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Kruger Safari From Johannesburg - Compare 216 Tours

Everyone should visit Kruger National Park on safari at least once in their lifetime. It really is one of the best wildlife and safari destinations anywhere in Africa. Partly it’s to do with the wildlife, and partly it’s because this is a large and wonderfully diverse park that’s really easy to get around. Just outside the national park, especially to the west, are a number of private reserves that offer the same wildlife but with fewer visitors. And it makes sense to visit Kruger from Johannesburg, thanks to Joburg’s busy airport with good international and domestic connections, and the excellent road network between the city and the park.

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5 Questions About Kruger Safaris From Johannesburg


5 Questions About Kruger Safaris From Johannesburg

Answered by Anthony Ham

How many days do I need for a Kruger National Park safari from Johannesburg?

“The more time you can be on safari in Kruger, the better it is for you. It’s a big park, with lots of different wildlife possibilities: if you have plenty of time here, you might be able to see all that there is to offer. A 3-day Kruger safari from Johannesburg is the minimum time to really get a feel for what the park has to offer. Remember that a 3-day safari means traveling to the park on day 1 and returning on day 3: you only have 2 nights and 1 full day in the park. A 4-day safari will give you a precious extra day, allowing you to really get to know one area of Kruger well. If you can devote 5 or 6 days to your Kruger safari, you’ll really enjoy the benefits. The extra days should mean that you can explore more widely, perhaps visiting two different areas, such as getting to know the southern and central sections of the park. To see all of Kruger, I recommend a minimum of 7 (and anywhere up to 10) days in the park.”


How do I get to Kruger from Johannesburg?

“To get to Kruger, you’ll either travel by air or by road. If you can afford to fly (and are not on a self-drive safari), flying is the best option. This is especially true on shorter safaris where flying means that you’ll reduce travel time and allow more time for actually being on safari. There are two ways to get there by air. The first is on a domestic flight to/from Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport, which lies not far outside Kruger’s southwestern boundary. The other option is to take a charter flight into one of the airstrips inside Kruger or in one of the reserves alongside the park. By road, which is generally the way you’ll travel on a cheap or affordable safari package, Kruger is 375km/235mi northeast of Johannesburg’s O.R. Tambo International Airport. It should take four to five hours to get there (or even up to six hours if you’re self-driving). Roads to and from Kruger are paved, although some roads within the park are well-graded gravel.”


What animals can I expect to see in Kruger National Park?

“Kruger is a fantastic place to view wildlife. It’s well known for being one of the best places anywhere to see the Big Five: every time I have visited Kruger, I have seen lion, leopard, elephant, rhino and buffalo. But the Big Five (which were named by colonial hunters as the five most dangerous animals to hunt) is just the beginning. You can also see zebra, giraffe, wildebeest, greater kudu, impala, cheetah, spotted hyena, hippo and so much more. The birding is also excellent, with more than 500 species recorded. The same wildlife can be seen in the private reserves just outside Kruger because there are no fences separating the reserves from the park. On one afternoon game drive in Timbavati Private Nature Reserve, I once saw all of the Big Five. Those who travel to reserves such as Sabi Sand Game Reserve often report a similar experience.”


Should I go on a self-drive or an organized Kruger safari?

“It all depends on what kind of safari experience you want to have, and there is no such thing as a bad safari in Kruger. If you’re planning a self-drive Kruger safari from Johannesburg (which is my favorite kind of safari), make sure that you have at least 4 or 5 days to enjoy your trip. Otherwise, you’ll spend a lot of your time traveling. The main advantage of a self-drive safari is the wonderful sense of freedom you’ll have and the control it gives you. You’re the one who decides when and where to go, and it’s entirely up to you how long you spend enjoying each wildlife encounter. An organized safari comes in two main forms: a group or private safari. The difference between the two is that on a private safari, you’ll have the guide, driver, vehicle and game drives all to yourself. Both group and private safaris have the advantage of being led by an expert guide who takes care of everything. They will also show you a side of Kruger that you might never discover on your own.”


How much will it cost for a Kruger safari from Johannesburg?

“Your Kruger safari from Johannesburg could cost as little as US$100 per person per day for a budget camping safari. On this kind of safari and for this price, you may be expected to help out around camp with setting up and taking down tents, cooking and washing up. At the top end of the market, where you can look forward to luxury accommodation in a lodge or tented camp, the price may be US$500 per person per day, but it can go much higher. Apart from the accommodation, variables that have an effect on the price include the time of year in which you travel and the type of safari you choose. Private safari tours and packages generally cost much more than group or self-drive safaris. And always ask your safari operator what’s included. Quoted prices for organized safaris should include accommodation (including camping equipment, where applicable), transfers, guide, driver, vehicle, game drives, park entry fees, meals and most drinks.”


Kruger Safari Reviews

4.5/5 341 Reviews
Lizzie Williams  –  
South Africa ZA

Lizzie is a reputed guidebook writer and author of the Footprint guides to South Africa, Namibia, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and Zimbabwe.

South Africa’s flagship park with excellent facilities and unrivalled game-viewing

South Africa’s largest park most certainly fulfils most visitors’ expectations of seeing magnificent herds of game roaming across acacia-studded savannah. After countless visits at different times of the year, I have found it can get a...

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Philip Briggs  –  
South Africa ZA

Philip is an acclaimed travel writer and author of many guidebooks, including the Bradt guides to Uganda, Tanzania, Kenya and South Africa.

South Africa’s most iconic national park

Kruger Park is such a vast entity that it is difficult to summarize in a few paragraphs. The most accessible and by far the busiest part of the park is the southern quarter, which generally offers the best wildlife viewing. The top...

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Lidiya Prymachenko  –  
Germany DE
Reviewed: Jan 8, 2023

The park is huge and you have a chance to see the wildlife from different perspectives. We saw the big five and many other animals. It was difficult to find a rhino and "cats", but we did it in the end. The rangers are professional and...

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Tyler W.  –  
United States US
Reviewed: Dec 1, 2022

On the particular day that we went, we didn't see much wildlife, however on other days, some Safari members mentioned they saw a lot of animals. The landscape was fairly uniform without much variation.

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Emily Ward  –  
United States US
Reviewed: Mar 2, 2020

Kruger is enormous, and the size of the park and its openness to all kinds of vehicles makes for more potential animal sightings. It also makes for more potential traffic jams. Sightings rely on animals being close to the roads, but there...

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James Arnold  –  
United States US
Reviewed: Feb 27, 2020

Had to stay on paved, rather wide roads. other than a lion that was laying next to the road, there was no way to really get close to nature. however, there were many animals sighted and i still had a nice time

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