Basic info about the Kruger NP
Kruger National Park is Africa’s oldest established wildlife park (1898) and also one of the largest game reserves in Africa. It covers an area of 19,485 km2 in northeastern South Africa (app 5 hours drive from Johannesburg).
Park is named by Paul Kruger, one of the founding fathers of the park. Mr. Kruger was very dominant political and military figures in the 19th century and President of the South African Republic (or Transvaal) from 1883 to 1900.
It is one of the best maintained parks in Africa which means it’s ideal for a self-drive safari. It really is. I was surprised to see how good the infrastructure of the park is and how many people built there from lodges to gas stations, shops and many more.
If you have your car, don’t be afraid to take the safari drive on your own.
Kruger & Sabi Sands Game Reserve
All tours to Kruger usually begin in Johannesburg. From the city you can flight to Kruger or drive (cheaper version). I drove to the park, roads are in great condition. The distance between the city and Kruger is app 400 kilometers. It took us about 5 hours drive to get to the park.
Where to find safari tours?
There are a lot of tour agencies that offer great safari deals. I booked my tour in advance through African Budget Safari.
About my tour
I spent 3 days on safari which is a bit short to experience ‘the real thing’. The first day we were in Sabi Sand Game Reserve, which is a part of the Greater Kruger Park, bordering the Kruger Park. It’s all quite the same, but I prefer Sabi over Kruger as it’s a smaller area so it’s easier to spot many animals.
Second day we explored Kruger. We went on an early morning and afternoon drive. Park is huge! Beside a lot of giraffes and antelopes we saw few lionesses from a big distance, one rhino, leopard, few elephants, hippos, crocodiles, many birds…
The last day we drove back to the Johannesburg via the scenic Panoramic Route which include the stunning views at Gods Window, Lisbon Falls and Graskop, passing through beautiful mountainous areas and small towns. You can skip this part and go on one more safari drive in the morning and then head back to the city.
Details about the tour and other information (prices, dates..) see HERE.
Read more: What to Pack for African Safari
If you are preparing for your safari trip first thing you come across is the term „Big Five“. Originally used only by hunters, the term ‘Big Five’ refers to five of Africa’s greatest wild animals – lion, leopard, elephant, buffalo and rhino.
In Kruger chances of seeing the Big 5 are highly likely.
Note: book a safari tour for at least 5 days as the area of the park is huge (it is one of the largest national parks in the world!). Animals roam around free and the more time you have to explore the park the higher are the chances you’ll see the Big 5 and experience true safari adventure.
Safari camp was located at Shaw’s Gate – an entrance to the Sabi Sand Game Reserve. Camps are luxurious and very comfortable with their own bathrooms. It was very nice, more than I’ve expected. There is also a pool and living room you share with other tourists.
If you are traveling to South Africa and having doubts about in which national park to go than Kruger National Park is definitely the best option to see and enjoy wildlife. Just plan to stay there at least 5 days.
Safari in general is one of the best experiences of my life so you can not make mistake whatever park you choose! Enjooooy and “take a walk on the wild side”!