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Thread: Kruger North

  1. #121
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    Default Re: Kruger North

    I seriously have North withdrawal symptoms!
    Both SWAMBO and I are working from home, so right after provincial travel opened we shot through to spen 3 nights in Malelane and worked from camp.

    We're doing that again, this time Pretoriuskop, at the end of the month.

    (For both times we need internet coverage...thus the chosen camps).

    Then we've got a booking to go to Biyamiti in May. We've never stayed there so really looking forward.

    The next trip is then in July with the inlaws. They're "Southerners" so again no North!

    I'm itching for the Pafuri Border camp, have driven in but never stayed there.

    So come hell or high water our next booking will be North!!
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  2. #122
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    Default Re: Kruger North

    Great ideal about the North ..Best Region of Kruger ..Minimal Traffic , More Dirt Roads ..Best Big 5 Area in Kruger ..Around Mopani, Tsendze especially Biggest Buff Herds , Great Lions , Biggest Tuskers in Kruger , Great Lions and Species you just dont get in the South ..Eland , Roan , Tssessebe , Suni , ..South of the Olifants River has a Distinct Disneyland atmosphere ..Dont travel 2 days from PE to experience crowds Click image for larger version. 

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  3. #123
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    Default Re: Kruger North

    Quote Originally Posted by Stranger View Post
    In July, we have booked to go to Kruger on a camping trip for our wedding anniversary. I promised my wife a Leopard, she promised me a Brownie, she has so many other options of fulfilling her promise.

    The furthest North we have been is Shingwedzi, so we thought to explore further North to expand our knowledge of the park.

    The trip will include Shipandani hide, Tsendze, Punda Maria and Shingwedzi

    For those that know the north, please may I have some pointers, must see's (Like Crooks corner), your favourite routes and hides and opinions on the camps.

    If we have a good trip, and Brownies, then my imagination may just produce a trip report

    Thanks
    So...where is the trip report @Stranger?
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  4. #124
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    Default Re: Kruger North

    The S56 from Shingwedzi to Babalala along the Mhpolongo River = TOPS
    Boyela Windmill ..Largest Pride of Lion in Kruger live thereabouts between Sirheni and Boyela ..Tops for Roan and Eland too
    Mahonie Loop around Punda Camp ..Superb ..Brilliant Birding in Camp too ..Nov has Pennant Winged Night Jar , at the moment in camp every evening displaying, Orange Winged Pyetila , and Southern Hylota has been seen recently, Pafuri is a must with Crooks corner and the Best of all is the S50 out of the Back gate at Shingwedzi to Grootvlei dam ..Leave camp at gate opening and go straight there and park as the only vehicle on the Dam wall..If you Dont get Lions there at Daybreak or soon after you are having a bad day . Click image for larger version. 

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ID:	596457 The Roan was taken at Boyela windmill. The Lions are lying on the Grootvlei dam wall, The Lions in brilliant light = Part of the 34 strong Boyela Pride olang the S56 near Sirheni turn off, Lions Romping = Grootvlei Dam. Note Not One car ..Solo Sightings are the order of the day ..The North Rocks
    Last edited by Peter Betts; 2020/11/20 at 12:22 PM.

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  6. #125
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    Default Re: Kruger North

    Looking forward to Mopani over Easter. Because it's Easter I will be avoiding the N1 North.
    Stephan G

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  8. #126
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    Default Re: Kruger North

    Quote Originally Posted by Groenman View Post
    Looking forward to Mopani over Easter. Because it's Easter I will be avoiding the N1 North.
    Will try keep an eye out for you if we are able to extend our stay at Letaba, we will be in the green P38, can't wait
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  10. #127
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    Default Re: Kruger North

    Three sleeps till Mopani...

    I have not been North for a while. Really can't wait!
    Stephan G

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  12. #128
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    Default Re: Kruger North

    Ek is groen......man.

    Soos ek kyk van fotos is die noorde ook ......wel.... groen.




    Geniet, ek is en bly maar mal oor Mopani. Dis net vir so spesiale gevoel in die kamp.
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  14. #129
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    Default Re: Kruger North

    Quote Originally Posted by lekhubu943 View Post
    Ek is groen......man.

    Soos ek kyk van fotos is die noorde ook ......wel.... groen.




    Geniet, ek is en bly maar mal oor Mopani. Dis net vir so spesiale gevoel in die kamp.
    Just returned from Letaba and I can definitively confirm it is green! Most low level causeways still have water flowing over them.

    Even the elephants were looking decidedly plump in fact some of them looked more lile American elephants than African

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  16. #130
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    Default Re: Kruger North

    Quote Originally Posted by Half-Pint View Post
    Just returned from Letaba
    Goldreef city-style camp heathen
    Last edited by lekhubu943; 2021/04/06 at 09:55 AM.
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  18. #131
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    Default Re: Kruger North

    Just returned yesterday evening. A few notes:

    Kruger North over Easter - great once you are there, but what a slog to get there. Since Moria was cancelled we took the N1 and R71. Departed 04:00 on Friday. Traffic was fine, until the Nyl Plaza where all normal driving went to hell. People in oncoming lanes etc, and it was not even needed, traffic flowed well. Very quiet once we turned off the N1.

    Coming back we took the R40 to Bosbokrand - R533 to Graskop - Sabie - N4. But then the N4 turned into a monster of note with the roadworks. After standing still after the Machado toll plaza for 30min we went Carolina - Bethal - Springs. From Mopani to home it took 11 hours

    OK, BUT ON TO THE GOOD STUFF

    107 birds (not bad with an almost two year old on the back seat that also "helps" with spotting) Common Quail was a nice spot.
    Saturday: A leopard to ourselves on the tar road between Shingwedzi and Babalala
    Sunday: Cheetahs on the Road as we exit Mopani at 06:00
    While stopping for a Kori Bustard north of Letaba, we spot "somethin" - turns out to be a stalking lioness and after a while the whole pride emerges. Once again, we were the first car there, on the main road on Easter Weekend.

    We did go up to Pafuri on the Saturday. Note to self - it's too far from Mopani. But still enjoyed it.

    So to summarize, the North is horrible - don't go there.
    Last edited by Groenman; 2021/04/06 at 10:22 AM.
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  20. #132
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    Default Re: Kruger North

    Quote Originally Posted by lekhubu943 View Post
    Goldreef city-style camp heathen
    I accept my title and shall wear it with honour!

    I must admit that the advantage of staying in Hollywood is that the pride of lions we sat watching all alone for an hour on the tar road were quite used to cameras. Obviously I was disappointed to only see these tame lions and not real Kruger lions not to mention that as far as I could work out none of them were MY lions.

    One could swear its almost like there are no wrong options in Kruger only different preferences

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  22. #133
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    Default Re: Kruger North

    As an aside, the below loop on the S63 close to Crooks Corner is closed off with, what seems like, a truck load of soil at the two entrances. We figured it must have been damaged by the rains. It would be very sad if this loop is lost, it's the most beautiful small stretch of the most scenic road in the Park (IMO of course).

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Stephan G

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  23. #134
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    Default Re: Kruger North

    Quote Originally Posted by Groenman View Post
    As an aside, the below loop on the S63 close to Crooks Corner is closed off with, what seems like, a truck load of soil at the two entrances. We figured it must have been damaged by the rains. It would be very sad if this loop is lost, it's the most beautiful small stretch of the most scenic road in the Park (IMO of course).

    Click image for larger version. 

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    I am with you on that, it really is a fantastic section along the Luvuvhu!
    Sounds like you had a good one apart from the hectic travel time back...

    Thank you for the update.
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  24. #135
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    Default Re: Kruger North

    Spent a week up north at Punda Maria over Easter. First time in over 20 years we had been that far north and boy it didn't disappoint. What are normally dry rivers or streams were mostly flowing, low level bridges had water flowing over them and the green and lush bush was absolutely spectacular.

    Some highlights of the week
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  26. #136
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    Default Re: Kruger North

    What can I say except "WOW" - I've never personally seen the northern part of KNP like that !!!
    Always my favorite area though together with a few of the small satellite camps moving southward.
    Thanks for the pics.
    Did you find Punda in good condition and all good ?
    I am so determined to get back up there when our circumstances come right, although would not be camping this time.
    Thanks for update.
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  27. #137
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    Default Re: Kruger North

    Quote Originally Posted by Peter1949 View Post
    What can I say except "WOW" - I've never personally seen the northern part of KNP like that !!!
    Always my favorite area though together with a few of the small satellite camps moving southward.
    Thanks for the pics.
    Did you find Punda in good condition and all good ?
    I am so determined to get back up there when our circumstances come right, although would not be camping this time.
    Thanks for update.
    Peter, a real mixed bag to be honest. Punda Maria was not in the normal excellent condition we've come to expect from SANPARKS and one of the staff commented that their maintenance budget has been slashed (probably due to COVID depleting available funds). It also appeared as if camp management gave most of the staff off for Easter weekend so only the bare minimum was done and ablutions were not great by the end of the weekend. Quite a few braai stands were broken and not usable but generally speaking not much to complain about. But just being there makes all of that seem insignificant but I erally hope SANPARKS does not allow standards to drop.

    It is a long haul from KZN but well worth it!
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  29. #138
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    Default Re: Kruger North

    Quote Originally Posted by Koppycat View Post
    Peter, a real mixed bag to be honest. Punda Maria was not in the normal excellent condition we've come to expect from SANPARKS and one of the staff commented that their maintenance budget has been slashed (probably due to COVID depleting available funds). It also appeared as if camp management gave most of the staff off for Easter weekend so only the bare minimum was done and ablutions were not great by the end of the weekend. Quite a few braai stands were broken and not usable but generally speaking not much to complain about. But just being there makes all of that seem insignificant but I erally hope SANPARKS does not allow standards to drop.

    It is a long haul from KZN but well worth it!
    Interesting that you mention easter weekend, we were in Letaba for part of it and found exactly the same situation. It was almost as if they ran on skeleton staff over peak season rather than increasing staff. It will be a real pity if Kruger loses the plot on this issue and the normally good standards decrease

  30. #139
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    Default Re: Kruger North

    Reading through this thread.....again, just to boost the excitement.

    We are on our way to Kruger North on 23 June starting at Punda Maria (traveling via Louis Trichardt and Tshipise entering the park at Pafuri Gate). After 3 nights we move on to Shingwedzi for 4 nights. Then one night at Letaba and back north for 2 nights at Tsendze. We then have an early start travelling south to exit at Crocodile Bridge on our way to Marloth Park on 3 July.

    Really looking forward to this trip.
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  31. #140
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    Default Re: Kruger North

    Lekkerrr. We will be at Tsendze from 24 JunŤ till 4 Jul......lekkerrrrr
    Donít blame yourself over past mistakes. Itís like driving down the N1 while looking in the rear view mirror only.

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