Kruger Park and Private Lodge Safari - 5 Days Ÿ Can by customised
~Starts Johannesburg or Nelspruit, South Africa Ç 4 nights / 5 days ,Ends Johannesburg or Nelspruit, South Africa
A guided safari in the Kruger Park (using the national park camps) is quite different to a safari at a private game lodge. Both have their advantages. This trip idea combines the best of both with 2 nights in Kruger followed by 2 nights at a private game lodge.
Depart from Johannesburg or Nelspruit and join one of our 3-day Kruger Park safaris, spending two nights at one of the best camps in the Kruger National Park, overlooking the Sabie River. Normally we stay at Skukuza Camp or Lower Sabie Camp, using comfortable thatched bungalows for accommodation. All game drives are included in the cost and conducted on an open safari vehicle. Breakfasts and dinners are also included.
The benefits of this part of the safari are that you will have a highly experienced guide, you will see a huge variety of wildlife and explore a large part of the Kruger National Park, driving through different landscapes and vegetation types. All game drives are conducted on an open safari vehicle.
Another alternative is to do this part of your safari on a self-drive basis. We will arrange a rental car for you and give you a map, driving directions and handy self-drive safari guide. Enjoy the adventure of exploring the vastness of Kruger on your own, before making your way to a private game lodge for the last two nights.
On day 3 we transfer you to a private game lodge in the Kruger Park, or in the famous Sabi Sand or Timbavati Game Reserve, private reserves which form part of the Greater Kruger National Park. Here all meals and game drives are included in the cost, and the accommodation is more luxurious than in the national park camps. Morning and afternoon game drives are conducted on open land rovers, and the vehicles are able to go off-road to get closer to the animals. At a private game lodge, your chances of seeing lions or leopards are very good because the vehicles are in radio contact and can follow the tracks of these big cats into the bush. A night drive is included each evening, and a guided bush walk with an armed ranger is also included (not compulsory of course).
The choice of game lodge will depend on your budget and interests, as well as availability. Prices at private safari lodges can range from about $200 to over $1200 per person per night sharing, depending on the level of luxury, room type and season. We add no booking fees and there are no hidden costs when we give you a quote. Most of the more affordable lodges cost below $400 per person per night. Spend two nights at a luxury private safari lodge of your choice.
On the last day, enjoy a final early morning game drive followed by breakfast, and then it is time to check out and head back for Nelspruit or Hoedspruit (the closest airports) or Johannesburg (5-6 hours by road, or a one hour flight). Expect to arrive in Johannesburg at the end of the day.
Customize this trip idea:
This is a travel idea, not a fixed itinerary. You can spend more nights in the Kruger Park at the national park camp, or extra nights at the private game lodge if you prefer.
The cost will depend on the choice of lodge, but you can expect to pay between $1300 and $3500 per person sharing, for the full 5 days in low season with a transfer to either Hoedspruit or Nelspruit at the end (September 2017 estimate).
This approximate rate is intended as a guideline only and includes all transfers, accommodation, meals and game drives, but excludes flights and visas. Your final quoted rate may differ depending on date of travel, choice of lodge, room type and exchange rate fluctuations (this estimate is based on an exchange rate of USD 1: ZAR 13.0 as at Sep 2017).
Related LocationsSabi Sand Game Reserve
The Sabi Sand Game Reserve is adjacent to the Kruger National Park. It is a collection of privately-owned game reserves which have dropped their fences by mutual agreement. There is also no fence between the Sabi Sand Game Reserve and the Kruger National Park, allowing the free movement of animals through the reserve. It is known as South Africa's top luxury safari destination, and the best place in the world for viewing leopards in the wild.
More about Sabi Sand Game Reserve
Related FAQ's“What is the difference between the Kruger Park and the adjacent private game reserves?”
Let's start with the similarities first. The Kruger National Park and the adjacent private game reserves share the same bush and wildlife. There are no fences between Kruger and the major adjoining game reserves such as the Sabi Sand, Timbavati, Klaserie, Balule and Manyeleti. The animals are free to roam wherever they want within this huge conservation area of over 2 million hectares. So the wildlife is exactly the same, but there are slight differences in game viewing and in the safari experience.
The Kruger National Park has a huge network of public roads (some of them tarred) which are used by tour operators as well as by the general public (self-drive clients). This provides advantages and disadvantages. The advantages are that you can cover large distances and see a greater variety of landscapes and vegetation types. This means you can expect to see a nice variety of different animals, often in greater numbers than in the adjacent private reserves.
Two disadvantages of Kruger's roads are potential vehicle congestion (especially near the bigger camps in peak holiday seasons), as well as having to stay on the roads during game drives. No vehicles are permitted to go off-road in Kruger. Having said that, the animals in Kruger are used to vehicles and you will often have good sightings right on the road or next to the road.
In the private reserves, the bush and animals are similar but the game drives are limited to a specific traversing area, and will not cover large parts of the game reserve. This puts a natural limit on the number and variety of animals you might encounter on a typical game drive. Also, private game lodges follow a set daily schedule and game drives are limited to two drives per day, lasting about 3 hours each. Balancing this out, private lodges offer the advantage of being able to go off-road to get closer to the animals, as well as the fact that most lodges continue their afternoon game drives after sundown as a night drive. Many lodges also offer the option of a bush walk as an additional activity.
Another difference is the accommodation. Usually, private safari lodges offer more luxurious accommodation and a more upmarket experience, compared to the standard bungalows in the Kruger National Park. Having said all that, it is impossible to say which option is better and where you will have the best sightings. Some people prefer our Kruger Park open vehicle safaris with our legendary safari guides. Others prefer the private lodges with their more luxurious accommodation and the ability to go off-road during game drives. The wildlife is the same, and either option can deliver exceptional game viewing opportunities - but there is always an element of luck involved.
More on the Frequently Asked Questions page
Related FAQ's“How far is the Kruger Park from Cape Town / Johannesburg?”
The Kruger Park is an easy five hours' drive from Johannesburg, or a one-hour flight. Coming from Cape Town, it is best to fly to Johannesburg or to Nelspruit, the closest city (Nelspruit Airport/Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport (IATA:MQP). Cape Town to Nelspruit is a three-hour flight, and from Nelspruit it is another hour by road to reach the Kruger Park.
Some other distances:
Cape Town to Johannesburg is a 2 hour flight, or 12 hours by road.
Johannesburg to Durban is a 1 hour flight, or 6 hours by road.
Cape Town to Port Elizabeth via the Garden Route is a 90 minute flight or 8 hours by road.
Johannesburg to George (Garden Route) is just less than a 2 hour flight.
Johannesburg to Victoria Falls is a 2 hour flight.
More on the Frequently Asked Questions page