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Booking a Rondavel in Addo Park

Belgium
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Booking a Rondavel in Addo Park

Hi,

I was looking on the sanparks website yesterday because we would like to visit Addo Park in November 2010. I was checking to book 2 rondavels on 15 Nov, and saw that there were only 2 left. Wow, they get booked really a lot in advance.... SO I wanted to book those 2 last ones, but then I saw that I had to register first, and then book. And I believe I saw somewhere on the website that if you book online you cannot get your money back when you cancel. But in the terms an conditions page it says that you can cancel and get a full refund if you cancel min 30 days prior to arrival.

That is why I decided to send an e-mail to their reservations e-mailaddress to book it via e-mail. But I not received a response yet, and I am getting afraid that if they don't see my e-mail soon, there will be no rondavels left...

Has anyone ever booked accomodation there via e-mail instead of online booking? DId it work out fine?

thanks!

Jenny

Cape Town
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1. Re: Booking a Rondavel in Addo Park

Jenny

I am surprised if you didn’t immediately get an answer from SANParks – In my long experience booking with them they are very responsive and efficient. However I would suggest just telephone them right now. With most European Call Plans International Calls are no longer expensive – just a Euro or two.

Let me repeat some advice I have made on here a number of times about booking in Addo with SANParks :

Book with Central Reservations by phone. If you make a booking now by phone (NOT on-line) you have another 30 days to change your mind. They will also be able to give you last minute cancellation information which will not show on the website - 0027 12 428 9111. The people at SANParks reservations are the most helpful and efficient that I know in SA and if you know what you want they will complete everything for you and help you find something.

Two tips - set up a profile on-line before you call if you don't have one. Do this by going through a reservations process and then just quit before making the final booking. Then they are able to just call all the information up (using your passport number as reference) and all your information is available to them. Check on-line availability before you telephone so as you have a firm idea what you want. Second - it is better to make reservations by phone rather than on-line. On-line reservations are binding and you pay immediately. Phone reservations are firm from SANParks side but you don't need to pay anything for 30 days and you can cancel your reservation free of any charge during this time. You then only pay 30 perecnt with the balance due 30 days before your stay. This is also why other accommodation will come available closer to the time. So book it up right now. If exactly what you want isn’t available then check the website every day, if something better becomes available no problem, cancel those days without penalty and rebook. Even if you have booked and paid SANParks still allow you to change your booking right up until the last minute, with no fee, as long as your new booking costs more, as they cannot do refunds. If the accommodation costs less however, just make up the booking with game drives or other activities.

So phone right away. Mention you have sent an e-mail so they don’t double book and you should be able to complete the whole thing in one or two minutes.

Good Luck

Edited: 7:35 am, July 15, 2010
Cape Town
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2. Re: Booking a Rondavel in Addo Park

BTW if you phone right now there is no time defference to Belgium and they are open until 5pm. Then, if you prefer, speak slowly in Flemish. All the operators speak Afrikaans as well as English and they will nearly always be able to understand Flemish - which is closer to Afrikaans than even modern Dutch!

Also if you can't get a Rondavel the chalets - two bed or three bed - are virtually as good. we had excellent Elephant sightings from our chalet terrace a few months ago.

Edited: 7:43 am, July 15, 2010
Belgium
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68 posts
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3. Re: Booking a Rondavel in Addo Park

many thanks for your reply!

I will try to call them later today. I am at work now so can't call. Can I also call them during the weekend? I don't have my passport here with me so don't have my passport number... which they will need to make the booking I guess... And I am only home at 6pm...

I must admit I am an inpatient person :-) I sent the e-mail yesterday evening, so maybe it just takes them a day or 2 to respond...

Cape Town
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4. Re: Booking a Rondavel in Addo Park

They are open Saturday Morning 8:00 until 13:00 (same your time). Set up your profile on-line this evening and call them early in the morning. The office is closed on Sundays.

I notice that there are now no Rondavels available for November 15th. This could be because they did action your e-mail and they are reserved in your name. However, if not, as I say, the chalets are certainly fine. There are still chalets showing availability.

The odd thing about SANParks is that the better accommodation does not always cost more. Two types of Chalet are available for November 15th. You could book two smaller semi detached chalets - code CH2S which cost R810 per night each, total R1,620. However the larger CH2/4 chalets cost the same and are better situated. These are nearly twice the size and have a double bed plus a convertible couch, which they say is suitable for two children or one adult. My 70 year old sister said it was quite comfortable! So if all three of you are happy to share, this would cost R810 + R144 = R954. Alternatively book two of these larger chalets. No problem and the cost is still R1,620. If you book two they will always juggle so that you get two chalets next to each other as long as you ask.

The advatage of the chalets over the Rondavels is that they have their own kitchens with both electric stove and Microwave. So you have the choice of whether you want to cook your own food (reasonable stock at the camp shop) or you can use the restaurant which is fine and about 3 or 4 minutes walk across the camp.

As I said earlier if you can't get exactly what you want, book up what's available right now to get a booking on the board. Then if something better becomes available later on the website, just call again and you can change your booking at no charge.

Again Good Luck.

Edited: 11:27 am, July 15, 2010
Belgium
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5. Re: Booking a Rondavel in Addo Park

Thanks Van_de_caab!

The reason why there are no more rondavels available is because I called them yesterday before 5 and made the booking via telephone! So we are all set now, thanks to your help :-) As you said, the person on the telephone was very helpful and friendly, I just gave him all my details over the phone and a few seconds later I received the confirmation in my inbox.

Looking very much forward to spending a night in Addo Park!

Cape Town
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6. Re: Booking a Rondavel in Addo Park

Hi Jenny

Pleased that you got what you wanted. I am sure you will have a great day. A few tips to get the most out of it.

Try to arrive in Addo early - around lunch time. Check-in to your Rondavels and then you have plenty of time for a good afternoon's game driving. The heat of the afternoon is the best time for Elephant viewing. At waterholes like Hapoor or Spekboom you may see up to 200 at one time. The back to camp for a short rest and pre-book a sunset game drive. You go into the game area after the park is closed in a Parks open game viewing vehicle. As it gets dark you will see animals that you don't see during the day. Get back, have dinner in the restaurant and then a good nights sleep - listening to Hyenas and maybe Lions in the night. Sometimes right at the floodlight waterhole right outside your Rondavel. You also stand a good chance of seeing Black Rhino during the night at the waterhole.

Then up early and drive out into the Game Area as soon as the gates open at 6:00. This is the best time of the day for Lions, Hyenas, Jackals, Buffalo and many of the other animals of Addo. I would first drive up to Zuurkop where often you will see Lions and then down to the Carol's Rest Waterhole. Again Lions in this area and nearly always we have seen Buffalo here in the mornings. Then a few different loops and back to the camp around 9:30. Have breakfast and check out. Now you can go for one more game drive as your entrance fee covers you all day or just head off to your next destination.

7. Re: Booking a Rondavel in Addo Park

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