Alan Murphy
Australia AU

Alan is a travel writer and author of over 20 Lonely Planet guidebooks, including the guides to Southern Africa and Zambia & Malawi.

Categories: From the team, Safari Planning Guide, Safari Tours, South Africa

Avoiding the Crowds in Kruger National Park

Crowds in Kruger National Park are a given. Alan knows that spotting cars is sometimes easier than spotting wildlife in Kruger National Park. However, its massive proportions mean you can get that bush experience you came to Africa for.

Been into Kruger yet? Beautiful isn’t it? Oh, you saw a few other cars? What’s that – a traffic jam?! Oh, dear, yes that can happen!

Kruger is undoubtedly popular. Very popular. For South Africans it has been a regular haunt for many years and international tourist numbers have exploded since the end of apartheid in the mid 1990s. The park now receives around 1.5 million visitors a year. Wait...don’t let that freak you out!

How Big is the Park?

The park can handle huge visitor numbers because, simply put, it is massive. How big is big? Well, in size it’s about 2 million hectares or roughly the size of Wales or Israel. And...wait for it...the fences have been pulled down along the Mozambique border, and natural migration routes have been re-established.

So, Kruger is actually part of the gi-normous Greater Limpopo Transfrontier Park, currently straddling two countries and eventually three. Upon the completion of the establishment of the Transfrontier Conservation area, which will include part of Zimbabwe, the total area is expected to encompass 100,000 sq km

Why am I telling you all this? Good point I’m getting sidetracked! What I’m trying to say is that this is one huge park, so finding a corner to yourself is not that hard. For a start the south of the park – especially around Skukuza is by far the busiest section. The middle and the far north in particular are much quieter.

Activities & Accommodation Bring the Bush to You

In terms of activities that take you away from the crowds in Kruger National Park, you can go on ranger-led walks/treks, as well as zip around on mountain bikes. Both of these will get you right off the beaten track.  There are half-day and multi-day options available but do your research as the rest camps offer different options (tip; Olifants is great for a variety of activities including mountain biking).

And accommodation: while you can stay in the regular, well serviced camps, there are also bushveld camps which are tucked away from passing traffic. These are a far more authentic option of experiencing the bush, often with no electricity and few luxuries.

One place that has recently opened in Kruger, and thumbing its nose at the crowds is Nyari bush camp. The camp was established by the SANParks Honorary Rangers and is especially good for lovers of natural settings. It is around two hours from Phalaborwa Gate towards Mopani Camp. It’s just you and the bush...oh, and the lions...

Enjoy Kruger National Park

So you can avoid the crowds in Kruger National Park, if you want to. But in any event, Kruger is a must-see, if you want an outstanding safari experience. At SafariBookings, we can help you get there. Just contact us, and we will book your tour.

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