Kruger National Park Concessions
The Kruger National Park is world renowned for its spectacular wildlife. It is the largest nature reserve in South Africa and indeed one of the largest on the continent. At 360km long and 65km wide the surface area surpasses that of the nearby country of Swaziland! Despite its size, the density of wild animals found here is one of the highest on the planet, making for superb viewing opportunities no matter where you are in the park.
The southern and central regions of the Kruger are most frequented by visitors and for good reason: the game viewing is most reliable here. It is your best bet for lion and leopard sightings, especially common along the Sabie River beween Lower Sabie and Skukuza. In central Kruger, the open grasslands are stocked with plenty of elephants while grass-feeders like wildebeest and buffalo attract predators like lion, cheetah and leopard.
Finally, in the far north, your reward is not only solitude from the crowds of the south but also an area of great natural beauty as the landscape here transforms from sub-tropical to tropical. Large concentrations of baobab trees are particularly beautiful. Unfortunately, big game sightings are less frequent in this part of the Kruger, although birding, especially in the summertime is quite spectacular.
Whether you are a solo traveller, a couple on a romantic getaway or a family looking for the quintessential safari adventure, Kruger caters for all. A host of accommodation options are a scattered across the park, ranging from campsites to family cottages, safari tents and exclusive guesthouses. The main camps are well stocked with modern amenities and most have shops, restaurants, pools and fuel stations.
If you are after total exclusivity or the ideal honeymoon getaway, head for one of the private concession areas within Kruger. Each concession is home to a number of world-class luxury lodges that provide five-star accommodation and cuisine, personal game rangers and tailor-made experiences.
Pel’s fishing owl
• The Kruger is one of the few places where you can see the world’s largest land mammals mere meters from your own vehicle. A vast network of good roads in the park provides excellent self-drive safari routes.
• The park has a superb avian population (over 500 species!) and keen birders can cross off dozens of sightings during a visit. Keep an eye our for the Big 6: the martial eagle, the ground hornbill, the saddle-billed stork, the kori bustard, the lappet-faced vulture and the unique Pel’s fishing owl.
• A number of guided walking trails, bookable at all main camps, offer a truly immersive bush experience. Hikers are accompanied by experienced armed game rangers who track elephant, rhino and lions on foot. Hikes vary in duration from a few hours to overnight excursions with catered dinners and luxury bush tents.
Lion Sands Tinga Lodge
• The Kruger National Park is approximately a five-hour drive from the nearest international airport, OR Tambo, in Johannesburg. Various car rental companies have counters at the airport. Alternatively you can fly to a local airport such as Phalaborwa, Hoedspruit, Nelspruit or Skukuza and rent a vehicle there. Private lodges offer shuttle services to and from all airports.
• Book well in advance for popular public camps like Skukuza and Letaba during peak holiday seasons in December and July. Avoid the holiday seasons altogether if you prefer less fellow visitors.
• Take precaution for very hot days and cold nights. Bring a hat, sunscreen and sunglasses for the daytime temperatures over 30°C and warm clothing for the chilly evenings.
• The Kruger is a malaria zone and it is advised that visitors take prophylactics. Consult your healthcare professional on a course of medication before you travel.