Greater Kruger, comprising the vast Kruger National Park and a cluster of bordering private reserves, ranks among Africa’s best wildlife-viewing destinations.

While the national park offers accommodation in well-equipped government rest camps that are perfect for self-drive safaris and budget package tours, the private reserves offer a more luxurious experience. Several private concessions located within Kruger also function as private game reserves. They contain small, exclusive safari lodges offering all-inclusive packages. Big Five viewing is superb throughout Greater Kruger, and the private reserves and concessions are unmatched when it comes to regular close-up sightings of the Big Five.

Wondering where to stay for an exclusive luxury safari? Here are 10 of the best Greater Kruger National Park lodges.

 

MalaMala Sable Camp

MalaMala Sable Camp

Strategically sandwiched with open borders between Sabi Sand Game Reserve and Kruger NP, MalaMala Game Reserve offers incredible Big Five wildlife viewing in a large and exclusive wilderness area. MalaMala Sable Camp is one of the best Greater Kruger National Park lodges. It can accommodate a maximum of 20 guests in seven luxury suites. The wooden safari deck overlooks the Sand River, a natural passage for animals. Photographic opportunities are out of this world with leopards being the star attraction.

 

 

Jock Safari Lodge

Jock Safari Lodge

Jock Safari Lodge is located on the first private concession granted within Kruger NP. The lodge consists of 12 thatched suites with private decks and plunge pools overlooking a dry riverbed, a natural corridor for animals. Located in the animal-rich southern part of Kruger, wildlife viewing is excellent here. Aside from twice-daily game drives, you’ll have the opportunity to go on a guided walk. Golfers shouldn’t miss the chance to play at the nearby Leopard Creek Golf Club, which is frequently visited by elephant, buffalo, antelope and crocodile.

Jock Safari Lodge Tours

 

&Beyond Kirkman’s Kamp

&Beyond Kirkman’s Kamp

Overlooking the magnificent Sand River in Sabi Sand GR lies Kirkman’s Kamp. The lodge features the classical ambience of an original 1920s homestead. Guests are accommodated in 12 cottages blending antique furnishings with modern comforts. Kids are welcome and a variety of activities, including croquet on the lawn and cookie baking, should keep the young ones entertained between game drives looking for leopards and other exciting animals.

&Beyond Kirkman’s Kamp Tours

 

Singita Lebombo Lodge

Singita Lebombo Lodge

Located in a 13,000-hectare private concession, Singita Lebombo Lodge is suspended high in a cliff overlooking Kruger NP. Although oozing modern sophistication, the glass-walled suites blend perfectly into the surrounding wilderness. Wine-lovers are in for a treat as Singita’s extensive cellar holds a premium selection of wines enjoyed during personalized wine tastings and meals.

Singita Lebombo Lodge Tours

 

Singita Sweni Lodge

Singita Sweni Lodge

Singita Sweni Lodge, the little sister lodge of Singita Lebombo, is tucked into the canopy of the Sweni River. Where Singita Lebombo is all about the expansive views, Singita Sweni is more intimate. It features seven stilted open-plan suites that blend into the surrounding trees. The décor is opulent with bright colors complementing natural materials.

 

 

Imbali Safari Lodge

Imbali Safari Lodge

Situated on a 10,000-hectare private concession in central Kruger NP, the exclusive Imbali Safari Lodge consists of just 12 spacious suites. Imbali offers a sumptuous experience in the serenity of the African bush. Mornings and afternoons are spent looking for wildlife, but you’ll enjoy lazing around the lodge in the heat of the day. Cool down in your private plunge pool while sipping a cocktail or enjoy a relaxing massage on your deck with birdsong all around.

Imbali Safari Lodge Tours

 

Kings Camp

Kings Camp

Situated in Timbavati Private Nature Reserve, Kings Camp reflects the charm and romance of a bygone era. The nine colonial-inspired suites face the open savannah scattered with acacia trees and a waterhole frequented by a variety of animals day and night. All suites are air-conditioned and feature a Victorian ball-and-claw bath, as well as indoor and outdoor showers.

Kings Camp Tours

 

Umkumbe Safari Lodge

Umkumbe Safari Lodge

Located on the banks of the Sand River in Sabi Sand GR, Umkumbe sleeps a maximum of 20 guests in 10 rooms. Several rooms have interleading doors, suitable for families. The lodge is owner-managed and the focus is on providing a rustic, personalized safari experience. Hearty South African dinners are usually enjoyed in a boma (traditional building) under the stars.

Umkumbe Safari Lodge Tours

 

Lukimbi Safari Lodge

Lukimbi Safari Lodge

At 15,000 hectares, Lukimbi is one of the largest private concessions in Kruger. Visitors are accommodated in 16 comfortable suites flanking the Lwakahle River. The lodge is raised on stilts and buildings are connected by wooden walkways that snake between ancient trees. Don’t miss out on spending time in the sparkling pool overlooking the river. You never know what might come past while you’re cooling down during the heat of the day.

Lukimbi Safari Lodge Tours

 

Rhino Post Safari Lodge

Rhino Post Safari Lodge

The 16-bed Rhino Post Safari Lodge is not just another luxury designer lodge. Located in its own private concession in the heart of Kruger NP, the lodge aims to be a home away from home where the ambience is friendly and comfortable. The swimming pool overlooks a waterhole that attracts lots of thirsty animals throughout the day. The lodge prides itself on conducting some of the most authentic walking safaris in Kruger. If you’re really feeling adventurous you can book a night sleeping under the stars at a Sleep-Out-Deck.

Rhino Post Safari Lodge Tours

 

By Ariadne van Zandbergen
South Africa ZA

Ariadne is a renowned African wildlife photographer whose work is featured in many well-known guidebooks and magazines.

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