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Kruger National Park

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Main Rest Camps


Berg en Dal

Rest Camp
Berg en Dal has been dubbed one of the new generation camps. Situatedon the banks of the Matjulu Spruit,the camp is one of few surrounded by beautiful, rocky hillsides. Staying true to the natural theme of the park, the camp is set in natural bush although it does have ..
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Crocodile Bridge

Rest Camp
Crocodile Bridge Rest Camp is in the heart of the Lowveld, situated in the Southern Kruger National Park. It is home to an abundance of wildlife,and sits comfortably on the northern banks of the famous Crocodile River. One of the claims to fame that this camp can boast about
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Letaba

Rest Camp
Letaba is one of those camps in one of the most stunning areas of the Kruger National Park. It is situated in such a locationthat it has become a halfway point in the park;a place where those travelling north can stop off and stretch their legs. Seated high above the banks of the winding
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Lower Sabie

Rest Camp
Lower Sabie is a river camp, situated on the banks of the fast flowing Sabie River, and is only 11km away from the Mozambican border. The camp is well-known for having the second largest number of trees after Letaba and its shaded lawns make this camp a real favourite amongst visitors.
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Mopani

Rest Camp
Mopani Rest Camp is named after the mopanetrees that dominate the camp and surrounding areas. It is settled between small hills and has one of the most unique atmospheres when compared to other camps in the Kruger. During the autumn months, the leaves of the mopane
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Olifants

Rest Camp
Olifants offers some of the most stunning views. Situated comfortably at the top of a hill, the camp looks down on a river of the same name some hundred feet below. The bush below is thick and wildlife can often be spotted from one of the camps various lookout points. This camp
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Orpen

Rest Camp
Orpen rest camp, situated about a third of the way up the western border of the Kruger National Park, might be smaller than other camps but it certainly is not unpopular. Orpenis a gate camp, and it is the quickest gate to enter if you want to quickly reach Satara. The camp is filled with
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Pretoriuskop

Rest Camp
Pretoriuskop is the oldest rest camp in the Kruger National Park. The design and layout of the camp, as well as the style of the accommodation, easily gives away the age of the camp. But although it has a rich and interesting history, Pretoriuskop has been brought up to date and it remains a very ..
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Punda Maria

Rest Camp
Situated in the botanical gardens of the beautiful Kruger National Park, you’ll find Punda Maria. Surrounded by sandveldplant life and numerous other plant species unique to the area, PundaMaria is as well known for its plants as it is for animals. This rest camp is the northern most camp
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Satara

Rest Camp
Satara is one of the busiest camps in the Kruger National Park. The camp is situated towards the middle of the park and it offers some of the best game viewingin the Kruger. The bush around the camp is open and the area is well known for its nearby lion populations. The camp has a
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Shingwedzi

Rest Camp
Surrounded by beautiful mopane growth, nestled alongside a river by the same name, you’ll find Shingwedzi. The rest camp is further north than most of the other camps of its size, but with its promise of animal sightings as well as great accommodation, it’s the perfect place to spend
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Skukuza

Rest Camp
Skukuza is the biggest camp in the Kruger National Park and serves as the parks Administrative Headquarters. Skukuza camp is nestled next to the Sabie River and provides beautiful views of both the river and the wildlife that regularlyvisitsfor a drinkof water. Hippos and crocodiles can
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Satellite Camps


Balule

Satellite Camp

Balule is a Satellite Camp within the Kruger National Park and is one of the few places where you can enjoy an authentic African camping experience. It offers guests that old time camping feel, one that is much sought after by first time Kruger visitors. Enclosed by little more than a

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Malelane

Satellite Camp

Right where the sugar cane fields meet the rolling savannahs of the Kruger National Park lies the small camp of Malelane. The Crocodile River separates the farming/urban landscape, from the conserved African wildlife. The only camp in the Kruger to be built on the Southern park

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Maroela

Satellite Camp

Maroela Satellite Camp is a tremendously special place to stay when you are visiting the Kruger National Park. Surrounded by quiet untouched nature, far from the inhabited hustle and bustle of one of the main camps, Maroelais rustic in every way. This tiny camp is situated on the

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Tamboti

Satellite Camp

The tented satellite camp of Tamboti sits neatly on the banks of the beautiful Timbavati River. A camp filled with Tamboti trees, after which it has been christened, Tamboti is a bird watchers paradise and without a doubt one of the Kruger’s most popular satellite camps.

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Sable

Satellite Camp

Sable Overnight Hide is the perfect place to get back to nature and experience the Kruger National Park in a way that so few people get to. By day, it is the ultimate bird hide, and at night, it transforms into a comfortable but rustic place to sleep. The hide offers guests some of the best

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Shipandani

Satellite Camp

Shipandani Sleepover Hide is a unique spot from which to see all kinds of bird and animal life. By day, it is the perfect place to quietly sit and gaze out at all the wildlife passing through the area while at night it is transformed into the ideal overnight hide. Situated deep in the heart of

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Bushveld Camps


Bateleur

Bushveld Camp

Situated in the Northern Kruger National Park lies the Bateleur Bushveld Camp. Named after the majestic Bateleur Eagle which is so often spotted in the skies over the area, this camp is a true haven in the north. Anyone who is in search of spiritual upliftment and a break from their

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Biyamiti

Bushveld Camp

The Biyamiti Bushveld Camp has long been considered one of the most beautiful camps of its kind in the Kruger National Park. Settled on the banks of the Mbiyamiti River, and hidden carefully by Delagoa thickets, this camp is a place of tranquillity and the perfect place to see

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Shimuwini

Bushveld Camp

The spectacular Shimuwini Bushveld Camp is located close to the Letaba River, making it one of the parks best camps from which to spot animals. This modern bushcamp is in the middle of elephant and buffalo territory, situated well past the halfway mark in the Kruger.

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Sirheni

Bushveld Camp

Sirheni Bushveld Camp with its shady trees and comfortable accommodation is situated in the northern, open plains of the Kruger. The Mphongolo River flows past the camp, and this water source combined with the Sirheni Dam and rich grasslands attracts both grazing animals

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Talamati

Bushveld Camp

Set deep in the grasslands with stunning views over the landscape from all directions, the Talamati Bushveld Camp is a magnificent place to view the game and unwind well away from the crowds. The camp overlooks the N'waswitsontso River, with the guest cottages giving guests the

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Bush Lodges


Boulders Bush Lodge

Bush Lodge

Beautiful Boulders Bush Lodge is built within a rock formation which has become the memorable back drop for this stunning exclusive accommodation. The units are built up on stilts, which gives guests the perfect vantage point from which to look at the wildlife roaming far

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Pafuri Border Camp

Bush Lodge

Pafuri Border Camp is one of the Kruger National Park’s northern most camps, close to the Limpopo and Luvubu Rivers. As a northern camp, the surroundings are hot and dry, but because of the camps close proximity to the rivers, there are many trees, which makes it a bird haven.

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Roodewal Bush Camp

Bush Lodge

The spectacular Roodewal Bush Lodge is located close to the Letaba River, making it one of the parks best camps from which to spot animals. This modern bushcamp is in the middle of elephant and buffalo territory, situated well past the halfway mark in the Kruger. The camp is settled

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KRUGER NATIONAL PARK TOUR GUIDE

The Kruger National Park is a treasured South African natural asset and world-renowned as one of the most spectacularly diverse wilderness regions in Africa. It’s massive; covering an area of 2 million hectares. The distance from the southernmost entrance gate to the northernmost entrance gate is 370 kilometres, which would take you 15 hours to drive without stopping.

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South Africa’s favourite national park is also rich in history. It dates back to 1898 when the area between the Crocodile and Sabi rivers was proclaimed as the Sabi Game Reserve. The Singwitsi Game Reserve was established later in 1903; and when the two were combined in 1926, the Kruger National Park came into existence.

The iconic Kruger Park is not only a hugely popular safari destination for international tourists; it’s also much-loved by South Africans far and wide who flock to the Kruger Park over the busy holiday seasons. In fact, Kruger Park receives just under a million visitors every year, of which at least 80% are local visitors. A love for the Kruger is passed on down the generations and families return year after year for another fix of their favourite park.

Where is the Kruger National Park?

Kruger Park National Park is located in South Africa. It lies nestled in the heart of Mpumalanga Province in the far north-eastern region of the country, with Mozambique on its eastern boundary and Zimbabwe on its northernmost boundary. Kruger Park is one of the largest wilderness reserves in Africa and the oldest national park in South Africa; it’s the flagship of the South African National Parks (SANParks).

South Africa is situated at the southern tip of the continent of Africa. The icy Atlantic Ocean lies on the west coast and the warm Indian Ocean lies on the east and south Coast, meeting at Cape Agulhas which is officially the southernmost tip of Africa. South Africa shares a boundary with 6 countries; Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Swaziland and Lesotho.

How big is the Kruger National Park?

The Kruger National Park covers an area of 19 485 square kilometres (7 523 square miles), and stretches over the provinces of Mpumalanga and Limpopo. It’s over 360 kilometres (220 miles) from north to south, and 65 kilometres (40 miles) from east to west.

It forms part of the Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park, which is a peace park that links the Kruger Park with the Gonarezhou National Park in Zimbabwe and with the Limpopo National Park in Mozambique. It shares an unfenced boundary with the Greater Kruger National Park which is made up of 19 private game reserves that collectively add 180 000 hectares to the already vast wilderness area. Game is free to roam between the two.

Why is the Kruger National Park so important?

The president of the old Transvaal Republic, Paul Kruger, recognised the need to protect South Africa’s wildlife in the northern region which was being decimated by relentless hunting and poaching. Certain areas were protected by the government from 1898 but Kruger was only established formerly as a national park and protected conservation area in 1926. It opened its doors to the intrepid public in 1927.

The national park falls within the Kruger to Canyon Biosphere Reserve (K2C) which is the largest biosphere reserve in Africa and the third largest in the world. In 2001, K2C was registered as a UNESCO International Man and Biosphere Reserve. This is a global acknowledgement of the significance of the Biosphere.

Biosphere Reserves such as K2C help ensure the regional is sustainable from an environmental, economic and social perspective. It provides a platform to develop practical approaches to resolving conflict over land use while continuing to protect its biodiversity.

Difference between the Kruger National Park and the Greater Kruger

It’s a common misunderstanding, but the Kruger Park and the Greater Kruger are two entirely separate entities; although they lie adjacent to each other and combined make up the largest protected wilderness area in southern Africa. Both the Kruger Park and the Greater form part of the Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park which in turn forms part of the Kruger2Canyons Biosphere, a designated UNESCO International Man and Biosphere Reserve.

The Kruger Park is a state-supported national park that’s managed by SANParks, a government body responsible for managing all 21 national parks in the country. The Greater Kruger, on the other hand, is a protected conservation area that’s made up of 19 private game reserves.

The Greater Kruger was created by removing all the game fences including the 50-kilometre boundary fence that separated Sabi Sand Game Reserve and the Kruger Park. This means the wild animals are free to roam across the two wilderness regions.

The national park is easily accessible to the general public and relatively affordable, while the private game reserves in the Greater Kruger are unashameably marketed to the high-end traveller. The only way you’ll experience the exclusivity and luxury of the safari lodges in the Greater Kruger is if you book into one of the luxury lodges built in the private concession in the Kruger Park.

The Greater Kruger therefore is an extension of the Kruger Park, where it added an additional 180 000 hectares for the benefit of the wildlife. Each game reserve in the Greater Kruger is privately-owned and autonomous, although they fall under the auspices of an association that oversees the vision and mission of the protected conservation initiative.

Where to stay in the Kruger Park

The Kruger National Park is managed by SANParks which is a government body responsible for the 21 national park in South Africa. SANParks offers a selection of accommodation in the Kruger Park; ranging from the popular rest camps to bushveld camps, satellite camps and luxury lodges on private concessions.

Luxury lodges in Kruger Park

The luxury safari lodges in the Kruger Park are privately-operated properties built on private concessions in the national park. Staying at one of these 5-star lodges offers you the same exclusive experience as you’d get at a place like Sabi Sands or Londolozi in the Greater Kruger, but with the benefit of being conveniently situated in the heart of the iconic Kruger Park.

Baobab Hill Bush Lodge

A family-friendly bush lodge located in Makuleke Contract Park in northern Kruger which is renowned for its incredible birdlife and guided walking safaris. Sleeps up to 8 adult guests in 4 cosy bedrooms. Suitable for a holiday with family or friends. Children 2 years and older are welcome at Baobab Hill Bush Lodge but must be 12 years and older to join the walking safaris.

Camp Shawu

A classic safari camp located in a 15 000 hectare private concession overlooking the Mpanamana Dam. Sleeps up to 10 adult guests in 5 classic chalets. Children 12 years and older are welcome at Camp Shawu.

Camp Shonga

A tented safari camp located in a private concession close to the Lebombo Mountains in the eastern section of Kruger Park. Sleeps up to 10 adult guests in 5 luxury safari tents. Children 12 years and older are welcome at Camp Shonga.

Fitzpatrick's Lodge at Jock

A child-friendly safari lodge located on a private concession that’s suited for a family or group of friends. The luxury lodge has 3 bedrooms; sleeping up to 6 adults and 4 children. Children of all ages are welcome at Fitzpatrick’s Lodge at Jock.

Hamilton's Tented Camp

A romantic tented safari camp located in the Mluwati concession in central Kruger Park. Sleeps up to 12 adult guests in 6 colonial-inspired safari tents. Children 12 years and older are welcome at Hamilton’s Tented Camp.

Hoyo Hoyo Safari Lodge

An elegant luxury safari lodge located in the Mluwati Concession in central Kruger Park. Sleeps up to 12 adults guests in 6 luxury suites. Children 12 years and older are welcome at Hoyo Hoyo Safari Lodge.

Imbali Safari Lodge

A sophisticated luxury safari lodge located in the Mluwati Concession in central Kruger Park. Sleeps up to 24 adult guests in beautifully-appointed chalets. Children 12 years and older are welcome at Imbali Safari Lodge.

Jock Safari Lodge

An historic safari lodge located in the Jock of the Bushveld Concession and the first private lodge to operate in the Kruger Park. It’s situated in southern Kruger at the confluence of the Mitomeni and Biyamiti rivers. Children of all ages are welcome at Jock Safari Lodge

Lion Sands Narina Lodge

An ultra-chic safari lodge located in a private concession in the Kruger Park. Children 12 years and older are welcome at Lions Sands Narina Lodge.

Lion Sands Tinga Lodge

An exclusive safari lodge located in the Tinga concession, positioned overlooking the Sabie River. Sleeps up to 18 adult guests in 9 elegant suites. Children 12 years and older are welcome at Lions Sands Tinga Lodge.

Lukimbi Safari Lodge

A family-friendly safari lodge located on a 15 000-hectare private concession in southern Kruger. Sleeps up to 28 guests in 14 luxurious chalets. Children 2 years and older are welcome at Lukimbi Safari Lodge.

Pafuri Camp

A rustic-chic tented safari camp located in northern Kruger in an area renowned as the best birding region. It lies nestled between the Limpopo and Luvuvhu River in the Makuleke Contract Park. It’s most popular for its famous walking trails. Children of all ages are welcome at Pafuri Camp, although children 12 years and younger are not permitted on the walking trails.

Plains Camp Tented Safari Lodge

A explorer-inspired safari lodge located on a private concession in central Kruger. It’s famous for its guided walking safaris and ‘sleep outs’ in the bush, operated by Rhino Walking Safaris. Sleeps up to 8 adult guests in 4 luxury safari tents. Children must be 12 years and older go on walking trails and sleep out at Rhino Walking Safaris bush camp.

Rhino Post Safari Lodge

An eco-friendly tented safari lodge located on a private concession, sharing a boundary with the world-famous MalaMala Game Reserve. Sleeps up to 16 adults guests in 8 luxury safari tents. Children 2 years and older are welcome at Rhino Post Safari Lodge.

Shishangeni Private Lodge

A ultra-chic safari lodge located on a private concession in southern Kruger. Sleeps up to 44 adult guests in 22 luxury chalets, with inter-leading suites for families with children. Children 2 years and older are welcome at Shishangeni Private Lodge.

Singita Lebombo Lodge

An elegant safari lodge located in the Nwanetsi Concession in eastern Kruger, overlooking the magnificent Lebombo Mountains. Sleeps up to 30 adult guests in 15 ultra-luxury suites. Children 10 years and older are welcome at Singita Lebombo Lodge, and can join the popular Mini Rangers Course.

Singita Sweni Lodge

A refined safari lodge located in a private concession and built overlooking the beautiful Sweni River. Sleeps up to 12 adult guests in 6 luxurious suites. Children 2 years and older are welcome at Singita Sweni Lodge.

The Outpost Lodge

A secluded safari lodge located in a remote private concession in northern Kruger. Sleeps up to 24 adult guests in 12 luxury suites that overlook the magical Luvuvhu River. Children 12 years and older are welcome at The Outpost Lodge.

Kruger Park Rest Camps

The majority of South Africans stay in what we call the Kruger rondavels (round huts) or bungalows at the popular rest camps. These include basic 2-sleeper bungalows or 4- or 6-sleeper family units. They’re equipped with a basic kitchenette and braai facilities. You have the option of preparing meals at your bungalow or you can opt to dine out at the on-site restaurant in the differing rest camps.

Each rest camp has a camp site for caravanners and campers. The camping areas are electrified and well-maintained with clean ablutions and washing facilities. All the main rest camps have a shop, restaurant, laundromat and a petrol station. They usually run Kruger Park holiday programmes during the school breaks as well as programmes to educate scholars on wildlife conservation.

Skukuza Rest Camp is the administrative headquarters of Kruger Park and the largest rest camp in the national park. It has the largest, best-stocked shop in the Park, a self-help deli and large restaurant, conference facilities and a medical centre with a doctor on call. It’s located in the upper reaches of southern Kruger.

There are 9 rest camps in Kruger Park:

  • Berg-en-Dal Rest Camp: located in southern Kruger on the bank of the Matjulu Spruit
  • Lower Sabie Rest Camp: located in east-central Kruger on the bank of the Sabie River
  • Olifants Rest Camp: located in north-east Kruger overlooking the Lebombo Mountain
  • Orpen Rest Camp: located on the western boundary close to Orpen Gate
  • Pretoriuskop Rest Camp: located in south-western Kruger close to Numbi Gate
  • Punda Maria Rest Camp: located in northernmost Kruger close to Punda Maria Gate
  • Satara Rest Camp: located in central Kruger
  • Shingwedzi Rest Camp: located in northern Kruger overlooking the Shingwedzi River
  • Skukuza Rest Camp: located in southern Kruger on the bank of the Sabie River
  • Kruger Park Bushveld Camps

    If you’d prefer a more authentic safari experience away from the bustling crowds in the Kruger Rest Camps, you should rather stay in one of the Kruger Park bushveld camps which are managed by SANParks. They’re hugely popular with ardent Kruger fans and book up at least a year in advance.

    They’re located in more remote areas, usually off the beaten track in beautiful bushveld surrounds. You have to take everything with you when you stay at one of them because you won’t find any shops, restaurants or petrol pumps in the camps. You can stock up at provisions at Skukuza Rest Camp in central Kruger.

    There are 5 bushveld camps in Kruger Park:

    • Bateleur: located in northern Kruger, south-west of Shingwedzi Rest Camp
    • Biyamiti: located in southern Kruger, closest to Malelane and Crocodile Bridge entrance gates
    • Shimuwini: located in north-central Kruger, south-west of Mopani Rest Camp
    • Sirheni: located in far north Kruger, south-east of Punda Maria Rest Camp
    • Talamati: located in central Kruger, south-west of Satara Rest Camp

    Kruger Satellite Camps

    Satellite camps in the Kruger Park are located some distance from the main rest camps but close enough that you have convenient access to the shops, restaurants and filling stations.

    They only offer self-catering and/or camping facilities, and offer guests a quieter, more authentic safari experience in secluded bushveld surrounds.

    There are 4 satellite camps in the Kruger Park:

    • Balule: located south of Olifants Rest Camp, close to the eastern boundary of Kruger Park
    • Malelane: located close to Malelane entrance gate, on the southern boundary of Kruger Park
    • Maroela: located 2 kilometres east of Orpen Rest Camp, on the western boundary of Kruger Park
    • Tamboti: located 2 kilometres east of Orpen Rest Camp, on the western boundary of Kruger Park

    Kruger Park Bush Lodges

    A bush lodge in the Kruger Park is a private self-catering safari lodge that offers guests privacy and exclusivity. Only guests staying at the lodge are allowed on the property. It’s generally booked out for a whole family or group of friends. There are no shops or restaurant facilities at the lodge.

    There are 3 bush lodges in the Kruger Park:

    • Boulders Bush Lodge: located south of Mopani Rest Camp in north-central Kruger Park
    • Pafuri Border Camp: located in far northern Kruger Park, close to Punda Maria Rest Camp
    • Roodewal Bush Lodge: located north of Satara Rest Camp on the banks of the Timbavati River

    Things to do in the Kruger National Park

    The Kruger National Park is one of the finest protected wilderness areas in Africa and renowned for its incredible biodiversity and rich fauna and flora. It’s home to the Big 5 (elephant, buffalo, rhino, lion and leopard), an abundance of predators and plains game as well as a vast array of birds. The Kruger Park plays a vital role in protecting South Africa’s precious natural resources, many of which are rare and endangered.

    Daily game drives

    The most popular thing to do in the Kruger Park are daily self-drive game drives. If you’re staying at a luxury lodge on one of the private concessions, you’ll be taken out in an open safari vehicle. Avid Kruger fans wake up before the sun rises for coffee and rusks and set off for a 3 to 4 hour game drive as the sun is rising.

    Most return to their rest camp or bush lodge when it starts getting warm. Driving around Kruger in the heat of the day is not the best time for game viewing, so most people opt to go back for breakfast, chill in their bungalow, swim in the pool or have an afternoon sleep. Everybody returns to the bush for a late afternoon game drive. Back in camp, it’s dinner under the stars before it’s time to retire to bed.

    Bird watching

    Kruger Park has 517 recorded bird species, including several rare and infrequent visitors. It’s heaven for avid birds, otherwise known as “twitchers”. Some bird species are year-round residents while others are seasonal or migratory. The migrant birds arrive in the Kruger Park in our winter months (April to August) to escape the cold European winters.

    The are 11 bird hides in the Kruger National Park as well as a few that are found within the rest camps. The Shipandani Hide close to Mopani Rest Camp and Sable Dam Hide close to Phalaborwa Gate can be booked in advance for a ‘sleep over’.

    Shipandani Hide sleeps 6 and Sable Dam Hide sleeps 9 people. Camping mattresses, bed linin and basic crockery and cutlery are supplied. You need to be up and about before the crowds start arriving on their early morning game drives.

    The Big 6 birds of the Kruger Park are:

    • Kori bustard
    • Martial eagle
    • Lappetfaced vulture
    • Pel’s fishing own
    • Saddle-billed stork
    • Southern ground hornbill

    Kruger Park wilderness trails

    The organised wilderness trails take nature lovers and wildlife enthusiasts to remote parts of the Kruger Park where there are no tourists and no cars or open safari vehicles in the area. Walking through the bushveld with a armed ranger is possibly the best way to experience Kruger Park because you get to appreciate the smaller details that you miss otherwise in a vehicle.

    Walking groups stay in rustic but comfortable camps deep in the bushveld. Bookings are made through the SANParks website.

    There are 7 Kruger Park wilderness trails:

    • Nyalaland
    • Olifants
    • Sweni
    • Metsi Metsi
    • Napi
    • Wolhuter
    • Bushman

    Kruger Park guided bush walks

    Guided bush walks in the Kruger are a great alternative to sitting in a vehicle for game drives. They’re usually offered by the bigger rest camps where you join two armed ranger for a leisurely walk in the vicinity of the campsite. The walks are not strenuous and are less than two hours long. It’s the perfect thing to do to fill up your time at camp while you’re waiting to go out again for a game drive.

    Cultural heritage sites

    Kruger Park is rich in cultural history with over 255 recorded archaeological sites in the national park; ranging from settlements and human activity that dates back to the early Stone Age and the Iron Age. The three most important cultural sites in the Kruger Park are the Albasini Ruins, Masorini and Thulamela.

    Albasini Ruins

    This is the site of the remains of the 19th century trading post of the famous Portuguese trader, Joao Albasini; located close to Phabeni Gate (10 kilometres from Hazyview). It’s believed that Albasini’s settlement at Magashula’s Kraal was the first European settlement in the disease-ridden Lowveld. He based himself at Magashula’s Kraal for about 2 years before relocating to the growing settlement of Ohrigstad.

    Masorini

    This late Iron Age site is located on a prominent hillside about 12 kilometres from the Phalaborwa Gate on the tar road to Letaba Rest Camp. The site was inhabited by a Sotho-speaking Ba-Phalaborwa tribe during the 1800’s who developed an advanced and sophisticated industry of mining, smelting iron ore and trading in these iron products.

    Thulamela

    Thulamela is a stone-walled site located in the far north region of the Kruger Park. It dates back some 450 to 500 years to the late Iron Age. When the Great Zimbabwe region was abandoned due to political turmoil, several groups of Shona-speaking inhabitants moved south across the Limpopo River into the north-eastern region of South Africa and northern Kruger Park. They established new smaller chiefdoms such as Thulamela.

    The Thulamela site was probably chosen because of the rich fertile soils in the region which were perfect for growing grain crops used to make beer and porridge. Clay spindle wheels found at Thulamela suggest that cotton was also cultivated to make cloth.

    The important archaeological site has uncovered the skeleton of a female that dates back to AD 1600. A second skeleton of a man dates back to AD 1450.

    Stevenson-Hamilton Memorial Library

    Stevenson-Hamilton Memorial Library is located in Skukuza Rest Camp. It’s named in honour of James Stevenson-Hamilton who was the first Warden of what is now the Kruger National Park, then known as the Sabie Game Reserve. Skukuza is the name given to James Stevenson-Hamilton by his staff, meaning “he who sweeps clean” in Shangaan.

    Opened in 1961, the Stevenson-Hamilton centre consists of a library and museum. It’s a fascinating collection that showcases the pioneering days of early Kruger when the national park was a fledging wildlife sanctuary. It houses a valuable collection of books, hand-written notes and Park records that tell a story of the famous game rangers of the Kruger Park.

    One of the most famous artefacts in the Stevenson-Hamilton memorial library is the skin of a lion and the knife used by ranger Harry Wolhuter to kill it. It’s one of the legendary stories of the Kruger; when Wolhuter was pulled off his horse by a lion and dragged through the bush in its powerful jaws. Wolhuter used a small knife he was carrying to stab the lion in its heart and fortunately killing it. He managed to climb up a tree which he strapped himself to; surviving the night before a search party found him the next morning.

    Letaba Elephant Hall

    Located at the Letaba Rest Camp, the Letaba Elephant Hall showcases the iconic elephants of the Kruger Park with life-size exhibits, including skulls and tusks of the largest elephants to have lived in the region. Most specimens belonged to the ‘Magnificent 7’ who died between 1981 and 1985.

    Many of these famous elephants weighed over 50 kilograms and had impressive tusks. The most popular were named Dzombo, Kambaku, Mafunyane, Ndlulamithi, Shawu and Shingwedzi. The most famous of all was Mandleve who died of natural causes in 1993. Mandleve had the largest tusks ever recorded in the Kruger Park.

    4x4 Kruger Adventure Trail

    The Mafunyane 4x4 Adventure Trail allows a maximum of 6 vehicles per trail per day. It’s a four day/3 night self-catering guided adventure that explores the north-western area of the Kruger Park between the Olifants and Luvuvhu rivers. A knowledgeable and professional trail guide leads the group, covering a distance of approximately 270 kilometres in total.

    The trail departs from Phalaborwa Gate every Thursday afternoon at 12h00 and ends at Punda Maria Camp on Sunday morning. The 4x4 adventure trail only operates during the dry season from 1 March to 30 November. A maximum of 4 persons are allowed per vehicle. No children under 12 years unless arranged prior to departure.

    Eco-Trails

    The Kruger eco-trail departs every Sunday from Crocodile Bridge in southern Kruger and ends on Thursday at Pafuri Camp in northern Kruger. All vehicles must be at least 2x4 WHD and you need to carry all the equipment you need for camping.

    The adventure eco-trails only operate during the dry winter season between 1 April to the last Sunday in October. They may be cancelled if heavy rain is forecast.

    If you’re pressed for time, the other option is a 1-night guided adventure eco-trail that takes you to the north-east of Phalaborwa Gate and the Letaba River. This route allows you access to remote areas which are not accessible to ordinary Kruger tourists. A maximum of 5 vehicles can participate in the 1-night eco-trail.

    Skukuza Golf Course

    The Skukuza Golf Course in southern Kruger is hugely popular with local holidaymakers. It was established in 1972 as a recreational facility for Skukuza staff members and later opened to the public. It’s situated close to Skukuza Rest Camp.

    The Skukuza Golf Course is not fenced and it’s quite common to play on the 9-hole golf course with impala, warthog and baboons on your tee and hippos and crocodiles in the water holes. It’s not the most pristine golf course in the Lowveld region but it enjoys loyal patronage from ardent Kruger Park visitors and Lowveld locals.

    Motorised golf carts and pull carts are available for hire. Light refreshments and full bar facility at the Skukuza Golf clubhouse.

    QUESTIONS PEOPLE ASK ABOUT THE KRUGER PARK

    Is Kruger Park a big 5 safari destination?

    Yes, the Kruger Park is a Big 5 safari destination. The Big 5 includes elephant, buffalo, rhino, lion and leopard. It’s a term that was coined by the olden-day hunters for the group of wild animals that were most feared in the bush. They were the most dangerous to encounter, and as a result the most sought-after by trophy hunters.

    Today, we use the term Big 5 to describe the most sought-after animals to see on a safari tour.

    Is the Kruger Park safe to visit?

    The Kruger National Park itself is a safe place to visit as long as you follow the rules and regulations of the national park, particularly on game drives. If you’re staying at one of the luxury safari lodges in the Kruger Park and go out on the open safari vehicles, it’s important that you pay attention to your game rangers instructions to keep yourself and family safe.

    Travelling to and from the Kruger Park, you need to remember that crime in South Africa is high; although violent crime is restricted to ‘crime hotspots’ in the country. Travellers need to use common sense when travelling in South Africa and avoid falling victim to petty theft, street muggings and car jackings.

    If you’re travelling to Kruger National Park with a reputable tour operator, you shouldn’t have any problems as they make safety a priority and will avoid any areas or situations which put their clients lives at risk.

    Safety tips for a game drive in an open safari vehicle

    Stay in the vehicle at all times except when you’re allowed to get off for sundowners or to visit a rest camp; always follow your game rangers instructions and ask him/her where you can go when you stop for a bush pitstop.

    Don't stand up in the vehicle, hang out the window or look out through the sunroof. Keep your arms tucked in; if they’re hanging off the side of a vehicle, they’ll make a tasty morsel for a lion or leopard.

    Don't talk or laugh too loud. Keep quiet on game drives out of respect for your fellow passengers and so you don’t startle game and birds at wildlife sightings.

    Stay close to your guide and group on a walking safari and always walk in single file.

    Watch where you put your feet while walking in the bush.

    Cover your arms and legs in the evening and use insect repellent to protect against mosquitoes. The repellent should contain at least 30% DEET.

    Wear a hat, use sunscreen and drink plenty of water.

    Don't wear bright and colorful clothes or too much perfume. This is especially true for walking safaris and, to a lesser extent, for other wildlife viewing activities.

    Bring a warm jacket, gloves and beanies for morning and evening game drives in open vehicles during the cold months between May and August. Even in the summer months, it’s a good idea to take a warm jacket with you on the game drives because it gets cold if there’s a rain shower.

    Is there malaria in the Kruger Park?

    The Kruger National Park is located in the northern region of South Africa which is a medium-to-high risk malaria area. It’s highly recommended that all visitors take anti-malaria tablets, regardless of what time of the year you are visiting the national park. Mosquitoes are more active in the rainy summer months and between dusk and dawn.

    Consult your doctor or a reputable travel clinic for advice on anti-malaria tablets and what you can do to prevent contracting malaria. Usual precautions include:

    • use insect repellent spray or cream during the day and night
    • change into long-sleeved shirts and long pants before the sun sets
    • wear socks and shoes in the evenings around the camp
    • sleep under a mosquito net if provided

    Malaria-carrying mosquitoes are active in the hot, rainy summer months and the highest risk period is between November and April. However, visitors are advised to take anti-malaria tablets even in the winter months when they are supposedly dormant.

    How to treat malaria

    If you experience any flu-like symptoms 10 days after entering a malaria area like the Kruger Park, you need to have blood taken at a hospital to be tested for malaria immediately. Malaria is a life-threatening disease and can be fatal if not diagnosed and treated early.

    The symptoms of malaria include fever, chills, sweating, headaches, body aches and extreme fatigue. You’ll also experience loss of appetite, nausea and vomiting, stomach pains, diarrhoea and rapid heart rate or breathing.

    What is the weather like in the Kruger Park?

    The Kruger National Park enjoys a hot, sub-tropical climate. The rainy season is the summer months between November and April. You may get a few days of continuous rain in the summer season but mostly you’ll experience hot days with a refreshing late-afternoon thunderstorm. Temperatures in summer in the Kruger Park can reach the upper 30s and early 40s.

    The winter months between May and August are mild and pleasant. The evenings are chilly once the sun goes down but all you need is a warm winter jacket, beanies and gloves for the early morning and late afternoon game drives.

    What is the best time to visit the Kruger Park?

    The Kruger National Park is a year-round destination, although there’s a “reason for every season”. When you visit depends on what you want to see; animals or birds or both. The best time for game viewing in the Kruger Park is in the winter months from May to August.

    This is the dry season and the grass is dry and thinned out so it’s easier to spot game. Animals tend to congregate closer to permanent water sources.

    In the late spring and summer months between September and April, the Kruger bushveld is lush and thick. Game is more difficult to spot in the dense undergrowth and the animals drift further away from the usual popular water sources.

    How do you get to the Kruger Park?

    By air

    There are four airports serving the Kruger National Park:

    Skukuza Airport: located a short drive from the largest rest camp in the Kruger Park

    Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport (KMIA): located in the outskirts of Nelspruit, the capital city of Mpumalanga; useful for easy access to southern Kruger Park

    Eastgate Airport: located on the outskirts of Hoedspruit in the Greater Kruger; useful for easy access to central Kruger Park and private game reserves in the Greater Kruger National Park

    Phalaborwa Airport: located on the outskirts of the closest town to north-central Kruger; useful for easy access to the far north regions of the national park

    The two popular airlines offering scheduled flights to these airports are Airlink and FedAir.

    Private charter flights can be booked, flying you direct from OR Tambo International Airport to private airstrips in the Greater Kruger National Park or Hoedspruit and Phalaborwa airports.

    By road

    The Kruger National Park is approximately a 5 to 6 hour’s drive from Johannesburg, depending on which entrance gate you select. It’s recommended that international visitors book a Kruger Park safari tour with a reputable tour operator.

    How far is the Kruger National Park from Johannesburg?

    Johannesburg to Numbi Gate: most popular gate for southern Kruger Park
    4 hours 30 minutes ǀ approximately 400 kilometres via the N12 and N4

    Johannesburg to Malelane Gate: southernmost entrance gate to the Kruger Park
    4 hours 30 minutes ǀ approximately 400 kilometres via the N12 and N4

    Johannesburg to Orpen Gate: access to central Kruger Park
    5 hours 15 minutes ǀ approximately 470 kilometres via the N12

    Johannesburg to Punda Maria Gate: access to far north Kruger Park
    6 hours 15 minutes ǀ approximately 550 kilometres via the N1 and R81