How to avoid a washed out safari

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Heavy rains almost as devastating as 2012′s have once again swept through Mpumalanga, affecting many of the roads, bridges and camps in the Kruger National Park. Now that the worst is over and the worst-affected areas have been cleaned up, most areas are open to the public. But what if you plan on visiting the Park during this period – what happens to your booking and how do you manage it? Read on to find out what to do in the event of a natural disaster…

Natural disasters occur occasionally in our national parks, and as it is an unforeseen circumstance, which cannot be avoided, it can affect our guests with regards to their travel plans and bookings. In such circumstances, KrugerPark.com will contact guests who have bookings in affected areas.

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Please take note of the following SANParks guidelines with regards to changing a booking as a result of a natural disaster:

  • Affected guests will be informed as soon as possible, after such event has taken place.
  • Guests are also welcome to initiate changes to bookings by contacting the reservation offices
  • Affected guests will be informed that booked facilities are no longer available and that we will do our best to assist them with alternative bookings.
  • SANParks staff will do their best to find and offer alternative accommodation and/or during alternative periods.
  • Should alternative accommodation no longer be available, SANParks will make monies paid as a deposit available for alternative bookings at a later stage.
  • As long as the changes are due to natural disasters, guests will never be required to pay cancellation, modification or amendment fees.
  • In cases where bookings were made online and guests received the 5% discount, the alternative booking should also be subject to the 5% discount.
  • Should alternative accommodation be available and there is a difference in price, the following guidelines apply:
    • Should the price of the accommodation be higher than originally booked, the guest will be required to pay in the difference before accommodation can be taken up. If this is not accepted by the guest, then guest has right to cancel.
    • Should the price of the accommodation be lower than originally booked, the guest will receive the benefit thereof and any credit on the booking will be available on client account for future use.

If you have any questions about bookings you’ve made through KrugerPark.com, get in touch with us on +27 21 468 7255 or email us at bookings@krugerpark.com
 
All images © SANParks

Download your wildlife desktop!

WildPairs
 
Valentine’s Day is just around the corner but humans are not the only species feeling the love. We put together some pictures of our favourite South African animals with their significant others and the wallpaper (1600X1200) is free for you to download. Just click the image above and save it, then set it as your desktop and wait for the compliments to roll in!

Vanishing acts

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Giraffe

Following the amazing popularity of the hidden animal photo on our Facebook page (can you spot the camouflaged cat?), we wanted to bring you more animals that have mastered the art of going incognito. Can you spot the animals camouflaged in these photographs?
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Grey wolf

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Blue dacnis

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California ground squirrel

Camouflage

Animal camouflage is a natural adaptation that allows certain animals to evade their predators or sneak up on their prey by blending into the surrounding habitat. Camouflage may involve changing colour with the seasons to blend in with changing foliage or climates, or assuming the appearance of other, more intimidating, animals. Another effective method is the use of stripes or patterns that break up the animal’s body shape. This is known as “visual disruption”. Patterns positioned to break up the outline of the animal make it hard for predators to get a clear sense of where the animal is because the pattern seems to run off in every direction.
 
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Great grey owl

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Japanese macaques

 
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Spotted deer

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Willow ptarmigan

 
The photographer
 
Art Wolfe took the photographs above as well as the picture of Kruger’s hidden leopard as part of a series of shots capturing the incredible ability animals have of blending seamlessly into their surroundings. The photographer has travelled all over the world in search of creatures who are experts at disguise. The project, which he started in the 1980s, is still being added to. Wolfe refers to his work of finding and filming animals on location as “an exhilarating and painstaking process”. We may add that it is one with awe-inspiring results!
 
All photographs © Tom Wolfe

SA lodges go for gold

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Every year, readers of the luxury travel bible, Conde Nast Traveler, vote for the best places to stay around the world. No fewer than fourteen stunning South African hotels  were selected as winners of this year’s prestigious Conde Nast Gold List. Five of these spectacular sites are set adjacent the Kruger National Park and four of these were awarded additional “platinum circle” status for making the exclusive list every year for the last five years. Take a look at the five South African lodges safari dreams are made of…

 

Mala Mala

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Most guests would describe Mala Mala as “luxury without ostentation”. It’s all about service at this lodge, without sacrificing the down-to-earth connection with nature that brings visitors to the bushveld in the first place.

 

Singita Kruger National Park

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With its classic design and simple luxury, Singita is one of the hotels favoured by the rich and famous. And it’s hard not to be fabulous while watching a herd of elephants from the lap pool of the lodge’s wooden decks, or sleeping under the stars on your private terrace.

 

Londolozi Game Reserve

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We could say many things about the amazing wilderness, people, service and experience at Londolozi, but the only thing we want to say is “leopards”. The abundance of this notoriously shy species is a huge draw-card for Londolozi. In fact, leopards were voted the Big 5 animal tourists would pay the most to see. And rightly so – being face to face with these elusive cats is one animal encounter worth every penny.

 

Sabi Sabi Private Game Reserve

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With the lingering presence of hippo and crocodile in the Sabie River, the excitement of a Sabi safari lives up to the Tsonga word tsave (meaning “danger”) from which the lodge gets its name. But the only thing dangerous about the luxurious accommodation, sumptuous food and world class service at Sabi Sabi is that it is extremely addictive.

 

Lion Sands

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Anyone fancy a night in the ultimate bush bedroom, high up in a  lavish tree-house, under an African sky? We bet you do, and we have just the place to make it happen – the Lion Sands Chalkley Treehouse. Alright, so the lodge only made Conde Nast’s Gold List and not the “platinum circle”. But who needs platinum – when you’re sleeping this close to the stars and sweet dreams are pretty much guaranteed?