#1 Private Kruger Safaris
3 Day Private Chalet or Hotel Safari
4 Day Private Chalet or Hotel Safari
5 Day Private Chalet or Hotel Safari
6 Day Private Chalet or Hotel Safari
Nowadays several tour operators offer private safaris to the iconic Kruger National Park, one of the finest safari destinations in Africa, as well as the world-renowned private reserves of Greater Kruger.
These destinations are known as the best of South Africa’s famous safari excursions, and the tour operators famous for its dedicated client care and 24/7 support and travel advise at competitive prices.
Guests are guaranteed outstanding accommodation to suit different budgets as well as an exciting collection of tours, including private customised trips.
If you consider going on a safaritrip in South Africa, you might be pondering whether to stay in Kruger National Park itself or one of the private reserves that surround it.
Kruger National Park is a 2 million-hectare reserve in the north-eastern part of South Africa while Greater Kruger offers an additional 180 000 hectares of protected wilderness on Kruger’s western border. Asa whole this region is the largest and one of the best safari destinations in southern Africa.
Kruger National Park is South Africa’s flagship national park and one of Africa’s most well-known safari destinations. The Kruger region’s magical mix of spectacular scenery, incredible animal sightings, and rich cultural heritage is one of the world’s most biologically diverse, stretching across Mpumalanga and Limpopo provinces and sharing borders with Mozambique and Zimbabwe.
The Kruger National Park is divided into four tourism eco-zones, each of which offers something unique to wildlife and nature enthusiasts.
Where you choose to stay will eventually be determined by your specific interests in wildlife and nature, since each luxury safari lodge promises you the safari trip of your dreams.
Inside Kruger Park are 5 private concessions and 15 luxury safari lodges to choose from, each as picture-perfect as the next. The five concessions which allow for private travel are:
- Singita Private Concession at the confluence of two rivers close to the Mozambique boundary and home to the ultra-luxury Singita Lebombo and SingitaSweni safari lodges;
- Imbali Private Concession in central Kruger Park and home to Imbali Safari Lodge and Hamilton’s Tented Camp;
- Jock of the Bushveld Private Concession where the Mitomeni and Biyamiti rivers meet in southern Kruger Park, and home to Jock Safari Lodge and Fitzpatrick’s at Jock;
- Lukimbi Private Concession bordered by three rivers in southern Kruger and home to Lukimbi Safari Lodge; and the
- Tinga Private Concession, also in southern Kruger with the Sand and Sabie rivers passing through. The concession is home to the exclusive Tina Narina and Tinga Legends Lodges.
Greater Kruger National Park comprises seven protected nature reserves as well as several private game reserves.
Greater Park’s luxury lodges offer visitors exclusive safariexcursions that include daily guided game drives in open safari vehicles with professional rangers, luxurious accommodation, and world-class service. Lodges are not crowded, nor are there traffic jams at animal sightings.
Why choose a private safari
The Kruger region is easily accessible from Johannesburg, with Kruger National Park or Greater Kruger just a scenic 5 to 6hour drive from Johannesburg and OR Tambo International Airport.
Gamerangers and trackers employed by these private reserves and concessions are professional and among the best in southern Africa. They have extensiveknowledge of the bushveld and their approach to client care and safety is unsurpassed.
Guests to the private reserves have exclusive access to private land and are entertained on daily guided game drives in open safari vehicles accompanied by dedicated rangers and trackers. Animal sightings are guaranteed because rangers and trackers communicate with one another via radio and go out of their way to find the best animal sightings.
Because the safari lodges only cater for a few guests at a time, your ranger will be able to spend quality time with you in camp and you can also join him on a guided walk through the surrounding veld.Some concentrate on guided wilderness walking trails in remote areas.
These luxury safari lodges are often located on riverbanks, overlooking a large waterhole, or on an escarpment overlooking the vast savanna plains, which provides excellent ‘sofa game viewing.’
Thefood and wine at these safari lodges are frequently as memorable as the animal encounters since they typically employ award-winning chefs, who often are known for their unique South African cuisine.
Luxury lodge rates are frequently ‘all-inclusive,’ which means three delicious meals per day, delectable pastries for High Tea, and unique South African snacks for sundowners. Many have their own cellars full of fine local wines, gins, craft beers, and spirits.
The majority of Kruger luxury lodges have their own spa, as well as a fully equipped gym in some cases. You can treat yourself to a wonderful pampering session by skilled therapists and masseuses in between daily game drives.
Pros and Cons of staying in Kruger itself vs a private game reserve
Staying in Kruger
Staying at a private reserve
It is less costly than a private reserve, but you may have to endure more crowding
Accommodations are quite costly but include almost everything and are very exclusive
You can do self-drive excursions
You may not go on self-drive trips on the properties
You can make use of budget self-catering options or public restaurants
You will experience world class lodging and exquisite gourmet dining
You and your game drive guide have to stay on public roads
Guides and trackers communicate with each other and can go off road to find sightings
Types of private safaris
Budget Kruger Safaris
Several private 3 to 9 Day Budget Safaris can be arranged into then Kruger National Park, making use of the standard accommodation offered.
Mid-range Kruger Safaris
Mid-range Kruger Safaris offer excellent value for money for thrifty travellers in high-quality 3 to 4 star accommodations and increased number of meals and activities without overburdening the tour.
Luxury Kruger Safaris
Luxury Kruger Park Safaris provide fully-inclusive packages for the discerning traveller, with accommodation in four to five star establishments that provide exclusive and personalised service.
Kruger National Park luxury private 3 to 5 Day Safaris make use of the following lodges:
- Hamiltons Tented Lodge
- Imbali Lodge
- HoyoHoyo Lodge
- Other Kruger Park Lodge
Sabi Sands Game Reserve private safaris make use of:
- Sabi Sabi
Kapama Private Reserve private safaris take guests to:
Thornybush Game Reserve private safaris comprises the following:
- Saseka Tented Lodge
- Thornybush River Lodge
- Thornybush Game Lodge
- Jakkalberry Game Lodge
Timbavati Game Reserve private safaris comprises the following:
- Kambaku River Sands
- Kambaku Safari Lodge
- Tunda Tula Safari Lodge
- Umlani Bush Camp
Klaserie Game Reserve private safaris comprises the following:
- Senalala Safari Lodge
- Baobab Ridge Safari Lodge
- Klaserie Camps – coming soon
- Other Klaserie Lodges – coming soon
Balule Game Reserve private safaris are aimed at:
- Greenfire Game Lodge
- Pondoro Game Lodge
- Tremisana Lodge
Manyeleti Game Reserve private safaris take guest to:
- Tintswalo Safari Lodge
- Khoka Moya Tented Safari lodge
- Mantobeni Tented Safari Lodge
How would you spend a typical day at a luxury lodge?
Every day is different, but also refreshingly similar, at a luxury safari lodge in Kruger. The predictable soothing routine of bushveld retreats allows you to completely relax and shake off the stresses of city life. Here’s what to expect:
The earlier you begin your game drive, the better. Before leaving, there will be time for a good cup of coffee and rusks, South Africa’s favourite breakfast snack.
As the sun rises, the bushveld comes alive with sound and activity. The soft glow of the sunrise glistening off morning dew, the soft call of waking birds, and the fresh scent of a new day make early mornings in the bushveld magical.
Depending on what you see, the early morning game drive lasts about three hours. You might end up spending more time watching a majestic leopard in a tree or a pride of lions on a kill.
Self-drive safari tours are not permitted at the Kruger luxury safari lodges.Daily game drives are conducted in an open safari vehicle accompanied by a ranger and tracker.
The guided morning drive usually include a stop with snacks and drinks at a lookout point where guests are allowed to get out of the vehicle.
A hearty breakfast awaits guests upon their return to the lodge. Enjoy it on the deck, which usually overlooks a waterhole or river. You then have a few hours to relax in your luxury suite, around the pool, or wherever you want. Alternatively you can go on a guided bush walk with your guide.
On your Africa safari trip, delicious meals and tables laden with pastries are just as important as the wildlife and scenery. Lunch is typically served on the deck, followed by High Tea before everyone departs for sundowner game drives.
Back in the open safari vehicles, you set off in search of new animal sightings and to explore the private reserve’s various areas.
Your ranger will transport you to a stunning lookout again for sundowners and snacks. Sip crisp wine or G&Ts and soak up the peace and tranquillity of the beautiful bushveld surroundings as the heat subsides and the nocturnal animals awaken. Take a leisurely drive back to the lodge after dark to experience the bushveld at night.
One of the highlights of a Kruger safari tour has to be dinner under the stars around a roaring fire pit. Allow the sounds of the bushveld night to soothe you as you relax with your fellow guests, sharing sighting stories and feasting on a delicious meal.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can you book a private tour to Kruger National Park?
Yes, several tour operators offer private safaris to the iconic Kruger National Park on which guests are guaranteed outstanding accommodation to suit different budgets as well as private customised trips and transfers.
Where is best to stay, inside the national park or in a private game reserve in Greater Kruger?
This will depend on your budget, your interests and whether you would like to do self-drive excursions too.
Is there options for budget private safaris?
Yes, you can make use of a private transfer and stay in the standard budget accommodation in the Kruger National Park.
For whom is private Kruger safaris best suited?
Private Kruger safaris is for everyone who wants to experience this magnificent wildlife habitat. Research has shown that it is the preferred option for special interest visitors to the Park, keen photographers looking for that perfect shot and family groups with smaller children.
How long will it take to experience the Kruger on a private self-drive safari?
If you truly want to experience the splendor of the Kruger, 4-5 days is the average time for a private self-drive safari from the South of the Park to the North
Where can I see the biggest diversity of wildlife in South Africa?
The biggest diversity of wildlife can be found in the Kruger National Park, located in the Northeastern part of South Africa.
Which months are the best to visit the Kruger Park on private safaris?
The best months to visit the Kruger Park on safari is May to October during the dry season when the Park offers its best game viewing opportunities and safari conditions.
Do I need a 4×4 for a private self-drive Kruger National Park safari?
No, although you will encounter many 4x4s while on safari in the Kruger, off-road driving is not permitted in the Park