Marloth Park featured in a few reviews on this site and now we checked out Hello-Kruger. And for the first time, we used Airbnb for our booking. Previously, we wrote about accommodation units listed on Safari Now. However this time, we wanted a smaller place that just sleeps two to four people. We also hoped for accommodation without distractions like televisions and neighbors on top of us. So we settled for Hello-Kruger, and here’s our review.
Marloth Park Hello-Kruger, a quiet bush-camp feel
The residential area within a conservancy borders Kruger National Park along the Crocodile River. While purists might feel it’s too developed to qualify as a wilderness vacation, it certainly comes with some plus points. It’s a useful place for first-time visitors to Africa where they can get the feel of the bush without being behind big fences. And, without the likelihood of running into the Big 5. With no fences between accommodation units, the parkland, or game corridors guarantee plenty of animal sightings. And quite often, you don’t need to even leave your self-catering unit to see them.
Additionally, Marloth Park’s self-catering like Hello-Kruger comes at good value for money compared to the accommodation in Kruger Park itself. Of course, if you really want to see lions and elephants, then Kruger’s a short drive away. And plenty of operators run daily game viewing trips there. But, if hearing the lions call at night is about the limit of your adrenaline needs, you will probably enjoy the place. An added advantage comes from the fact that you may walk around, or cycle, and explore the bush. We enjoyed this trip because our accommodation provided a quiet bush-camp feel.
Hello-Kruger set among the trees
Writing for The Destination Seeker in 2019, we reviewed a rather large holiday home in Marloth Park. Adequately priced, and comfortable, one of the few cons we noted was that the fans simply couldn’t cope with the summer heat. Plus, for just two or three people, the place seemed rather too big. So this time, we looked for a small place with air conditioning. We hoped for a smaller unit with air-con, minimalistic, but with everything we might need. And Hello-Kruger sounded like it fit the bill.
Described as a bush cottage set among the trees, with parkland in front, we rather liked the idea of it. Actually, as Emile the host explained, the cottage occupies several undeveloped Marloth Park stands. That means that neighbors are around, but some distance away. It also gives a bigger area to explore on foot. And the parkland offers a small sandy riverbed with tall trees to explore. Hello-Kruger came with an understanding host who gave us all the privacy we requested. But reliably, Emile & Nikita communicated via text if we needed anything.
Outdoor Marloth Park facilities description
We liked the undercover parking which accommodates two vehicles. And it’s close to the cottage, so hefting heavy boxes of food and drink wasn’t a mission. A small patio runs the full width of the front. There, we discovered a plunge pool and a free-standing Weber barbecue (braai). It came with complimentary firefighters and briquettes. Wooden poles overhead meant dappled shade kept us cool. Mind you, when it rained, the lack of any waterproofing on the patio meant a brief retreat indoors. However Marloth Park’s hot enough that the odd rain shower won’t bother you.
Hello-Kruger also provides a firepit and the first bundle of complimentary wood just off the patio. Looking for more outdoor places? Off to the one side, set in a shady thicket, there’s a picnic table and bench. About 30 meters in front of the patio, a small water hole meant a steady flow of animals and birds visited the cottage. So really, Instagram-worthy photos weren’t that hard to get. Out the back, an open-air shower seemed like a quick way to cool down, if we didn’t feel like jumping in the plunge pool.
Indoors at Hello-Kruger
Inside the spotlessly clean house, an open-plan living room-dining area meets the kitchenette at a countertop. Finally, we found a place with more than enough plug points. Not over-furnished, a few chairs and a couch provide enough seating for four. There’s also a coffee table and a corner table. Up against the front windows, a wooden folding table with wooden chairs provided a place to eat. The folding furniture meant that we could take it outside onto the patio. However, as we always travel to Marloth Park with a folding work table, we didn’t bother with that. So, the folding table we took along ended up set on the patio and there we worked and took our meals. The unit also comes with free wifi throughout and good cellphone reception.
The kitchen comes with a four-plate stove, oven, and grill. The upright fridge/freezer unit works well. And there’s a microwave, kettle, toaster, and pots, plates, etc as well. Complimentary milk awaited us in the fridge as did water, tea, coffee, sugar, and some fruit in a basket. Dishwashing essentials were proved for the kitchen. Plus, hand sanitizer came as part of the COVID-19 precautions. Two bedrooms are accessible off the living area and they came with cupboard space, bedside tables, chairs, a double bed, an aircon, and complimentary Peaceful Sleep. Meanwhile, the bathroom at Hello-Kruger has a bath with a nonslip surface, and a shower, toilet, and basin. Complimentary body wash was provided as well as towels, which some Marloth Park units don’t provide.
Birds, animals, and activities
Marloth Park got a reputation for being one place where guests feed the animals. However, guests should note that you can’t feed any old thing to wild animals. The shopping centre provides things like proper food pellets and carrots. Bread, cabbages, and chocolates could actually kill some animals. So, it’s best to check with Emile your host to find out what advice he can give you. Once the animals know there’s a food and water supply, they naturally wander through the camp. We saw monkeys but don’t feed them or they become pests. Other animals included genet cats, a huge banded mongoose family, bushbuck, kudu, wildebeest, duiker, steenbok, impala, and a lot of warthogs.
On our drives through Marloth Park, we also saw giraffes and a few zebra. At the viewing point on the Crocodile River, we spotted elephants, baboons, hippo, and waterbuck, among other animals. The nearest shady hide is on Seekoei Drive, about a seven-minute drive from Hello-Kruger which is situated off Mamba Road. At night we heard hyenas, bush babies, and lions calling. Regular bird visits at the Bush Cottage included Turacos, Yellow-Billed Hornbills, Natal Spurfowl, Doves of all descriptions, Scimitar-billed Hoopoes, various seed-eaters, and a range of smaller hawks and kestrels.
Overall, we rate our visit at 9/10. But notably, we feel that people who visit the bush camp should be couples or close friends. They should prefer the minimalistic setting of the bush camp advertised on Airbnb rather than over-the-top furnishings and television. Unless your kids come from and appreciate a rural environment, it might be a little too far from the shops and the waterpark for them.
Remember to Like us on Facebook and subscribe in the box at the bottom right of this article.