There are lots of picnic spots in Kruger Park and having your meal or snack at one is enjoyable. The sites often have mature, shady trees to sit under. Also, the sites are unfenced, so in theory, any animal could be nearby.
The picnic sites have tables with benches and BBQ places.
You need to provide your own wood (and matches, etc.) for your BBQ, which you can buy from a rest camp or bring with you from outside the park. You may also hire a skottel braai (a gas BBQ plate) for a small charge, to cook your own meals on at most picnic spots.
You may also buy fresh food from a rest camp shop or bring some with you. Bear in mind that the shops aren’t stocked like big supermarket chains so the selection can be limited. It’s possible that the shop doesn’t have what you’re looking for or has very little choice.
If you’re self-catering, the benefit of bringing your own food with you, is that you’ll have exactly what you want (and probably have bought it for less than rest camp shop prices). However, you do have to carry the food with you, sometimes for several days, so you might need a car fridge / freezer, especially in the very hot and humid summer months.
Instead of bringing your own food, you could get take away food from a rest camp or picnic site shop and eat it at a picnic table.
Here’s a list of all the picnic spots which are separate from the main rest camps. Most main camps have picnic venues too, which any day visitor or even resident, can use.
*All picnic sites have toilets.
Be Watchful of Monkeys and Birds
Watchful is kind of an understatement when it comes to talking about vervet monkeys at Tshokwane picnic area. Guard your food with your life is more accurate!
The saying “cheeky little monkey” has never been more true there!
We sat down to have a snack once and when one of us went to put some rubbish in a bin, a watchful monkey jumped down from a branch in a nearby tree and ran to the unguarded tableside and grabbed a packet of lollies in the blink of an eye. It, and its baby, then proceeded to relish eating their loot back on their perch!
It can be quite unsettling for younger children (and even adults!) to have your snack snatched from under your very nose!
At Tshokwane, there’s even an employee whose sole job seems to be catapulting little stones at the monkeys to keep them away from people’s food!
If you have cameras, lenses and binoculars sitting on the table, make sure the monkeys don’t accidentally knock those off when their on the hunt for food.
Also watch out for birds, such as southern yellow-billed hornbills. Birds enjoy eating your lunch too, but you don’t need to be as vigilant with them as with vervet monkeys.
You might have to shoo one or two away, but most of the time they just hover nearby and don’t actually come into your personal space.
If you leave any food behind on your plate when you leave, they will of course tuck in without further invitation.