A Kruger Safari: Insider Tips on Places to Stay

08 April 2024
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Spanning over almost 2 million hectares, Kruger Park will give you a wildlife experience unlike any other.

Known as one of the most popular public entry parks in the world, expect to see an impressive number of species including over 300 types of trees, over 500 types of birds and over 140 mammals. In this enormous reserve you’ll find 12 main rest camps, 5 bushveld camps, 2 bush lodges and 14 satellite camps – and while this may all seem overwhelming, we’re here to shed light on our top recommended spots to stay, unwind and have the most extraordinary bush holiday experience.  

The Kruger Gate Hotel 

Found on the doorstep of the iconic Kruger National Park, The Kruger Gate Hotel offers unrivalled convenience without compromising on luxury. Imagine waking up to the sight of zebras grazing just across the neighbouring Sabie River or enjoying sundowners with a backdrop of the African sunset painting the sky in hues of gold and crimson. With air-conditioned accommodations ranging from guest rooms to self-catering chalets, delicious cuisine, and expertly guided safari excursions that ranges from a full day, morning or afternoon safari, and a game room for kids, this hotel is the perfect gateway to your safari adventure. 

Must-Try Dish: Dine under the stars at the Lapa restaurant surrounded by fig trees and enjoy the lavish 3-course buffet. Be sure to try the Impala boerewors and braaibroodjies. 

Motswari Private Game Reserve 

For those seeking an intimate and immersive safari experience, look no further than Motswari Private Game Reserve. Tucked away in the heart of the Timbavati region, this family-owned lodge offers a secluded haven where the rhythm of nature sets the pace. From thrilling game drives to guided bush walks led by knowledgeable trackers, every moment at Motswari is an opportunity to connect with the untamed beauty of Africa. 

Did you know? Motswari means “to conserve and protect” in Tswana, something the team is passionate about at this game lodge.  

Jock Safari Lodge 

Named after the legendary Jock of the Bushveld, this iconic lodge pays homage to its storied heritage while providing modern-day comforts. Set against the backdrop of rugged mountains and sprawling plains, Jock Safari Lodge invites guests to embark on a journey of discovery through the pristine wilderness of Kruger. With luxurious accommodations, gourmet dining, and exclusive access to the diverse habitats of the park, this lodge promises an unforgettable safari experience. 

Interesting fact: Thanks to its exclusive riverbed traversing rights, Jock Safari Lodge, situated within over 6,000 hectares of natural landscape, offers guests one of the best Big 5 game viewing experiences in South Africa. 

Kings Camp Private Game Reserve 

Step into a world of timeless elegance and refined luxury at Kings Camp Private Game Reserve. Situated in the heart of the Timbavati Private Nature Reserve, this exquisite lodge offers discerning travellers a sanctuary where opulence meets wilderness. Whether lounging in the comfort of your suite, indulging in decadent cuisine or venturing out on safari to encounter Africa’s iconic Big Five, every moment at Kings Camp is infused with unparalleled splendour.  

A truly unique experience is the Underground Hide which is positioned on the edge of the waterhole. Guests have the chance to see wildlife up close, at eye-level with one-way photographic glass and cameras streamed to a flat screen to warn photographers of wildlife approaching.  

Did you know? Kings Camp offers a variety of dining experiences including a traditional Boma dinner, a kosher as well as a vegan safari.  

Kruger Shalati 

Experience the magic of Kruger National Park like never before at Kruger Shalati. Situated above the Sabie River on the disused Selati Bridge, this innovative lodge reimagines the concept of luxury accommodation with its unique train-themed suites. From your vantage point atop a stationary train carriage, soak in panoramic views of the surrounding landscape and marvel at the sights and sounds of the African bush. The lodge is conveniently close to Skukuza Rest Camp, where you’ll find the Kruger Station – a unique lifestyle precinct featuring unique restaurants, interesteing shops and fun play areas for the kids.  

With exceptional service, world-class amenities, and unforgettable experiences, Kruger Shalati invites guests to embark on a journey of discovery. 

Try this: Kruger Shalati’s signature hot stone massage. Perfect for melting away your tensions, this invigorating massage features warm stones or copper pebbles in firm, flowing strokes.  

Lion Sands Game Reserve 

Choosing to stay at Lion Sands Game Reserve guarantees an extraordinary safari adventure, blending luxury with the untamed splendour of the African wilderness. Set within the renowned Sabi Sand Game Reserve, Lion Sands offers four different types of lodges – all situated along the Sabie River. Tinga, Narina, Ivory and River Lodge.  

What sets Lion Sands apart is its dedication to conservation and sustainability, providing guests with the opportunity to contribute to wildlife preservation efforts while enjoying lavish accommodations and top-notch service. From exhilarating game drives led by expert guides to indulgent bush dinners and serene lodge settings overlooking the bushveld, you can’t go wrong with a stay at Lion Sands.  

Don’t miss out on: Lion Sands Game Reserve offers the ultimate bush bedrooms – treehouses! Spend the night under the stars in the Tinyeleti or Kingston Treehouse, with panoramic views of the open plains.  

Now, onto the burning questions that every safari enthusiast must consider: 

Is it better to stay inside the Kruger National Park or outside? 

While both options offer unique experiences, staying inside the park allows for unparalleled access to wildlife and the convenience of being at the heart of the action. 

Which part of Kruger National Park is the best? 

Each region of Kruger offers its own distinct charms, but the southern and central regions are renowned for their abundant wildlife sightings. Northern Kruger is known for its unique baobab-strewn landscapes, excellent birdlife and some unique endemic species.  

What is the best camp to stay in in Kruger National Park? 

With plenty of options to choose from, the best camp ultimately depends on your preferences, budget, and the type of experience you’re after. Each of the mentioned resorts offers a unique experience, ranging from luxury to more intimate and immersive. 

For a luxurious experience with exclusive riverbed traversing rights, Jock Safari Lodge is a great choice. If you’re looking for a private game reserve with a more intimate atmosphere, Motswari Private Game Reserve might be ideal. Kruger Shalati offers a unique accommodation experience on a train bridge. 

How many days are enough in Kruger National Park? 

Ideally, a minimum of three to five days is recommended to fully immerse yourself in the wonders of Kruger National Park and maximise your chances of unforgettable wildlife encounters. 

Book your safari escape  

With our handpicked selection of lodges as your base camp, prepare to make memories that will last a lifetime. Browse our bush break packages and let us help plan the holiday you’ve been dreaming about, where the beauty and thrill of your safari adventure come alive. 

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