Kruger National Park Safaris

3 Day Kruger Park Safari Tour (Code: SCJK) – Johannesburg to Johannesburg

Our 3-day wildlife safaris depart daily to the famous Kruger National Park in 8-seater microbuses in search for Africa’s Big Five (lion, leopard, elephant, rhino, buffalo) and a host of other animals such as the over 140 species of mammals found here! This tour is designed for those with little time, but who still want to experience the Kruger Park, the biggest reserve in Africa at around 20 000 sq km – slightly smaller than Belgium! We accommodate you in the Kruger Park’s comfortable round, rondavel type air-conditioned rooms, still with en-suite bathroom facilities, to enhance the safari experience in the wild.  While we do most of the game viewing in the comfort of our vehicles on our 3-day Kruger Park safaris, you also have the option to book very reasonably priced open vehicle safaris. These are offered early morning, late afternoon and evening with a duration of around 2,5 – 3 hours. Return to Johannesburg – or the O R Tambo International Airport if required –  late in the afternoon of the third day. While we are at lockdown with COVID-91 and cannot get you on our 3-day Kruger Park tour however, we have a little teaser for you – a ‘virtual’ safari! Please click here to see it! DAY 1.   Johannesburg – Kruger National Park – Wildlife Safari Our first day on this wildlife safari tour takes us from Johannesburg via Nelspruit to the famous Kruger National Park. Enter the park in the south where our encounter with Africa’s amazing wildlife commences.  During the rest of the afternoon, you search for the Big Five and many other species such as giraffe, zebra and antelope such as kudu, nyala, impala, etc. Arrive at the camp late afternoon after an exciting couple of hours for dinner and overnight. Overnight

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5-day kruger park safari

5 Day Kruger Park Safari Tour (Code: SCJS)

This 5-day Kruger Park safari tour is fully guided and starts off in the Kruger Park. Afterwards, we enter a private reserve where they utilise open safari vehicles in search of the wildlife. The tour departs from Johannesburg twice weekly – Mondays and Fridays and explores the Kruger Park, the Panoramic Route, the very scenic and mountainous Magoebaskloof area and further into the Waterberg or Welgevonden Reserves. After an exciting 4 days, it returns to Johannesburg on the fifth day via a short tour of Pretoria. There is nothing quite like being on a safari vehicle, feeling the crisp morning breeze in your face – alert, excited – taking in the smells, hearing bird and animal sounds around you – some closer, others in the distance, you find yourself in the African bush with the morning sun streaming through it – watching a majestic elephant bull standing metres from you, looking straight at the vehicle with waving ears – inspecting! We cannot give you this amazing experience now, but you can get a glimpse of it snuggly from your lounge! Click here to find out! Things will get back to normal again, and you’ll be able to see this in person again! But in the meantime, you can help the travel industry by buying your tour now for travel up to end November 2021 and in so doing, freeze the current price and keeping the industry healthy. So, why not book your tour today and hold this year’s price for travelling next year! Click here to find out how!   DAY 1.   Kruger National Park (Wildlife  Safari Tour) On the first day of this 5-day wildlife safari tour drive eastwards via Nelspruit and enter the Kruger National Park. The park is of the largest game reserves in Africa, covering

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4 Day Kruger Park Safari Tour from Johannesburg (Code: SCJL)

4-Day Kruger Park Safari Package – (SCJL) Our 4-day Kruger Park safari tour departing from Johannesburg… There is nothing quite like being on a safari vehicle in Africa! You feel the crisp morning breeze in your face – alert, excited – taking in the smells, hearing the bird and animal sounds around you – some closer, others in the distance! Surrounded by the African bush with the morning sun streaming through it – you watch a majestic elephant bull standing just metres from you, looking straight at the vehicle with waving ears – inspecting… We cannot offer you this amazing experience now due to coronavirus, but you can get a glimpse of it snuggly from your home! Click here to find out! Things will get back to normal again, and you’ll be able to see this in person again! But in the meantime, you can help the travel industry by buying your tour now for travel up to end November 2021 and in so doing, freeze the current price and keeping the industry healthy. So, why not book your tour today and hold the coronavirus special price for travelling next year! Click here to find out how!  This 4 day Kruger Park safari tour departs daily from Johannesburg and is designed specifically to encounter Africa’s wildlife in the famous Kruger National Park including the Big Five (lion, leopard, elephant, rhino, buffalo)! We also include a visit to the scenic Panoramic Route.  During your time in the Panoramic route, you stay in a luxury 4-star type lodge. We accommodate you in the Kruger Park’s round, rondavel type rooms, still with en-suite bathroom facilities, to enhance the safari experience in the wild. The rooms are very comfortable with air-conditioning installed. While we do most of the game viewing in the comfort of

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5 Day South African Wildlife Safari Guided Tour – Johannesburg to Durban (Code: SCJD)

This 5 day Kruger Park safari and Zululand tour introduces you to South Africa’s prime wildlife safari areas! We start off with a wildlife safari to the famous Kruger Park! Further along, after a stopover in Eswatini (formerly known as Swaziland), we visit the reserves of Zululand along the east coast of South Africa There is nothing quite like being on a safari vehicle in Africa! You feel the crisp morning breeze in your face – alert, excited – taking in the smells, hearing the bird and animal sounds around you – some closer, others in the distance, surrounded by the African bush with the morning sun streaming through it – watching a majestic elephant bull standing just metres from you, looking straight at the vehicle with waving ears – inspecting… We cannot give you this amazing experience now, but you can get a glimpse of it snuggly from your lounge! Click here to find out! Things will get back to normal again, and you’ll be able to see this in person again! But in the meantime, you can help the travel industry by buying your tour now for travel up to end November 2021 and in so doing, freeze the current price and keeping the industry healthy. So, why not book your tour today and hold the coronavirus special price for travelling next year! Click here to find out how! This Wildlife Safari Explorer is a shorter version of the Wildlife Expedition (SCMD), excluding one night in a private reserve, making it more affordable, but still almost 4 days of wildlife viewing including the boat cruise on Lake St Lucia, situated in the iSimangaliso world heritage site! The scenery includes the Panorama Route, Swaziland and the Zululand forests and lakes. DAY 1. Gauteng – Panoramic Route (wildlife safari) This wildlife

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5 Day South Africa Wildlife Safari Tour (Code: SCDG) – Durban to Johannesburg

This wildlife and scenery tour explores some of South Africa’s best wildlife areas! The itinerary also includes lake St Lucia with an abundance of birdlife, hippo and croc in their natural habitat – all within the iSimangaliso world heritage site, also eSwatini (formerly Swaziland), Kruger National Park and, in addition, the scenic Panoramic Route. DAY 1 St Lucia – Wildlife (Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park) – Private Reserve (wildlife and scenery) Today starts our encounter with the wildlife and scenery of South Africa! Drive north towards the subtropical coast and bushveld of Zululand – home of the mighty Zulu nation.   Your first stop is the village of St Lucia.  Embark on a boat cruise on the famous lake St Lucia (proclaimed a World Heritage Site in December 1999). Crocodiles, hippos and birds such as the fish eagle, herons and egrets are in abundance. Then travel to the Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Park where the rhino was saved from extinction and home to the shy nyala, as well as the Big Five. We exit the park early evening and drive to our private lodge for dinner and overnight. Overnight Zulu Nyala Game Lodge DAY 2   eSwatini (Swaziland) An early morning wake up call for an exciting open vehicle wildlife safari. After an early breakfast, we do a last open vehicle wildlife safari.  Then we head northwards and continue to eSwatini for some scenery. From Onverwacht border post follow a scenic route via Nhlangano to Manzini, where crossing every mountain leads to a new vista. We stop at the well-known local craft market in the Malkerns Valley. Here we visit  Swazi Candles where the artists hand-mould wax into interesting figures. There is also a batik factory outlet and other interesting shops. Our overnight stop is situated in the mountains just outside Mhlambanyatsi. Overnight Forester’s Arms. DAY 3  Kruger National

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Southern Circle Tours: A Brief History of the Kruger National Park

6 Day Great South African Wildlife Expedition (Code: SCMJ) – Durban to Johannesburg

 GREAT WILDLIFE EXPEDITION – CODE: SCMJ There is nothing quite like being on a safari vehicle in Africa! You feel the crisp morning breeze in your face – alert, excited – taking in the smells, hearing the bird and animal sounds around you – some closer, others in the distance, surrounded by the African bush with the morning sun streaming through it – watching a majestic elephant bull standing just metres from you, looking straight at the vehicle with waving ears – inspecting.. We cannot give you this amazing experience now, but you can get a glimpse of it snuggly from your lounge! Click here to find out! Things will get back to normal again, and you’ll be able to see this in person again! But in the meantime you can help the travel industry by buying your tour now for travel up to end November 2021 and in so doing, freeze the current price and keeping the industry healthy. So, why not book your tour today and hold the corona virus special price for travelling next year! Click here to find out how! The 6-day Great Wildlife Expedition departs from Durban on Mondays and includes some of the most scenic areas in the country, but the main focus is on the almost 5 days of  safari, both in two private reserves and the Kruger National Park. It also includes a boat cruise on Lake St Lucia, situated in the iSimangaliso world heritage site! The scenic areas include the Panorama Route, eSwathini (former Swaziland) mountains and the Zululand forests and lakes. The tour ends in Johannesburg in the afternoon of the sixth day. DAY 1 St Lucia – Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park – Private Reserve (Great Wildlife Expedition incorporating safari’s and scenery) Our first day on this wildlife expedition and scenery tour

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6-Day Kruger Park Safari and Zululand (Code: SCMD) (Johannesburg – Durban)

Johannesburg – Panorama Route – Kruger Park – Eswatini (Swaziland) – Zulu land – iSimangaliso World Heritage Site – Durban Our 6-day Kruger Park Safari spends almost 5 days of wildlife viewing including two private reserves and the famous Kruger National Park but, includes some of the most scenic areas in the country. The scenery includes the Panorama Route, Swaziland mountains and the Zululand forests and lakes. Another highlight includes a boat cruise on Lake St Lucia, situated in the iSimangaliso world heritage site! There is nothing quite like being on a safari vehicle in Africa! You feel the crisp morning breeze in your face – alert, excited – taking in the smells, hearing the sounds of the wild around you – some closer, others in the distance, you find yourself in the African bush with the morning sun streaming through it – watching a majestic elephant bull standing just metres from you, looking straight at the vehicle with waving ears – inspecting! We cannot give you this amazing experience now, but you can get a glimpse of it snuggly from your lounge! Click here to find out! Things will get back to normal again, and you’ll be able to see this in person again! But in the meantime, you can help the travel industry by buying your tour now for travel up to end November 2021 and in so doing, freeze the current price and keeping the industry healthy. So, why not book your tour today and hold the coronavirus special price for travelling next year! Click here to find out how!   DAY 1. Johannesburg – Panoramic Route (African Wildlife) Our first day on this amazing wildlife safari tour takes us from Johannesburg via Middelburg, Dullstroom and Robber’s Pass to Pilgrim´s Rest, the early gold mining town turned

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self drive south africa

8 Day Wildlife and Scenery package in South Africa – Johannesburg to Cape Town (Code: SC-01)

Wildlife and Scenery Tour – Johannesburg to Cape Town This is the perfect tour package for those with little time to see the most popular wildlife and scenery in South Africa over a period of 8 days! Also included is the Panorama Route. The tour departs daily from both Cape Town and Johannesburg. DAY 1. Johannesburg – Kruger National Park (wildlife and scenery) This tour specializes in the major wildlife and scenic areas of South Africa! We start off with a drive eastwards via Witbank and Middelburg to Nelspruit and enter the Kruger National Park in the south. Our encounter with the wildlife starts here. At the end of an exciting day we enter our camp for dinner and overnight. The accommodation in the camps is free-standing round ‘rondavel’ type rooms with air-conditioning and en-suite bathroom. DAY 2.  Big Five Kruger National Park Tour Today is devoted to game viewing as we search above all for the ‘Big Five’ animals (lion, leopard, elephant, rhino and buffalo).  After another exciting day in the wild, we reach our camp at sunset for dinner and overnight. Some may want to do a night drive in an open game-viewing vehicle utilising high powered spotlights to find the nocturnal animals (optional). DAY 3. Kruger National Park – Panoramic Route – Hazyview After a final game drive and breakfast, we exit the park and drive via Klaserie and the Abel Erasmus Pass to the Escarpment where we enter the Panoramic Route. Visit the Blyde River Canyon, Bourke’s Luck Potholes, God’s Window and Pinnacle Rock. Travel via Graskop and Sabi to our hotel. Overnight at Ligna Lodge. DAY 4. Pilgrim’s Rest – JNB – Port Elizabeth Breakfast and afterwards a visit to the Lone Creek Falls. Travel to the national heritage town of Pilgrim’s Rest. We take

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Panoramic Route scenery

8 Days Touch of Wildlife and Scenery – Cape Town to Johannesburg (Code: SC-01C)

Wildlife and Scenery – Cape Town to Johannesburg The touch of wildlife and scenery package is is the perfect tour package for those with little time to see South Africa’s most popular wildlife and scenic areas in only 8 days! Also included is the Panorama Route. The tour departs daily from both Cape Town and Johannesburg. DAY 1.  Cape Town – Hermanus – Swellendam – Mossel Bay This wildlife and scenery tour package highlights the diversity of South Africa. Depart from Cape Town at around 09h00 and drive eastwards via the beautiful coastal route between Gordon’s Bay and Hermanus, a seaside holiday town (Hermanus is the best place in the World to spot Whales from land – July to Dec). Afterwards drive on to Mossel Bay. Here we visit arguably the oldest post office in Africa, the Post Office Tree.  The Portuguese explorer Bartholomew Dias made landfall here in 1488. Overnight at Bar -T-Nique Lodge. DAY 2.  Mossel Bay – Oudtshoorn – Cango Caves – Ostrich Farm. The 2nd Day of the 8 Days touch of Wildlife and Scenery, starts over the Outeniqua Mountains in the Little Karoo to visit an Ostrich Show Farm for unique experiences. We visit the Cango caves, regarded as one of South Africa’s foremost natural wonders. The fascinating calcite caves comprise an underground wonderland of stalactites and stalagmites. Visit Oudtshoorn, also called the “Feather capital” of the world, as one finds over ninety percent of the world’s ostrich farms here. Overnight La Plume Lodge. DAY 3.  Oudtshoorn – Cango Wildlife Ranch – Garden Route – Knysna After breakfast we visit the Cango Wildlife Ranch and Valley of Ancients, an endangered species breeding facility extraordinaire. Then depart for George and Wilderness National Park. We skirt around the lakes with stops at scenic viewpoints to Knysna. The town is situated

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10 Day Touring South Africa Guided Tour (Code: SC-02/10)

10 Day Taste of South Africa Guided Tour This tour is just that, a taste of South Africa and it’s diversity. The tour incorporates the Panoramic Route, Kruger National Park, a private reserve in the Greater Kruger area, Eswatini (Swaziland), Zululand and another private reserve, enter the first proclaimed world heritage site in South Africa, iSimangaliso, and a boat cruise on Lake St Lucia. The last three days we travel through the scenic Garden Route and finally ending in Cape Town. This tour truly covers travel in South Africa! DAY 1.  Johannesburg – Dullstroom – Panoramic Route – Sabie You are collected from your hotel at around 09h00 to start your tour. Collection from the O R Tambo International Airport outside Johannesburg can also be arranged. We travel from Johannesburg via Middelburg, Dullstroom, and Lydenburg. Continue to Pilgrim´s Rest, the early gold mining town turned into a living museum. Rich deposits of alluvial gold were found here at the end of the 19th century around the town deep in the mountains. We continue to Sabie. Overnight at the Ligna Lodge. DAY 2.   Panoramic Route – Private Game Reserve We visit Lone Creek Falls and travel via Graskop. Marvel at scenic areas such as God’s Window, Bourke’s Luck Potholes, Blyde River Canyon, and some of the spectacular waterfalls in the area. Finally, we descend to the Lowveld via Abel Erasmus Pass and the Strijdom Tunnel to arrive at Mohlabetsi Lodge in the Balule private game reserve. This afternoon our encounter with Africa’s wildlife begins as we travel on an open vehicle to search for the game. Enjoy a great dinner under the stars tonight (weather permitting). DAY 3.   Private Game Reserve – Kruger National Park After an early morning safari, conditions permitting a search for the wild on foot, and breakfast we enter the

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Garden Route and Wildlife

A taste of South Africa 11 Day Guided Tour (Code: SC-02/11)

11 Day Taste of South Africa Guided Tour This tour is just that, a taste of South Africa and it’s diversity. The tour incorporates the Panoramic Route, Kruger National Park, a private reserve in the greater kruger area, eSwathini (Swaziland), Zululand and another private reserve, enter the first proclaimed world heritage site in South Africa, iSimangaliso, and a boat cruise on lake St Lucia. The last four days we travel through the scenic Garden Route ending in Cape Town. DAY 1. Johannesburg – Dullstroom – Panoramic Route – Sabie (Safari) Your first taste of South Africa starts with our day on safari, takes us from Johannesburg via Middelburg, Dullstroom and Lydenburg to Pilgrim´s Rest, the early gold mining town turned into a living museum. Rich deposits of alluvial gold were found here at the end of the 19th century. We continue to Sabie. Overnight Ligna Lodge. DAY 2.  Panoramic Route – Private Game Reserve We visit Lone Creek Falls and travel via Graskop to marvel at scenic areas such as God’s Window, Bourke’s Luck Potholes, Blyde River Canyon, and some of the spectacular waterfalls in the area.  After that, we descend to the Lowveld via Abel Erasmus Pass and the Strijdom Tunnel to arrive at Mohlabetsi in the Balule private game reserve. This afternoon our encounter with Africa’s wildlife begins as we travel on an open vehicle to search for the game. Enjoy a great dinner under the stars tonight (weather permitting). Overnight Mohlabetsi Lodge. DAY 3. Private Game Reserve – Kruger National Park After an early morning hike, searching for the wild on foot, and breakfast we enter the Kruger National Park and spend the rest of the day in this magnificent reserve around 2 million ha in extent. DAY 4. Kruger National Park  – Swaziland We rise early for a game

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Robben Island

15 Day Deluxe South African Experience Guided Tour (Code: SC-02P)

  15-Day Taste of South Africa and Cape Town This tour truly provides you with a taste of South Africa and  Cape Town added to the end. The tour incorporates the Panoramic Route, Kruger National Park, a private reserve in the greater kruger area, eSwathini (Swaziland), Zululand and another private reserve, enter the first proclaimed world heritage site in South Africa, iSimangaliso, and a boat cruise on lake St Lucia. We travel through the scenic Garden Route and ending in Cape Town. The tour includes a 4-night stay-over in Cape Town with tours of the city and peninsula and an optional winelands tour. DAY 01. Gauteng – Panoramic Route (Taste of South Africa and Cape Town) Our first day of this South African holiday takes us from Johannesburg via Middelburg, Dullstroom and Robber’s Pass to Pilgrim´s Rest, the early gold mining town turned into a living museum. Rich deposits of alluvial gold were found here at the end of the 19th century, hence the existence of the town deep in the mountains. After exploring this quaint old town, we continue to Sabie where we have a pleasant walk through indigenous forest to visit Lone Creek Falls. We overnight in Sabie at Ligna Lodge.  DAY 02.  Panoramic Route – Private Reserve After Graskop we marvel at scenic areas such the Pinnacle, God’s Window, Lisbon Falls, Bourke’s Luck Potholes (a walk down the hill to this unique trick of nature is worth the effort), and the magnificent Three Rondavels view site at the Blyde River Canyon. We walk along the cliffs to really appreciate the breathtaking views.  Finally we descend to the Lowveld via Abel Erasmus pass and the Strijdom Tunnel to arrive at Mohlabetsi in the Balule private game reserve,  a part of the Greater Kruger National Park. This afternoon our encounter with Africa’s

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Kruger National Park Safaris

Our Kruger National Park guided tours and safaris are designed for vacationers to South Africa who are looking to experience the raw African wilderness first-hand accompanied by a knowledgeable tour guide. If you’re looking to see the Big Five up close and personal, a trip to the Kruger National Park won’t disappoint! Our page titled What to Expect When Visiting the Kruger National Park shares valuable information for anyone looking to explore Africa’s largest game reserve…

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Planning a tour of the Kruger Park involves a lot of work, but you don’t have to do it all yourself. Why not rather sign up for one of our exciting Kruger Park tours?

Although South Africa is home to countless conservation reserves, the Kruger National Park is truly a unique place. The Kruger is over 100 years old and is still as alluring as it was to those first park explorers. Visitors coming to the Kruger can expect to see a myriad of wildlife as soon as they pass through the gates. Home to the Big 5 and countless other species of birds, reptiles and other animals, it’s easy to get caught up in the splendour of African nature.

Guided Kruger Park safaris are without a doubt the best way to explore the park. Tour guides working in the Kruger are knowledgeable, gaining much insight from their years of experience in the park, and share their knowledge throughout the tour, ensuring a memorable tour.

A trip to South Africa is incomplete without a tour of the Kruger National Park.

The History of the Kruger in a Nutshell

There was once a time in South African history when wildlife roamed just about every corner of the land. The wildlife populations were massive and sadly, became the focus of hunters arriving on the continent. In early history, there was no limit to the number of animals that a hunter could hunt.  Wildlife populations were almost irrevocably decimated as a result.

In The Beginning

In response to the decline in animal populations, a nature reserve was proclaimed in 1898 by the then Transvaal President Paul Kruger, after whom the present park is named. At that time, the park was named the Sabi Game Reserve. Along with other founders, Kruger noticed that if hunting was left uncontrolled, soon the next generations would be left with no wildlife to enjoy.

Sabi Game Reserve

The Sabi Game Reserve was not opened to visitors. Instead, wardens, living remotely in simple huts, were tasked with looking after the reserve and its animals. James Stevenson-Hamilton was the first warden of the park and took on the role in 1902.  The park expanded a lot when it was still the Sabi Game Reserve, as the land around the reserve was bought for the reserve. Hunting was strictly forbidden and for a great many years, the Reserve remained mostly untouched by humans, allowing the animal populations to flourish. Sabi Game Reserve was renamed the Kruger National Park in 1926.

New Name

After the Kruger National Park was founded, guests were slowly introduced into the park. The first guests travelled the park by train, but as imagined, this type of travel caused problems. Cars replaced trains and by 1927. A limited number of guests could drive through the park. Guests also had the option of staying overnight. The accommodation was exceptionally rustic however and not everyone’s idea of a comfortable place to stay.

Today, the Kruger still has the same magical feel it held for those first visitors. Each journey into the park is unique, you never know what you might see. Accommodation facilities have also improved tremendously to en-suite and air-conditioned rooms.

Kruger Park Highlights

Driving in an open safari vehicle, enjoying the cool breeze in your hair and soaking up that African sun, all the while spotting animals in their natural habitat, is an experience you won’t soon forget.  Few nature reserves compare to time spent in the Kruger.

We are passionate about conservation and we love to share the Kruger with our guests. Here are some of the Kruger highlights:

Safari Game Drives

A game drive in an open vehicle is without a doubt the best way to see the Kruger. Our luxury closed vehicles are an excellent option for those very hot times of the day.  Our guides take guests into those areas of the park where they are most likely to see animals. The Kruger is home to about 145 different animal species and it is most famously home to the Big 5 (Lion, Elephant, Leopard, Rhino and Cape Buffalo).  Our safari tours take visitors through the southern areas of the park where animals are more abundant. You can see a lot on a single day safari, although it’s often best to spend more than a day on safari.

  • Wilderness Trails

While a game drive is a great way to see the Kruger, a walk on one of the parks many trails is an experience like no other. The wilderness trails allow visitors to walk alongside a guide, getting up close to the various animals who happen to be on or close to the trail. Such walks are not for the faint-hearted and one has to be fit enough to walk several kilometres a day.

  • Museums

The immense history of the Kruger National Park is put on display in the various museums dotted throughout the park. Not only is the human history of the park recorded in these museums, but so is the history of some of the most famous animals. Two of the best museums are located in Skukuza and Letaba. Ask your guide about them.

See why everyone loses a piece of their hearts to the Kruger National Park. Book your tour today!

Your Best Kruger National Park Safari Experience Starts Here

The Ultimate Guide to Safari in the Kruger National Park

The Kruger National Park in South Africa is one of the world’s largest premier wildlife-watching destinations. It is also one of the most accessible, with a sophisticated infrastructure. The Kruger National Park is a holiday destination and experience that can be tailored to fit all kinds of budgets from cheap ‘n cheerful to the most opulent of luxury and everything in between.

Whether you are camping or staying in 6-star luxury, these are the experiences you are guaranteed to have when you visit the Kruger National Park:

  • The best game viewing in Africa
  • Unspoilt African landscapes
  • The peace, solitude and beauty of the wild
  • The quintessential and unique African bush safari

About the Kruger National Park

One of the most famous wildlife parks in the world, the vast Kruger National park covers nearly 2 million hectares (19 633 square km or 7580 square miles) of exquisite African scenery and biodiversity. To put this into perspective, the Kruger National park is similar in size to Israel.

The park boasts a combination of savannah, thornveld and woodland ecozones.

The park is situated in the northeastern part of South Africa and spreads over both the Mpumalanga and Limpopo provinces and along the border of South Africa with Mozambique.

An incredible number of plants, birds and animals call the Kruger National Park home, including:

  • 336 tree species
  • 147 mammals
  • 507 bird species
  • 114 reptile species
  • 49 fish species
  • 507 bird species
  • 34 amphibian species

The Big Five

Included in this abundant natural habitat, are the famous ‘Big 5.’ The ‘Big Five’ is a label created by hunters to group the five most fearsome and difficult African animals to hunt on foot. They are the lion, the leopard, the rhinoceros, the elephant and the Cape buffalo. While your opportunity to spot all 5 is very high when staying at The Kruger National Park, these majestic creatures are not the only stars of the show. Amongst many other animals, you are highly likely to see spotted hyena, wild dog, hippo, klipspringer, many impala, kudu, baboon, warthog, antelope, waterbuck, zebra, cheetah, giraffe, reedbuck and eland.

There is so much to see, smell, hear and learn about our natural world at the Kruger National Park.

History of the Kruger National Park

Paulk Kruger, the president of the (then) Transvaal Republic,  established the park as a wildlife refuge as early as 1898 and named it the Sabie Game Reserve in 1926. Of course, there is much more ancient history to the land, and archaeological sites prove the evidence of human life in the area over 500 million years ago. Stone tools and artefacts from 100 000 to 300 000 years ago also point to an Iron and Stone Age in the area. There is evidence of the San people (and extensive rock art sites,) the Nguni people, the Tsonga people and in more modern times, colonialism and European people.

In the Beginning

By the 1800s, the land was being hunted unrestrictedly and extensively, which led to the government of the South African Republic (as it was then) taking decisions to protect this unique and biodiverse land. Initially, the park was patrolled by one armed warden, Stevenson-Hamilton. The park was first opened to visitors in 1927, in very different circumstances to what you will find now!

The rich history of the park is documented and showcased in various camps around the park, and part of the appeal of visiting is to take a walk down the lanes of history and discover ‘old Africa’.

Types of Accommodation at the Kruger National Park

The Kruger Park is set about with a variety of camps, each with different types of accommodation and amenities. Take a look at this map of the Kruger National Park to see the names of the camps and where they are situated, as well as the gates and the road systems through the park.

Map of the Kruger National Park

Experiencing the natural wonder and mind-blowing beauty of the Kruger National park is within reach for all types of budgets, from shoestring to extravagant. The best thing is, the animals, the scenery and the wonders of nature don’t care whether you are camping or staying in 6-star luxury, they are all still the same.

Accommodation

You can camp in caravans or tents, most with power, water and ablution facilities. Some huts consist of single rooms with communal kitchens and ablutions. Then there are the permanent safari tents – these are canvas tent rooms on permanent platforms. Some are fully equipped with their own living spaces, kitchens and bathrooms, some with a communal ablution and kitchen facility.

Cosy bungalows are available in various formats from single bedrooms to several bedrooms, with either en suite bathrooms and kitchenettes or communal ones. Lovely cottages in the wild are a favourite with families and come in different sizes, several bedrooms and bathrooms and levels of luxury. Guesthouses are available with multiple bedrooms, bathrooms, spectacular views and varying amenities such as bar facilities, private pools and viewing decks.

Private Lodges

Private luxury safari lodges offer pure opulence and extravagant service, depending on the type of experience that guests are looking for. There are romantic and secluded getaways, classic family lodges and lodges that focus on child-friendly amenities and services.

We all have a ‘vision’ of the perfect safari getaway, and the Kruger National Park accommodation options are varied to suit this. There are colonial, ‘Out of Africa’ style lodge experiences, or cultural and traditional décor and styling courtesy of the Tsonga tribe.

Activities

The private safari lodges usually offer Kruger National Park safari packages that can include private viewing spots within the camp (usually close to watering holes), the opportunity to be waited on, hand and foot and world-class cuisine. Packages offered can include game drives, guided walks, meals, drinks and entertainment.

The Kruger National Park is mostly warm, and wherever you stay, there will be access to a swimming pool nearby. Some a private infinity pool, a little plunge pool in your viewing deck and some a more communal arrangement. Some lodges cater for wheelchair access as well as other disabilities.

Accommodation Outside the Park

You don’t even have to stay in the park if the convenience of a town is more your style. You can stay in one of many gorgeous hotels and lodges in the towns nearby various Kruger Park gates, and drive in every day, and return to your hotel in the evening. Nearby towns with hotels, lodges, restaurants and all tourist amenities include Hoedspruit, Nelspruit, Phalaborwa, Hazyview and Malelane.

Whether you choose to stay within the Kruger National Park or in a nearby town, you can find the perfect accommodation-only or convenient Kruger Park package deal to suit the number of people in your party, their ages and needs, your budget and tastes and the exact type of experience that you have always dreamed of.

Self-Drive Options in the Kruger National park

Self-drive options are also available in the Kruger National Park and are an excellent option for those who want the freedom to traverse the park and travel at their own pace. Plan your route to control the cost of self-drive safaris in the Kruger National Park as well as accommodation and meal options. There are petrol stations at the major Kruger Park camps, and even vehicle workshops in Skukuza, Letaba and Shingwedzi camps for any tune-ups or mishaps to be taken care of.

Vehicles

The ideal vehicle is a 4×4 but it is not necessary as roads in the Kruger National park are good. An off-road or high-clearance vehicle is beneficial for the higher viewing position. You can visit the Kruger Park in a standard-sized vehicle, but the most basic or entry-level vehicle might be a little less comfortable. If your plan is to camp all the way, you should investigate the costs of hiring a vehicle that is set up for camping, it will make your experience a lot easier and more comfortable. You can use your vehicle or rent a vehicle at an airport or neighbouring town.

When opting for a self-drive safari in the Kruger Park, you will need to study the Kruger Park map beforehand and have a general plan as to where you want to stay in the evenings, and ideally book your accommodation before embarking on the journey, especially in the busier times.

Planning

Self-drive safaris mean travelling slowly, in order not to miss the amazing sights, as well as out of respect for the animals and the other road users. The ideal speed is 20 – 30km per hour. Stay in the vehicle at all times unless you are in an official ‘get out’ spot or in one of the camps. You can switch off at waterholes and lookout spots and just soak in the sights, sounds, smells and awe-inspiring stillness and peace of the African bush…

Best Time to Visit the Kruger National Park

The Kruger National Park is a year-round destination, and each season has its special beauty and perks. The climate is hot and subtropical, and temperatures during the day rarely fall below 25 degrees Centigrade.

Winter

The dry, Winter season runs between April and September and is a firm favourite for many. This is because temperatures are pleasant and not too hot, and game viewing is spectacular. The vegetation is sparse, and the grasses low, meaning that it is much easier to spot game. During these months, the water levels are low, and water holes, dams and rivers are a hive of animal activity every day, as there is nowhere else to get the water they need. For spotting animals, Winter and the dry season is a definite winner.

The cooler, dryer periods are also better if malaria is a worry, as there are far fewer mosquitos around in these temperatures.

Summer

The rainy season, however, from October to March has a beauty all of its own. You might have to stay out of a few subtropical rainstorms, but viewing them from your cosy deck is rather spectacular too. The lush foliage makes for gorgeous scenery, light and incredible photography opportunities. The rainy, Spring season does offer an opportunity to spot all the newborn wildlife – an experience all of its own.

Travelling in Summer is very hot, so an air-conditioned vehicle is recommended, and some of the more luxurious or permanent accommodation options more comfortable than camping on the ground. The end of November and early December are excellent for newborn wildlife as well as birding. This is the time of year that migrant birds arrive at the Kruger National Park.

Other activities in and around the Kruger National Park

Not only is experiencing the true call of nature available, but the Kruger National Park camps also offer a wide variety of options. There are restaurants, bars, environmental centres for learning, cultural and historical sites to investigate and even a golf course to entertain the safari golfer. Besides the game drives, you can go on fascinating walking trails, mountain biking trails and specialist birding and flora trails.

Just outside the Kruger National park in the neighbouring towns, there are plenty of opportunities for exploring and adventure activities, such as white water rafting, horse riding, abseiling, quad biking, ziplining and mountain boarding.

Your ultimate African safari destination

The Kruger National Park is an unparalleled destination for local South Africans, those close by in neighbouring countries and indeed anyone from anywhere around the globe. The variety of accommodation and travel options and sophistication of infrastructure means that this jewel of the natural world is truly accessible to all – no matter age, taste, mobility or budget. It’s for the young, the old, the adventurous, the camper, the luxury seeker, the wildlife enthusiast and the city slicker.

Mother nature provides a show that is equally spectacular and unforgettable to all.

Southern Circle Tours & Safaris