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COSMIC RHINO

Kruger cheaper camps Sausage tree, pungwe, africa on foot

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SAUSAGE TREE CAMP

 

It is relatively small in the Balule reserve with a 3,000 concession

 

the reserve is mixed grassland and woodland

 

there are a number of commercial tourism operators and well as private bush homes

 

they have meru tens on raised platforms , spaced to allow privacy

 

at sausage tree the bush experience is considered to be most important

 

meal times are flexible to fit in with this , the sundowner may be delayed or missed if there is good wildlife to view

 

sausage tree camp is well established many years, but in the last few years it changed ownership

 

it was refurbuished the owners live on site and are actively involved in operating it

 

 

 

tents have a queen, possibly king sized bed , simple hanging robe , bedside table, locked chest for valuables.

 

the bathroom includes both a bath and separate shower

 

the shower has a view open to the sky

 

africology personal care products are used in the tents, these are non chemical and based on essential oils.

 

the interest here is that the fruit of the sausage tree is amongst the contents

 

additional bottles are for sale to guests in the bar

 

there are hairdryers in the tents

 

there is solar electricity in the camp for cooking, kitchen, bar, charging point in the both each tent and in the bar

 

the camp is fenced for safety

 

there is a medium sized swimming pool

 

whilst being very comfortable, the camp is not tourism council star rated , as this involves a long list of standards which are difficult to keep to

 

there is wooden decking around the bar and dining area

 

there is also a boma

 

there is an wildlife waterhole to view

 

whilst I was there mainly wharthogs, impala and waterbuck visited

 

it is best to keep to the upper deck to see the animals, if you view from lower down the animals tend to flee

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Do they combine drives in Balule with day drives in Kruger park like Tremisana lodge do? Interested to hear what other activities are on offer, Balule itself is IMHO poor in terms of big five, though we did have a lovely encounter with a new lion mother and her very young cubs plus the rest of the pride. I didn't see rhino there either.

 

I did, however really appreciate the way they combined Kruger day trips with local walks and drives and the flexibility the showed with my requirements.

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I spent four nights at Sausage Tree Camp last July. They do offer other activities, they are individually priced and as far as I know, walking is not an option. My sister and her husband spent a day exploring the Panorama Route and the three of us spent one day in Kruger. We accessed The Kruger via Phaloborwa and although I cannot remember exactly how long it took, it was certainly not less than one hour.

The Kruger was a disappointment, for me as a first time visitor. We spent too long eating, at Letaba and Oliphants, the guide did not compare well to the excellent Liam Burrough, that we had at Sausage Tree, and it was a cold, grey day!

Our sightings at Sausage Tree were fairly good ( some info in trip report, Limpopo Region and Tuli Block ), but I suspect that I am much less of an expert than many on this site, and therefore more easily pleased!

I seriously considered returning to Sausage Tree Camp for a quick week next May, but have decided to opt for Shindzela in Timbavati. They offer walking as an option and appear to have a very active waterhole in front of the camp.

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1 yes sausage tree offers kruger day trips if you want them

 

2 the "waterhole" at schindzela is very small about the size of a bird bath on to the side of the camp, it is very good if you want to see whathogs , there is a family who actively visit the camp

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at sausage tree the food is of an ordinary family style type and served in more than sufficient quantities

 

it would be very good if you want a small weeding, a feature that they promote on their website

 

they have a ok selection of wines , not that expensive in price

 

I was impressed that they had taken some effort to establish what food would be ok for someone who does not have any soy products

 

at night people are escorted back to their tents after dinner

 

gameviewing in the reserve can be a mixed experience , either a lot of animals or not much at all

 

I was only there for 2 days but was able to see the grey 2 , buffalos, general plains game and a few lions

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The food is very good, I don't see any reason myself for fancy food

 

both guides James and Liam are excellent well informed, knowledgeable and good communicators.

 

James is one of the owners, Liam did a business degree, did not like the corporate world, then was a bush poilet before becoming a guide.

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on my first day there were 2 older couples one new Zealand, one usa well known to each other .

 

they were friendly, unfortunately one of the women dropped her small camera out of the vehicle on game drive when she was putting on her fleece jacket. it could not be found but the guide was hoping that someone would find it later

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For the rest of my time I was alone

 

the camp and reserve has a lovely bush feel

 

DRY CONDITIONS

 

the places I went to were much drier than last year

 

guides estimated that this was something like 30% of last years rainfall

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@@COSMIC RHINO

Thanks for the information about Shindzela.

My brother-in-law also lost his small camera, while at Sausage Tree Camp. There must be quite a collection lying in the bush!

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Posted (edited)

The camera was placed on the seat without a case and probably slipped down a small gap

in the reserve they have a guides only facebook page for amongst other things reporting lost cameras

Edited by COSMIC RHINO

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As I usually do throughout my safari in all locations I travel with a small statue of Artemis the ancient Greek goddess of wild places and wild animals , and wear fossil pendants Baltic amber, orthosoris and tribolite

 

 

I guess that I am not the only one here who accidently leaves things behind when moving between places.

 

a number of years ago I had an ingrown toenail trimmed by a doctor, as was advised to keep them clean . I use eucalyptus oil for this.

 

At Sausage tree camp I accidently left behind my eucalyptus oil bottle, but got by from then onwards using my anti bacterial essential oil hand wash gel for this.

 

the lesson is to keep the oil bottle in my toiletries bag and only take it out as needed for future trips

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the original plan was to go to tangala in the thornybush reserve, but since it closed down I went to Sausage tree and Pungwe bush camp

 

PUNGWE BUSH CAMP

 

The camp has a large concession the Manyeleti Game reserve, part of greater kruger

 

it has an 8 guest capacity, elaborate tents and is of the power grid

 

camera batteries can be charged with the manager using a generator

 

walks are done in the morning and drives in the afternoon

 

on my first drive I had the owners friend and business partner Willie from Jburg with assorted male friends

 

for the rest of my stay it was me alone concentrating on special animals.

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As I usually do throughout my safari in all locations I travel with a small statue of Artemis the ancient Greek goddess of wild places and wild animals , and wear fossil pendants Baltic amber, orthosoris and tribolite

 

I guess that I am not the only one here who accidently leaves things behind when moving between places.

 

a number of years ago I had an ingrown toenail trimmed by a doctor, as was advised to keep them clean . I use eucalyptus oil for this.

 

At Sausage tree camp I accidently left behind my eucalyptus oil bottle, but got by from then onwards using my anti bacterial essential oil hand wash gel for this.

 

the lesson is to keep the oil bottle in my toiletries bag and only take it out as needed for future trips

 

~ @@COSMIC RHINO

 

Had you not mentioned this, it would never have occurred to me.

I appreciate your highly personal commentary, which is entirely unlike what I typically read.

Tom K.

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nature is of spiritual importance to me

 

Africa is very intense

 

that is why I take the Artemis statue and wear the pendants. This is not the regular pendant that I wear , a large opalised ammonite which I prefer not to have involved in any possible confusion around airport scanners.

 

PUNGWE BUSH CAMP

 

being out with willie and friends gave me an idea of how sth Africans go around the bush

 

at the sundowner we had a little wander well I was told here is some lion sh---t.

 

I had got the idea that willie was a fun guy, he liked my suggestion that L S could be added as an extra description for those rather elaborate wine bottle labels

 

we walked forward with the armed ranger and saw 2 female lions in the distance who ran away very quickly

 

the area is scenically beautiful l and the sunsets are great

 

it has never been crowded

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leut who operates it is a real character

 

the home style food is good and supplied in more than sufficient quantaties

 

 

it is cooked by gas bottle stoves, or the breakfast stuff comes from a wood fire, the fridges are gas bottle ones

 

the batteries are recharged by generator quickly, hand it in the evening and you get it back next day

 

much to Luet's amusement the kettle on the wood fire made a strong impression on someone who has an internet blog about it with comments being made on it. this can be found at http://williebaronet.blogspot.com.au , no he is not Australian, he lives in dallas, texas.

 

well it is just a large metal kettle rested on a metal frame over a wood fire

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Posted (edited)

animals wander into the camp over a dry river bed, buffalo droppings can be frequently seen

 

during my visit there were also some elephant droppings

 

people are not allowed to walk around alone after dark

 

elephants were seen in the bush on a number of occasions , including when they chased of a few lions from a waterhole

 

on one of the walks we kept back from the pump as there was a large family buffalo group there

 

Luet has always loved the bush but worked as a lawyer in Johannesburg when his family was growing up. he trained later in life as a guide , and in turned has trained his staff to the required demanding assessment standard for field trails

 

other than the generator the camp will remain electricity free

 

the place has no phone and wifi connection and that is the way it will stay

 

not being on the grid the person who wants to be connected has to pay a very high per km charge from the nearest power connection point which is a long way away

 

within the reserve there are a number of other commercial tour operators but the place is never crowded, other vehicles are just about never seen

 

the parks board operates what is called main camp , I am told it is not a good place to stay in

Edited by COSMIC RHINO

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On the last walk at pungwe I developed itchy legs

 

turns out that the skin was dry and lightly shedding

 

something to be treated with moisturizer , well I had left that behind , so I used the guest supplies at Africa on foot and go my own later at ORITA Johannesburg

 

well with having a separate bag for Lewa I packed things up well, my betadine antiseptic and band aids had been left behind in Jburg hotel storage

 

in the mean time I used tea teee lotion if I needed anything

 

AFRICA ON FOOT

 

they have an ok size concession in the Klaserie reserve

 

some shared with gomo gomo, baobab ridge and nthambo camp, some just shared with nthambo

 

I had not been for a few years , they had a guide who was a Ferrari safari practitioner which turned me of, but since the place was suggested when I was booking I thought that I would try it again

 

well the guide has moved on, unluckly guests at mashutu in Botswana

 

it is now great

 

the camp is relatively simple

 

walks which emphasie plants,tracks etc are done in the morning, drives in the afternoon

 

they are getting noticeably more local bookings, and more children who are for the main quiet and well behaved

 

they have always had the capacity to do drives in the morning if it is too windy or raining , now the vehicle goes out more often

 

well if the wind is high it is not safe, the direction changes too often , and tick birds and moving animals including eles breaking branches can't be heard

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given that their are rocks ,dried dung and thorns to walk over it is best to wear good solid shoes, perhaps even boots

 

during my first visit the guide Rein tells of having asked a woman if she was going to wear flat shoes, the response it does not go with the outfilt boob tube, mini skirt and stilltoe heels

 

some of the locals come with light shoes, open shoes , sandles, flips/thongs as the only thing they wear

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they have an ok size concession in the Klaserie reserve

 

some shared with gomo gomo, baobab ridge and nthambo camp, some just shared with nthambo

 

the camp is relatively simple

 

walks which emphasie plants,tracks etc are done in the morning, drives in the afternoon

 

they are getting noticeably more local bookings, and more children who are for the main quiet and well behaved

 

they have always had the capacity to do drives in the morning if it is too windy or raining , now the vehicle goes out more often

 

well if the wind is high it is not safe, the direction changes too often , and tick birds and moving animals including eles breaking branches can't be heard

 

~ @@COSMIC RHINO

 

It's very good that they offer guided walks focussed on plants, spoor and smaller organisms.

As you noted that more children were there, it's valuable for them to learn at a young age how to notice more unobtrusive species.

Your emphasis on sturdy shoes for comfortable walking is appreciated. Irregular terrain tends to be tough on feet.

Thank you for your thorough explanation of your experience.

Tom K.

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they have both guide and tracker on the game drive and walks

 

The gameviewing can be good

 

the showers are outdoor

 

there is the option of using a tree house which is very well aired

 

it is well separated from the rest of the camp , the bedroom is raised on a wooden platform with multiple wooden poles letting lots of air through

 

those who slept there said that the blankets were warm but you need to add a wool hat to keep your head warm

 

there was a considerably rivalry for the nearby nthambo camp which has the same owners and gomo gomo which has separate owners

 

the guide is mike , relatively young and possibly not in it long term , he was talking about later becoming a producer of that aweful electronic music

 

chris is a good tracker

 

the very experienced tracker is now a backup guide

 

they have quick solar battery charging

 

there is a excellent range of guest supplies including toothbrush and sewing repair kit

 

a few times I used the seat next to the guide and brought multiple room pillows to raise my height over the tracker

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1 on a night drive I got my first very brief and very partial look of an aardvark

 

2 unfortunately there has been some rhino poaching in the area

 

3 there is a greater emphasis on wine sales with those larger wine glasses provided for everyone

 

4 a certain element of sth Africans are very keen on hot sauce going for the hottest they can get

 

at Africa on foot they had this creation which was graded as the highest type of perri perri chiles VERY HOT

 

One guest was keen on the exotic spices sauce and intended to go to multiple shops looking for his own supply

 

if he could not find it he was going to approach the company with a order for 5 boxes ie 60 bottles.

 

how much sauce can one small family use, are they going to drink it ?

 

5 are beach house holidays worth it ?

 

a Johannesburg mother said yes to borrowing a as yet incomplete house which was unfurnished

 

the offer came from another school mum, my husband is building it over time

 

here is the trailer we would like you to take bed, tables,chairs, fridge etc in place of rent

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there has been a problem before at the camp with hornbills going after fruit

 

in the process of picking up one grape , I banged into a very solid tree branch and gave myself a very bad large bruise on the upper area of my right arm

 

that was late June and I still now have a slight leftover from the mark, despite having used a whole lot of antiseptic at the time

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3 there is a greater emphasis on wine sales with those larger wine glasses provided for everyone

 

4 a certain element of sth Africans are very keen on hot sauce going for the hottest they can get

 

at Africa on foot they had this creation which was graded as the highest type of perri perri chiles VERY HOT

 

One guest was keen on the exotic spices sauce and intended to go to multiple shops looking for his own supply

 

if he could not find it he was going to approach the company with a order for 5 boxes ie 60 bottles.

 

how much sauce can one small family use, are they going to drink it ?

 

~ @@COSMIC RHINO

 

They were looking for chili-based hot sauce in safari camps?

I would never have imagined specialized food shopping while on safari.

Thank you for explaining this. It's wholly unexpected from my limited perspective.

Tom K.

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they got so excited about the sauce that they photographed the bottle and were going to search the shops or try to order direct from the factory

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the animals are a bit hesitant as this reserve has not had commercial tour operators for long but the view can be good

 

the residents can take chances jogging on as game viewing track and sitting on the window frame of a moving vehicle with most of your body hanging out

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