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“A trip on the wild side! saw the big 5!”
Review of Skukuza Rest Camp

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Skukuza Rest Camp
Cairo
Level Contributor
52 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
“A trip on the wild side! saw the big 5!”
Reviewed 14 September 2011

we stayed over the week-end, and we absolutely loved it! we had a hut, it's so cozy, clean and well maintained, and it's basically everything you need on a safari!

what i really loved about this place is that they have accommodations that suit all budgets and lifestyles: you can have a camping spot (where u bring yr own tent), or a caravan site, huts with different sizes, capacities and facilities. ours had 2 single beds, a bathroom, a kitchenette with tableware and utensils, mini fridge and of course, a braai (bbq) facility, a local favorite!

the camp is quite big, it has a restaurant, souvenir shop and a curio shop (mini supermarket). it has a big terrace and a walk beside the fence overlooking the sabie river where you can spot animals. we saw a buffalo right across the fence the moment we arrived, and one night we saw 4 hyenas pass by, 2 meters away!

there are many activities that can booked in the reception and the prices are ok (between R200 and R300 pp). we tried the night drive which was quite an exciting experience, i definitely recommend it! we saw a leopard 5 minutes from exiting the camp, then we got so close to a couple of lions that were staying on the edge of the road. then we saw a herd of elephants, hippos, impalas, ...etc.
a little hint: try sitting at the back of the jeep as you will be responsible for holding the flashlight and yelling "stop" when you spot an animal !

the next day we took a morning walk, which starts at 6 am!! we didnt see many animals, but it's also quite an experience to be walking in the african bush!
we also tried the sunset drive, which was ok, but i preferred the night drive!
but spotting the animals is a matter of luck! as the ranger would tell you "we have to be at the right place at the right time"!

well, a little word that has to be said. before i went there, i read reviews here on tripadvisor, and many were complaining about the food, the staff being unfriendly, the accommodation not being good....
it was great there!! it's a camp!! so what are you expecting?! if u want luxury, just go to a private game reserve!
but this one has everything one could need on a SAFARI CAMP, and who goes there to stay in the hut anyway?! it's clean, cozy, what more could u need?
the people are normal, i wouldn't say "unfriendly", but they're fine!and we didnt try the food there as we had our own braais, but alot of people were eating there and seemed quite pleased!

  • Stayed August 2011, travelled as a couple
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1 Thank DZohni
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Stellenbosch, South Africa
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 September 2011

I used to come here a lot as a child - the place has changed so much! Still a great experience, especiallly the game drives.
The buffet restaurant was average (rather have a nice bbq), but we really enjoyed the Selati train restaurant!

Room Tip: We stayed in a family cottage near the Selati restaurant with great views of the river.
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  • Stayed August 2011, travelled with family
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Thank Bernie_Coetzee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Germiston, South Africa
Level Contributor
30 reviews
26 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 September 2011

We had a great time with family and friends with good game sightings, however the service from checkin to being served on the viewing deck was poor to say the least.

The rondavel was clean and cool but if you're going the self catering route then take a few things like a salad bowl and steak knives.

  • Stayed September 2011, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank BluffyBoy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bethesda Maryland
Level Contributor
145 reviews
62 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 100 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 September 2011

Just spent 2 weeks in Kruger and this was the best equipped camp. It is a bungalow in a park not a luxury lodge. Everything worked and was clean. However self caterers should not rely on the cookware, which is barely adequate. a few pots and utensils makes a huge difference.

  • Stayed August 2011, travelled as a couple
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2 Thank Emeritus24
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
7 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 30 August 2011

We stayed for one night in a family chalet near the river and the old train bridge. The views here were great, though not as good as at Olifants. The atmosphere in the camp was nice, many people, big shop, lots of birdlife. We had dinner in the train restaurant, great setting and fine a la carte food.
The sunset drive we did was a bit disappointing, as the ranger was not very inspired. We made up for this the next day in our own car.

  • Stayed July 2011
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Helpful?
1 Thank AudryWim
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Rotterdam, The Netherlands
Level Contributor
13 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 August 2011

Well for being a national park i guess my expectations needed to go down. In any case i was quite surprise that everything looked actually nice. Way much better than Berg en Dal and also great sightings.

  • Stayed August 2011, travelled with family
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Helpful?
Thank Yadys S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hawaii
Level Contributor
17 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 77 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 August 2011

The Kruger National park is a wonder to behold. It is a huge reserve, larger than Vermont, 50 miles wide, and 200 miles long. Within the park are many rest camps (similar to to those we have in Americas National Parks) as well as private luxurious Safari Camps and Reserves that many from the USA book for their African Safari.

Our interests are in the "do-it yourself" kind of Safari not the "Tour group" kind. If you want to know more about how to arrange your own Safari start with www.african-safari-journals.com/guide-your-own-safari. This on-line book was worth many times the $20 cost!

So, if you want to stay in Luxury Accommodations on your African Safari my review is not for you. Now on to the Skukuza Rest camp.

Like all the large rest camps in Kruger, this one contains a wide range of accommodations.
There are campsites, trailer sites, simple sleeping accommodations, up to semi-luxury cottages with kitchens. Also in the rest camps are small grocery stores, a restaurant, and various other amenities such as pools, laundry facilities, and the like.

We stayed in one of the perimeter cottages with a kitchen. By perimeter we mean that the location is on the outer edge of the camp next to the electrified fence that keeps out the more dangerous wildlife. No matter what camp you stay in, pay the extra 10% for the perimeter units. You are there for the wildlife, not hordes of people.

Skukuza is one of the largest camps and not our favorite one as there are many people, and the accommodations cost more than the other camps. (Skukuza is the park headquarters). That being said there is something positive here as well. The best wild life we saw in our 12 day trip was just outside this camp! We drove our own car and typically were out viewing animals an average of 10hours/day. The advantages of being in your own car and not on an open tour vehicle are many. As your own driver you can stop anywhere at any time to get the best viewing. You go at your own pace and stay as long as you like if some type of wild life is taking your fancy. You can bring food and drink with you and turn on the air conditioning when necessary. Think Yellowstone,cars, and bears and you get the idea. (in Kruger the car jams are much smaller and often you may be the first one there). By the way, do not forget the birds. There are so many and they can occupy your time between the sightings of the bigger wildlife. There is an animal blind very near Skukuza called Panic Lake. We spent hours there observing beautiful birds, crocs, and hippos.

You are only allowed outside the rest camp from 5am to 6pm. You can only get out of the car at designated places for obvious reasons. You can book a night drive tour at the camp and we do recommend doing at least one of these while you are in the Kruger. You can also book three day hiking Safaris where you are truly out in the wild with just 8 other folks, and two armed tour guides. Check out the South Africa National Park website for all the Kruger has to offer. You can book all your accommodations as well. If you want the better cottages on the perimeter book well in advance. The Kruger is popular.

Our accommodations always had kitchens and a BBQ so we did our own cooking. We got most of our supplies just outside the park where the selection and prices are better. (load up on the excellent wine available. Nothing better than a glass of wine at sunset watching the animals just outside the fence!)

Just to summarize. The Kruger rest camps provide the best value if you are on any kind of budget. We are talking $100/night, cooking your own food, and driving your own car.

Just make sure your car is an automatic and has air conditioning. No need for a 4 wheel drive unless it makes you feel more outbackish.

  • Stayed November 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank TheJohnz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Skukuza Rest Camp

Property: Skukuza Rest Camp
Address: 12 km from Paul Kruger Gate, 39 km from Phabeni Gate | Sabie River, Kruger National Park, South Africa
Region: South Africa > Kruger National Park
Amenities:
Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#1 Best Value Hotel in Kruger National Park
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:2 star — Skukuza Rest Camp 2*
Number of rooms: 301
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Skukuza is the Kruger National Park's largest rest camp and administrative headquarters. It is situated on the southern banks of the Sabie River. The camp is well foliaged and there are some lofty trees along the river's edge. Activities and facilities are diverse, as are the animals and plants found both within the camp and in the surrounding areas. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Skukuza Restcamp - Kruger National Park Hotel Kruger National Park

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