Park Shop, Skukuza has two swimming pools and a spa!
- The campsite has clean ablution facilities that are serviced daily.
- There are electrical points and ample trees for shade.
- Next stop, Lower Sabie.
Kruger 9th Stop – Lower Sabie
- Another beautiful camp in Kruger.
- The Park Shop is well stocked and leads to the outdoor restaurant, Mugg & Bean that overlooks the Sabie River.
- Cool off from the summer heat in the camp swimming pool.
- The campsites have electrical points and the ablutions are clean and serviced daily.
Sadly, this was the end of our trip. I hope my blog has been insightful and helpful for you to plan your trip! I look forward to planning our next trip!
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