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“Excellent value - unforgettable safari experience on a budget”
Review of Skukuza Rest Camp

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Skukuza Rest Camp
Florida
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Excellent value - unforgettable safari experience on a budget”
Reviewed 6 April 2009

February 09 marked my second trip to Kruger. I can think of no better place to have a true safari experience on a budget. As other reviewers have mentioned, it's best not to expect luxury: staying at Kruger is essentially like camping. The rondavels are very quaint. we had a kithenette that was adequate. Other facilities include a simple pool, a well-stocked store and two restaurants. Being the largest camp, Skukuza is also incredibly busy. Even during the off season it was packed over the weekend. However, you can't beat the amenities like an ATM, full-service bank and Internet cafe.

I highly recommend Kruger - I'm going back again in June. If you're going to go, there are a few things to note: (1) bring power strips if you have lots of things to charge; (2) bring a good flashlight and perhaps a lantern; (3) stop in Nelspruit if you have time to pick up specialty items, but keep in mind the store is well-stocked; (4) remember the point of Skukuza is easy access to wildlife, not luxurious accommodations, so adjust your expectations accordingly. You will NOT be disappointed by the wildlife.

I also recommend Satara (fabulous for cats) and Pretoriuskop (oldest camp, rhinos and wild dogs all over the place). I've been to, but not stayed in, Lower Sabie, Olifants and Letaba, and can recommend these as well.

  • Stayed February 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank SkyHawaii14
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Abu Dhabi
Level 4 Contributor
30 reviews
30 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 69 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 April 2009

Skukuza restcamp is about 15 minutes from the Kruger Park main gate, and the action starts as soon as you enter the park, seeing monkeys and impalas.
We were staying in a deluxe bungalow by the river bank, and first impressions were great. We had AC, an average size bed, nice bathroom with excellent shower, there was even satellite TV. Outside our thatched roof bungalow there was a patio area which had a BBQ, fridge, sink and seating. It was very dark by our patio area during the day as we were shaded by a huge tree which wasn’t the best.
In the mornings and afternoons you can hear the hippo’s in the river as well as the odd monkey in the tree as well as lots of birdlife. The camp has great facilities, a few restaurants, a café with its seating under a thatched roof that has hundreds of little fruit bats sleeping – very cute, a huge shop which carried all the food you could want, plus every kind of souvenir, there was also a swimming pool but we didn’t get to try it out but it looked very inviting each time we passed it. The restaurant we ate in on the last night was an old train station, the seating area is on the platform, the atmosphere is great, the service was good, and the food was ok. The restcamp itself has no lighting as such so at night its pitch black to walk around so you may want to buy a torch. We were there for 2 days and I would sum it up as being excellent value for money, but don't expect luxury..

  • Stayed February 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Silvertimtim
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New Delhi
Level 3 Contributor
17 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 March 2009

We stayed at the Skukuza camp at Kruger in one of their bungalows..nothing fancy but great value for money and clean overall...easy access to restaurants, souvenier shops and great safari-type activities....we would recommend this for people looking for a good place to stay at Skukuza and don't want to overspend

  • Stayed February 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank RohitManvi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
Level 6 Contributor
210 reviews
53 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 252 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 December 2008

I stayed here for two nights in December 2008 as part of a package for a safari tour. It was the third place I stayed in South Africa and based on my experiences up to that point I had fairly low expectations.
I stayed in a round bungalow with conical thatched roof - there were three single beds with an ensuite shower room, air conditioning and fan, as well as a small terrace with sink, fridge, table and chairs.
I was impressed with the facilities at the rest camp (shops and cafes), but felt the shops should be open later. The restaurant (in the style of an old train station) was interesting.
More external lighting would be helpful - we met several people who got lost finding their rooms in the dark.
Despite the heavy rain, the room remained dry, clean and comfortable. The only noises I heard were from the wild animals at night, birds in the morning and the thunderstorms. I slept soundly.

  • Liked — Location in the middle of Kruger National Park
  • Disliked — External lighting
  • Stayed December 2008
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank ilovemiddleeast
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Donegal, Ireland
Level 6 Contributor
142 reviews
49 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 114 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 November 2008

My husband and I were part of a tour and slept in one of the huts for 2 nights - room 211. Our room was very noisey around 5.00 am because we were situated beside the road and we could hear traffic and people talking along with the sound of wild animals. You'd be advised to take an early night, not much to entertain you here anyway in the evenings so you'll be having an early night! If you are going on safari you'll be up at the crack of dawn anyway so the noise will be your wake up call. The huts are basic but ok - as expected there were no modern appliances ie tv, radio, hairdryer, clock..... There was a small kitchen and fridge outside the hut and a small bathroom with a sink situated in the bedroom. There were some moths and ants and an earwig in the room but you are in the middle of the safari, We also had a large lizzard in the room. They all must get in through the thatched roof.

The sheets did have stains on them but they did look as if they'd been washed. The food in the restaurant was good enough, we ate at the buffet twice, limited choice for dessert, just icecream or pudding. The breakfast was nice.

The park is very dark at night and it can be difficult finding your way back to your hut so take a torch with you. There is a large well stocked shop on site which sells everything you'll need. There is also internet available at a reasonable cost beside the cafe.

  • Liked — Airconditioning
  • Disliked — Noise levels
  • Stayed October 2008
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Donegaltourist
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

Travellers are raving about these Kruger National Park hotels

Mission Viejo,CA
Level 3 Contributor
13 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 63 helpful votes
Reviewed 15 September 2008

We just returned this morning from Skukuza restcamp. We were also booked in the luxury riverview bungelow. My husband laughed when I told him we were in the nicest accommodations in the park. We were there for the location and the animals, and knew it would not be like the Four Seasons.

It is a round hut with an outside kitchen overlooking the river, which is the best part about these huts. Our bedding had some old stains on them but looked to be freshly laundered. There were no bugs or mosquitoes in the room ever. The second night, someone took one of our outside chairs, but we never asked for another.

There is an outside kitchen but we opted for the cafeteria after the game drives ended at 8 pm. We went to the restaurant the first night but didn't think it was worth the price. Breakfast is better than dinner but the chicken sandwiches are fine. There is a train restaurant which has the best food in the park and is not expensive.

I always spoke to the staff and they were always very helpful to me, helping us move our food to a better table etc. I found the communal bathrooms to always be clean.

We were outside our last evening and some elephants had crossed over the river to our side and were right next to the fence. Hyenas ran by. It was an amazing experience.

We loved the location of Skukuza-easy to drive to the north or down to lower Sabie-we saw all the Big Five.

We basically were only in our bungelow to sleep but we saw many people who were really enjoying their stay, entertaining on their patios, etc.

Loved the location, loved the experience, and would stay here again.

  • Liked — Location is right in the center of south Kruger
  • Disliked — Room could have been more updated
  • Stayed September 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank jwthere4u
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cape Town
Level 6 Contributor
312 reviews
28 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 136 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 August 2008

My husband and I recently spent four nights at Skukuza camp and opted for the "luxury riverside bungalows". The title's a bit of a misnomer, they're not luxurious but they are perfectly comfortable, better than the very basic bungalows offered at Skukuza. What is nice is that they have wonderful views of the Sabie River as they are situated on the riverbank.

The main restaurant at Skukuza is really not great and the food is edible but that's about it. There is a second restaurant, a grill house, which although we never tried it, gave the impression of being much nicer. The camp does have a shop where you can buy all the necessary basics for self catering and this is what we ended up doing. It's worthwhile to consider stopping at Nelspruit before entering the Park and stocking up at either Woolworths, the Spar or Pick 'n Pay. Each bungalow is fully equipped for self catering.

Service in the camp - and for that matter anywhere in the Park - is not brilliant. Staff "do you a favour" at best, and are surly at worst. Smiling faces are a rarity and a real pleasure when you do encounter them.

I would highly recommend the early morning bush walks offered by the camp - they are awesome - but be sure to book early, preferably in advance. Early morning bush drives are also worthwhile though can be extremely cold, depending on the time of year.

I think one key thing about Skukuza is that it is extremely well positioned for good game drives - the drive from Skukuza to Lower Sabie is, in particular, very good, following as it does, the course of the Sabie River. The Lake Panic hide, which is nearby, is also excellent for watching hippos and birds.

  • Liked — River views
  • Disliked — lack of space, small double bed
  • Stayed August 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank kalgran
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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