Safaris in the Greater Kruger

Safaris in the Greater Kruger

Kruger National Park is South Africa's largest national park and one of Africa's largest game reserves. The size of Wales, it is home to 147 large mammal species, which makes it the most diverse reserve in Africa. Many of the best safari camps in the area are in private conservancies adjoining the National Park, such as Sabi Sands, Mala Mala and Timbavati (read more about the pros and cons of the different Kruger reserves). Wildlife moves freely between the reserves and the National Park, the big advantage of the private reserves is the feeling of wilderness (with very few other visitors and a handful of superb small discrete camps).

Safari in Kruger combines well with Cape Town and if you have time, the Garden Route. Our recommendations will depend very much on your budget and preferred level of comfort. We are spoilt for choice in this region, but some of our favourite camps include; Nottens Bush Camp (good value high quality safari), Garonga (just so), Motswari & Londolozi for families and of course the legendary Singita stable.

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Mount Anderson Ranch

Greater Kruger

Our rating


Price guide

Price rating 4

- Exclusive-use
- Designed for families
- Horse riding and fly-fishing
- Incredible location in Mt. Anderson

Our rating


Price guide

Price rating 3

- Upscale lodge
- Excellent Restaurant
- Kruger & Blyde Canyon nearby

Our rating


Price guide

Price rating 2

- Tranquil, secluded mountain camp
- Spectacular panoramic views
- Big 5 game viewing, wonderful birdlife
- San rock art, cultural village visits

What customers are saying after travelling with Tourdust

Average Rating

based on 504 reviews


  • Hi Lisa,

    The safari trip was excellent! The stay, the food and the people were all very nice. We were happy to have Ryan and Stanley as our game drive guides they brought us up close to the animals and Ryan gave very good information throughout.

    Would definitely recommend to friends who are interested in safaris :)

    Also, thanks much for your help, particularly keeping the room for my Brother and his wife they’ve enjoyed the safari very much too!

    Best regards,
    Woan Chyi

    MissingWoan Chyi L reviewing Cape Town & Kruger Safari on 16 October 2019

  • We had a fantastic time and all the arrangements worked perfectly.
    We were very impressed with the quality and service levels of all 4 locations visited and it was truly a holiday of a lifetime.
    Thank you to you and to Lisa for giving us this experience.
    Particular highlights for us – really the whole experience, but of particular impact:
    Breathtaking scenery at Cathedral Peak Hotel
    Rhino Ridge game drives incredible, thanks to guide (we had their head guide, Hala, who’s knowledge, enthusiasm, kindness, interaction, ability to spot wildlife was out of this world)
    Luxury of Rhino Ridge (shower, food, views, service)
    Immersion in nature, torch lit meal on last night and beach trip at Kosi Forest Lodge
    Level of service, quality of food throughout

    MissingCatherine F reviewing South Africa Safari, Beach and Wetlands on 04 September 2019

  • We had a fantastic time. Thank you and it went smoothly in the main except for British Airways!

    The trip had the right degree of luxury and relaxation (for me) and adventure (all of us).

    A few points:
    Driving directions to Umlunghi Lodge were slightly wrong. The driving directions should read at the 4th roundabout take the first exit and turn right over the railway. We loved it there. Anton, Bianca and her son and Harriet were very informative and entertaining. The snake talk and handling, night walks and seeing scorpions and the walk in the bush and "bumping" into a giraffe were really special. The kayak trip to Makuzi pan that the lodge organised was good and Tomaz was very informative and kept a respectful distance from the hippos.3 nights was plenty.

    Rhino River Lodge game reserve was incredibly luxurious and we felt very looked after. The lion siting in camp the day we arrived sent an extra frisson of excitement down our spines. It was easy to forget there were predators that could attack us with all that luxury. The staff and guides (Karl) were knowledgeable and invested in their set up. We saw rhinos with baby, cheetahs with young, porcupine, Genet, wildebeast, Impala, Lion with young, buffalo, a puff adder, ostrich, zebra and giraffes. 4 nights was also plenty.
    They all served great food but I felt Ghost Mountain Inn topped the lot. The variety was amazing. We arrived at 10.30 but could not get into our room until 2 ish. The service was not so personal I guess because it is larger (far more than 50 rooms). We had been a bit spoilt at Rhino River! My daughter and I had some treatments at the Spa and loved it. We also went on a large boat trip on Jonzi and had a closer encounter with a large bull hippo and also a hike up Ghost Mountain with Patrick who was very informative and passionate about his people and his country. Isaac the other guide there took us on the boat trip and pointed out the sugar cane harvest on the way. he was very informative also.

    Lastly, Lalaria Lodge was fabulous and we all piled into the surf of the Indian Ocean. There was hardly anyone on the beach. It was "too cold" according to the landlady. The view from her terrace was of the ocean and whales breaching in the distance. I could have sat there all day. She very kindly provided us with a Scrabble board of her own for us to play. We took a Microlight ride from Ballito over the coastline in the hope of seeing whales and dolphins but no luck. If we had stayed longer we might have gone on a boat trip from Durban. We had a meal at a restaurant called Mozambique which was great fun with vast portions, plenty of carbs and fresh seafood!

    The value of the Rand to the Pound was excellent and therefore we felt that we got excellent value which also played a large part!

    MissingKatrina P reviewing South Africa Bush & Beach Safari For Families on 02 September 2019

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Overview of the Greater Kruger Conservancies

Sabi Sands (65000 hectares unfenced to Kruger NP) is the best known and original private game reserve in the Kruger area and the place to go if you want exclusive accommodation (which comes at a price). Whilst the reserve is unfenced, not all lodges give each other traversing rights, so vehicles can't always go outside of their patch. That said, it is known to be the premier safari destination with perhaps the best game viewing potential, especially good for leopards.

Timbavati (53000 hectares unfenced to Kruger NP) is a slightly less well-known reserve, but as a consequence the lodges are not as expensive. As anywhere, game viewing is always down to chance, but with the diversity of vegetation (a good mix of lowveld grasses and bushes) the chances of spotting the big 5 are good. There is also a resident pride of the very rarely seen white lion which is currently based in the Timbavati reserve. Timbavati offers some excellent safari at sensible prices for couples and families alike.

Mala Mala (13300 hectares unfenced to Kruger NP) is something of an institution that pioneered the high end safari in South Africa back in 1927. The location and wildlife here is superb on this prime spot of land between Kruger and Sabi Sands. The camps are not offering quite as cutting edge nowadays, but new management is bringing a new lease of life to the reserve.

Thornybush (14000 hectares fenced to Kruger NP) is a smaller reserve with slick (if a little commercial) lodges with great family friendly accommodation. The reserve is small, so not quite the wild feel of Timbavati, but it does heighten the likelihood of spotting wildlife. This is a good option for younger / lively families who won't feel too self-conscious if the children splash around in the pool. There are often good offers available at Thornybush.


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