WATCH: South Africa’s Garden Route vs Kruger… | Discover Africa Safaris
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WATCH: South Africa’s Garden Route vs Kruger National Park

discoverafrica 27 July 2018
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South Africa is more than just a country, it’s a world on its own. From the semi-desert landscapes of the Karoo, to the big game country of its world-class national parks and reserves, a South Africa safari means a plethora of safari options that suit almost any traveller.



The 200 km stretch of coast connecting Mossel Bay to the Storms River Mouth is commonly referred to as the Garden Route in reference to its beguiling diversity of wide sandy beaches, lovely lakes and lagoons, shady evergreen forests and protea-studded slopes.

The Kruger National Park on the other hand, extends over a mind-boggling 19,485 km² and is one of Africa’s largest and most iconic safari destinations, comparable in area to Wales or the state of New Jersey, and sharing open borders with several smaller private reserves as well as two transfrontier national parks in the form of Gonarezhou (Zimbabwe) and Limpopo (Mozambique). It vies with with Cape Town as South Africa’s top destination, attracting more than one million visitors annually.

Which premium destination would you choose? Take a look:



The Garden Route

Kruger National Park

  • The Marine Big Five (Southern Right whales, African penguins, Cape fur seals, Great White sharks and dolphins
  • Leopards and elephants rarely spotted in the Knysna Amatole Forest
  • Stunning bird species including those endemic to the region
  • All of the Big Five mammals, including endangered mammals such as the wild dog as well as giraffe, cheetah and hyena among them
  • Over 650 bird species
  • Game viewing all year round, with certain months being better suited to wildlife sightings based on the weather
  • Bird and landscape photography is very popular
  • Wildlife photography and filmmaking attracts professionals and amateurs from all over the world
Type of traveller  
  • Honeymooners
  • Family travel
  • Solo travellers
  • Active adventurers that enjoy hiking, walking and much more
  • LGBT travel


  • Wildlife seekers
  • Group travel
  • Families
  • Couples who are looking for a unique holiday destination
  • Numerous accommodation options for your budget
  • Stunning settings and warm hospitality
  • Comfortable and easy access to all modern amenities
  • Multiple luxury lodges and camps in private reserves and concessions
  • Service excellence
  • Camping and self-catering accommodation available in the national park itself
  • Authentic African safari feel
  • Conservation fees apply when booking
Language, culture and history
  • Almost everyone speaks and understands English
  • Robust cultural and political history
  • English is the spoken language at all lodges and camps but multiple African dialects and languages are also spoken
  • Conservation and ecotourism culture dominates the area
  • Geared more towards adventure-based activities such as hiking, walking, bungee-jumping, shark cage diving, etc
  • Birding safaris, whale-watching
  • Beach safaris
  • Self-drive safaris
  • Relaxed experiences
  • Cultural travel
  • Family safaris
  • Self-drive safaris
  • Big Five and wildlife-orientated experiences
  • Photographic safaris
  • Birding safaris
  • Walking safaris (in private reserves and concessions only)
  • Family safaris
Best time to travel
  • Year-round based on your budget
  • Rainfall is common throughout the year
  • November to April experiences great weather for beach experiences although this coincides with school holidays and South Africa’s busy summer season
  • June to October for favourable weather conditions and optimum wildlife viewing


  • Self-drive is an excellent way to appreciate the majestic beauty of the coastline at your own pace
  • Tour-bus travel available
  • Taxi travel possible in bigger towns
  • Self-drive is a popular way to see the park, but one will not have access to any private games and reserves
  • Fly-ins and transfers included in our safari packages
Malaria risk
  • Malaria-free
  • Malaria in all parts of the Kruger National Park














































Both of these South African destinations offer their own unique experiences. The Garden Route’s proximity to fabulous Cape Town means that self-drive adventures are more popular. Enjoy the charm of old towns as well as meet amazing people with their own unique cultural identity and plenty of stories to tell. Spending days on the pristine beaches along the coast is another highlight of the region.

The Kruger National Park is obviously geared more towards wildlife experiences. These are matched by exceptional lodges and a reconnection with nature.

Take your pick:




Having trouble deciding? Contact us for travel advice about how to create an itinerary that will take you to both destinations. 

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