​User Reviews – Kruger NP

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Gary Stephenson   –  
Australia AU
Visited: May 2017 Reviewed: Mar 28, 2018

Email Gary Stephenson

Professional wildlife safari with a good dose of adventure
Overall rating
4/5

My wife and I arrived mid-morning at Skakusa Airport unaware that our travel consultant had made an error in not having us fly to Hoedspruit given our destination was Arathusa Safari Lodge, part of the Sabi Sands Game Reserve annexed to Kruger National Park.

This error made little difference to our activities for the day. We were met at Skakusa by our pre-booked driver who alerted us to the apparent error but decided that he'd turn the situation to our advantage and take us for a drive through the southern end of Kruger National Park.

We quickly encountered elephant, giraffe, impala and zebra.

Our departure from the park was through Paul Kruger Gate where we were met by a small band of vervet monkeys who kept an eye on what we were doing but perhaps looking for an opportunity for a 'grab and run' easy feed, not that we were eating anything at the time.

Leaving Paul Kruger Gate, we crossed the fast flowing Sabi River observing a couple of jousting hippopotamus then stumbling upon a cunning 2.5 metre Nile crocodile waiting patiently below the bridge for unwitting (or perhaps already drowned) prey to be swept past.

We traveled west to Hazyview in Mpumalanga province then turned north towards Acornhoek where along the way we saw the impressive rise of the Drakensberg Range. We took in the sights of busy townships and even busier local markets. Leaving Acornhoek, we traveled east along a sealed road that we thought was in worse condition than some of the dirt roads we'd be travelling and then south to Gowrie Gate and onto Arathusa Safari Lodge.

We'd just made lunch and there was a commotion on the other side of the waterhole ... a pack of a dozen or so African wild dogs had pulled down an impala so it was quickly into the 4WDs armed with cameras to witness this hectic episode. The wild dogs didn't waste any time and ripped the impala apart within minutes. It all came and went very quickly with our guides telling us that hunts of this size happen a couple of times a day as there is simply not enough in an impala to sustain a pack of this size.

And so started 3 days of evening and morning safaris. We were allocated the same driver and spotter for our time at Arathusa so it was possible to build a rapport with these guys and have a bit of fun along the way. Be warned, the early morning starts and evening safaris are quite cold this time of year so take plenty of warm clothing. The 4WDs also have woollen blankets available.

This was our first trip to South Africa and it became clear early on that certain wildlife was easier to find than others. Considerable effort was put into locating leopards and after talking with other guests and continuing our travels through Botswana and Zimbabwe, our total of 5 at Arathusa was special. Even better, two of these allowed us to get some very special pictures early one morning - a female and her well-advanced cub. Our driver was also acutely aware of where to stop the vehicle so as to get the best possible photographs.

The accommodation, food and beverages were first class and the staff were polite and made our stay very comfortable. We wanted for nothing other than perhaps better light for taking photos.

On to Hoedspruit (not Skakusa) Airport to continue our journey.

Lilian Sanchez   –  
Uruguay UY
Visited: March 2018 Reviewed: Apr 13, 2018

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

Overall rating
4/5

when we went to Kruger it was a rainy day so we cant saw many animals

Adrian   –  
Switzerland CH
Visited: March 2018 Reviewed: Apr 25, 2018

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

Overall rating
4/5

The Kruger Park is awesome for animal spotting because you will find all big 5 there. The downside is, there are a lot of cars, and you cannot go offroad

Kim Walder   –  
Australia AU
Visited: May 2018 Reviewed: Jul 16, 2018

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

Overall rating
4/5

Changes in scenery, many animal sightings, good restaurant, good roads/tracks.

Emily   –  
United States US
Visited: July 2018 Reviewed: Aug 15, 2018

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

Overall rating
4/5

We didn't see as much wildlife up close as we saw in other locations and there were many more people.

Puneet Lhila   –  
India IN
Visited: October 2018 Reviewed: Nov 18, 2018

Email Puneet Lhila  |  20-35 years of age  |  Experience level: first safari

Overall rating
4/5

It was great

Peter Healy   –  
United Kingdom UK
Visited: March 2019 Reviewed: Mar 3, 2019

Email Peter Healy  |  65+ years of age  |  Experience level: over 5 safaris

Overall rating
4/5

A bit too crowded. Lots of vehicles at most sightings

Carina   –  
Sweden SE
Visited: April 2019 Reviewed: May 13, 2019

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

Overall rating
4/5

Lots of animals and very competent guides. Unfortionately you could not go off road.

Michele   –  
United States US
Visited: May 2019 Reviewed: Jun 12, 2019

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

Overall rating
4/5

Saw lots of wildlife but it is very crowded and people can just drive their cars through. I like the private reserves better.

Mrs Ella Coates   –  
United Kingdom UK
Visited: October 2019 Reviewed: Nov 8, 2019

Email Mrs Ella Coates  |  65+ years of age  |  Experience level: over 5 safaris

Overall rating
4/5

I have previously seen a great deal more wildlife - maybe the weather affected where the animals were to be found! Also there had been a fair amount of controlled burning and so there was little feeding for much of the wildlife, and given the size of the park, that was to be expected.

Average User Rating

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

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star 239
  • 4 star 64
  • 3 star 10
  • 2 star 0
  • 1 star 1
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