Covering an area the size of Wales, Kruger National Park has all of Africa’s iconic species - elephant, lion, leopard, cheetah, rhino, buffalo, giraffe, hippo and zebra, along with a supporting cast of 138 other mammals and more than 500 bird varieties.
Our selection of lodges comprise those within Kruger National Park, alternative options just outside the park in Hazyview or White River as well as beyond Kruger in the Waterberg Region.
In Kruger National Park itself our featured accommodation varies from good value informal lodges to exclusive properties with every conceivable luxury. All include three meals a day and many have African ‘bomas’ (a traditional outdoor dining experience). All offer two game drives per day, which are usually before breakfast and again later in the afternoon, although exact times can vary. Game drives are in open top four-wheel drive vehicles usually with just six guests per vehicle and an experienced knowledgeable ranger. There may also be the option of bush walks or walking safaris. 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 within the grounds. All lodges insist you are escorted by a member of staff after dark.
For those keen to keep costs down, consider staying just outside Kruger in either Hazyview or White River, which also give easy access to small towns in the area. Prices include breakfast but not game drives; however, these can easily be added on.
Beyond Kruger National Park, wildlife adventures continue in the Waterberg Region. Vast, peaceful and startlingly beautiful, this is a unique wilderness area yet to be fully discovered. Its mountain gorges, clear streams and undulating bushveld hills are rich in indigenous flora and fauna - including the Big Five.
If memorable safari adventures aren’t enough to pique your interest, take a trip to the colossal Blyde River Canyon, one of South Africa’s scenic wonders known for its rust-coloured sandstone cliffs and craggy butresses. Its most famous viewpoints are God’s Window and the Three Rondavels. Other area attractions include the awesome moonscape of Bourke’s Luck Potholes and the charming gold rush town of Pilgrim’s Rest.
GMT +2 hours
South African Rand
Most people fly to either Nelspruit (Mpumalanga) for the southern properties or Hoedspruit for the northern part of the Park. Skukuza airport also gives excellent access to Kruger, particularly the Sabi Sands region. Both Nelspruit and Hoedspruit are an hour’s flight from Johannesburg.
Kruger has a sub-tropical climate and is a year round destination as each season brings its own highlights. Game viewing can be at its best during the dry winter months (May-September), however the wet summer season (October-April) brings full waterholes, lush bushveld, lots of newborn wildlife and also heralds the arrival of migrant birds.
South Africa has relaxed its requirements for travelling with children under the age of 18. Visa exempt children (including UK Nationals visiting for tourism purposes) entering South Africa accompanied by an adult are required to present only a valid passport on arrival, regardless of whether the child is travelling with both parents, one parent, or an adult who is not a biological parent.
There are other requirements for children travelling unaccompanied. For more information, contact the South African High Commission www.southafricahouseuk.com or the South African Department of Home Affairs www.dha.gov.za.
Turn back the clock and spend an evening with the original inhabitants of the Sabi River, the Shangaan people. Set out as the sun sets and visit the chief’s village and meet his family. In the Royal Kraal you’ll be treated to a wonderful performance of traditional song and dance before enjoying a sumptuous dinner.
Experience Kruger National Park, one of the world’s most famous game reserves, on this half day excursion. Kruger simply teems with game, big and small; there are no fewer than 147 mammals and over 500 species of birds waiting for you. All safaris are conducted by experienced rangers who know the terrain intimately. Available from Hazyview or White River.
When the gates of Kruger National Park close at nightfall, guests enter the Park in an open safari vehicle in the expert company of an experienced Ranger. By the light of the moon and a large powerful spotlight, visitors track the elusive nocturnal animals of Africa.
Experience some of Mpumalanga’s most spectacular scenery including legendary Blyde River Canyon and the never ending Lowveld landscape from the ledge of God’s Window. Visit the quaint historical mining town of Pilgrim’s Rest and in the afternoon explore the extraordinary rock formations of Bourke’s Luck Potholes, one of nature’s most intriguing creations.
Depart before the sun rises in order to steal a march on the Kruger wildlife. Led by a highly experienced trails ranger, set off on foot for an up close and personal encounter with game, big and small. Learn bush skills from animal tracking to bird and plant identification. It’s fun, fascinating and you’ll never know what will be around the next corner.
Visit two highly successful conservation centres for a behindthe-scenes look at how their skill and dedication preserves the wildlife. At Moholoholo Rehabilitation Centre learn about techniques used on injured, poisoned and abandoned animals and birds of prey. At Hoedspruit’s famed Endangered Species Centre you’ll get a glimpse of wild dog, cheetah and aardwolf.