Kruger National Park

Kruger National Park travel guide


2 MINUTE SUMMARY

Stretching almost 20,000km2 at times Kruger National Park seems like not one park, but many. It would take a full ten hours to drive from north to south – and you’d pass through vast ecosystems of thorny acacia, dense woodland, open grassland and tropical riverine forest. In fact, it might take even longer; in Kruger, animals have right of way. Its 147 mammal species include the Big Five, of course – which can be encountered during game drives as well as on foot and during nighttime safaris. Giraffe, ostrich, crocodile and the rare African wild dog are amongst the many other animals that call the park home – along with over 500 birds.
Kruger’s diversity doesn’t stop at its nature; there are accommodations, tours and safaris to suit all tastes and budgets – from self-drive campers to indulgent honeymooners, first-time-in-Africa families, or wannabe park rangers. In short, deciding to go on holiday to Kruger is just the starting point – this Kruger National Park Travel guide will help you decide when, where – and how.
Hello.
If you'd like to chat about Kruger National Park or need help finding a holiday to suit you we're very happy to help.
Rosy & team

01273 823 700

Kruger National Park map & highlights


MAKE THE MOST OF YOUR TIME

Gazetted in 1898, Kruger National Park is larger than neighbouring Swaziland. The more south is the most popular region with plenty of lodges, restaurants and campsites; it’s well suited to families and first time safari-goers. It is a 5-hour drive from Johannesburg, but there are numerous small airports dotted around the park’s borders. The remote north offers a greater sense of wilderness; wildlife is more dispersed but you’ll enjoy fewer visitors and unspoiled landscapes. Kruger’s accommodation includes everything from DIY self-drive and camping, to comfortable lodges – though for a more luxurious holiday, we recommend spending time in a private reserve. You’ll share it with few other guests, and be driven around in private vehicles.
Big cats Birds Elephants Private reserves Rhinos Wilderness trails

Big cats

Lions are the stars of many a thrilling safari story – regularly bringing down prey just metres from stunned onlookers. The most elusive cat, the leopard is a master of camouflage. It makes it all the more rewarding though when you are able to glimpse one. Cheetahs are common in the park; join a predator conservation programme to learn more about big cats.

Birds

Kruger National Park’s diverse habitats shelter over 500 species of birds. Around 200 of these are migrants which can be seen here between October and March. Characteristic – and charismatic – species include the colourful saddle-billed stork, the enormous secretary bird (1.3m tall), kori bustards, Pel’s fishing owl and a whole rainbow of bee-eaters and sunbirds.

Elephants

The world’s largest land mammals roam across Kruger in their thousands. They’re a magnificent sight, from enormous males, weighing over three tons, to playful calves learning how to use their trunks. Be careful when driving near them – they are the only animal that can attack while you’re in a vehicle. Never separate a herd – and keep your engine on for a fast getaway if needed.

Private reserves

Private reserves offer exclusivity and comfort, with lodging, meals and activities all included. You can’t self-drive, and you won’t get the variety of landscapes – but wildlife is free to roam in from the park – and you won’t be competing with other vehicles for a glimpse. They’re also better for bush walks and nighttime game drives – both are restricted in Kruger.

Rhinos

Kruger is the best place in South Africa to see rhino. The white rhino is surprisingly huge yet docile, while the black rhino is smaller and foul-tempered; making it one of the ‘Big Five’ due to the difficulty of hunting it. Track them of foot with a qualified guide for an incredible close encounter with some of the world’s most endangered species.

Wilderness trails

Nine specialist multi-day treks have been developed in the park, each with a unique focus – such as birds, lions, rhinos or San rock art. The 3-night, 2-day trails are accompanied by expert, licenced guides, and involve sleeping in rustic huts – this is a real wilderness experience. Understandably, they are in great demand – so book well in advance.

Photo credits: [Top box: Adam Dimmick] [Map intro box: South African Tourism] [Big cats: Stuart Bassil] [Rhinos: Chris Eason] [Elephants: Chris Eason] [Birds: Abspires40] [Private reserves: Chris Eason] [Wilderness trails: Chris Eason]
Written by Vicki Brown
South Africa safari holiday, 14 days

South Africa safari holiday, 14 days

Award winning safari in South Africa

From £2699 14 Days ex flights
7 day big five safari in South Africa

7 day big five safari in South Africa

7 Day Safari with wildlife conservationists

From £1725 7 Days ex flights
Three Reserve safari in South Africa

Three Reserve safari in South Africa

Best value, 10 days high quality stunning big game safari

From £1699 10 Days ex flights
Kruger & Swaziland safari, South Africa, tailormade

Kruger & Swaziland safari, South Africa, tailormade

Zululand and Kruger park safari

From £1800 7 Days ex flights
South African safaris for families with teenagers

South African safaris for families with teenagers

Visit the famous Kruger National Park and Zulu villages

From £2458 14 days inc UK flights
Kruger 5 day safari in South Africa

Kruger 5 day safari in South Africa

Kruger Big Game Camping Safari 5 day

From R4275 5 Days ex flights
Family volunteering and safari holiday, South Africa

Family volunteering and safari holiday, South Africa

Take your family on a truly rewarding holiday of a lifetime

From £499 7 Days ex flights
Kruger big game camping safari in South Africa, 3 day

Kruger big game camping safari in South Africa, 3 day

Kruger Big Game Camping Safari 3 day

From R3670 3 Days ex flights
South Africa walking holiday

South Africa walking holiday

Active walking holiday Kruger Swaziland Zululand Drakensberg

From €1690 14 Days ex flights
South Africa self drive holiday, Northern experience

South Africa self drive holiday, Northern experience

Experience wonderful scenic views and rich culture!

From £574 14 Days ex flights
Convert currencies