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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Thanks for all your help in making the arrangements, everything went so smoothly from landing in Jo’burg to departing a week later.
We all had a fantastic time, Kirsty (our youngest) was able to go on all the game drives and we were very well looked after both on the drives and back at the lodge. The food was great, staff were all very friendly & nothing was too much trouble for them (e.g. providing hot milk for Kirsty at bedtime). The kids all enjoyed the rock pool during the day and we all loved the game drives.
We were lucky enough to see all the big 5, with the additions of Cheetah & Wild Dogs. I think it was the second to last day before we managed to see some Hippo (and finally I’ve been able to take some photos of them - I have only ever seen them at night before). We had the adventure of being caught up with some Lionesses stalking a herd of Zebra (one of the younger Lionesses went a bit early & scattered the herd).
We’re certainly aiming to go on safari again although it will be a while before we save enough to go again (maybe the kids will be taking us next time!)
Jeff W reviewing South Africa Safari and Mauritius on 13 May 2019
I had just the most incredible time on the climb.
The team were incredible and just so accommodating. I really only have good things to say as it was such a great experience.
George was as good as a guide as it gets, very articulate and made sure I was comfortable the whole way up with frequent briefings.
Finn R reviewing Mount Kenya Sirimon Naro Moru Trek on 10 May 2019
We had an amazing time thank you. The itinerary was great as we felt like we saw lots of different things and it kept it interesting for our daughter. She especially loved the gorge at Hells Gate.
Unfortunately the Menengai Crater walk was a bit hard for her although that probably had something to do with how hot it was!
We especially loved the Sunbird Lodge - it is such a beautiful place and all the staff were so incredibly welcoming and friendly.
Our guide, Joseph, was exceptional too and we can’t speak highly enough of him.
Suzanne S reviewing Maasai Family Adventure on 30 April 2019
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.