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Luxury Guided Kruger National Park Safaris

Kruger National Park Safaris

Our Southern Circle Kruger National Park guided tours and safaris are designed for vacationers in 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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We offer competitive rates and prices on our African Safari tours to one of the most popular South African National Parks. To book your luxurious South Africa Safari holidays, have a look at our Kruger National Park tours along with each Kruger Safari cost.

The guided Kruger National Park tour remains the perfect way to see Africa’s most beloved nature conservation project. 

The Kruger National Park has a place in the hearts of each one of the over half a million people who enter its gates every year. Rolling, flat landscapes in the North and bushveld in the South, the Kruger is one of the most diverse and fascinating wildlife parks you’ll ever visit.

The Kruger is massive! About the size of Israel, the park stretches over 2 provinces and extends into Zimbabwe and Mozambique. It can take more than a week to see the entirety of the park, but with the right Kruger Park tour, you can get more than just a sneak preview of this majestic land and the indigenous wildlife living here.

Planning a tour of the Kruger 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 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 splendor 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 all 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. The result was that wildlife populations were almost irrevocably decimated.

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.

As the Sabi Game Reserve, the land 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 and given. 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.

After the Kruger National Park was founded, guests were slowly introduced into the park. The first guests traveled 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, although the accommodation was exceptionally rustic and not everyone’s idea of a comfortable place to stay.

Today, the Kruger still has the same magical feel that it held for those first visitors. Each journey into the park is unique, you never know what you might see – and the accommodation has 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. Even if you travel to other nature reserves in South Africa, few 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

Without a doubt the best way to see the Kruger, a game drive is usually done in an open vehicle or, in our luxury closed vehicles 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). The routes taken by 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 kilometers a day.

  • Museums

The immense history of the Kruger National Park is put on display in the various museums dotted all 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 kms or 7580 square miles) of exquisite African scenery and biodiversity. To put this into perspective, the Kruger National park is similar in size to the size of the whole of Israel.

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

The park is in the north eastern part of South Africa and spreads over both the Mpumalanga and Limpopo provinces and runs along the border of South Africa and 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

Included in this abundant natural habitat, are the famous ‘Big 5.’ The ‘Big Five’ is a label created by hunters in order to group together 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

The park was established as a wildlife refuge as early as 1898 and was named the Sabie Game Reserve by the president of the (then) Transvaal Republic, Paul Kruger in 1926. Of course, there is a 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.

By the 1800’s, 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

(Insert map of Kruger National Park showing camps, gates and roads)

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.

You can camp in caravans or tents, most with power, water and ablution facilities. There are huts that 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, number of 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. There are also luxury and exclusive lodges with unique styles and amenities catering to a variety of different groups and needs.

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’ styled lodge experiences, or cultural and traditional décor and styling courtesy of the Tsonga tribe.

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. There are also lodges that cater for wheelchair access as well as other disabilities.

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. The cost of self-drive safaris in the Kruger National park can also be controlled by planning your route, accommodation and meal options in advance. 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.

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 investgate 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 own 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 before hand and have a general plan as to where you want to stay in the evenings, and ideally book your accommodation prior to embarking on the journey, especially in the busier times.

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 own special beauty and perks. The climate is hot and sub tropical, and temperatures during the day rarely fall below 25 degress Centigrade.

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.

The rainy season, however, from October to March has a beauty all of its own. You might have to stay out of a few sub tropical 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 however, 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 newborns, 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 experience the true call of nature available, the Kruger National Park camps 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. Beside 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 unparalelled 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 mean 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.