There’s more than one way of getting to the Kruger National Park. Depending on where you find yourself in South Africa, the easiest means is to catch one of the direct flights to Kruger National Park from either Cape Town International Airport, King Shaka Airport in Durban or O.R. Tambo in Johannesburg. What varies however is the airport destination, you will travel to the Kruger Mpumalanga Airport or on selected days to Hoedspruit or Nelspruit Airport. Alternatively you can fly into Palaborwa. Depending on the Private Kruger Game Lodge you have chosen for your safari, you will be advised on which airport destination will be the most convenient for your travels.
For those on a budget, the Kruger National Park is about 6 hours’ drive from Johannesburg, which makes for the perfect road-trip.
It’s important to know that the Kruger National Park has nine entrance gates, the closest of which can be found in the south, between 420 and 500 km from Johannesburg. Surrounding the park’s 19, 633 square km radius you will find the two South African provinces of Limpopo and Mpumalanga in the west and south, Zimbabwe in the north, and Mozambique to the east.
With so much to see and in the Kruger National Park, here are a few things you should know:
Accommodation – The Kruger National Park has 21 rest camps, two private lodge franchises and 15 designated private safari lodges. Camping in the park has become popular with backpackers because it is less expensive and requires no special permission.
Wilderness Trails – A selection of nine different trails are available to visitors. Some of these trails are overnight, spending several days in the wilderness. There are no set trails and visitors walk along animal-made paths or seek out their own routes in the bushes.
Sight-seeing – This flagship of the South African national parks is home to an extraordinary number of species, namely 336 trees, 49 fish, 34 amphibians, 114 reptiles, 507 birds and 147 mammals. Bushman rock paintings and archaeological sites like Masorini and Thulamela can also be found in the park. The park’s natural assets have been preserved over the years.
Guided Walks and Game Drives – Up to eight people can be taken out into the bush at a time, by trained field guides with backup rifles. The walk is relaxed and educational, with the armed guides sharing their knowledge of the bush and its natural wonders. You will track rhino, elephant and lion on foot, as you observe listen to fascinating tales about the African bush. From sunrise to sunset, experienced guides drive the groups. Morning drives, sunset drives and night drives are available.
Bush Braais and Bush Breakfasts – Truly an unforgettable experience, you will be led to an open area with burning lanterns once you’re done with your game drive. Surrounded by the sounds of the park, with the echoes of the animals in the distance, the food is grilled on open fires. If you’ve never had game meat before, this would be the best time to try it.