Advice for Travelers to Kruger National Park South Africa
Do the planning right and your visit to The Kruger will be the experience of your lifetime. That is until you return … and you will return based upon quite unforgettable memories, scenes and lifestyle.
Find out where to find animals in the Kruger Park.
This Kruger National Park website was developed by my father, Tony Roocroft, to map all the roads in this wonderful wildlife heritage site. He completed the project and at the time of writing this is unfortunately not very well. His last wish was for all the information he gathered and put together over years of hard work was to be published... And this has become a reality, together with lots of help from Africa On Paper publishers the book is now available for sale, as you will see on the left. It is unlike any other Kruger National Park and shares everything you can imagine about the park... Please have a look at it, its great, just click the picture to learn more about the book.
Do it wrong and you’ll probably still have fun and enjoyment and a good holiday but you will leave without knowing the real Kruger without the real experiences that make this wildlife sanctuary so very very special and unique.
Here are a few practical suggestions you must take into account when making your plan … if you want to chat about your trip you can always give me a call. But please bear in mind I can only advise. I cannot make any kind of reservations for you. I am not a travel agent.
If you are coming from afar it is probably always best to at least consult a good online travel service like Safari Now … it will never cost you more but these experts can save you a lot of heartache and the right ones will always put your interests first. They will make suggestions way beyond what you can even imagine and they’ll make sure you don’t forget those “small things”. Such is the power of the Internet and online assistance.
The Kruger is a wild place but it is a very safe place … all you need do is stick to the rules. Picture is of entrance at Numbi Gate, Skukuza area.
Pick your spot
Imagine the Kruger is split into 4 sections … Far North, North, Central and South. If you follow the drive links (top left) these are arranged in the list from far north to south in a general sense. When planning your trip first pick the section you would like to spend time in.
Then get accommodation wherever you can that suits your style and pocket as close as possible to that area.
Drive yourself if at all possible … Beware Zebra crossings
Do try to drive yourself. Avoid the tour guide systems if you can … not because they do not do a good job but because it will severely limit your options. What’s the point of coming to this great place from thousands of miles away to limit the options?
Hire a car (from a reputable source) … and if you can afford it one of those higher off-the-ground vehicles with lots of internal space to allow you to get the best possible views. Even if you do choose to stick with tour guides be a devil and hire a car for at least one day … and explore those sand roads I talk so much about on this site. Make sure your car has air conditioning.
Fly and Drive
If you’ve got limited time then look for a fly and drive options. There are airports close to the major entrance gates of the Kruger and last minute booking can often be had by speaking to the top travel operators.
Stay in the right place?
In my view visitors should stay inside the Kruger Park at one of the numerous Rest Camps. The reason is simple … it
maximizes the experience of the bushveld life and prevents wasted time taken in traveling from an outside location into the Park every day. However I do acknowledge that the facilities, while for me are adequate, they are far from 5 star levels.
If it is the 5 star luxury experience you want this isn’t a problem. It just means you will have to book into one of the private concessions within the Kruger boundaries or look for accommodation within the private game reserves that sit on the western edge, and in many cases such as Londolozi, Mala Mala, Kirkmans Camp within the actual Kruger Park boundary itself. This collective of private game reserves are generally nestled within the Sabie Sands or Timbavati areas of the Kruger itself.
Beware of statements like “within the Greater Kruger area”. This does NOT necessarily mean inside the Kruger Park or even adjacent to it.
If you choose to use an agent ALWAYS use trustworthy and experienced operators in the field. Insist upon seeing and reading testimonials and finding out exact locations. Do good online research. Do not be fobbed off.
At certain times of the year it is very difficult to get bookings inside the Kruger Park itself. This is especially true at school holiday periods and these vary throughout South Africa. This means book early.
The number of visitors to the Park is increasing enormously and quickly.]
Limit your speed and stay at least 5 nights
Unless you are the kind of person who gets bored driving around spend at least 5 nights in the Park. Even 5 nights will only allow you to see a small part of the Kruger (maximum 20%) and it is important not to try to cover too great a distance. Do work on only covering journeys at 20kms/hr. Even though speed limits are up to 50 kms/hr the stops you will make to take in the sights and sounds will prevent your achieving higher average speeds.
Take breaks (short ones) at the Picnic Spots.
Some of the better known private reserves in South Africa … get more info from South African Game Reserves...
Djuma Game Reserve
Greater Kruger Park
Mala Mala Reserve
Sabi Private Reserve
Sabi Sabi Reserve
Sabi Sands Reserve
Singita Private Reserve