Game Drives (Self-Driving), Kruger National Park

18 Reviews

  • 'Zebra crossing' Kruger style
    'Zebra crossing' Kruger style
    by Merebin
  • Hire car
    Hire car
    by Merebin
  • Roadside lions
    Roadside lions
    by Merebin

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  • vpas's Profile Photo

    Our route

    by vpas Written Jun 3, 2013

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    We stuck to the main tar Road between Berg en Dal to Skukuza and had no trouble at all in spotting plenty of animals. We saw plenty of birds and animals. Twice we just missed a leopard. The car in front of us had spotted it. We stopped over at Afsaal resting camp. We stopped at Afsaal to use the restrooms and to have a short meal. We then drove ahead to Skukuza. We just walked around the camp to understand how it looked. We found Berg en dal better. We again drove towards Berg en dal and again made a stop over at Afsaals. They serve some very tasty icecream on waffles. They also serve chips, sandwiches, coffee and teas. They also have a small shop which sells basics.

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  • vpas's Profile Photo

    Most exciting to spot animals by oneself!!

    by vpas Written Jun 3, 2013

    This was truly an amazing experience. We started off from our camp -- Berg En dal towards Skukusa at 6 a.m. sharp. We woke early and packed breakfast and lunch and carried it with us. We were so lucky to spot so many animals and that too in such close proximity and what was even more exciting was that they were in their most natural behavior. We saw two deer that were fighting with locked horns, we saw two young elephants indulging in played fights, we saw a rhino with her baby, also many giraffe families,,, it is the most amazing experience.
    The most important rule is not to get down. We saw a car right in front of us was about to be attacked by rhinos. So it is very important not to get off the car however exciting it may be to see so many animals in close proximity. It may prove to be fatal.
    Another ground rule is not to provoke animals. It is true that when in a group they can even topple a car an cause immense damage.

    Related to:
    • Safari
    • National/State Park
    • Jungle and Rain Forest

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  • Merebin's Profile Photo

    Elephants have right of way

    by Merebin Updated Apr 10, 2013

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The first thing to consider is what type of car to hire (assuming you are not a local who owns their own). For me, especially as I was visiting in the winter when the vegetation is less high and makes animal spotting easier, I decided to go with an ordinary sized 4 door car. Car hire in South Africa is cheap and there are plenty of good deals if you shop around. I ended up going through Budget Car Rentals as they are internationally recognized, although plenty of other companies seemed equally as reputable. I would recommend considering extra insurance - I took out glass waiver insurance which turned out to be a blessing when a large stone chip appeared in the windscreen after being passed by a truck!

    The roads in Kruger are good - although some were closed due to flood damage while I was there. Most roads are tarred, although some of the more out of the way roads are dirt or gravel - I found the gravel roads to be easily, although slowly, travelled in my smallish standard car. Speed limits are slow and are enforced - 50kmph on main roads, 40kmph on others, signage makes it clear what speed is allowed. Petrol is available from most rest camps (consult the SANPARKS website below for more specific information.)

    Animals were frequently and easily spotted - although some were almost a little too close for comfort. Make sure you do some reading on the behavior of animals in the park before you go - not only does it make spotting wildlife easier but it can also make your journey safer. Knowing that elephants put their ears out and shake their heads proved very useful when turning a corner and unexpectedly meeting a herd, including an unhappy mother elephant. Animals have right of way here - not only the big ones, but the smaller ones too!

    Purchasing a map of the park is pretty much a necessity for planning routes for each day's drive. Rest camps have maps that are updated frequently showing where animals have been recently spotted which can give you some pointers if you are looking for a particular species. Make sure you leave plenty of time when traveling - speeds are slow in the park and times can easily blow out when you are frequently stopping to view wildlife. As animals have right of way, getting caught up waiting for an elephant to get off the road can take time that you may not have allowed for, and gate closing times at rest camps are strictly enforced.

    Guided drives are useful in learning about species and seeing things that you might otherwise miss, but the freedom of self driving, including the ability to stop as often and as long as you like, is a bonus. There are few places in the park where you are allowed out of your car, so take advantage of those that do. I generally made sure that I would be somewhere for lunch where I could walk around - often one of the rest camps.

    Address: Kruger National Park

    Website: http://www.sanparks.org/

    Elephant road block 'Zebra crossing' Kruger style Hire car Roadside lions Old buffalo
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    • Road Trip
    • Safari

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  • Acirfa's Profile Photo

    Go It Alone

    by Acirfa Written Jan 14, 2008

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    In Kruger this is a normal and enjoyable practise. Stick to the rules, do not get out of your car and be sensible, tap in emergency no.s to your mobile and enjoy driving around the park slowly, with a book to help you identify the animals and birds you spot.
    Take lunch too, there are spots to get out of your car to stretch you legs and enjoy the magnificent views.
    Allow long enough to cover a small area rather than trying to travel large distances, it takes time to spot movement in the bush and then to sit and enjoy it.

    Related to:
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    • National/State Park
    • Safari

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  • mvtouring's Profile Photo

    Self driving game drives

    by mvtouring Written Oct 9, 2007

    4 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The best way to do it. You stop when you want to and when you finished looking at whatever it was that you were admiring be it a bird or an elephant you can carry on. I bought a book on the park at the gate and was able to pinpoint most animals and tell my sister what bird,buck or rhino it was that we were just privaledged to see.

    Impala
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  • diver-x's Profile Photo

    Self-Driving

    by diver-x Updated Jun 23, 2006

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    You are allowed to drive around on your own in Kruger and that's what we did the most of. I enjoyed that the most. I love exploring, turning down a road on a whim just to see what's around the corner. In Kruger, chances are what's around the corner is something you've never seen before in your life!

    It is STRONGLY recommended that you stay in your car at all times, except at designated rest stops. But I have to admit that we did break the rules a few times to get some photos of small creatures and to move a turtle out of the road. We figured that the small critters and impala would know exactly when there's anything dangerous about, so when they looked relaxed, we felt comfortable outside - within a few yards of the car, that is.

    I'm not sure how wise that really was and I'm sure some people will call me foolhardy, but it seemed to make sense at the time. . . But for the most part, and certainly when there were any big animals around, we stayed in the car.

    Directions: There are paved and dirt roads all throughout the park.

    Website: http://www.sanparks.org/parks/kruger/

    A lioness taking it easy at the roadside
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  • kzngirl's Profile Photo

    Self Drive

    by kzngirl Written Aug 26, 2005

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Kruger Park is a self-drive game park (unless you are staying in some of the private lodges or going on a morning/night drive). Easy to read, clearly illustrated maps are sold at every entrance to the park. Take some time before you leave the car park, to look at the map and navigate your route.

    I have often found that it is best to spend a few hours driving around the park before checking in on your first day. Head into your camp just after lunch, check in, unpack and then throw a few snacks together before heading out to a nearby water hole for some sundowners as the sun slips over the savannah.

    Take note of the speed limit and keep to it! There are often speed traps (believe it or not) throughout the park.

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  • K.Knight's Profile Photo

    Self drive safari - 6.

    by K.Knight Written Dec 16, 2004

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The striking pattern of stripes in savannah zebras is different in each animal. Therefore the members of a family can recognise each other by their stripes. Although the stripes are extremely visible at close range, they make a good camouflage from far away and provide protection against predators. Lions in particular like to prey on zebras.

    Zebras are plentiful.
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  • K.Knight's Profile Photo

    Self drive safari - 5.

    by K.Knight Written Dec 15, 2004

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The best time for travelling the Kruger Park are the dry winter months from the end of May to the beginning of October. The vegetation is low then and enables you to view lots of game, mostly at the waterholes. These waterholes are fed by windmills that pump a continuous supply of water.

    Happy camper.
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  • K.Knight's Profile Photo

    Self drive safari - 4.

    by K.Knight Written Dec 11, 2004

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    It is not very often that you get to see both the front and rear ends of an animal at the same time!

    Although there were the odd small herd of Wildebeest within the Kruger National Park, I was a little dissapointed thatwe did not see this odd looking animal in huge numbers. Maybe next time?

    So, why the long face?
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  • K.Knight's Profile Photo

    Self drive safari - 3.

    by K.Knight Written Dec 11, 2004

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The total driving experience within Kruger is excellent. Both tarred and gravelroads are in excellent condition, with fantastic maps available that will point you to all the attraction, including waterholes that are placedat strategic locations. These waterhles are pumped by windmills to compensate for the diminished rivers feeding the park, due to irrigation upstream.

    Come on in..the waters fine!
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  • K.Knight's Profile Photo

    Self drive safari - 2.

    by K.Knight Written Dec 11, 2004

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The speed limit on the tarred roads within the park is 50 km/h with a limit of 40km/h on gravel roads and 20km/h while driving within the restcamps. An average speed of 30km/h on tourist roads is recommended for maximum safety and enjoyment.
    Wildlife in this park is prolific and can be found easily from the safety of the tared roads.

    Fighting for space.
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  • K.Knight's Profile Photo

    Self drive safari - 1.

    by K.Knight Updated Dec 11, 2004

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    I would recommend a self drive safari as a definite way to see Kruger. The roads are excellent, even the gravel, and the facilities of the park are fantastic. If you take your time and enjoy the park at a leisurely pace you will be amazed at the amount of wildlife you will see.

    Mmmmm...whats this?
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  • Waxbag's Profile Photo

    Alternative to the Busy Lower Sabie Road

    by Waxbag Written Dec 7, 2004

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The Salitje Road (S30) is a beautiful drive off of the main Lower Sabie Road (H4-1) which tends to see a high volume of vehicles. From the H12 bridge that goes over the Sabie River turn right onto the S30. It follows the river on the north side. The riverien forest is quite stunning. This territory is definitely leopard domain. There were many sightings of a mother and two cubs along this stretch of road. Even if you don’t see any animals the scenery is beautiful and it is away from the congested main road on the other side.
    Continue on to the S29 and have a rest at the newly renovated Mlondozi Dam Picnic Area.

    Directions: Southern part of the park on the north side of the Sabie River between Skukuza and Lower Sabie Rest Camps.

    White backed Vuluture on the S30
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    Drive along the S50 from Shingwedzi

    by Waxbag Written Nov 29, 2004

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The20 kms of S50 that runs from Shingwedzi rest camp to the Dipene historical site is one of the nicest drives in the north. The riverine forest along the Shingwedzi River is increadibly beautiful with huge fig trees hanging out over the river. There are huge herds of elephants in the region that like the maponi forest located away from the riverine forest. Baboons, vervet monkeys, as well as crocs and hippos also like to hang out along the river. Cats are here too. In the four days I spent in and around Shingwedzi I saw, lion, leopard, large spotted genet, and African wild cats with young. The Kanniedood Dam provides plenty of water for crocs and hippo as well as frolicking elephants. The Mashagazdzi hide is a good place to watch birds on the dam and stretch your legs.

    Directions: Just south of Shingwedzi rest camp along the river.

    Shingwedzi River
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