Kruger National Park
An hour’s flight from Jo’burg the Kruger is arguably one of the finest game parks in the world. Your chances of seeing the“Big Five” lion, leopard, elephant, rhino and buffalo are high.
To reach Kruger, most people fly to either Nelspruit for the southern properties or Hoedspruit for the northern part of the park.
Most game lodges, excluding Hippo Hollow, offer two game drives per day. These are generally offered early in the morning (before breakfast) and in the late afternoon. Exact times vary depending on the season. Game drives are always in open top four wheel drive vehicles and are carried out by an experienced ranger and his tracker. Generally just six guests are accommodated on each vehicle. A drink and snack stop is included in most game drives.
Most lodges offer three meals a day and the majority offer both indoor and outdoor dining. Many have African 'bomas' (a traditional outdoor dining experience).
Some lodges do not accept children and those that do may insist you pay extra for a private game drive if your children are under 7. Most lodges have no fences, so wildlife can be found inside the lodges’ grounds. All lodges insist you are escorted by a member of staff after dark.
A number of the lodges are located on private game reserves and it would be easy to stay put and not make the most of the opportunity to explore the Kruger area taking in such sights as the Blyde River Canyon, the Three Rondavels and the gold rush town of Pilgrim’s Rest.
A visit to Kruger has to be high on the list of "musts" for any visit to South Africa, but make sure you book early as these lodges are very popular.
Game Drives – anyone visiting Kruger has one primary aim and that is to view the game. All of the “Big Five” (elephant, lion, leopard, buffalo, rhinoceros) can be seen in the national park. Many of the private camps include two game drives per day, whereas if you stay outside the park, you may choose to book and pay locally for full day drives in the park with a guide and tracker.
Panorama Route – most people visiting Kruger tend to concentrate on the game drives, but you really should take the time to explore some of the province of Mpumalanga, in which Kruger is located. This is a vast area of mountains, waterfalls and veld. The Blyde River Canyon red-sandstone gorge with a huge lake offers staggering views of the Three Rondavels. At God’s Window, you can take in one of the most breathtaking views of the whole Escarpment and Pilgrims Rest (an old gold mining town) is full of character.