The Kruger National Park is one of the largest games reserves in Africa, also known as one of the greatest safari destinations in the world.
With an area of 19,485 km², the Park is as big as a country and offers a diverse scenery and a high wildlife density. Armed with patience and a slice of luck, you’ll be able to spot the Big 5 (Lion, Leopard, Elephant, Rhinoceros, Buffalo), together with hundreds of others animals.
The Kruger Park is, to me, an absolute must-do in South Africa (see top 4 Experiences in South Africa).
Here are some practical information and tips to fully enjoy this amazing experience.
The Kruger Park offers a range of accommodations from Camping to Luxury Lodges.
– Main Rest Camps: from €
These camps offer a large choice of accommodation (Camping, safari tents, huts, bungalows…), food supply, restaurant, internet, gas station, information centres).
– Satellite / Bush Camps: from €
Accommodations are more limited and smaller, no supplies and most of the time no staff. Make sure to have the required supplies when you get there, check in usually takes place in a camp close by.
– Luxury Lodges: from €€€€
Comfort and stylish 5-star accommodations for highly exclusives safari.
Safari tents are really comfortable and for a small budget.
Make sure to book as far in advance as possible.
Get as many supplies outside of the Park, it can be much more expensive inside and the choice is very limited.
You can find more information and book your stay on the Kruger Park official website.
The Park has 9 entrance gates (Pafuri, Punda Maria, Phalaborwa, Orpen, Paul Kruger, Phabeni, Numbi, Malelane and Crocodile Bridge), they are easily accessible by car.
There is also a small airport if you’d like to fancy flight there.
You’ll have to check in at the entrance and register your vehicle. If you are just spending the day, make sure you are out of the Park before the gates close and if you have an accommodation, same story, make sure you are in the camp before the door closes (around 5.30-6.00pm depending on the season). Rules are really strict as Big cats start hunting at sunset.
Make sure to know the opening and closing time of the gates/camps and to respect it.
There are two options to experience your ultimate Kruger Park Safari:
– Self-drive: you can easily make your way around by yourself, no need for a 4×4. You’ll find a map of the Park at the entrance and you can use google map.
There are a few rules to respect (stay in the car, no littering, speed limitations of 40km/h on tracks and 50km/h on roads).
– Guided tours: you can find a range of guided drive (day tour, sunset drive, sunrise drive, walks…) in the Park. Recommended booking in advance, especially in high season.
They also offer other activities like golf, birding, trails…
Tips for self-drive:
– Start early in the morning, as soon as the gates open. That’s when the Big cats and most animals are out.
– You can find, in every camp, a board with the spotted animals from the previous day and today. Very useful to track them.
– Drive slow and open your eyes!! Be patient, this is not a zoo, you’ll have to search for them and luck will help.
– Binoculars and camera zoom are a very useful tool as some animals can be far away from the roads.
When you see a car stopped, slow down and ask what they’ve spotted.
Be careful of animals crossing the road 🙂
I would recommend spending at least 4 days in the Park, that should give you enough time to cover a large part of it without spending too much time in the car every day.
You can barbecue in the camps, which is pretty awesome, so pack your equipment and supplies.
Be patient, open your eyes, seek information in the camps, respect the environment and admire that amazing world you’ll be surrounded by.
Enjoy your Safari!
Tell me about your experience in the comments, share your tips, ask your questions or simply share some love 🙂