Solo travel in the Kruger National Park

There is a very particular kind of adventure that comes with solo traveling. Not only does it take you to unimaginable new places, experiences and people but it also affords the opportunity for calm, uninterrupted self-reflection. The vast expanse of the Kruger National Park offers you plenty of both.

enter image description here Credit: The Traveling Ginger

Kruger National Park might be one of the wildest places in Africa and home to the biggest land mammals on Earth, but that doesn’t mean that it is out of bounds for the solo traveller. The extensive network of tar and good gravel roads makes getting around a breeze and a wide selection of accommodation suits every budget.

The myriad of campsites are a great DIY option, while safari tents, chalets and guest houses offer all the creature comforts (plus the marvel of air conditioning) that you are used to at home. If you are looking for a touch of exclusivity and personalised service, take your pick from one of the private concession areas within the park or the multiple five-star luxury lodges that border the Kruger.

In the private concession areas and private game reserves, you’ll arguably get a more personal experience than going it solo in the public areas of the park. Daily game drives with an experienced ranger come as standard at most luxury lodges, birding and photography excursions can be tailored to your preference and shuttle services to and from airports eliminate the need to rent a vehicle. Last but not least, all meals are taken care of.

The southern and central regions of the Kruger National Park are your best bet for spotting large populations of animals, comfortable accommodation facilities like restaurants, fuel stations and shops, and not to mention other friendly faces to chat to. If you are a veteran of solo travel and have the time, then the northern part of the park is much less populated with stunning, unspoiled landscapes. There, in the seemingly endless vistas, you might just discover that elusive self-reflection that inevitably finds the solo traveller.

Travel tips

• If you plan on spending multiple days in the reserve and/or plan to move between different camps, you’ll need a vehicle. The roads are superb, so any vehicle will do, but if you are planning to camp you may want to consider renting a camper van or kitted-out 4x4.

• A larger rental vehicle like an SUV or 4x4 can aid game viewing since it has a height advantage, especially in the summer when the grass is tall.

• There is no public transport within the park. If renting a vehicle is not an option, or you prefer not to drive, rather stay at one of private lodges in the greater Kruger where shuttles services and daily game drives are included in your stay.

• Be sure to buy a map of the reserve at the entrance gate or a camp shop. You’ll need it to navigate through the Kruger on your own.

• All the main camps have restaurants with reasonable prices and small shops for self-catering. You can also book guided drives and walks with rangers from here.

• Several overland and hop-on/hop-off tour operators offer multi-day guided trips to the Kruger. Join one of these and you’ll not only meet fellow travelers but your accommodation, meals and game drives in the park are included.


Popular Kruger National Park Safaris

These popular itineraries can be customised to match your budget and travel dates

 | The Ultimate Big Five South African Safari (7 days)

The Ultimate Big Five South African Safari (7 days)

Get the best possible chance to see the Big Five wildlife in the iconic Kruger National Park and Manyeleti Game Reserve ...

 | Thornybush Game Reserve Safari (4 days)

Thornybush Game Reserve Safari (4 days)

Enjoy the city life in Johannesburg and track the Big Five in the Thornybush Game Reserve...

 | Kruger, Cape Town and Mauritius Bush & Beach Safari (15 days)

Kruger, Cape Town and Mauritius Bush & Beach Safari (15 days)

Spend your days discovering the fine beaches of Cape Town, enjoying the remarkably untamed wilderness of the Kruger National Park and swimming the pristine beaches of Mauritius....

 | South African Bush and Beach Journey (10 days)

South African Bush and Beach Journey (10 days)

Explore the magic of Cape Town followed by the Scenic Garden Route and finally the Big Five members at the Kruger National Park...

 | Cape Town to Kruger Luxury Holiday (8 days)

Cape Town to Kruger Luxury Holiday (8 days)

Explore two of South Africa's most desirable locations in this whirlwind safari tour...

Romantic view | Deluxe Honeymoon Safari in Cape Town, Kruger and Victoria Falls (10 days)

Deluxe Honeymoon Safari in Cape Town, Kruger and Victoria Falls (10 days)

Combine three of Southern Africa's most loved destinations into one romantic getaway and you'll share the memories forever...

 | Journey through the Highlights of Southern Africa (13 days)

Journey through the Highlights of Southern Africa (13 days)

Exploring these areas of the Southern African continent should on top of your bucket list...

 | Cape Town, the Winelands and Kruger Luxury Journey (9 days)

Cape Town, the Winelands and Kruger Luxury Journey (9 days)

Experience Cape Town, the lush Cape Winelands and a safari in the Kruger National Park and you'll fall under South Africa's spell...

 | Big Five Safari in the Kruger National Park (3 days)

Big Five Safari in the Kruger National Park (3 days)

Encounter the Big Five safari and discover the elusive leopard...

 | South African Bush to Mozambican Beach Holiday (9 days)

South African Bush to Mozambican Beach Holiday (9 days)

In this exciting safari holiday, you'll get to experience both Southern Africa's bush and beach beauty...

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