Rissington Inn and Kruger Safari
by Carol Veitch
Wild dog, seen in the south of Kruger
We went on three night drives in total, the one from Lower Sabie was absolutely fantastic - the guide was really knowledgeable and we saw the Big Five that night.
This was our twelfth trip to South Africa.
It was great meeting a number of other people who are members of the South Africa Parks website forum (forumites or just 'mites).
They are recognised by having a yellow ribbon tied to the wing mirror of their cars and when we met any of them they were just great to talk to. It is probably because we all share a passion for SANParks and the wildlife they contain.
We stayed at various Kruger Park Restcamps: Crocodile Bridge, Lower Sabie, Tamboti and Balule.
In Hazyview we stayed at the Rissington Inn. We stayed here for a few nights on our very first trip to South Africa 10 years ago and fell in love with it.
We now count Rissington as our second home and always spend some time there when we are in the country. We love its friendliness and welcome as well as the fantastic food.
All the staff are like family to us now and when we come out in August 2010 we will spend a 'birthday weekend' with them as it celebrates its 15th year now.
Almost everyone we know who has stayed here loves it - for the same reasons as us. There will always be someone who feels differently and perhaps like a more formal hotel but I can honestly say I can wholeheartedly recommend Rissington Inn to people.
If you read reports from the likes of Trip Advisor you will pick up that some people felt the atmosphere was lacking when the owner, Chris Harvie, was away (he spent some time away when researching his last book and was doing up a property in the Karoo) but he is now back at Rissington.
We self catered in the Kruger Park, most days we stopped at a rest camp and had a fried breakfast.
Most lunches were simple salads or sandwiches. Dinners were done on the braai with potatoes and salad.
At the Rissington Inn breakfast is selected from cereals, fruit, etc. and cooked food as well. Dinner was selected from their excellent menu.
We saw an amazing array of wildlife from wild dogs in the south of the park, over twenty white rhino (in one day), over twenty lions (in one day), otters in the Sabie River, a new-born impala lamb (we watched it slowly find its feet and then run after its mother), and more wonderful birds than we can name here.
We had never seen otters in the Park before and we know what a rare sighting it was.
Just a pangolin at the top of our wish list still!!
The alarm goes off at 4.00 am and we drag our clothes on and get to the car so that we are waiting at the gate for it opening at 4.30am.
We drive around looking out for wildlife until about 9.30 am, then stop for some breakfast.
We then get back on the road, trying to cover as much ground as possible until about noon when we return to the camp for a shower and a spot of lunch.
After a short rest we get back on the road for about 2.00 pm to 3.00 pm, maybe sitting at a waterhole or a dam for over an hour just to see what animals visit, or go to a bird hide (Lake Panic is our favourite).
Then back before the gates close and organise some dinner.
Disappointments / Regrets
Tamboti camp was a disappointment, the tent had no toilet or kitchen and the shared facilities were too far away. This problem was personal problem to us and our selection of accommodation.
Over the time that we have been going to the Kruger Park we have noted that, since the catering was turned over to outside contractors, the quirkiness and quality has gone.
Some picnic sites are fantastic (Tshokwane, Nkulu and Afsaal).
Tips and Advice
Don't be scared to self-guide
, it really is very easy (if you could use a little help, get our e-book - Ed.)
. And you will never regret it.
Our most useful item was a corkscrew, the wines of South Africa are truly wonderful and there will be something to celebrate every day.
= = = = = =See more photos by Carol and her husband - they are both passionate about wildlife photography - as well as more about this Kruger safari on the SANParks forum »
...as well as her August 2010 Kruger safari report »
|Carol's Safari Details:|
Safari company used: Travelled independently Ask for help or learn how to guide your own safari
Parks visited: Kruger National Park, South Africa
Date of safari: 14 November for 14 days
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