Kruger National Park offers some of Africa’s most unique safaris, with nearly two million hectares of primitive wilderness inhabiting much incredible fauna. Kruger National Park is surrounded by a number of privately owned game reserves that are considered as Greater Kruger National Park.
When making a safari in Kruger, it is always important to consider budget, interest and time of year. I’ve put this guide below to help you plan a safari that meets your every expectation.
A safari on the cruiser – the southern and central regions
South and Central Kruger are open to self-drive visitors and travel agencies who bring guests from hotels and lodges outside the park.
The park offers guided game drives and walking safaris for a nominal fee and has several self-catering relaxation camps that are great for last-minute trips and short stays.
It is important to note, however, that all vehicles need to be driven on turbid roads, and that Kruger can be crowded during peak season.
Sabi Sands Private Game Reserve
Lions and leopard visits at Sabi Sands Game Reserve are their best to meet with several Lion Coalition groups.
Sabi Sands is world-renowned for its luxurious safari and incredible big cat sightings, especially the leopard.
The 65,000-hectare Sabi Sands Game Reserve is privately owned but shares a 50km uninterrupted border with the world-renowned Kruger National Park. The reserve is good habitat, flowing through two main river reserves.
At Sabi Sands, the game is seen incredibly often with animals. There is always room for up-close encounters with some of Africa’s most beloved wildlife and a bit of photography.
One of the unique experiences of being in the nearby Hajiview town is the interaction of an elephant, where you can learn about their lifestyle and touch these gentle monsters.
There are 300 of the 500 bird species found at Sabi Sands Kruger, making it the best place for bird-watching safaris.
Sabi Sabi Private Game Reserve and Mala Mala Game Reserve are part of Sabi Sands and are both internationally recognized as Africa’s top luxury game reserve. They are both top choices for a luxurious safari in the crew.
Kruger – The Northern Territory is a safari
Parts of Northern Kruger National Park are open to the public and there are several self-catering rest camps for overnight stays and short commutes.
North Kruger is generally quieter than South Kruger, making it an ideal destination for a more private safari experience and a great choice for travelers enjoying satellite camping.
Timbavati Private Game Reserve
The 7-hectare private Timbavati Game Reserve offers a truly bio-diverse ecosystem that offers sanctuary for more than 40 species of mammals and 360 bird species.
The Timbavati Private Game Reserve offers an incredible opportunity to visit the Big Five but is famous for the world’s latest wild white lions and has the largest population of African giraffes.
The Negala tented camp on the Timbavati River is bottomless and has been recognized as the leading tented safari camp in South Africa for 20 years.
Thornybush Private Game Reserve
The 14000-hectare private Thornbush Game Reserve, which is limited to the Kapama Private Game Reserve, is well-known for offering one of the best five safari experiences and is involved with a variety of projects, including the local community improvement and sustainable farming.
Travelers can look forward to a variety of safari activities, including horseback rides, helicopters or light aircraft offered on the game reserve, and hot-air-balloon safaris.
The reserve has plenty of luxurious lodges for families, couples and solo explorers alike.
Kruger National Park: Wildlife
Kruger is famous for the Big 5 – lions, leopards, rhinoceros, elephants, and buffalo and has the largest number of mammals in Africa
There are a total of 148 mammals, including cheetah, hyena, wildebeest, wild dog, giraffe and zebra. Kruger is a favorite to watch over 500 species of birds recorded in the park
Kruger National Park is one of the very few places in Africa where you can still see endangered wild dogs K Kruger has some incredible plants – about 990 different plant species that are best seen on guide-walking safaris. These plants play an important role in the ecosystem, and Kruger loves to share their traditional herbivorous and medicinal purposes for ides.
Kruger National Park Accommodation
Within the Kruger National Park are several popular self-catering relaxation camps popular with locals, offering guided tours to families of young children with the flexibility they need and the option to drive the park themselves or book a book. The accommodation in these camps is rustic but comfortable and the facilities are good.
In private game reserves, safari vehicles, and accommodation with fewer people on the reserve, the luxury is more luxurious and the safari experience is more exclusive.
The nightly rates at these lodges include all your meals, two daily safari activities and in some cases local drinks.
Sir Richard Branson’s Yulusaba Safari Lodge is one of the elite Lobby of the Private Sabi Sands Game Reserve.
Have you seen our collection of luxury safari tours?
Kruger National Park: Activities
A safari on Kruger usually includes a game drive in the morning and afternoon / evening openings, and guided bush walks after breakfast.
In private reserves, game drives allow for off-road, much more animal encounters. Bush walks are led by armed rangers and discover more small shrubs, as well as trees and shrubs, in the bushes.
Some game reserves provide village activities, including local village tours, hot air ballooning, elephant interaction, visits to various animal rehab centers, treehouse slip-out experiences, and a photographic safari.
Game drives on private cruises are operated on open safari vehicles, which offer some incredible photographic opportunities.
There is also the opportunity to enjoy panoramic views on the Panorama tour or take the family on a tobogganing adventure.
Best time to visit
Kruger National Park is a one-year safari destination but there are certain times of the year that are considered better than others.
The dry winter season (June – August) is the most favorable time of year for a safari in Kruger National Park. In winter, the plants are thin and the animals are generally seen to gather in residual water sources.
It offers travelers incredible wildlife views and often the best hunting activity. It is very unlikely that you will leave Kruger without seeing the Big Five.
In the spring of September and October, there is very little rainfall which means that the animals are still gathered around the reservoir, making them easy to touch.
The first migratory bird is also from the north, which is a great time to enjoy some bird watching.
You can probably see Kruger’s large flocks of elephants as they can drink up to 200 liters of water a day K Kruger National Park is a very popular southern region on summer school holidays (December / January) where access is more convenient.
Although the days are incredibly hot and humid, the thunderstorms in the afternoon bring great comfort to them and are a sight to behold from a safe distance.
During this time of the year, Kruger frostbites, migratory birds and newborn animals make their appearance.
If you plan to travel during this period you are advised to book in advance and if you are looking for a less crowded experience then the northern parts of the park should be considered.
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