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Kruger 101 Guide

Kruger 101 Gude

YOUR KRUGER QUESTIONS ANSWERED

PLANNING A KRUGER SAFARI IS A BIG TASK. USE THESE HELPFUL TIPS TO ENSURE AN UNFORGETTABLE SAFARI EXPERIENCE.

Visiting one of the world’s greatest wildlife-viewing destinations is a special experience. On a Kruger Park Safari, there is something to see, hear and even smell at every turn.

From seeing tiny birds fluttering through branches in riverine forests to watching with bated breath as big cats prowl the grasslands in search of prey, Kruger National Park is an adventure for the senses.

For first-time visitors, planning a trip to Kruger can seem daunting as there is so much to see and do in this vast wildlife haven. There are quite a few factors to consider when planning the Kruger safari of your dreams such as where you stay and what time of year you visit.

 

Here are a few tips to help ensure that you enjoy the best of what Kruger has to offer.

KRUGER 101 GUIDE

Kruger National Park is the biggest protected wilderness area in South Africa and is praised as a premier wildlife-watching destination in Africa. Kruger offers an authentic African safari experience with a variety of accommodation options and a range of luxury levels. There is something for everyone in the Kruger.

 

WHERE IS THE KRUGER NATIONAL PARK?

Located in the North East corner of South Africa, the Kruger stretches over two of the country’s provinces (Mpumalanga and Limpopo) and borders Mozambique and Zimbabwe.

WHAT WILL I SEE THERE?

Kruger is home to the renowned Big 5 (lion, leopard, elephant, rhino and buffalo) along with a diverse abundance of animals including giraffes, zebra, hippo, wildebeest, wild dog, plains game and more. Add to this the hundreds of species of birds in residence and you have a wildlife-watching haven!

WHAT MAKES A GREAT KRUGER SAFARI?

Is it the location, the wildlife viewing, the lodges, the hospitality or the game drive experience? In short, it is all of these things and more. A great Kruger safari is about the overall experience. 

WHERE IS THE BEST PLACE TO STAY?

The best place to stay for an exceptional Kruger Park safari is at one of the private game reserves in the Greater Kruger area. These reserves are nestled on the western border of the national park and are unfenced, allowing the animals to roam freely between the public park and private reserves. Private game reserves offer an exclusive safari getaway for travellers.

The public national park is run by the South African government, meaning a standardized level of accommodation and certain restrictions for game drive activities.  The lodges on the private reserves are privately owned allowing them to provide exciting safari extras to guests. These extras include off-road driving, bush walks and night-time game drives.

There are so many amazing lodges situated in a number of private game reserves. Get the most out of your Kruger trip by combining stays at a couple of lodges and enjoy the unique experiences at each.

White Rhino during safari game drive in Kruger national park South Africa

WHAT IS THE BEST TIME TO VISIT THE KRUGER?

Kruger is a year-round destination and choosing when to go depends on what kind of Kruger safari experience you are looking for.

South Africa’s dry winter season (June- September) is the best time for game viewing. The climate is cooler and dry, the vegetation is thinner, and the water is scarcer. Animals gather around available water sources and are more easily spotted in the thinner bush. This time of year can be chilly in the mornings and evenings but pleasant during the day.

The South African summer months (November – February) bring the rains and the green season. Please note, Kruger is hot at this time of year. The vegetation becomes thick and lush – meaning animals are more difficult to spot in the foliage but the scenery is spectacular. If you can track them, baby animals can be seen during the summer and this time of year is also fantastic for bird spotting!

Leopard in the tree in the Kruger national safari game reserve

WHAT SHOULD I PACK FOR MY KRUGER SAFARI?

When packing clothing for a safari keep comfort, colour and weather in mind. Comfortable, casual and wash and wear clothes are advisable. Natural tones that reflect the scenery surrounding you are best; consider clothes in green, brown and khaki colours. Throw in a few warmer items if you are travelling during winter as mornings and evenings can be cold.

Don’t forget your binoculars for wildlife spotting and your camera for capturing safari memories!

Staying healthy on safari:

Stay safe and healthy on safari by packing hats, sunscreen and insect repellent. To be completely sure of your health on safari, consult a doctor regarding the necessary precautions and vaccinations prior to travel. 

WHAT SAFARI ACTIVITIES CAN I ENJOY?

Game drives will surely be the most memorable part of your safari experience. Embark on early morning and late afternoon drives in the bush to see the animals at their most active (during the day they tend to take it easy). End off a day of safari exploration with a few sundowners enjoyed while surrounded by nature. Lodges in private game reserves offer additional safari activities including guided bush walks, off-road expeditions, and night-time game drives.

In your downtime, relax and make the most of the excellent service at your chosen lodge.

HOW EASY IS IT TO TRAVEL TO THE KRUGER?

Options for getting to the Kruger include driving and flying. Driving from OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg (the closest major city to the Kruger) will take approximately 5-6 hours.

There are a number of airports located near Kruger including Skukuza Airport, Hoedspruit Eastgate Airport, Phalaborwa Airport and Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport. Travellers can catch a short internal flight to one of these airports before catching a connecting road transfer to their Kruger destination.

Travelling to different reserves and lodges around Kruger can be timeous as speed limits need to be observed. However, there are great wilderness views sure to keep travellers entertained during transfers.

Elephants playing in the Kruger.

WHAT SAFARI ACTIVITIES CAN I ENJOY?

Game drives will surely be the most memorable part of your safari experience. Embark on early morning and late afternoon drives in the bush to see the animals at their most active (during the day they tend to take it easy). End off a day of safari exploration with a few sundowners enjoyed while surrounded by nature. Lodges in private game reserves offer additional safari activities including guided bush walks, off-road expeditions, and night-time game drives.

In your downtime, relax and make the most of the excellent service at your chosen lodge.