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4-Day Kruger Safari Tours

4.5/5  –  384 Kruger Reviews

Kruger National Park is Africa on a grand scale. It is South Africa’s largest national park, measuring 360km/224mi from north to south, and covering an area of 19,485km²/7,523mi². When it comes to the Big Five, it is the last place on earth where lion, leopard, elephant, rhino and buffalo still survive in their thousands. And the biodiversity doesn’t stop there. This vast mosaic of woodland, grassland and aquatic habitats is home to a full 150 mammal and 500-plus bird species. On a 4-day Kruger safari, you’ll get to experience some of this ecological diversity, and to enjoy the wildlife that inhabits it.

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6 Questions About 4-Day Kruger Safaris

 
 

6 Questions About 4-Day Kruger Safaris

Answered by Philip Briggs

Is 4 days a good amount of time for a trip in Kruger National Park?

“Yes it is. In the context of a general tour of South Africa, many people would feel that 4 days is the perfect duration for a Kruger safari. It’s long enough that you’ll experience a fair representation of Kruger’s landscapes, and stand a good chance of seeing all the Big Five. But 4 days in Kruger still also leaves time to visit some of this diverse country’s other highlights. Having said that, Kruger is a vast place, so if you have a deep passion for wildlife, or really enjoy being out in the African bush, you’d be unlikely to regret dedicating more than 4 days to a safari.”

1

How do I avoid the crowds in the park?

“If avoiding crowds is high on your list of priorities, stay away from Kruger’s popular southern sector. This is best achieved by focusing on central Kruger, or by booking into a concession lodge within the national park, or by visiting a private reserve bordering it. Southern Kruger – essentially, the sector south of the Sabie River – owes its popularity to several factors. These include its high concentration of rest camps, reliably good wildlife viewing, relative proximity to Johannesburg, and convenience for day visitors. Visitor densities are high throughout southern Kruger, but especially on roads around Skukuza (the largest rest camp). And it can be hectic over long weekends and domestic school holidays. Central Kruger, which runs from the Sabie River north to the Letaba River, has a thinner spread of rest camps, and it’s less convenient for day-trippers. Yet it doesn’t lag too far behind the south when it comes to wildlife viewing (in fact, it’s probably better for cheetah and lion sightings), which makes it a great option for avoiding the crowds. Look at a map of Kruger, and you’ll see even fewer rest camps north of the Letaba River. Unfortunately, however, wildlife viewing in this vast (and very uncrowded) tract of northern wilderness is very erratic. Although it’s a relatively costly option, an all-inclusive guided safari to a concession lodge within the park, or to a private reserve bordering Kruger, guarantees you’ll get away from the crowds.”

2

What are the accommodation options?

“Accommodation options on a 4-day Kruger tour range from no-frills camping in national park rest camps to five-star luxury lodges. Where exactly on this scale you end up will depend greatly on what you pay. Many Kruger safaris stay outside the park. There’s no shortage of accommodation close to the main entrance gates, or in nearby towns such as Mbombela, Hazyview and White River. Accommodation exists to suit most tastes and budgets, from unpretentious backpacker lodges to swish boutique properties. For most South Africans, however, visiting Kruger is synonymous with staying at a rest camp inside the park. In most cases, these rest camps have campsites, as well as a range of comfortable no-frills bungalows, some using communal ablution blocks and others with en suite facilities. The larger rest camps have restaurants, but if you want to do as the locals do, you’ll probably prefer to barbecue outside your tent or bungalow. Staying at rest camps, you get to experience the bush at night, and are well placed for early morning game drives. The most luxurious option is an all-inclusive package at one of the upmarket concession lodges that lie within Kruger or in the various private reserves that form part of the same unfenced ecosystem. These lodges offer top-notch wildlife viewing on guided game drives through exclusive concessions or private land that’s closed to the public. Decor, service and cuisine are generally befitting of a five-star property.”

3

Which animals am I likely to see on a 4-day Kruger safari?

“You can expect to see a wide variety of iconic safari animals over the course of 4 days in Kruger. Certainties, unless you are incredibly unlucky, include elephant, buffalo, hippo, giraffe, zebra, wildebeest, greater kudu, impala and warthog. It’s almost as certain you’ll see some of the park’s larger predators, a list that includes lion, leopard, cheetah, spotted hyena, black-backed jackal and African wild dog, but you’d be very lucky indeed to see them all. Odds of seeing white rhino are better than even over 4 days, but few visitors get to see the more secretive black rhino. Kruger’s reptiles range from fearsomely toothy Nile crocodiles to the mosquito-snaffling geckos that dart up and down rest camp walls at night. How many of Kruger’s 500-odd bird species you’ll see over the course of a 4-day safari will depend greatly on how closely you’re looking, but it wouldn’t be difficult to tick off 100 species. Conspicuous avian highlights include the dazzling lilac-breasted roller, the comical yellow-billed hornbill and the flightless ostrich, the world’s largest bird.”

4

What is the best time of the year for a Kruger trip?

“The best time to visit Kruger is generally during the winter months of May to September. There are several reasons for this. First and foremost, wildlife viewing is better in these dry months, since the thinner vegetation allows you to see deeper into the bush, and animals tend to congregate near dams and rivers. Climatically, all but the most eager of heat worshippers will find temperatures more comfortable in winter than in summer. There’s also a far lower chance of game drives being spoiled by rainstorms. And dry conditions mean far fewer mosquitoes, which greatly reduces the risk of being exposed to malaria. There are also advantages to visiting in the summer months of October to April. The countryside is much more green and photogenic during the rains. Official wildlife viewing hours, being dictated by season, are far longer. It is also when many animals give birth, so you’ll see plenty of foals, calves, pups and cubs. And the birdlife is absolutely stunning in summer, thanks to the arrival of a host of colorful migrants from Europe, Asia and tropical Africa.”

5

How much will a 4-day Kruger safari cost?

“The price of a 4-day Kruger safari can vary from US$800 to US$2,000 per person, depending on several variables, notably the standard and location of your accommodation. Camping is a lot cheaper than staying in a rest camp bungalow or a mid-range lodge, which in turn is less costly than a luxury private reserve or concession lodge. Another factor is whether the itinerary includes a day exploring the waterfalls and viewpoints of the Panorama Route. This cost-cutter is a popular, scenic and thoroughly worthwhile add-on, but its inclusion on a 4-day itinerary does mean you’ll have 1 day less on safari. Typically, a budget 4-day Kruger safari costs around US$800 to US$900 per person, while mid-range options are in the US$1,000-to-US$1,200 range. Tours that include a stay in a luxury concession lodge or private reserve are US$1,500 to US$2,000 and upwards. If you want to keep costs down, you could consider a self-drive safari to Kruger. You probably won’t see as much wildlife as you would on a guided tour, but self-driving does allow you to travel and absorb the bush atmosphere at your own pace.”

6

Kruger Reviews

4.5/5 384 Reviews
Expert
Mike Unwin  –  
United Kingdom UK

Mike is an award-winning wildlife writer, former editor of Travel Zambia magazine and author of the Bradt Guide to Southern African Wildlife.

Africa’s Best DIY Safari
5/5

South Africa’s premier wildlife reserve divides opinion. Some who’ve visited supposedly ‘wilder’ parks argue that the Kruger’s developed infrastructure, complete with paved roads and large public camps, undermines the wilderness...

Full Review

Expert
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
5/5

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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Patricia Drew  –  
United Kingdom UK
Reviewed: Mar 14, 2024
4/5

The parks we visited during our stay were varied. The first evening safari we didn’t see the animals we hoped. However the full day drive the following day made up for this. We saw everything we hoped to, mainly the Hippis and Giraffes....

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Ian Matthews  –  
Australia AU
Reviewed: Feb 25, 2024
5/5

It is everything that thousands of others have experienced. It is soo big that it would take weeks to discover each region, but we were thankful for seeing the best that we could in a limited timeframe.

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Zandi  –  
United Kingdom UK
Reviewed: Jan 12, 2024
5/5

Brilliant glamping experience. The safari tour guide was knowledgeable and we managed to spot the animals. The glamping staff were friendly and they kept the facilities clean. This was a girls trip and we felt safe throughout our stay....

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Yvonne Schmidt  –  
Germany DE
Reviewed: Jan 6, 2024
Once in a life time unforgetable experiance . All staff members were very helpful +HIGHLY capiable.
5/5

Viva Safaris kept to their programme, Bushwalk, Great Kruger Safaris with very well trained, friendly guides, Sunrise and Sundown safaris (Bush Braai was unbelievable crowned with an Amarula Liquer Toast). The safari jeeps accomodated very...

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