​User Reviews – Kruger NP

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MiChaH   –  
Netherlands NL
Visited: May 2017 Reviewed: Jul 29, 2017

Email MiChaH  |  50-65 years of age  |  Experience level: first safari

Overall rating

Other parcs where more adventorous

Nicolas   –  
France FR
Visited: August 2017 Reviewed: Sep 2, 2017

Email Nicolas  |  35-50 years of age  |  Experience level: 2-5 safaris

Overall rating

too many cars to enjoy the quietness we expect when observing animals

PyLb29   –  
France FR
Visited: January 2017 Reviewed: Sep 25, 2017

Email PyLb29  |  35-50 years of age  |  Experience level: first safari

Overall rating

It is difficult for me to evaluate the Kruger Park alone because my trip is to spend two weeks including three other safaris.
The fact of traveling in 4x4 of 6-8 people is appreciable, the diversity and the landscapes there are an asset for who want to have fun with his camera. Indeed, we had the great chance to see the Big Five (Twice on two safaris .... incredible !!!).
What sets it apart is the immensity of the park as you can stay away from the wildlife by driving long distances, or take the cross-roads to get close to it. Each species takes ownership of its geographical area, you can also target the ones you want to see by contacting the Rangers who keep each other informed of their migrations, and their knowledge is a wealth of information.
If this is your first safari, this is the must-see park and it will be necessary to devote at least two days to fill up memories.

Balance sheet:
A true happiness, this park is immense, truly immense; so it all depends on how long you stayed there, or the luck you have.
Trust the Rangers to understand and learn.
This park is necessary for the preservation of wildlife.
Little more, the month of January is calmer.
One thing is for sure, I would go back someday.

Mbabane Mike   –  
Swaziland SZ
Visited: January 2017 Reviewed: Oct 2, 2017

Email Mbabane Mike  |  50-65 years of age  |  Experience level: 2-5 safaris

Our first trip in January 2017 was so great we returned in June and are going back a third time.
Overall rating

When we moved to Swaziland we knew we'd be close to Kruger and we figured we'd make one or two trips before our time in this part of the world came to an end. What we didn't plan on was how much we enjoyed our first trip there (in January 2017). Because of this trip there was a second one in June, and another upcoming trip confirmed for December.

For the January trip, a three night stay, we opted to stay inside the park at Skukuza and we didn't regret this decision. The self-catering accommodation was comfortable, well built, located next to a river allowing for additional sightings of wild game, and secure. The weather was great for two of the days and a bit misty and rainy on the other, but that didn't slow us down. In fact, due to the recent history with the drought we enjoyed a bit of rain.

One distinct advantage of being inside the park is the ability to begin your touring earlier than those looking to come in from the outside. Despite having the option to join a guided tour we self-drove all weekend as it gave us flexibility and our own vehicle was better suited for my elderly father who accompanied us. One benefit of taking a guided tour is they know where the animals tend to hang out and they use radios to communicate.

Despite the fact we blindly drove around for two full days and half of a third we saw a large variety of animals and birds. People asked us, "Did you see the big five?", as if that was the goal. Our goal was to experience the park, see what we could see, and enjoy the memories that came along as a result. We saw four of the big five (missed a cheetah) but my lasting memory will be the two male kudus fighting for territory or a female on the other side of the river as we relaxed at the end of the day. A large herd of elephants crossing the same river the day before is also a lasting memory. On day two we had a young, solitary, bull elephant diplomatically tell us to back up was a bit of a wake up call that perhaps we shouldn't have lingered as long as we did taking his picture. I guess he didn't like paparazzi. These are the memories we went looking for and we found them.

I'm not much of a birder, but after you've photographed the big game, you start looking for something different. If you're a birder there's plenty there. The hornbill sifting through elephant feces remains my favorite from the first trip.

It's difficult for me to be enamored with the scenery at Kruger because I've been to places that are much more scenic. You don't really go to Kruger for the scenery, you go to see wildlife. The topography is unremarkable when compared to other parts of Mpumalanga Province.

Lastly, we had the opportunity to engage with other tourists and we found several who had a similar mindset and outlook about the pace as we did. In fact, everyone we spoke to was pleasant, relaxed, and willing to engage. You will meet people from all over the world there, and there's a reason for that, it's simply worth going to see.

James Autry   –  
United States US
Visited: September 2017 Reviewed: Oct 25, 2017

Email James Autry  |  65+ years of age  |  Experience level: first safari

Overall rating

We saw almost all the wildlife we had hoped to see.

Tony   –  
United Kingdom UK
Visited: September 2017 Reviewed: Nov 11, 2017

Email Tony  |  65+ years of age  |  Experience level: 2-5 safaris

Wildlife galore
Overall rating

We flew from London to Hoedspruit via Johannesburg and picked up a hire car (a 2*4 SUV) at Hoedspruit. We drove to Satara via the Orpen gate and stayed in Satara for 4 nights.

The standard chalet that we had was simple, but clean and had everything we needed. The fridge, kettle, toaster and microwave enabled us to have a good breakfast before driving out on safari each day.
We took a packed lunch with us each day, because the long drives meant that it was too far to return to Satara in the middle of the day. In the evening we ate in the restaurant which had good, filling food at a reasonable price.
The weather started quite cool and I began to wonder if it had been a mistake not to bring a coat, but luckily it warmed up as the days passed. There was one cloudy day, the rest were sunny with some lovely sunrises and sunsets.

On the way in we drove on the H7 to Satara and on the way out we took the Rabelais loop back to Orpen.

On our three full days, we drove the s100 - s41 - h6 loop twice and the s40 - s60 - s39 - s36 - s126 - h1-3 route once.

Driving ourselves meant that we could spend as long as we wanted when we saw something interesting and we stopped frequently. We didn't feel that the park was too crowded, even though Satara is quite a big camp. At most animal sightings there were only 1 or 2 other vehicles present, while at bird sightings we were normally the only vehicle present.

We enjoyed the Sweni bird hide because there was always something happening. We spent a couple of hours there, on each of our s100 days, watching the crocodiles, hippos and all the bird life.
At the Sweni waterhole on the s126 we saw large numbers of elephants (100+) coming to drink in the evening.

One evening we joined a guided tour run from Satara. It turned into a long drive along the S100 to a reported leopard sighting, but was worth it as we had superb views of a leopard resting in a tree as the sun went down.

We saw all the animals that we hoped to see, plus lots more, with the exception of rhinoceros. The commonest sightings were impala, elephant, giraffe, zebra, kudu and wildebeest, plus lots of birds.

The highlights were the leopard sighting mentioned previously, the elephant and giraffe that walked right past us while we were sat in our car having lunch, the kingfisher slapping a fish on a branch to kill it, the lilac breasted rollers, the martial eagle and many others.

We thoroughly enjoyed our four days self driving in the Kruger, but it was a pleasant change to be driven on guided safaris for the remaining 6 days of our trip in the Sabie Sands and Klasserie reserves.

scarlettvixxen007   –  
Australia AU
Visited: September 2017 Reviewed: Nov 19, 2017

Email scarlettvixxen007  |  50-65 years of age  |  Experience level: over 5 safaris

Beat the crowds and go in winter or early spring and layer, layer, layer!
Overall rating

Kruger was never actually on my Wishlist. Over the last 15 years I've travelled to several different areas in Africa - Namibia, Botswana, Zambia, Malawi, Tanzania, Uganda and South Africa. 'Kruger' is the place that everyone asks about - 'have you been there'? I'm not a big fan of the tourist pathways and have gone along the volunteering route to experience a different side. A side that I love.

Having said that, I was actually volunteering at The Moholoholo Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre, which is in the general vicinity of Kruger National Park. We were given an opportunity to visit Kruger on a day trip. Seeing that I was so close, I decided to see it for myself.

We left before sunrise in an open safari vehicle. The sides were up so the breeze was quite chilly. Our driver stopped so we could get pictures of the beautiful sunrise. Entering at Orpen Gate, we stopped for breakfast. Shortly after we found a leopard at the side of the road, relaxing. Eventually he got up and left. Two rhinos were spotted in the distance but we couldn't see them well without binoculars. A leopard tortoise also reposed in the middle of the road. He was a big specimen!

Elephants, lions and lionesses, zebras, kudu, wildebeests, impalas, nyala, waterbuck, giraffes, the usual parade were on view. I was lucky enough to catch a glimpse of a lioness walking near to the road (our guide had missed her). We were the only vehicle around so had a good chance to follow and observe her without other cars. The best sighting was a group of spotted dogs, reclining in the shade. At the most there were 6-7 vehicles at a sighting at any one time.

Lunch at Satara Camp and time for souvenir shopping before the afternoon drive. By this time it was quite warm. Our group enjoyed the day and were happy to sit and watch the animals, rather than race around to see how many we could find. The safari guide was very compliant with our requests. Another stop at the Orpen Gate souvenir shop for anything we missed and a 'comfort stop' before heading back home.

If you want to see Kruger I'd recommend going in a low season to avoid crowds (unless that's your "thing"). More space for all to see and breathe!

Danny Horan   –  
Canada CA
Visited: June 2017 Reviewed: Jan 21, 2018

Email Danny Horan  |  50-65 years of age  |  Experience level: first safari

Overall rating

Our guide kept to the paved roads, no bush vibe per say, wildlife was everywhere that was a treat.

Regina Hart   –  
United States US
Visited: October 2017 Reviewed: Feb 1, 2018

Email Regina Hart  |  35-50 years of age  |  Experience level: 2-5 safaris

A Day Well-Spent
Overall rating

While staying at Rukiya Safari Camp in October, 2017, we enjoyed a full day's drive in Kruger National Park on the 20th. Our guide wisely had us up and out of camp very early so that we could arrive at the gate before opening hours. If you delay too long, you may find yourself waiting in line at the gate! With no queue at all, we entered Orpen Gate at 6:30am and drove east. Traverse in Kruger is limited to the tarmac roads, so sightings are limited to what can be seen from the pavement.* That said, there is no shortage of animals within view. We enjoyed sightings of cape buffalo, impala, elephant, giraffe (including a tiny calf), kudu, zebra, wildebeest, steenbok, hippo, vervet monkeys, baboons, and all manner of birds including white-backed vultures, a brown-headed parrot, and black bellied bustards. We enjoyed short stops at clean comfort stations (with lovely views) and spent our lunch break at the very scenic N'wanetsi overlook on the Mozambican border. The previous day's visitors were unpleasantly surprised to find the on-site restaurant closed (without explanation), so we planned ahead and brought a packed lunch. We enjoyed the remainder of the day's drive and didn't leave the outer gate until 5:30pm. To view notes and photos from my visit, please see https://sway.com/iceKprWZZflXVlQB

* The on-road restriction is required because Kruger allows tourists to self-drive. Staying on roads ensures that visitors are safe and environmental damage is minimized.

Derek Zenk   –  
United States US
Visited: December 2017 Reviewed: Feb 12, 2018

Email Derek Zenk  |  20-35 years of age  |  Experience level: first safari

Overall rating

Kruger was a great experience. The only thing that I was unaware of going in was there are tarred & dirt roads you have to stay on. You cannot venture off of them in your vehicle. This did not ruin the experience for me in any way but just didn't realize that going in.

Average User Rating

  • 4.7/5
  • Wildlife
  • Scenery
  • Bush Vibe
  • Birding

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star 278
  • 4 star 69
  • 3 star 12
  • 2 star 1
  • 1 star 1
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