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Kruger Private Safari Tours

4.5/5  –  382 Kruger Reviews

Kruger National Park ranks among the world’s most exciting wildlife showcases. This 19,485km²/7,523mi² national park provides refuge to 150 mammal species, including lion, leopard, cheetah, elephant and rhino. This vast ecosystem is extended by a network of exclusive private reserves whose unfenced borders allow for free movement of wildlife in and out of the national park. A Kruger private safari might be focused on the public part of the park, or on one of the private concessions that lie within it, or on a bordering private reserve. Whichever option you choose, you won’t regret taking the opportunity to experience this wonderful wilderness and its bountiful wildlife in the company of an expert guide.

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1-20 of 122 private tours, packages and holidays to Kruger National Park

5 Questions About Kruger Private Safaris

 
 

5 Questions About Kruger Private Safaris

Answered by Philip Briggs

What are the pros and cons of a Kruger private safari?

“There are many pros to exploring Kruger on a private package as opposed to a shared safari. Most obviously, it makes for a more personalized experience. The African bush is a wondrous place, by turns sensationally thrilling and sublimely tranquil, and it is far easier to absorb this unique sense of place on a private safari than with a group of strangers. Generally speaking, you will get more personal attention and tailored input from your guide on a private safari. Unlike on a shared safari, you can have a significant say in logistics such as game drive departure and meal times, how long you spend at any given sighting, and so on. Last but by no means least, on a private safari there is no danger of tensions arising from compatibility issues between different group members. The downsides to booking a private safari are few. One is that it is generally more expensive than a group safari. Also, for single or very sociable travelers, the company of a larger group might be preferable to a private safari. It should be noted that these distinctions apply mainly to a private safari within the public sector of the Kruger National Park. If you stay in a private reserve or concession lodge, there is unlikely to be a big cost difference between a private and shared booking. And once there, unless otherwise specified, you will almost invariably share game drives with other guests, even if you are nominally booked onto a private safari.”

1

When is this type of safari recommended?

“A private safari package to Kruger is recommended to anybody who prefers not to holiday in forced proximity to strangers, but there are several circumstances where it is particularly suitable. One obvious example is for families, particularly those with young children, who will find that booking a private safari allows the guide to concentrate on their specific needs. Many repeat safari-goers hoping to see more unusual species, such as African wild dog or cheetah, will also find they get more out of a private Kruger safari than they would from a group safari, where the emphasis tends to be on ticking off the Big Five. Private safaris are strongly recommended to anybody with a special interest, such as bird watching, botany or serious photography. Group safaris will tend to be geared toward allowing everyone to see as many different large mammals as possible. For this reason, guides are unlikely to stop for all but the most spectacular of birds, or to spend sufficient time at any given sighting to make the most of it photographically. On a private safari, by contrast, photographers can ask the guide to stay on at a promising sighting, and to line up the vehicle to get the best angle. Bird-watchers will also get far more from a private safari, especially as many South African guides will share their interest and enjoy a rare opportunity to focus on the park’s avian fauna.”

2

Will we spend all our time with the guide on a private trip?

“On private safari packages, it is to be expected that game drives and other such activities will be undertaken in the company of your guide. At other times, most guides will be happy to let their clients dictate how much or little time they spend together. In most cases, however, the default situation would be that the guide acts as a host and eats all meals together with their clients. If that’s not what you want, we would recommend you clarify the situation and state your preference to the operator in advance, rather than once you’re on tour. This is so that the guide doesn’t take it personally, which could lead to an uncomfortable situation, especially on a long tour. If in doubt, then the safe approach would probably be to say up-front that you prefer to eat your meals without a guide, but to invite him or her to join you when you feel like the company.”

3

What type of vehicles can I expect?

“There is no simple answer. It will depend greatly on your itinerary. The important thing, if you have a preference for a type of vehicle, is to discuss it with the operator before booking. First things first: if you’ll be driven (as opposed to flying) to Kruger from Gauteng, the province that includes Johannesburg, Pretoria and O.R. Tambo International Airport, expect the transfer to take place in a comfortable air-conditioned minivan or saloon car suited to traveling at speed on the open road. Game drives in private reserves outside Kruger, or concessions within the national park, are invariably conducted in a customized off-road vehicle. This will be a Land Cruiser, Land Rover or other rugged 4x4 with high clearance, low gear ratios, open sides, and two or three rows of tiered passenger seats. In the public part of Kruger, the well-maintained roads can be explored in anything from the lowest-slung saloon car to a 4x4 similar to those used in the private reserves. If you’ve driven up from Gauteng in a closed car or minivan, odds are that the same vehicle will be used to take you around the park. But if you flew up from Gauteng, there’s a greater chance you’ll explore the park in an open 4x4. Both types of vehicle have their advantages. The gentler suspension of a saloon car or minivan is more comfortable, as is air-conditioning in the heat of the day, but an open 4x4 offers a more immersive safari experience and the extra height allows you to see wildlife deeper in the bush.”

4

How much will a Kruger private safari cost?

“As a broad guideline figure, you can expect to pay around US$175 to US$250 per person per day on a private safari that sticks to the public part of the national park. Mid-range private safaris, which often stay at semi-luxurious camps in the private reserves and concessions, would typically be in the ballpark of US$250 to US$400 per person per day. Luxurious private safaris in the most exclusive private reserves and concessions might cost anything from US$500 to US$1,000 per person per day. The price of a private Kruger safari package will depend on several factors. Probably the most significant of these is whether your itinerary sticks to the public part of the national park, and its relatively affordable rest camps, or if it is focused on the more upmarket private reserves or concessions. Other factors will be the size of your group (the cost per person being higher for a solo traveler than for a couple or family) and the duration of the itinerary (the daily rate is generally lower on a longer safari).”

5

Kruger Reviews

4.5/5 382 Reviews
Expert
James Bainbridge  –  
United Kingdom UK

James is a travel writer and author of many Lonely Planet guides, including senior author of the guide to South Africa, Lesotho and Swaziland.

World-famous Wildlife Kingdom
4/5

Kruger is truly the king of wildlife parks. Around 150 mammal species, including 1,500 lions and the rest of the Big Five, inhabit this 350km-long chunk of bush. It’s also extremely convenient, with its tarred roads and camps both inside...

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Expert
Lucy Corne  –  
United Kingdom UK

Lucy is travel writer for a range of publications, including Lonely Planet's guides to Africa, Southern Africa and South Africa.

Deservedly popular
4/5

Some are critical of Kruger's popularity and network of tarred roads that facilitate self-drive safaris. But the park is so vast that in all but the busiest of times (South African school holidays, specifically), you can still drive for 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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