Things To Do In Kruger National Park

If you are looking for thing to do in Kruger National Park, look no further.

Nothing screams African Safari like the Kruger National Park. Whether or not you are an animal lover, there are so many things to do in Kruger National Park.

Welcome to the game reserve lined with marula, baobab and thorn trees, where the famous Big Five grace the landscape with their presence and the cacophony of singing birds envelope your every sense. If you are looking to experience wild Africa in its rawest state, then you are in for a treat.

Located in the north-east corner of South Africa, Kruger National park is enormous. How huge? It is bigger than Belgium and Israel. Covering over 20 000 square kilometres, it touches parts of Mozambique and Zimbabwe. Expect to see various wildlife unlike in any other African Game Reserve, we rate it as the ultimate safari experience.

Related Article: Accommodation in Kruger National Park


Choice of Things To Do in Kruger National Park

You have a choice between self-driving or guided tours depending on your comfort level. The park has great facilities that include rest camps, picnic sites and waterholes for you to sit and relax right in the middle of nature. It is great for backpackers, hikers, families, groups and nature enthusiasts.

While you can visit the park all year round, the different seasons will offer visitors a unique experience. In the summer, the weather is hot and humid and the rainy season is at its peak. The land will be green and full of lush vegetation, making it a bit more challenging to spot animals. On the other hand, most animals give birth during the rainy season, so you will have a chance to see a lot of Kruger’s newest residents.

In the winter, the park is dry and cool. This will give you better chances to see game roaming around because the bush is sparse. Animals are also venturing out more in search of water, so the watering holes are a good place to camp if you want to see more.


Kruger National Park’s Three Zones

As we have stated before, the park is enormous, so you will have to accept the fact that you will probably not cover the entire park in one visit.

What we love about the Kruger National Park is the diversity that it offers its visitors. There are six ecosystems found in the park, it is truly the best in-the-wild experience

As we have stated before, the park is enormous, so you will have to accept the fact that you will probably not cover the entire park in one visit.

What we love about the Kruger National Park is the diversity that it offers its visitors. There are six ecosystems found in the park, it is truly the best in-the-wild experience that you can encounter. The park is divided into three regions; south, central and north sections.

Regions of Kruger National Park

Southern Kruger National Park

The southern section is by far the most popular and easily accessible if you are coming from Johannesburg or Swaziland. You have the best chance of viewing game in this section and it is closer to the park’s picnic and rest sites. The southern section also has half of the park’s entrance gates. If you are in search of the Big 5, your best bet is to visit the southern section.

Central Kruger National Park

The central zone of the Kruger National park is surrounded by the grasslands and is home to a big chunk of the park’s lion population. Here you will find the government run rest camps, so for reference the central zone starts at the Satara Camp and ends at the Letaba Camp. If you want to spot buffalo, zebras and antelopes, then these grassy plains are where you should be headed.

Northern Kruger National Park

The northern section is full of unique bird life, hippos, bats, the wild dog, monkeys and many other rare wildlife. The landscape has a tropical feel to it, with abundant rivers, coastal plains and lush forests. There are remote areas where you will find tropical warm water rainbow killifish, the rare natal red hare, and the yellow-spotted hyrax. 60% of the park’s hippo population can be found in this region. Though remote, it is definitely worth a visit.

Below we have a list of the things that you can do at Kruger National Park. We hope that by the end of this article you will see why we think it’s an awesome place to visit.

Activities in Kruger National Park

Game Drives

There is no other way to get closer to the wildlife than to book a game drive. Kruger national Park has so many options to choose from.

Kruger National Park Game Drive

The drives are divided into four; morning, sunset, full day and night drives. Each one offers a novel experience for the visitor.


Morning Drives

Typically, a morning drive lasts for about three hours and leaves thirty-minutes before official opening times. The drive takes you on a journey through the African landscape and you can enjoy watching the world around you wake up.

Transportation is offered via an open vehicle, and your experienced guide will talk you through some magnificent sites and spotting that you are likely to encounter. You can immortalise these awesome memories by grabbing your camera and clicking away. Some tours will offer you stops at a rest camp and depending on the facilities available you can shop and have breakfast after the tour.


Full-Day Tours

If you have time to spare, then a full day drive around the Park is a great idea. Spend the day with an experienced tour guide who will show you as much of the game and the park as they can pack in a full day. Be aware though that some areas in the park require a conservation fee that is payable by every visitor.


Sunset Drive

There is nothing as magnificent as an African sunset, now imagine driving into the wild just before dusk as the orange haze of the sun surrounds you everywhere you look.

Dusk is a magical time in the African wild and you get to spend three hours in the cool afternoon sun, searching for and spotting game. It is the perfect time to see animals emerge from their hideouts, and you can observe predators gearing up for their nightly hunts. An experienced tour guide will be with you to answer any of your questions.


Night Tours

If you enjoy living on the edge, then the Kruger National Park Night Drives are perfect for you. There is a sense of danger that lurks during these night drives, and if you love getting your adrenaline pumping, you are sure to enjoy this activity.

Starting at 7.30pm or 8.00pm depending on the time of year, the night tour lasts for two hours. You’ll need night vision binoculars for this tour so that you can easily see the animals around you.


Kruger Walking Safari

Kruger Park Walking Safari

Take out your hiking shoes and be prepared to get as close as possible to the residents of Kruger National Park.

The walking safari tours are a unique experience where you can explore the Kruger National Park and learn how to survive in the wild. The guide will teach you how to identify birds and animals.

Enjoy the tranquillity of the bush while tracking animals on foot, touch and feel the plants around you and learn interesting facts like the medicinal uses of the surrounding vegetation. Expect to see some wonderful sights through the different routes, we are certain that this activity will not disappoint you.

The tour lasts for about three hours, and it caters to a maximum of eight people per group. You begin at 05.00am after a warm cup or tea or coffee with some snacks and as a safety precaution you will have a tracker who acts as a backup on your walking tour.

After the tour a nice brunch awaits you, courtesy of the safari cook and you can relax and recuperate after a gruelling morning.


Bird Watching

Kruger National Park is home to over 500 species of birds, some of which can only be found in the park.

There are many water points and rivers that will give you an opportunity to catch a glimpse of some of the rarest birds in the world. The rest camps and picnic sites are also teaming with birds, so you are most likely to have wonderful encounters.

Different regions around the camp offer sightings of different birds in their natural habitat. For more information about the different species in the different regions, please visit the SANPARKS website.


Golf

There is always time for golf, even on an African Safari. Built in 1972, the Skukuza 9-hole Golf Course is a beautiful spot to visit when you are not animal spotting. You will find the golf course on the outskirts of the Skukuza Rest Camp.

Enjoy the surrounding wildlife as you play around this magnificent facility, there is no other experience quite like it. The course is not fenced so you will have some pretty unusual spectators, giving you a very unique experience. You will spot some hippos, impala and baboons to name a few.

Important Info:

  • Tee-off times are between 07.00 -11.00am Sunday to Friday
  • Always book in advance to avoid disappointments
  • Saturdays are reserved for Club Days
  • Standard golf dress code applies
  • Caddies are usually available only on weekends
  • Motorised Pull and Golf Carts are available for hire

Visit the Thulamela Ruins

It’s not all about the game at the Kruger National Park. There are other cool spots like the Thulamela Ruins that take you back into ancient and simpler times.

Found near the Luvuhu River, Pafuri in The Kruger National Park, the ruins were once an ancient kingdom. The ruins host the magnificent burial place of an unknown African King and Queen. You will find gold relics, stone walls and various homes and buildings of the people that once lived there.

Thulamela Ruins

This beautiful archaeological site is said to have accommodated about one thousand people, while the entire kingdom itself is said to have had about three thousand inhabitants.

Take a walk around the place where traders and goldsmiths used to live, with or without a tour guide. It’s a magnificent place to visit, and it should definitely be on your itinerary.


4×4 Adventure Trail

Kruger National Park 4x4 trail

How does driving yourself around a safari in a powerful 4×4 vehicle sound? If this appeals to you, then you can try the 4×4 Adventure Trails that are offered at the Kruger National Park.

The vehicles are especially designed to withstand any harsh terrain that you might encounter without damaging the environment. Experiencing the real African outdoors on your own terms at your own time is what this activity offers you.

You must however be willing to be very careful and to take extra precautions because the routes have no facilities and help is usually quite a distance away. We advise that you only pick this activity if you are quite experienced with African wildlife and the outdoors.

It’s a full day activity and the park only allows a maximum of six 4×4 vehicles per day, so book in advance. If it rains, then the park will temporarily cancel the 4×4 trails because some spots along the routes might be flooded.


Mountain Bike Trail

If cycling is your thing, then you will enjoy the mountain bike trails. Only available from the Olifants camp, this activity allows you to burn some calories whilst taking in nature.

This trail starts in an open game viewing vehicle with the bikes at the bike. The car will stop at a spot and you can unload your bike and get going.

You will be supplied with the following:

  • Backpacks
  • Water bottles
  • Bicycle helmets
  • Refreshments
  • Two armed and qualified field guides.

The mountain bike trails are only available for six participants at a time and no children under 16 years of age are allowed.


Shopping, Picnics and Everything Nice

The Kruger National Park also offers other amenities that you can enjoy in between all the tours and safaris.

The Main Rest Camps have shops, swimming pools, restaurants, ATM’s and fuel stations to make your visit or your stay as comfortable as possible. Shop for basics, souvenirs and Kruger’s famous biltong and snacks for your journey into the wild.

There are wonderful picnic sites with incredible views, and you can even opt for the bush braai and breakfast tour the South African way.


Last Word

The Kruger National Park is a world like no other. There are so many activities to choose from and so much wildlife we could not possibly get into it all in this article.

We hope that you will give the park a try, it will be one of the best experiences in your life. So go ahead and add it on your bucket list!

The Park is huge, so just make sure that you check which of the eleven gates is closest to your hotel, lodge, rest camp or desired activity.

.

Leave a Comment