​User Reviews – Kruger NP

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Tjeerd de Wit   –  
South Africa ZA
Visited: March 2015 Reviewed: Jan 18, 2016

Email Tjeerd de Wit

Kruger National Park - The best place on earth
Overall rating
4/5

Kruger National Park, South Africa.
We have visited Kruger many times and can only report positive about the park and the facilities. But you have to comply with a few traits to enjoy this park, (and any other nature reserve). You have to love: nature, a peaceful environment, absence of city life, no traffic lights, tranquillity and spotting and observing animals (including birds).
The park is large, about 400km long by 60km wide and is dotted with many so called rest camps for the lower budget travellers and lodges for the more upmarket visitors. All camps are fenced, so one can freely walk around. Most camps have a shop where one can buy groceries and other goodies as well as a restaurant. The restaurants used to be mediocre, but this has greatly improved lately now that Kruger no longer operates most of them, but rather commercial restaurant chains. Also most camps have a swimming pool. At various locations in the Park you will find picnic spots (also at every camp) where you can even hire a gas bottle and pan to prepare your own breakfast.
Accommodation in the camps varies from camping to chalets completely fitted with all requirements with various options in between like permanent tents, basic huts (with communal ablution) and more advanced huts. We only encountered neat and clean accommodation.
The occurrence of games varies, but Kruger is well stocked and there are also various waterholes where one can leave the vehicle and wait for the animals to come. The big five are there of course.
In case you go with a tour operator everything is organized for you. But if you want to do it on your own, here some tips:
Book in advance via this website http://www.sanparks.org/tourism/reservations/
One can drive by car (about 400km from Johannesburg airport, excellent road) or fly directly into Kruger to Skukuza airport with daily Airlink flights (from Johannesburg and CapeTown) and rent a car on arrival. (Avis) http://flyairlink.com/
There is a daily entry fee for Kruger of R280 for foreigners, which at the current exchange rate is about USD18, which you pay when entering the Park. If you go many nights you can buy a Wildcard making it cheaper. At the gate staff can advise you.
Don’t forget to buy a Kruger map at the gate where you enter, makes travelling so much easier.
Don’t forget your binocular and that long lens in case you like photography.
Every camp has one or more communal kitchens where you can cook a meal in case you want to skip the restaurants and stay in a tent or hut without kitchen.
Search for the Facebook page “Kruger National park – Best Place on Earth” if you want to see and read how others experience Kruger.
And once in Kruger you can follow other people’s sightings on your tablet at https://www.facebook.com/latestsightingskruger/
Kruger is large and the max speed 50km/hour, so don’t book one night in the South and the next in the far North, you won’t make it.
The southern part of Kruger is busiest as far as cars and people are concerned. The camps in the far North, like Punda Maria, Mopanie and Shingwedzi for example are much quieter.
In every camp you can book a game drive with an experienced game ranger, during the day or the evening. They mostly know where the animals are by talking to their colleges via radio.
All in all, Kruger is a fantastic place, it’s a place that missed most that we call progress !
And finally, having been in Kenya as well with its hectic traffic, corrupt policemen and parks costing USD70-UDS90 a day just to get in we can only conclude that Kruger is a visitors paradise.
Tjeerd en Diny de WIt

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
4/5

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.

kwasiak   –  
United States US
Visited: April 2006 Reviewed: May 19, 2011

20-35 years of age

Beautiful Scenery and Relaxing Safari Experience
Overall rating
4/5

I spent about three days driving through Kruger National Park on a tour bus as part of a University class trip. I loved that each night we stayed at another one of the campgrounds and we stayed in various types of camping cabin conditions from a nice cabin with a loft to permanent tents to little round huts with just beds.

The wildlife was not always abundant, but I liked the experience of looking for the wildlife and the excitement of seeing it. From the tour bus we saw a several of the Big Five during our trip including elephants, wild buffalo, and lions. I was among the few that decided to take an early morning safari on our last morning and we got to see our only rhino. Best of all we got to see a leopard in a tree right off the road, so we ended up seeing all of the Big Five during our trip. While it can be hard to see all of the Big Five in Kruger, the trip was great even before we lucked out and saw all of the Big Five on our last morning.

The scenery is beautiful and somewhat varied as you drive through the different parts of Kruger National Park.

I enjoyed that we took it slow getting to the campgrounds by mid afternoon and having the evening to relax. There was often still wildlife spotting opportunities at the campground including one that overlooked a large clearing. I enjoy identifying different bird species every morning while most were still sleeping using the little wildlife guidebook I picked up at the first gift shop we stopped at in Kruger. Most of the campgrounds had nice pools to swim in and cool off.

levi schouten   –  
Netherlands NL
Visited: February 2009 Reviewed: Feb 20, 2011

Email levi schouten  |  35-50 years of age

astonishing
Overall rating
4/5

7 day trip, good guide, good accomodations, good travel partner. Saw 4 of the big 5.
We did a 2day trip through a special gamereserve. There where the most beautifull encounters with wildlife.

Average User Rating

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

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