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Kruger National Park offers the perfect self-drive safari experience

Situated along the Mozambique border and covering close to 2 million hectares, Kruger National Park is the most well-known, and one of the largest parks in Africa. A number of private reserves run along the western border - with no fences between the national park and the private reserves, wildlife roam freely across the area, providing you with the ultimate safari experience in South Africa.

Kruger National Park is ideal for self-drive safaris, with entry gates situated in key areas, smooth roads and accommodation strategically positioned around the park. When you choose one of the many private game reserves, game drives are operated with a game ranger.

Accommodation in the private game reserves is usually of a very high standard.

 
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Sabi Sand Game Reserve is a collection of private game reserves adjoining the unfenced Kruger National Park. The area is of outstanding natural beauty and one of the most abundant and diverse areas for wildlife in Africa.
ivory_lodge_-_lion_sands_private_game_reserve
A superb game reserve set in an enviable location, with direct access to the Sabie River, ensures an awesome diversity of wildlife.
bush_lodge_-_sabi_sabi
Sabi Sand Game Reserve is a collection of private game reserves adjoining the unfenced Kruger National Park. The area is of outstanding natural beauty and one of the most abundant and diverse areas for wildlife in Africa.
fitzpatrick's_at_jock_safari_lodge
Fitzpatrick's Lodge, part of the Jock family of lodges, is smaller than Jock Safari Lodge and is perfect for small groups and families. The personal service and an intimate atmosphere make this a great choice.
garonga_safari_camp
Garonga Safari Camp is an exclusive 12-bed safari camp offering the chance to view big game such as lions, elephants and rhinos.
imbali_safari_lodge
The lodge is decorated with an emphasis on comfort and a colonial era of opulence. With wildlife wandering through the unfenced areas of the camp, Imbali is a romantic reminder of the character of the bush. A waterhole adjacent to the camp offers won...
jatinga_country_lodge
Jatinga Country Lodge is housed in an original 1920's Victorian homestead and its elegant décor is an eclectic mix of African colonial, French and English country themes.
jock_safari_lodge
Jock Safari Lodge, located in Kruger National Park, incorporates the romance and elegance of the past colonial era, and reflects, in its unique style, the indigenous Zulu and Shangaan cultures.
kapama_buffalo_camp
Reminiscent of a traditional African safari camp from a bygone era, Buffalo Camp offers the ultimate luxurious tented accommodation experience. Built from natural stone and wood, the luxury game lodge has an old world atmosphere while being completel...
kapama_karula
Set on the banks of the perennial Klaserie River is the reserves most secluded and prestigious lodge, Kapama Karula. Meaning 'place of peace' in the local language, Kapama Karula exudes calmness and depicts the pinnacle of luxury safari accommodatio...
kapama_river_lodge
Within the expansive Kapama Private Game Reserve, River Lodge epitomises five-star accommodation. The majestic northern Drakensberg Mountains form the backdrop to the 64 suite River Lodge, which is positioned along a bend of the seasonal Kapama River...
kings_camp_-_timbavati_private_game_reserve
Experience the bush in true colonial style. Relax and allow yourself to be pampered by the attentive yet unobtrusive staff.
lion_sands_tinga_lodge
The Tinga Private Game Reserve Concession in Kruger National Park is 5,000 hectares and has two private camps, Tinga Legends and Tinga Narina.
little_bush_camp_-_sabi_sabi
Sabi Sand Game Reserve is a collection of private game reserves adjoining the unfenced Kruger National Park. The area is of outstanding natural beauty and one of the most abundant and diverse areas for wildlife in Africa.
lukimbi_safari_lodge
Lukimbi Safari Lodge is a stunning 5 star safari lodge in the Kruger National Park. Kruger is home to the 'big 5' and a wide variety of other animals and birds, which roam freely in their natural habitat.
river_lodge_-_lion_sands_private_game_reserve
A superb game reserve set in an enviable location, with direct access to the Sabie River, ensures an awesome diversity of wildlife.
selati_camp_-_sabi_sabi
Sabi Sand Game Reserve is a collection of private game reserves adjoining the unfenced Kruger National Park. The area is of outstanding natural beauty and one of the most abundant and diverse areas for wildlife in Africa.
thornybush_game_lodge
The elegant and exclusive Thornybush Game Lodge awaits discovery by the discerning traveller. Unrivalled big game viewing is complemented by exquisite accommodation and sublime cuisine.
thornybush_waterside_lodge
Set on the banks of a tranquil lake, with breathtaking views of the African bush. The lodge offers a thrilling game activities in this vast reserve, from open safari game drives, to bush walks & birding trips.
ulusaba_private_game_reserve
Sir Richard Branson's award-winning luxury game reserve, situated within the Sabi Sands, offers superb game viewing.
arathusa_safari_lodge
It is common to see the 'big 5' in Sabi Sand plus many other species of mammals, birds and reptiles. At Arathusa Safari Lodge you will enjoy the services of experienced guides who will make your safari come to life.
cheetah_plains_private_game_reserve
Cheetah Plains is one of the oldest bush camps in the Sabi Sand, and the emphasis is on offering guests a traditional safari and comfortable accommodation, combined with great food, prepared around the campfire.
chisomo_safari_camp
Chisomo Safari Camp's luxury safari tents face the beautiful Makhutswe River, and wildlife may be watched from the decks as they emerge from the reeds.
elephant_plains_game_lodge
It is common to see the 'big 5' in Sabi Sand plus many other species of mammals, birds and reptiles. At Elephant Plains Game Lodge you will enjoy the services of experienced guides who will make your safari come to life.
idube_private_game_reserve
This small exclusive lodge offers a genuine bush experience. Idube Private Game Reserve is dedicated to giving guests a genuine and informative experience in a friendly, relaxed atmosphere.
kambaku_safari_lodge
Attracting visitors from around the world, Kambaku offers superior standards in all of its facilities, yet always maintains a high level of environmental consciousness.
main_lodge_-_shishangeni_private_lodge
This excellent lodge is situated inside the Kruger National Park and has two smaller 'satellite' camps also available.
motswari_private_game_reserve
Offers wide horizons, untamed wilderness and plentiful game in its natural habitat.
rhino_post
This unique wilderness area offers ecotourists the ideal place for encounters with the Big Five and allows visitors to track elephant and rhino on foot or view them from the comfort of open safari vehicles.
kruger_national_park_rest_camp
These budget rest camps are situated throughout the Kruger National Park and are suitable for self-drive guests.
umkumbe_safari_lodge
Umkumbe Safari Lodge is owner-managed and provides a personal, rustic and real South African safari experience.
panorama_route_(full_day)
An excellent opportunity to see some of Mpumalanga's most spectacular scenery.

Map

Kruger National Park in north-eastern South Africa encompasses a massive area of 19,633 km², positioning it as one of the ten largest National Parks in the world. Straddling South Africa’s border with Mozambique, the park covers parts of the Limpopo and Mpumalanga provinces and includes a wide variety of terrain and wildlife. The park’s three natural borders lend it distinct regional differences in plant and animal life. To the north and south of the park, the Limpopo and Crocodile Rivers flow eastward toward the Indian Ocean. To the east, Kruger National Park ends at the Lebombo Mountains, which separate South Africa from Mozambique. A Kruger National Park safari holiday will see you drive through its vast network of roads with scenic views of bush plains, tropical forests and dramatic kopjes.

 

The modern history of Kruger National Park dates to 1898 when Paul Kruger, the President of the South African Republic, set aside a game reserve to protect animals living in the ‘Lowveld’, or flat grasslands. To do so, the Dutch Boers - led by Kruger - forcibly claimed the land from its original inhabitants, the Tsonga people.

The park was first known as the Sabie Game Reserve until it was merged with the Shinwedzi Game Reserve in 1927 following the National Parks Act. After this, it became the Kruger National Park and expanded to its current size. Ian Player, the brother of the famous South African golfer, Gary Player, was highly influential in the creation of the park as it exists today. As a game ranger in the 1950s, he introduced many of the wilderness trails and walking safaris that have made the park an ideal safari destination known around the world.

The variety of animal life at Kruger National Park makes it a prime safari holiday destination. Apart from Africa’s typical Big Five (elephant, lion, rhino, leopard and buffalo), animals that call Kruger home include 147 species of mammals, 507 species of birds, 114 species of reptiles, 49 species of fish and 34 species of amphibians. Bird watching is popular in certain regions of Kruger and the park is also home to some extremely rare animals, such as the lungfish, which can be spotted throughout the park’s seven rivers.

Of course, the ‘Big Five’ remain as popular as ever and Kruger has an impressive showcase of approximately 1,500 lions, 17,000 elephants, 48,000 buffalo and 1,000 leopards. The sheer enormity of Kruger and its animal life is unrivalled in South Africa and makes for an unforgettable safari experience.

At Somak, we offer a 14-night Rainbow National tour that showcases some of the very best that South Africa has to offer. The tour includes a stop at Kruger National Park where you will spend a day enjoying game drives and spotting wildlife.

Kruger National Park has two main seasons that offer two unique safari experiences.

Dry Season – May to September

Winter is unquestionably the best time to observe wildlife at Kruger. The dry climate leaves the bushveld sparsely covered, exposing animals of all kinds for safari-goers. With little rain, wildlife moves toward waterholes, dams and rivers, which become hotbeds of photogenic activity.

While daytime temperatures during the winter are pleasant, night-time temperatures necessitate warm clothing. For animal enthusiasts looking for a comfortable and authentic safari experience, winter is the ideal season to visit Kruger.

Wet season – October to April

The rainy season fills Kruger’s rivers and waterholes, leaving the bushveld especially thick. This can make game viewing more difficult than in the dry winter season. Nonetheless, summer months provide those on safaris with unforgettable views of many newborn animals, as well as unmatched birding when migrant flocks arrive.

Visitors are recommended to travel in air-conditioned vehicles during the summer months as daytime temperatures can reach sweltering highs of 30C.

Kruger National Park offers an exciting range of activities for travellers. As South Africa’s most esteemed National Park, and one of Africa’s finest, Kruger has built a reputation for its wildlife and safaris. From high-end tours to classic safari excursions in open vehicles, there are a variety of ways to see Kruger in all its rugged glory. Home to the largest number of mammals in all of Africa, Kruger truly offers unparalleled wildlife viewing.

For those interested in the history and archaeology of the region, Kruger presents a fascinating addition to your typical safari. Bushman rock paintings colour Kruger’s southwestern foothills and encapsulate the spirituality and daily life of Late Stone Age hunter-gatherers. A great way to see much of this rock art is through the Bushman Walking Trail near Berg-en-Dal. Easily accessible Iron Age archaeological sites like Masorini and Thulamela also add to the human history of the region.

Other popular activities at Kruger include bird watching, mountain biking and golfing. Kruger National Park boasts four fantastic golf courses that are best played in winter. Gaze at a lion herd in the morning and play a round of golf in the afternoon  at Kruger, there is a once-in-a-lifetime experience waiting for everyone.

 

Top Itineraries

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Rainbow Nation - Coach Tour

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'Rainbow Nation' is a phrase favoured by Nelson Mandela to describe the diversity of cultures in South Africa.

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