Campgounds in Kruger Park

When in Kruger National Park you have several choices for accommodations.  11 different “campgrounds” are operated by the park.  In addition they have several other primitive campsites and you can camp in the bush or in birdhides with special permission.  None of the latter are within any protective fencing.

We decided to rent a two person room at each of three campgrounds where we stayed.  First we stayed in the northern portion of the park at Punda Maria.  Punda Maria had two bedroom accommodations in groups of three rooms to a building.  The room was tiny and we hardly had space to walk around but it did have two twin beds, a small bathroom with a shower and a little nook space in the room with a small refrigerator.  Outside on the patio was a two person table and chairs.  You could park your car directly in front of your door.  The roof was made of thatch and you could see the thatch from the inside also.  The beams were coated with creosote which gave the room an off-putting smell and was annoying to my asthma.  It did have an air conditioning unit and you could set the temperature to what was comfortable to you.  Across the driveway from the rooms was a covered stand with four sinks, a stove and a kettle for heating hot water.  They also had a patio with grills and picnic tables along with a public bathroom which included small rooms with bathtubs.  Punda Maria also had a small laundry room with a washing machine (outside the laundry room was a clothesline), a small restaurant with indoor and outdoor seating, and a small camp store where they sold a few souvenirs, some food like eggs, milk and frozen meats for grilling and other items you might need when camping like mosquito repellent and first aid supplies.  The camp also had a gas station and a swimming pool as well as the Flycatcher nature trail I told you about in an earlier posting.

At Letaba we actually had our own building.  It was a round bungalow that also had a thatched roof.  It was more spacious than the room at Punda Maria and you could have put a cot in the room to accommodate another person.  About 2/3rds of the circle was taken with the inside room and the last bit was a screened in porch that held a counter with a cabinet underneath where they had kitchen supplies.  The porch also had a refrigerator, and a table and chairs for two.  The porch looked out over the lawn of the camp which was on the edge of the fence and the Letaba River.  In addition to all the facilities that Punda Maria had, Letaba had a larger restaurant with a lovely patio overlooking the river, a small museum devoted to elephants, and an outdoor movie theater.  A small animal called a Bushbuck roamed the grassy areas of the camp.

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Skukuza is the largest camp in the park and we spent the last three nights there.  At Skukuza we also had our own two person bungalow but the porch was not screened in.  We had to push the table up against the refrigerator door to keep the resident monkeys from stealing the food out of the refrigerator!  This camp had two restaurants; one was the standards SANS park restaurant with the same menu that each park had and another restaurant in a remodeled train station which was open at dinner time and had a different and quite lovely menu.  This is where we ate the last two nights of our stay, including Thanksgiving night.  It was a huge improvement over the cheese and pbj sandwiches at lunch which we thought may be our Thanksgiving meal.  This camp also had a bank, a library, a police station, a doctor and an Internet cafe.  Nearby is a golf course and a jail where they put poachers when they are first caught in the park!

We visited several other camps for meals as we traveled between camps or as we drove out looking for animals.  All were similar in accommodations but had their own flair and personality.


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