Pilanesburg? Dinokeng? KNP?





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  1. #1
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    Default Pilanesburg? Dinokeng? KNP?

    Hi all,

    I have a friend visiting from Australia for a week (ex-SA boytjie!) and we want to go camping in a game reserve from 27 Aug to 31 Aug. We will be in Dullstroom playing some golf from 25 Aug to 27 Aug.

    I have camped at Bakgatla before and wasn't too impressed, any new reviews as of late?

    I have never camped in the Dinokeng area but heard it wasn't bad. Can anyone provide some feedback?

    Lastly, I can get place in KNP (Berg-en-dal) but I just feel the cost is astronomical! (R3k for 4 nights for 4 people)

    Any advice or guidance is appreciated as always

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  3. #2
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    Default Re: Pilanesburg? Dinokeng? KNP?

    Can't really comment on Pilanesberg last camped there 10 years ago and didn't enjoy it at all. Not have I ever been to the Dinokeng. Just checking if you are in Dullstroom you are half way to the KNP, so that would make sense. Just checking why is camping considered for the others but not for the KNP? Should not cost you more than R500 pm night for all 4. Which I beleive is either in line with the others if not cheaper. The price you quoted seems to be for huts.

  4. #3
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    Default Re: Pilanesburg? Dinokeng? KNP?

    We camped at Ngata Safari Lodge, Dinokeng this past weekend. We really enjoyed it. They also have luxury tented chalets with specials running until end of August.

    Have a look at their Facebook page for more details.
    Last edited by Bostrok1; 2017/07/17 at 09:00 PM.

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  5. #4
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    Default Re: Pilanesburg? Dinokeng? KNP?

    We were at bakgatla about a month ago and loved it there. Although the joubert curse was with us and we could not find a single trace of the big 5. Just the usual game (but any game is good game). It's a bit run down, but we like it like that. The people are very very friendly, and make it a pleasure to camp there. I've not been there in the rainy season (we are winter campers), but can see that it might be a problem. But we will definitely go back

  6. #5
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    Default Re: Pilanesburg? Dinokeng? KNP?

    From Berg-en-dal you can tour the whole southern section of the KNP and be virtually guaranteed of seeing the Big 5.
    For someone travelling half way across the world I think this would be appreciated...

  7. #6
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    Default Re: Pilanesburg? Dinokeng? KNP?

    There is no comparison. go to KNP.

    There is space at BnD and if you want something more quiet there is also space at Malelane satellite camp. Cost is R300 per site (includes 2 pax) and additional R165 for 2 extra pax per night. As such your total should be around R2200 for 4 nights (excluding conservation fees - another R320 pp for 4 nights if you all have SA ID's - hope your mate still has his). So your price quoted for camping is about right. But still if you consider it that's R1000 pp for 4 nights, which equates to R250pp per night - that is not expensive.

    You are halfway there already.

    Pilanesberg is okay if you are lucky and do not get a bunch of drunks in the campsite because there is zero control exercised by management. I have never stayed in Dinokeng.
    Last edited by Groenman; 2017/07/18 at 10:48 AM.
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  8. #7
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    Default Re: Pilanesburg? Dinokeng? KNP?

    What the above two said! No question! Southern Kruger is awesome especially out of season.
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  10. #8
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    Default Re: Pilanesburg? Dinokeng? KNP?

    I can highly recommend Dinokeng we camped there about a month ago and it was fantastic. We have booked to go back for the long weekend in September.

    The place is called Willems Rus, best campsite I have stayed at to date.

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  12. #9
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    Default Re: Pilanesburg? Dinokeng? KNP?

    OK...so we left Alberton at 6am on Saturday and arrived at Dinokeng's main Ndlovu gate at 7 15. Everyone's temperature's had to be taken and paid exactly R560 entrance fee for 2 adults and 3 kids. Which I thought was a bit pricey but hey its not far from home..saving on diesel....

    The route we took was straight north from the entrance following the shape of the river all the way to the main picnic sight. After having brunch at the nearby dam we got onto Rust de Winter and then onto De Wagensdrift main gravel road heading east and entered the park again at Wilderness way entrance. Here we went due south made a loop and then headed west crossing the river and then proceeded south west joining onto Boekenhoutskloof road and then exiting the park. This took us around 7 Hours.

    So we did circular route through the park and in all honesty the wife and I agreed that we wouldnt be doing the self drive route any time soon again.
    We saw a Giraffe,Waterbuck,Wildebeest,Warthogs and Impala.
    Maybe we were just very unlucky but the animals were spread out very very thin.
    For a park that advertises the Big 5 I would of thought that we would at least see Rhino and Elephant too.

    I tried looking for signs of animals like fallen trees, broken branches and dung but honestly this was very very scarce.

    If I compare this experience to that of Pilanesburg that we have visited at least 5 times in the last 5 years it was a bit of a waste of time...maybe our expectations are too high I dont know but we have not left Pilanesburg or KNP without seeing at least 2/3 out of the Big 5 on a trip and weve done day trips to Pilanesburg too.

    Ive done a fair bit of reading on the viewing of animals in Dinokeng before writing this and it seems our experience is shared by many others too.

    One thing that actually started to irritate me was the thorn bushes and trees that were hanging in the road and I could do nothing to avoid scratching my wifes new Fortuner.

    Using the vehicle for whats its meant for is one thing but to me this is just a lack of maintenance and some of the dirt roads are heavily corrugated and in need of a scrape.

    It was a day out which is always nice but Dinokeng will not be seeing us very soon.....Pilanesburg is on the cards for this coming weekend and im pretty sure we wont be disappointed.

    Im not referring to any camps within Dinokeng which I think there are wayyy too many of in such a small park but only to the Self drive route that we did.....
    Last edited by MUGmug; 2020/06/29 at 12:05 PM.

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  14. #10
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    Default Re: Pilanesburg? Dinokeng? KNP?

    With regards to the number of camps you have to remember the history of Dinokeng. It began as a number of small private reserves that agreed to drop their internal fences to make one much bigger park.

    Its certainly no Kruger Park, much the same as Kruger Park is not Central Kalahari. Each serve their purpose

  15. #11
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    Default Re: Pilanesburg? Dinokeng? KNP?

    Quote Originally Posted by MUGmug View Post
    OK...so we left Alberton at 6am on Saturday and arrived at Dinokeng's main Ndlovu gate at 7 15. Everyone's temperature's had to be taken and paid exactly R560 entrance fee for 2 adults and 3 kids. Which I thought was a bit pricey but hey its not far from home..saving on diesel....

    The route we took was straight north from the entrance following the shape of the river all the way to the main picnic sight. After having brunch at the nearby dam we got onto Rust de Winter and then onto De Wagensdrift main gravel road heading east and entered the park again at Wilderness way entrance. Here we went due south made a loop and then headed west crossing the river and then proceeded south west joining onto Boekenhoutskloof road and then exiting the park. This took us around 7 Hours.

    So we did circular route through the park and in all honesty the wife and I agreed that we wouldnt be doing the self drive route any time soon again.
    We saw a Giraffe,Waterbuck,Wildebeest,Warthogs and Impala.
    Maybe we were just very unlucky but the animals were spread out very very thin.
    For a park that advertises the Big 5 I would of thought that we would at least see Rhino and Elephant too.

    I tried looking for signs of animals like fallen trees, broken branches and dung but honestly this was very very scarce.

    If I compare this experience to that of Pilanesburg that we have visited at least 5 times in the last 5 years it was a bit of a waste of time...maybe our expectations are too high I dont know but we have not left Pilanesburg or KNP without seeing at least 2/3 out of the Big 5 on a trip and weve done day trips to Pilanesburg too.

    Ive done a fair bit of reading on the viewing of animals in Dinokeng before writing this and it seems our experience is shared by many others too.

    One thing that actually started to irritate me was the thorn bushes and trees that were hanging in the road and I could do nothing to avoid scratching my wifes new Fortuner.

    Using the vehicle for whats its meant for is one thing but to me this is just a lack of maintenance and some of the dirt roads are heavily corrugated and in need of a scrape.

    It was a day out which is always nice but Dinokeng will not be seeing us very soon.....Pilanesburg is on the cards for this coming weekend and im pretty sure we wont be disappointed.

    Im not referring to any camps within Dinokeng which I think there are wayyy too many of in such a small park but only to the Self drive route that we did.....
    I can concur, been to Dinokeng +10 times camping all-over and did the self-drive thing 3 times, complete waste of time if seeking animal sightings as main priority. I'll give it a 1 out of 10 compared to Pilanesburg.
    Last edited by DCTheron; 2020/06/29 at 12:16 PM.
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  17. #12
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    Default Re: Pilanesburg? Dinokeng? KNP?

    I've been to Dinokeng twice now. First time we saw Rhino and Elephant. Yesterday not much different from you. However on the app there was a lion sighting yesterday morning.

  18. #13
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    Default Re: Pilanesburg? Dinokeng? KNP?

    Please folks, it's PilanesBERG. It's a mountain, not a town.
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  20. #14
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    Default Re: Pilanesburg? Dinokeng? KNP?

    I share some of your concerns and some I must say is a lack of knowledge of the park.

    IT is not one of the established parks of SA.

    It cannot replace those.

    The corner close to where you first entered is thick with animals at the right time of day.

    Rhino Elephant and Buffalo is also quite common and two prides of lion.

    This can never compare with KNP or Pilansberg.

    As a day out with the possibility of seeing animals I love it.
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  22. #15
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    Default Re: Pilanesburg? Dinokeng? KNP?

    Quote Originally Posted by MUGmug View Post
    OK...so we left Alberton at 6am on Saturday and arrived at Dinokeng's main Ndlovu gate at 7 15. Everyone's temperature's had to be taken and paid exactly R560 entrance fee for 2 adults and 3 kids. Which I thought was a bit pricey but hey its not far from home..saving on diesel....

    The route we took was straight north from the entrance following the shape of the river all the way to the main picnic sight. After having brunch at the nearby dam we got onto Rust de Winter and then onto De Wagensdrift main gravel road heading east and entered the park again at Wilderness way entrance. Here we went due south made a loop and then headed west crossing the river and then proceeded south west joining onto Boekenhoutskloof road and then exiting the park. This took us around 7 Hours.

    So we did circular route through the park and in all honesty the wife and I agreed that we wouldnt be doing the self drive route any time soon again.
    We saw a Giraffe,Waterbuck,Wildebeest,Warthogs and Impala.
    Maybe we were just very unlucky but the animals were spread out very very thin.
    For a park that advertises the Big 5 I would of thought that we would at least see Rhino and Elephant too.

    I tried looking for signs of animals like fallen trees, broken branches and dung but honestly this was very very scarce.

    If I compare this experience to that of Pilanesburg that we have visited at least 5 times in the last 5 years it was a bit of a waste of time...maybe our expectations are too high I dont know but we have not left Pilanesburg or KNP without seeing at least 2/3 out of the Big 5 on a trip and weve done day trips to Pilanesburg too.

    Ive done a fair bit of reading on the viewing of animals in Dinokeng before writing this and it seems our experience is shared by many others too.

    One thing that actually started to irritate me was the thorn bushes and trees that were hanging in the road and I could do nothing to avoid scratching my wifes new Fortuner.

    Using the vehicle for whats its meant for is one thing but to me this is just a lack of maintenance and some of the dirt roads are heavily corrugated and in need of a scrape.

    It was a day out which is always nice but Dinokeng will not be seeing us very soon.....Pilanesburg is on the cards for this coming weekend and im pretty sure we wont be disappointed.

    Im not referring to any camps within Dinokeng which I think there are wayyy too many of in such a small park but only to the Self drive route that we did.....
    Agreed. Great camping spots, but the self drive is a hit or miss, personally tried it 3 times, all 3 times a miss.

  23. #16
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    Default Re: Pilanesburg? Dinokeng? KNP?

    We go often but just to camp. I wouldn't waste my time with a game drive.
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  24. #17
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    Default Re: Pilanesburg? Dinokeng? KNP?

    Seen lions there twice out of four visits. Agree, though - it is best as a place to camp. And with the current "stay in your province" restrictions, PilanesBERG and Kruger do not appear to be options for the Gauteng-based.

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  26. #18
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    Default Re: Pilanesburg? Dinokeng? KNP?

    Quote Originally Posted by MUGmug View Post
    OK...so we left Alberton at 6am on Saturday and arrived at Dinokeng's main Ndlovu gate at 7 15. Everyone's temperature's had to be taken and paid exactly R560 entrance fee for 2 adults and 3 kids. Which I thought was a bit pricey but hey its not far from home..saving on diesel....

    The route we took was straight north from the entrance following the shape of the river all the way to the main picnic sight. After having brunch at the nearby dam we got onto Rust de Winter and then onto De Wagensdrift main gravel road heading east and entered the park again at Wilderness way entrance. Here we went due south made a loop and then headed west crossing the river and then proceeded south west joining onto Boekenhoutskloof road and then exiting the park. This took us around 7 Hours.

    So we did circular route through the park and in all honesty the wife and I agreed that we wouldnt be doing the self drive route any time soon again.
    We saw a Giraffe,Waterbuck,Wildebeest,Warthogs and Impala.
    Maybe we were just very unlucky but the animals were spread out very very thin.
    For a park that advertises the Big 5 I would of thought that we would at least see Rhino and Elephant too.

    I tried looking for signs of animals like fallen trees, broken branches and dung but honestly this was very very scarce.

    If I compare this experience to that of Pilanesburg that we have visited at least 5 times in the last 5 years it was a bit of a waste of time...maybe our expectations are too high I dont know but we have not left Pilanesburg or KNP without seeing at least 2/3 out of the Big 5 on a trip and weve done day trips to Pilanesburg too.

    Ive done a fair bit of reading on the viewing of animals in Dinokeng before writing this and it seems our experience is shared by many others too.

    One thing that actually started to irritate me was the thorn bushes and trees that were hanging in the road and I could do nothing to avoid scratching my wifes new Fortuner.

    Using the vehicle for whats its meant for is one thing but to me this is just a lack of maintenance and some of the dirt roads are heavily corrugated and in need of a scrape.

    It was a day out which is always nice but Dinokeng will not be seeing us very soon.....Pilanesburg is on the cards for this coming weekend and im pretty sure we wont be disappointed.

    Im not referring to any camps within Dinokeng which I think there are wayyy too many of in such a small park but only to the Self drive route that we did.....
    Unfortunately we are not allowed to travel inter- provincial as yet so Pilanesberg is out for now.
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  27. #19
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    Default Re: Pilanesburg? Dinokeng? KNP?

    I can tell you the last time we camped at De Rust the elephants passed 15 m behind our trailer the morning at 6 after I heard some branches breaking the whole night. After that they breaked the fence around the swimming pool and drank water at the pool. Awesome


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  28. #20
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    Default Re: Pilanesburg? Dinokeng? KNP?

    Quote Originally Posted by Wazza View Post
    We go often but just to camp. I wouldn't waste my time with a game drive.
    There is some game I have also had Great Lion sightings.
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    Last edited by Mal Hannes; 2020/06/29 at 02:26 PM.
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