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.

Kruger Park rest camp query about booking accommodation

Perth
Level Contributor
85 posts
39 reviews
Save Topic
Kruger Park rest camp query about booking accommodation

Good evening, I have just booked 2 weeks in Kruger at a variety of rest camps for December. Many people on these forums have remarked about great views from specific chalets and bungalows. How does one go about securing these specific chalets? I first tried booking through KrugerPark.com and they were super-efficient with the reservation but would not answer any of my queries about specific bungalow numbers. I've since gone with SANParks and booked all my own accomm. but nothing on our itinerary gives any indication about chalet numbers so we can't look on the camp maps and see where we're going to be housed. How do the veterans suggest getting perimeter accommodation? Also, has anyone been to Punda Maria and booked a 3bd bungalow? After paying, they tell me "No cooking utensils, crockery or cutlery are provided". So, just for this one camp, is it correct that we will need to buy and lug around S. Africa a set of kitchen utensils, crockery & eating utensils? Thanks!

Gold Coast...
Destination Expert
for Kruger National Park
Level Contributor
4,922 posts
24 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Kruger Park rest camp query about booking accommodation

Hi there

Firstly yes you did the right thing by booking through Sanparks.

Once your booking is made you can then simply log on any time and change things like the room type. It s normal that rooms are not allocated at the time of booking, just like most lodgings.

As for exact bungalow and cottage locations first of all you have to actually have booked the correct type of room such as a perimeter bungalow and so on, then closer to your arrival you can request specific nmbers within that location.

For example to get the best view at Olifants you would first have to had booked a bungalow called. 'Best riveriew', not just a standard bungalow.

Hope that makes sense, is this what you have done?

Gold Coast...
Destination Expert
for Kruger National Park
Level Contributor
4,922 posts
24 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Kruger Park rest camp query about booking accommodation

Sorry missed the second bit of your question.

If you have booked the Bungalow BD3 at Punda Maria which has three single beds, then that has utensils.

By the way by what method did you book? I always recommend to initially make it by phone as there is nothing to pay for thirty days and you can chop and change your booking as much as you want. Otherwise if you book online you have to pay immediately.

Perth
Level Contributor
85 posts
39 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Kruger Park rest camp query about booking accommodation

Thanks so much for your detailed reply. As I'm in Australia, I did book it on-line - I noted that the full amount had to be paid upfront but, as our dollar is dropping like a brick, we didn't mind paying upfront. This saved about R800 over the exact booking we had with KrugerPark.com. I did book BD4V for a view at Mopani but I believe there were no similar ones available at Olifants (either already booked or not available for 3 persons). I will look into the Best Riverview option that you describe as I'm sure I can upgrade. I'll do as you suggest and ask for chalet numbers closer to the time - I'd wondered if it might be a mad scramble to get the best ones on the day of arrival. Yes, we booked BD3 at Punda Maria. Thanks again for taking the trouble to respond so quickly.

Gold Coast...
Destination Expert
for Kruger National Park
Level Contributor
4,922 posts
24 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Kruger Park rest camp query about booking accommodation

You are welcome and happy to help if I can with other camps too, we have our favourite spots at camps like Satara and Skukuza too.

Presumably you have registered and have a booking that you can go online and look at. If so you can amend your stay at any time if a better room comes up.

What happens is people book and do not pay their deposit by the due date, therefore their room becomes instantly available for someone else. Therefore you can actually check availability every day if you prefer a different type of room then grab it if it becomes available. We have done this every time as you cannot always get your number one location choice at the time of booking, but there is a chance you may get it later.

Having said that you would be lucky of course to get the most popular rooms becoming available but it does happen. We just shuffled our dates a couple of weeks ago for our upcoming trip so that we could overlook the river at Olifants. Lower Sabie is a good example, an extremely popular camp that books out well in advance, same goes for the bushveld camps.

When you look at Olifants you will see there are river view rooms and then best river view rooms. The latter are quite spectacular, they are right atop the cliff and you can watch the wildlife below, but either would be better than a standard bungalow. Just re reading your post though, I can see you have the problem of booking for three. If it is 3 adults you would need to look at pairs of bungalows, but if you are a family you may want to look at some of the guesthouses. At Olifants there are two, Nshawu and Lebombo, both with wonderful views, and of course you pay more for these. We are staying in Lebombo next trip because we missed out on the river view rooms (see what I mean!). All of the main camps have these houses and they are pretty good.

Edited: 11 August 2013, 14:19
Holland
Level Contributor
96 posts
3 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Kruger Park rest camp query about booking accommodation

We have a reservation for Olifants, made by our travel agency. This reservation says: Bungalow CK (max. 3 beds). When we check the map for Olifants and the booking forms we cannot find a bungalow with the description CK. Does anyone know what kind of bungalow this is? Does "best riverview" still apply to this reservation? Can we still try and ask for a riverview like Thesandmans suggests?

Gold Coast...
Destination Expert
for Kruger National Park
Level Contributor
4,922 posts
24 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Kruger Park rest camp query about booking accommodation

Hello Vandammetjes

I am afraid there are no bungalows use the code CK, or even have those letters within. There are bungalows with three single beds in one room, but not coded CK, and on the perimeter but not riverview.

You cannot ask for a riverview later on, only a specific room number, and that is only if a riverview room was booked right from the start. They are the most popular bungalows and book out well ahead, and cost more than a standard.

Can you provide any more information about your booking? Are you booked in other camps also?

Edited: 11 August 2013, 14:50
Perth
Level Contributor
85 posts
39 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Kruger Park rest camp query about booking accommodation

Thanks again thesandmans. You're right, at Olifants I did try for a bungalow with view for 2 and when I added the extra person (teenager qualifying as an adult), it wouldn't allow it. But I have made a gross error in copying the original reservation made for us by KrugerParks.com for BG3 as it has no utensils and is not perimeter. I suspect they didn't give what I'd requested because none was available - this was why I was trying to get the chalet number from them so I could check before paying.

Maybe I can upgrade if the full 5 day period becomes available in the manner you've described above (no luck today). I expect there'll be a cancellation fee involved. Those guest houses do look very tempting if a bit out of our price range but they're all booked at the time. We're travelling in December - probably not the best time to visit but dictated by school hols.

Gold Coast...
Destination Expert
for Kruger National Park
Level Contributor
4,922 posts
24 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: Kruger Park rest camp query about booking accommodation

Hi bilasukari

Yes the BG3 at Olifants does not have any utensils and it also has a communal kitchen rather than one in the bungalow.

You should be able to log on to your booking and change it though. My concern is what time in December you are going, as it gets later in the month it is naturally harder to get the room you want, as you know because of school hols. Many locals book these rooms up the minute they become available and you can imagine how popular the guesthouses with multiple bedrooms are.

Sanparks will not charge you a cancellation fee for shuffling your booking around, but if you have paid in full you won’t get a refund, just a credit. If you upgrade you simply pay the difference.

I have looked this morning and there sure is not a lot available in Olifants in December but there is code BD3U available on quite a few nights. They have 3 single beds, perimeter, cooking and so on. The Nkambako Bungalow (FQ4)] is available for quite a few nights and also Lebombo but all earlier in the month.

Do not forget that you can also shuffle your booking around with the other camps. For example you might get a few nights available in Olifants when you are booked somewhere else and possibly swap them around.

Another suggestion is to have a look at Letaba, there are still 3 bed bungalows available there right through December but only one or two so you would have to move quick. They also have guesthouses available earlier in the month, yes more expensive but they have big fully equipped kitchens for self catering. From Olifants we usually go for a breakfast at Letaba, it is a lovely treed and peaceful camp, a very pleasant atmosphere and the restaurant overlooks a huge dam, a very nice spot. From there you can easily drive to Olifants and have a meal or just enjoy some time on the viewing deck. Also remember Satara too is an easy game drive from Olifants if you can get in there.

Mopani is nice too, we stayed in a guesthouse there last year, had a ball.

Are you in Kruger for the full 2 weeks? Wonderful.

Perth
Level Contributor
85 posts
39 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: Kruger Park rest camp query about booking accommodation

I really appreciate all the time you're putting into help us. Yes we have two weeks in the Park, after that 4 weeks not knowing what we're doing! Possibly Mozambique and Swaziland and the rest of the time exploring Eastern S. Africa. We were in Cape Town 2 years ago and loved it so much. Christmas? Who knows!

We are spending 3 nights just outside Kruger at Komatipoort at the end of Nov to see the southern area. Then it's:

Satara 1-5 Dec,

Mopani 6 Dec,

Punda Maria 7, 8 Dec

Mopani 9 Dec

Olifants 10-14 Dec

B&B Komatipoort 15 Dec

So, your suggestion of possibly swapping Satari with Olifants dates is very welcome and one I will look into now. When I log into my booking, it gives the option to pay the conservation fees (we'll have a Wild Card) and states 'there are no accommodation alternatives'. It says this under each of the camp bookings. But I can see that I can add to my itinerary - maybe a phone call is in order.

Thanks so much.

Gold Coast...
Destination Expert
for Kruger National Park
Level Contributor
4,922 posts
24 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: Kruger Park rest camp query about booking accommodation

How exciting to have 2 weeks in the park, that is great, and you will see so much.

My first thought with your itinerary was that you are not staying south of Satara at all, which is where the wildlife is most concentrated. Then I saw your Komatipoort days so I presume you will be covering the south of the park from there ? There are some great game viewing roads in the south, the Skukuza, Lower Sabie, Croc Bridge stretch is very well known for its game viewing and we have had incredible sightings also on the road to Pretoriaskop.

With your booking well I have to admit I have never ever seen 'there are no accommodation alternatives' so I can only presume this is due to camps being so booked up with no single ‘room’ available for your exact dates. If so as said already that won’t stop you from shuffling things around. Have you paid in full. or just the deposit?

Just one thing with your plan, you probably realise what a long drive it is from Olifants to Komatipoort, well over 120 kilometers, and you really need to allow an average speed of 20klm per hour. This allows for keeping to the speed limit of 40/50 kmph plus stops for game viewing. On top of that you will have meal and bathroom breaks, so will spend time at the picnic spots too. Doable yes but the last thing you would want to do is have to rush or leave a good sighting. In fact you cannot speed, you would be fined or even worse hit an animal.

Therefore something to consider if you do any shuffling, it could be good to maybe head south a little earlier, stay at Skukuza, Pretoriaskop, or similar. Even back to Satara, we can never have too much time in that area !

I see that the two best Olifants guesthouses right now are available for just 2 nights in December, the 11th and 12th, making another option to stay at Mopani another night being the 10th , Lebombo or Nshawu [fab] 11th and 12th , then head south a little for the 13th and 14th ??

Just tossing around ideas here.

I can see you have travelled to Africa before so you know how it works, but if you do want to call Sanparks you will find them very helpful, this is how we always start off our booking. The Sanparks booking system is generally really pretty good compared to some, we love it.

Btw do you have a perimeter bungalow at Satara ?

Get answers to your questions about Kruger National Park