The Kruger Park is the most famous safari destination in the world! Kruger NP is the largest national park in South Africa and it is guaranteed that you will spot wild animals here. You have a good chance to see all the animals of the big 5, they are all there! You can easily drive through the park yourself (no 4 × 4 needed) and look for the animals or you can go on a game drive with a ranger (morning, afternoon, evening and night possible). You can spend the night in the park, visit the park for a day or stay on one of the private game reserves. Don’t forget your binoculars!
The Kruger Park is located in the East of South Africa. The park borders with, and partly continues in, Zimbabwe and Mozambique. The park is 19,633 km2 in size. So you can easily stay here for days or weeks if you wish. The National Park has 11 entrances (9 in South Africa and 2 in Mozambique). And 21 camps where you can spend the night and 10 more luxurious lodges within the national park. The north is covered with mopane trees, which is the elephant’s favorite food, and receives the least rainfall. In the middle part you will find mainly black rhinos (a black rhino does not get its name from its skin color..), lions, cheetahs, impalas, zebras, wildebeest and giraffes. The southern part receives the most rainfall, so there is more grassland and denser vegetation. Here you have the greatest chance of seeing white rhinos, buffalo and zebras.
Private game reserves lie outside the boundaries of the national park. These are areas where private lodges have been built in which you can enjoy more luxury. There are no gates between the reserves and the national park, so the wild animals can move freely between all areas. Staying overnight on a private game reserve gives you a more exclusive stay in the Kruger (the accommodation run by SANParks in the National park are basic). In addition, the chances of spotting animals is often greater in a private game reserve. This is mainly due to the fact that the reserves are more quiet in terms of vehicles (self-driving is not permitted) and animals therefore prefer to stay in these areas.
The Kruger Park can be visited all year round, but there are differences per season. There is a rainy season from October to March. In this season the area is nice and green, but it is easier for animals to hide. If it is not a rainy season then the landscape is dry and you are more likely to see animals because the vegetation is less dense and animals will migrate to waterholes
Depending on what brings you to South Africa, you can determine the length of your stay. Are you purely here for the wild animals? Then spend at least 5 days in the Kruger Park. Do you want to combine your trip with seeing other highlights in South Africa, such as St. Lucia, the Drakensberg, Garden Route and Cape Town? Then spend 2 to 3 nights in the Kruger Park.
Admission costs: R372 per person per day (24 hours) admission for international visitors.
Spend the night:
– Accommodation within the National Park (SAN parks): The exact price depends on the season, camp and type of accommodation. Prices range from 10 euros to 60 euros per person per night, based on 2 people. 20 euros per person (based on 2 people) for a safari tent, with a shared kitchen and shared toilet facilities, and 50 euros per person (based on 2 people) for a bungalow, with shared toilet facilities.
– Camping (with your own tent) within the National park: 20 euros per campsite
– Accommodation on a private game reserve: from 120 euros per person per night. Including full board meals and 2 game drives (afternoon and morning) per night.
– Bush walk with guide: from 20 to 40 euros per person
– Sunrise or sunset game drive: from 20 to 30 euros per person
– Night game drive: from 16 euros to 22 euros per person
Good to know
Opening times for the gates vary per season. Access to the park is possible from 5:30AM in the summer (October – March) and 6:00AM in the winter (April – September). Gates close at 5:30PM (May – July), 6:00PM (March – April and August – October) and 6:30PM (November – February). Don’t be late! It is not allowed to drive in dark, if you arrive at the gate but you still have to drive 2 hours to reach your camp and it is already late then they sometimes do not allow you to enter anymore.
In the high season (July / August and December / January) it may be mandatory that you arrange your entrance to the park in advance because people are admitted in batches. You can request more information about this by Ga-Afrika.