The Kruger National Park, which measures a whopping two million hectares, is approximately the size of the whole of Wales. Although there are still fences between parts of the Kruger National Park and Mozambique and Zimbabwe, so the planned Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park is not quite yet a reality. When it is, it will be spectacular. Actually, Kruger already is.

Most of the park is situated in the Lowveld. Restricted to broad valleys below 1000m above sea level, the Lowveld is what many people consider to be the 'real' Africa. In this low-lying subtropical climate, broad-leaved trees and thorn trees co-exist happily in relatively open woodland, interspersed with long grass – and, of course, game. Wildlife abounds.

In the far north, it gets hotter and the vegetation changes to mopane woodland and, right in the northern part of the country, huge baobab trees dominate the landscape. The rivers here tend to be broad and slow moving and may consist of no more than a few unconnected pools at the end of the dry season but that's when the game congregates around the few known water sources – so it all evens out.

You may have heard the cynical remark that Kruger is 'too developed' with loads of town-like camps and other infrastructure. Well, yes. The park does have a number of good accommodation options – more than 20 SANParks camps and a few private luxury lodges as well. That may sound like a lot – but remember that Kruger is the size of Wales – and in all that space there is one town – the main camp, Skukuza, is virtually a small town – about a dozen tiny hamlets with less than a hundred families and a few out of the way camps that would probably relate to a small farmstead. That leaves an awful lot of real wilderness.

Kruger lions

You can do Kruger as a self-drive or as a guided tour. Other exciting options include walking safaris, mountain bike trails and a self-drive 4x4 trail. The nearest airport to the park is the Kruger-Mpumalanga International Airport, just outside Nelspruit.

The southern, more popular, part of Kruger is about four hour's drive from Johannesburg, and a little less from Pretoria. The drive to the more remote, far less utilised, northern part, takes a few hours longer, but it's not on the same route. You could do a great circular tour if you had ten days or so to spare. Fly in to KMIA and enter the park in the south, drive very slowly to the north, spending a day or two at different camps en route, and then drive back to Johannesburg. (Or the other way round, of course.)

Kruger zebra


If you are planning to travel to the Kruger National Park or Lowveld please be aware that this is a malaria region. Consult your doctor or travel clinic for advice and refer to our article on malaria.

Battle in Kruger National Park:

Check out this amazing video of a battle between buffalo, lions and another predator:

Kruger National Park Fun Rating

from 60 customer reviews
4.5 out of 5 stars!

Popular in Kruger National Park

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Not Child Friendly
The Kruger National Park is NOT child friendly at all. There is nowhere in the park where they can play and have fun. Not even a swing or a slide or a jungle gym. They are not allowed on game drives, they may not ride bicycles in the rest camps, they may not play around and laugh as it annoys the old age guests. My children hated every moment of our visit in the park. They are well behaved and obedient children in general, but they are busy boys and it was extremely difficult to keep them occupied without getting into trouble. They can only sit still and draw pictures for so long and then they...
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Annelize Young

Balule Nature Reserve
Game Reserve of Limpopo Province

Our bushveld paradise
Balule Nature Reserve, or better the part OLIFANTS WEST NATURE RESERVE is a private reserve, open to the central area of Kruger National Park.With no fences wildlife roams freely throughout this area, creating what is known as the Greater Kruger Park. Balule/Olifants West is easily accessible. The main gate is just 17 kilometres from Hoedspruit.And that provides easy access to scenic destinations like Panorama Route and Blyde River Canyon as well as day trips to Kruger Park.But there is so much to keep you busy in the reserve. Morning and evening game drives with professional guides will...
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Sabine Gammel
South Africa

Crocodile Bridge Gate
National Park Entrance of South Kruger Park

Crocodile Bridge Gate-the best game viewing
Crocodile Bridge gate is located in the south eastern corner of the Kruger National Park in close proximity to other tourist attractions, like Mozambique, Swaziland, Blyde river Canyon, numerous Golf courses and the opportunity to do Tiger fishing in the Komati river.Crocodile Bridge Gate has been totally revamped and re-Furbished, clients now entering the park through this gate have now only to drive up to the gate and gain access from the comfort of their vehicle, the experienced and friendly staff compliant the recent upgrades.Further to that the bridge has been elevated over the crocodile...
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Doctor-Leon Mtsweni
South Africa

Phalaborwa Gate
National Park Entrance of Phalaborwa

Phalaborwa Gate, Kruger National Park
Phalaborwa, the place of two summers.Staying in one of the Bed & Breakfast establishments and driving to the Kruger National Park is really easy. The gate is close to town (1km) with friendly staff, within minutes you are inside the Park and when you feel like an afternoon nap you could exit and still have enough time to go on a late afternoon drive back into the Park. No other town is closer to the Kruger Park than Phalaborwa.
Johan Verster
South Africa

Crocodile Bridge Gate
National Park Entrance of South Kruger Park

Gateway to the Wild Frontier
The Crocodile bridge gate area is ideally situated for those adventurous travellers who want to discover Africa.Easy access to the Kruger National Park, one of the finest game reserves on the planet. The Southern Kruger where over 380 species of bird have been identified has the highest concentration of wild game in the Park and an extremely diversified topography. Big 5 sightings are almost a daily occurrence. A new and exciting activity in the area is tiger fishing. This is done in the Komati River which joins up with the Crocodile River and is teeming with these fantastic sports fish. Fishi...
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Denis Goffinet
South Africa

Still great after all these years
Kruger National Park gets a little too crowded over the festive season, but still offers great game viewing, birdwatching and well-managed rest camps. Its not really surprising that so many local and international visitors flock there every year.
Katie Cowan
South Africa

Stunning camps and quiet
While the Northern Kruger is known for fewer animals, the camps are more beautiful, a lot quieter (we visited between Christmas and NewYear!) and peaceful. We stayed in Letaba and Tamboti and with a few early starts managed to see all the Big 5 and cheetah.
Shannon O'Connell-Jones
South Africa

big 5 n more garden
We loved the place . enjoyed skukuza the swimming pool. The drving around the whole place it was zibabo.
onica matjeke
South Africa

We had an absolutely lovely time in the Kruger. We went in at Malelane Gate and went out at Skukuza. We went to Hoedspruit and Graskop. It was an amazing week.
Carine Louw
South Africa

Pafuri Gate
National Park Entrance of North Kruger Park

Visiting Pafuri Rivercamp
What an awesome place with friendly hosts - everything was perfect and clean - not even footprints after the ground at the tent had been swept.
Louis Pretorius
South Africa

South Kruger is a gem
As a family we love South Kruger – there is lots to do for everyone and it’s very accessible.
Vic Brummer
South Africa

Manyeleti Reserve
Game Reserve of Limpopo Province

Wildlife experience
Manyeleti Reserve is a nice place to discover wild animals.
yves frederic MAUPIN
South Africa

Orpen Gate
National Park Entrance of Central Kruger Park

Efficient, helpful, a unique place.
Andrea Melandri

Crocodile Bridge Gate
National Park Entrance of South Kruger Park

The best side to enter
It was great entering from there got to see the big five and its a great route through the Kruger
Amulda Erasmus
South Africa

Crocodile Bridge Gate
National Park Entrance of South Kruger Park

Very nice
Very nice and friendly!
Ian McLauchlan
South Africa

Marloth Kruger Lodges - Kudu Lodge
Loved our stay here house has all you need and is beautiful, beds are SO comfortable- bathrooms need a little maintenance but a minor issue will return soon we hope. Kruger is our most favorite place on earth. Thank you
Tanya de Lima
South Africa

Phalaborwa Gate
National Park Entrance of Phalaborwa

Phalaborwa--passing through to Kruger
We stayed in Phalaborwa on the way to Kruger for a month. The airport is great and is easy to schedule from JoBurg. In Phalaborwa, one can find, fairly easily, good food shopping, a great butchery (Lood's) where they will custom cut and shrink wrap your meats (and will probably freeze them for you if you go in a day early). From the Kruger Gate, it is an easy trip with some good sightings to Letaba or to Mopani (also include in that Shimuwini bushveld camp).
Charles Sandifer
United States of America

Crocodile Bridge Gate
National Park Entrance of South Kruger Park

Fast and easy
Very clean, fast and efficient, thank you!
Peter Bouwer
South Africa

Phalaborwa Gate
National Park Entrance of Phalaborwa

Easy to get to and heavily road marked
Didn't find much more than impala. Luck?
Tristan Lee-Johnson
United Kingdom

Heaven on Earth
What a beautiful place! We were very happy to be a guest of the animals in Sabi Sand Reserve.
Imke Greidanus