We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Trip breakup between Satara, Skukuza & Lower Sabie

Mumbai
Level Contributor
35 posts
108 reviews
203 helpful votes
Trip breakup between Satara, Skukuza & Lower Sabie

Hi all,

We have planned a trip to Kruger NP in September and will be there for 7 nights. In spite of reading hundreds of threads here, i'm still a bit confused as to my trip breakup. Here's the accommodation i've already booked (but i can change it all of course ... as i have done it on phone based on the excellent suggestions here. I can now change it online without having to pay anything extra).

(we're very interested in birding).

Day 1-4 - Satara (a perimeter bungalow)

Day 5 - Skukuza

Day 6-7 Lower Sabie.

Firstly of course I want to know if this planning is correct. Secondly, should I reduce one day in Satara & add it in Skukuza? Or should I make it 2 days in Olifants / Letaba / Mopani & 2 in Satara instead of all 4 there (though the first night, we'll be reaching there quite late as we're driving straight from Jo'burg).

And lastly, if it gets available, should i skip Skukuza entirely and just stay the last 3 nights in Lower Sabie instead?

Or any other suggestion?

oops and one more thing: how cold will it be out there in the beginning of september? being from Mumbai, we're used to a constant 26-30C throughout the year ...

Thanks in advance.

warmly,

nipa & manan

Pretoria
Level Contributor
1,042 posts
3 reviews
22 helpful votes
1. Re: Trip breakup between Satara, Skukuza & Lower Sabie

It is spring in September and I would do 2 nights in 4 camps if i was you

Hazyview, South...
Level Contributor
3,854 posts
19 reviews
23 helpful votes
2. Re: Trip breakup between Satara, Skukuza & Lower Sabie

I would cut Satara 1 day shorter, leave Skukuza out and spend the 2 nights at Olifants. From there you can do day trips further north and go to e.g. Letaba, see the Elephant Hall and explore the area and animals around there. Olifants is IMHO the nicest camp in the park.

As you are driving from JHB I would start with Lower Sabie, Satara might be a bit of a stretch. Then work your way up to Olifants and via Satara out of the park for your further trip. If you leave early and take the direct route Satara will still be possible to start with, thereafter Olifants and then Lower Sabie.

The days will be nice and warm (late 20 C) and the evenings can still be a bit chilly.

Klaus

-Owner Abangane-

Hazyview

Edited: 03 June 2011, 18:29
Mumbai
Level Contributor
35 posts
108 reviews
203 helpful votes
3. Re: Trip breakup between Satara, Skukuza & Lower Sabie

Thanks for all the replies.

After Kruger, we have 3 nights on the Elephant Coast ... so i would prefer to leave from the South to cut down my driving time till there. That's why the plan to go to Satara first.

Would 3-4 camps be stretching it (and wasting time checking in & checking out?) or is it actually a better idea? er ... Spring has an impact on how many camps i choose ... because of there being less to see or more?

As of right now, there *is* 1 place in Olifants that i can go to for 2 nights.

So i could do something like:

Day 1 - Satara (or maybe outside the park at Hoedspruit or somewhere

if it seems difficult that i would reach there).

Day 2-3 - Olifants

Day 4-5 - Satara

Day 6-7 - Lower Sabie.

Does this sound better? (I hope i can get it by the time i decide)

Thanks a lot again.

Mumbai
Level Contributor
35 posts
108 reviews
203 helpful votes
4. Re: Trip breakup between Satara, Skukuza & Lower Sabie

Ok i have just changed it to this plan (just booked it again): does this look better?

Day 1 - Olifants (Perimeter)

Day 2 - Olifants (River view)

Day 3-5 Satara (Perimeter)

Day 6-7 Lower Sabie.

I'll be in Joburg on the day before the first one. So basically I can leave fairly early ... say 6 a.m. Will there be enough time to reach Olifants before 6 p.m. when the gates close (counting enough time for lunch + maybe another short break for supplies, taking a wildcard at the gates etc.?)

Secondly do they accept Cash at the gates for the Wildcards or does it have to be by Credit / Debit cards?

Thirdly, the distance from Satara to Lower Sabie seems quite a bit. Will i be wasting the whole day traveling? meaning will it cut away from my time in Lower Sabie? Should i still change the last Satara-day to Skukuza to get more time in Lower Sabie or the check-in & check-out time wasted doesn't make it worth the effort?

thanks a lot for all the replies. This really helps.

-nipa & manan

Hazyview, South...
Level Contributor
3,854 posts
19 reviews
23 helpful votes
5. Re: Trip breakup between Satara, Skukuza & Lower Sabie

Satara to Lower Sabie is a very comfortable drive. Not to worry at all.

Dont forget, you are inside the park game viewing and it does not really matter that you are actually heading for a different camp. You still are having a game drive. Check ins are very quick and no waste of time, especially as you can not leave the camp selfdriving after gate closure.

The drive from JHB to Phalorwa, where you would be entering the park for Olifants camp is, app, 5-6 hours. From Phalaborwa to Olifants another 2 hours slow driving (game viewing). You would easily make it by lunch time to Phalaborwa gate and have the entire afternoon to get to Olifants. Easy!

At the gates you can pay cash or with cc (I would recommend cc and keep the cash for inside the park as there is sometimes a shortage of cash at the ATMs).

Calculate the cost for a wild card carefully against daily conservation fee, if you will be needing it only for KNP. I speak under correction but I remember (have not re-calculated it) that it is feasible for a stay from 8 nights onwards,

Your plan sounds just perfect to me otherwise!

Klaus

-Owner Abangane-

Hazyview

Edited: 04 June 2011, 01:20
Hazyview, South...
Level Contributor
3,854 posts
19 reviews
23 helpful votes
6. Re: Trip breakup between Satara, Skukuza & Lower Sabie

by the way, there is no real check out. You pay your balance on check in and on day of departure you just drop your key in a box at the gate. Just make sure at your last destination to ask for the final check out confirmation which you need to produce when leaving the park (any gate).

Klaus

-Owner Abangane-

Hazyview

Mumbai
Level Contributor
35 posts
108 reviews
203 helpful votes
7. Re: Trip breakup between Satara, Skukuza & Lower Sabie

Thanks a *lot*. This really helps.

I'll be spending around 2 days in Namakwa later in the trip, one day in GoeGap ... and at least one day in Camp Vidal (not sure if the wildcard will work there). Also will be going to Hermanus, Boulders NP & TableTop in Cape town. I'm hoping that the card will work in all of these (haven't actually checked)

I'll now just see if i can get the same unit for the 1st two days at Olifants instead of shifting.

Thanks.

nipa & manan

Hazyview, South...
Level Contributor
3,854 posts
19 reviews
23 helpful votes
8. Re: Trip breakup between Satara, Skukuza & Lower Sabie

If you dont see availbility for the river view bungalow for the first day, keep on checking daily. Often one becomes available.

Klaus

-Owner Abangane-

Hazyview

Florida
Level Contributor
425 posts
22 reviews
39 helpful votes
9. Re: Trip breakup between Satara, Skukuza & Lower Sabie

About the weather, I can help, having visited Letaba, Olfants, and Mopani during September. By the way, I live in tropical Florida.

The middle of the day it became very pleasant, I have pictures of me in a t-shirt and capri (cropped) linen pants and sneaker (trainers, I think they are called). I sat out in the sunshine because it felt so good, not too hot nor too cold, just fine, while I read a book or rested, as those morning game drives come far too early. I do remember one mid-day in Letaba where I actually felt a slight sweat, this as I was walking around the camp and checking out the little animals within the camp.

The biggest surprise came to me in mornings and evenings--they were cold! I remember waking up shivering as I was getting dressed, seeing my breath when I went outside to the car. And at night around the boma I wore a t-shirt covered with a long-sleeve fleece, and wrapped myself in a blanket.

Now I am going in July, winter, and I have been told to bring gloves and a scarf.

I think that is the biggest shock of Africa is we all envision it s being hot. But it can be quite cold. Lovely change for those of us who live in steamy areas.

Edited: 05 June 2011, 23:22
Mumbai
Level Contributor
35 posts
108 reviews
203 helpful votes
10. Re: Trip breakup between Satara, Skukuza & Lower Sabie

wow. ok so it'll be warm-clothes-packing for us too.

and I have created a shortcut on my desktop which will open the september availability of Olifants directly (easy. just copy the link that appears in the address bar when you see the monthly availability manually ... and paste it in a desktop shortcut).

now if only there was some sort of a trigger which would email us if something got available on a particular date ... ;)