(I’m back-dating these posts. This will probably confuse both my readers, but it will make sense in the archives. I hope).

So it was decided that we would take a trip to the Kruger National Park. At first we thought the kids would come with, but they got a better offer :-) and it ended up being just the two of us. Hey, the fewer the merrier.

Two people can fit everything and a tent in a car, but I’d already decided to take the teardrop, which still needed some more work. But all’s well that ends well, so on Wednesday the 9th of December we headed north.


The mission: Tanya wanted to see leopards and cheetahs. Preferably leopard and cheetah cubs. Playing with one another. In a tree. Oh and maybe some lions too. And I’d never seen wild dogs so that was on my list.

Tall order, I know :-/

So being, well, me, I joined the sanparks forum and started doing research. Turns out that the Lower Sabie / Skukuza / Pretoriuskop area is the place for cats, with Satara being good for lions. Or so they say. So I went online to book (the online booking is excellent. Possibly the best I’ve encountered anywhere). This was at the beginning of July, and places were already starting to fill up. I would have liked three nights at Lower Sabie, could only get two. At this stage we didn’t know whether the kids were coming with, so I booked the campsites for two people — you can change this when you arrive in camp, pay the difference.

The itinerary:

  • 2015-12-09: Wednesday: Drive to Bloemfontein
  • 2015-12-10: Thursday: Drive to Nelspruit
  • 2015-12-11: Friday: Get up early, get into the park as early as possible, camp at Lower Sabie
  • 2015-12-12: Saturday: Lower Sabie
  • 2015-12-13: Sunday: Drive up to Satara
  • 2015-12-14: Monday: Satara
  • 2015-12-15: Tuesday: Drive to Skukuza
  • 2015-12-16: Wednesday: Drive to Pretoriuskop
  • 2015-12-17: Thursday: Pretoriuskop
  • 2015-12-18: Friday: Spend as much time in the park as possible, leave in the afternoon, overnight at Witbank
  • 2015-12-19: Saturday: Pick up toys first thing in the morning, head south, see how far we get
  • 2015-12-20: Sunday: Get home
  • 2015-12-21: Wouter back at work for a couple of days.

I didn’t really have much of a plan about where to stop over — The Formula 1 (now SUN1) chain is always good, but we have the teardrop so camping it is. Somewhere along the way I googled it and came up with Reyneke Park. Phoned them, they had lots of space, so that’s where we went.


Didn’t even bother to unhitch the teardrop.



So it came to pass that Tanya and I decided to go to the Kruger National Park. Over December, which is not the best of ideas, but that’s how it worked out. It might turn out to be somewhat hot.

Accommodation up there is rather expensive, with camping being by far the cheapest option. And since we have a teardrop, we are set.

Except that the teardrop needs a bit of work.


The lexan expands a lot more than wood, so when it gets hot the entire roof pulls up. This breaks the seal, of course, and when it rains I get wet. I don’t like getting wet.

Also, I never completed the galley and inside cupboards*.


I decided to shorten the see-through part of the roof, taking it from the front to the top, not over towards the back. I’ll have to drill bigger holes through the lexan to allow it to float, and use weatherstripping rather than trying to glue it down.


Here I am using my l33t template skilz so that I can cut two pieces of ply to the right shape.


Puzzling about the layout. No, three drawers won’t fit.


(And a lot of cutting and screwing later) — Looking good.

Update 2015-12-05

So I’ve been procrastinating with the second door. It’s a major PITA. But it had to be done so…


As with the first door, I first bolted the hinges to the panel and then cut the door out. I tried to transfer the dimensions from the other side as accurately as possible.


Trimmed the hole with the same aliminium T section, and then ran into a problem. Because when I went to buy more aliminium, they were no longer there. And I couldn’t find the same thing anywhere else. Found something similar at the fourth place I looked, it just had to do.

So the trim on the second door is kind of iffy.



Let’s go.

** The Atma Travelear is somewhat above my competence level.

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