Kruger National Park: a World-Class Safari Destination

Exploring great Kruger is an experience you won’t soon forget. Imagine driving at your own pace while seeing monkeys playing in the trees, elephant herds peacefully crossing the road and lazy hippos or crocodiles sun-bathing on the riverbanks… That’s everyday life at Kruger. And what’s best? Besides the entrance fee and gasoline for your car, it’s free!

Entering Kruger national park
Entering Kruger national park

Yes, you can drive as you wish on the park’s perfectly maintained road network and stop here and there (only where allowed) to stretch your legs, surrounded by abundant wildlife. The park has a couple of “villages” with all services, especially in the southern part (the norther you go, the wilder it gets). But the biggest difference between self driving and guided safari tours is that on your own you usually see most of the game only from far, unless you are very lucky. Some animals are also quite tricky to spot during a self drive, like big cats (lion and leopard). That’s why in addition to the national park itself I strongly recommend to spend a few nights in lodges that organize safaris, either in or outside the park (the most luxurious ones are located next to the park) like Sabi Sabi or Kapama.

First, my shots taken in Kruger:

Road crossing elephants (Kruger national park)
Road crossing elephants

 

Bathing hippos (Kruger national park)
Bathing hippos

 

Remains in the bush (Kruger national park)
Remains in the bush

 

Pumbaa! (Kruger national park)
Pumbaa!

 

Cohabitation (Kruger national park)
Cohabitation

 

Buffalo herd (Kruger national park)
Buffalo herd

 

Baobab tree (Kruger national park)
Baobab tree

 

Sunset over Kruger (Kruger national park)
Sunset over Kruger national park

 

Then those taken during open-air jeep safaris and bush walks organized by the lodges I stayed in (Sabi Sabi Little Bush Camp and Kapama Karula):

Beautiful zebra (Sabi Sands)
Beautiful zebra (Sabi Sands)

 

Cutie lion cub (Kapama)
Cutie lion cub (Kapama)

 

Flies on a rhino's back, waiting for him to poop... (Sabi Sands)
Flies on a rhino’s back, waiting for him to poop… (Sabi Sands)

 

 Giraffe in the sunset (Kapama)
Giraffe in the sunset (Kapama)

 

Hornbill (Sabi Sands)
Hornbill (Sabi Sands)

 

 It doesn't get any cuter than that...(Kapama)
It doesn’t get any cuter than that…(Kapama)

 

Mud-bathing rhino (Kapama)
Mud-bathing rhino (Kapama)

 

Steenboks (Sabi Sands)
Steenboks (Sabi Sands)

 

The Lion King (Kapama)
The Lion King (Kapama)

 

All in all I started with 2 nights in Sabi Sabi, then one day of self driving in Kruger and I ended with 2 nights in Kapama. Outside the park I also recommend to drive the highly scenic road R532 for gorgeous landscapes (like the famous Three Rondavels viewpoint).

Three Rondavels
The Three Rondavels

 

On your way back to Johannesburg (by the way it’s very easy to drive the freeway between Joburg and Kruger) and if you have a few spare hours before your flight, you should definitely take a Soweto tour. I took the private tour with Mandy by Imbizo Tours and found it amazing. Soweto is one of the world’s biggest townships (a.k.a slums) and witnessing such poverty is difficult… But this is also the reality of South Africa, a country of huge and sometimes disturbing contrasts. You will also see Nelson Mandela’s house and visit a museum about the apartheid, next to a school where in the seventies hundreds of pupils were killed by the police only because they were protesting against¬†Afrikaans as the medium of instruction in local schools…

Next to come: the beautiful Cape Town area.

Entering Soweto
Entering Soweto

 

Inside the township
Inside the township

 

Joburg beer
Joburg beer

 

The famous towers
The famous towers of Soweto

 

Mama Africa
Mama Africa

 

Township from above
Township from above

 

Children of the township
Children of the township

 

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