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Kruger National Park Safaris

Budget safaris offer all the fun without too many of the frills to keep the price as low as possible. We choose quality 3-star accommodation in a combo of safari tents and tree houses and make certain activities, meals and drinks optional.

What You Need To Know About Kruger National Park Budget Safari Tours

Kruger National Park can be enjoyed on any budget. You can book a caravan or camping site, one of the self-catering bungalows, guest houses or permanent tents (glamping) at the popular Kruger Park rest camps or treat yourself to an exclusive safari experience at a luxury safari lodge operating in a private Kruger Park concessions.

Budget Kruger safari tours may either be the self-drive option or a guided safari tour; both staying at budget-friendly SANParks accommodation. The main Kruger rest camps have a large restaurant and shop on the property so there’s no need to pack provisions if you don’t want the whole self-catering experience.

Self-drive safaris give you some independence and they’re popular with local holidaymakers, but a budget Kruger safari tour with Africa Joy Tours is not only a safer and more convenient option if you’re an overseas visitor, but you’ll also get so much more out of it. We can also arrange for bus tours, transfers and arranged transportation from Johannesburg, Pretoria, Durban, Nelspruit, Port Elizabeth and Cape Town.

Your Africa Joy Tours guide has been taking visitors to the Kruger Park for many years; he has loads of stories to tell about the history of the park and knows the best spots to take you to for great game viewing and bird watching.

Let’s take a look at what Kruger National Park has to offer visitors travelling on a budget.

Kruger National Park Safari Packages

Why Visit the Kruger National Park?

Kruger National Park is an iconic safari destination in southern Africa. It’s the oldest national park in Africa and the largest protected wildlife reserve on the continent; known for its outstanding biodiversity, archaeological significance and incredibly rich fauna and flora. There are 21 national parks in Southern Africa and the Kruger Park is our flagship park.

The national park is almost 19 500 square kilometres (2 million hectares) in size; with no less than 6 diverse ecosystems and 17 biospheres. Located in the north-eastern region of South Africa, it stretches across the Limpopo and Mpumalanga provinces. It’s 352 kilometres from north to south and 65 kilometres east to west; with Mozambique lying on its eastern border and Zimbabwe lying on its far northern boundary.

The Kruger Park is home to the famous Big 5 which includes elephant, buffalo, rhino, lion and leopard and is a protected wildlife sanctuary for an abundance of African game as well as some 500 recorded bird species. The region is rich in history and world-renowned for its San rock art paintings and significant archaeological sites such as Thulamela and Masorini which can be traced back to the Stone and Iron Ages.

On top of all that, the Kruger National Park is the core of the Kruger2Canyons and Vhembe UNESCO Man and Biospheres, and the core of the Great Limpopo Transfrontier Conservation Area (GLTP Treaty, 2002) which will eventually span some 35 000 square kilometres of the most valuable wildlife region in the world.

Types of budget accommodation in the Kruger Park

The most budget-friendly accommodation available in the Kruger National Park is SANParks accommodation. You have a choice of a wide range of affordable accommodation ranging from camping and permanent safari tents (glamping) to single-room bungalows and 4- to 6-sleeper guest or family friendly cottages that come standard with a lounge area, kitchen and braai (barbeque) facilities.

Visiting Kruger Park on a Budget

Kruger National Park offers a wide range of accommodation for visitors travelling on a budget. You’ll find something suitable for solo travellers, couples, groups of friends and families.

Kruger Park bungalows (rondavels/round huts)

The Kruger Park bungalows are one- or two-room units sleeping between 2 to 6 guests with communal ablution and kitchen facilities. Some have a small kitchenette with a fridge, hot-plate and sink and basic crockery and cutlery is provided.

Bungalows are available at Berg-en-Dal, Crocodile Bridge, Letaba, Lower Sabie, Malelane, Mopani, Olifants, Pretoriuskop, Punda Maria, Satara, Shingwedzi and Skukuza.

Kruger Park Guest Houses

The Kruger Guest Houses offer secluded accommodation for larger groups within the main Kruger rest camps; comprising 3 or 4 bedrooms with ensuite bathrooms. Each guest house has a fully-equipped kitchen, lounge area, open veranda and outside barbeque facilities.

Kruger Park Guest Cottages

Kruger Park guest cottages offer visitors two- or three-bedroom units with at least 2 bathrooms, one ensuite. They have a fully-equipped kitchen and linen, towels, soap, crockery and cutlery are provided. The guest cottages are serviced daily.

You’ll find affordable guest cottages in the following Kruger Park Rest Camps:

  • Skukuza Rest Camp
  • Mopani Rest Camp

Kruger Park Family Cottage

Kruger Park family cottages offer one-, two- or three bedrooms with one bathroom and a partially-equipped kitchen. Family cottages are found in Skukuza Rest Camp, Berg-En-Dal Rest Camp, Pretoriuskop Rest Camp And Olifants Rest Camp.

Kruger Park Bush Lodge

Kruger Park Bush Lodges offer exclusive, private accommodation in more remote areas. There are no shops or restaurant facilities in the bush lodge camps and visitors bring their own supplies for a complete self-catering experience. The small kitchen is equipped with a stove, refrigerator and freezer that runs on gas and cutlery, crockery, fresh linen, towels and soap are provided.

Gas units for barbeques are provided but wood needs to be purchased from a shop at one of the main Kruger Rest Camps for a genuine bush braai. The camp runs off solar power but only for lights and fans. There are no plug points available.

  • Boulders Bush Lodge: accommodates a maximum of 12 people
  • Roodewal Bush Lodge: accommodates a maximum of 19 people

Kruger Park permanent safari tents

The permanent safari tents (glamping) are found in Skukuza, Letaba, Tamboti, Crocodile Bridge and Pretoriuskop rest camps. They are equipped with comfortable beds, a cupboard, table and chairs, fridge and electric fan. Guests use communal ablution and kitchen facilities.

Kruger Park caravan and camping sites

Caravan and camping sites in Kruger Park are popular with local South African holidaymakers. They are available at Balule, Berg-en-Dal, Crocodile Bridge, Letaba, Lower Sabie, Malelane, Maroela, Pretoriuskop, Punda Maria, Satara, Shingwedzi and Skukuza. All sites have power points except for some sites such as Lower Sabie and Punda Maria. Guests use communal ablutions and kitchen facilities.

Where to Stay On a Kruger Park Budget Safari Tour

Where you stay in the Kruger Park depends on what you want animals and birds you want to see. The Park is home to an incredible array of fauna and flora where climatic conditions create 6 different ecosystems with as many as 17 biospheres.

Five rivers cross the Kruger Park from west to east which naturally create animal corridors. Birders usually head far north to some of the best birding destinations in the country, and wildlife enthusiasts tend to explore the central and southern regions which support larger populations of wild animals.

Southern Kruger Park

Southern Kruger is bordered by the Crocodile River in the south and the Sabi River in the north. It’s the busiest part of the Kruger to visit because it has the highest concentration of game and it’s the easiest region to access from Nelspruit and Hazyview.

Massive granite slabs lie under more than 80 percent of the southern Kruger which creates large ochre-colour granite outcrops (known as koppies) such as Shabeni, Shirimantanga and Napi. These massive rounded hills are a signature feature of the south and home to klipspringer (rock climbing antelope), baboon and leopard as well a groupings of rock hyrax in the western parts.

Most of Kruger Park’s white rhinos are found in the southern region. The best sightings are around Pretoriuskop, south of Lower Sabie and close to Mbyamiti River.

The best budget-friendly accommodation in southern Kruger Park:

  • Skukuza Rest Camp
  • Berg-en-Dal Rest Camp
  • Pretoriuskop Rest Camp
  • Lower Sabie Rest Camp
  • Central Kruger Park

Central region is known as the ‘Big Cat Capital’ of Kruger Park because of its strong populations of lion. The high numbers of predators in the region are attracted by the availability of prey, mostly because the majority of central Kruger is vast savanna grasslands which support large herds of zebra, impala, wildebeest, buffalo and giraffe.

The best budget-friendly accommodation in central Kruger Park:

  • Satara Rest Camp
  • Letaba Rest Camp
  • Olifants Rest Camp
  • Orpen Rest Camp
  • Northern Kruger

Northern Kruger is characterized by vast open savanna plains and archaeologically-rich hills. The region is best known as a birders’ paradise with many rare and endemic bird species found in these parts. In fact, the northern region has far fewer animals than the central and southern sections of Kruger Park but makes up for it in exceptional bird sightings.

One of the top birding destinations in the country is the Shingwedzi flood plains. There are sleep-over hides near Phalaborwa Gate and Mopani Camp which put you in the heart of birding heaven, close to important grasslands east of Mopani.

What northern Kruger is famous for is its strong numbers of elephant, including the legendary big tuskers. Most of the Magnificent Seven inhabited the Shingwedzi flood plains, which you can learn more about at the Letaba Elephant Museum located in the Letaba Rest Camp.

The best budget-friendly accommodation in northern Kruger Park:

  • Mopani Rest Camp
  • Shingwedzi Rest Camp
  • Tsendze Rustic Campsite
  • Punda Maria Rest Camp

What to Expect On the Best Kruger Park Budget Safari Tour

The national park is truly impressive for its array of biodiversity. A big draw card to the Park is the Big 5 which includes elephant, buffalo, rhino, lion and elephant but don’t let that detract you from the wealth of flora and fauna you’ll find on your safari tour of the Kruger Park.

Official figures note that there are 49 species of fish, 34 amphibians, 114 reptiles, 507 birds and 147 mammals. But that’s not all; there are 400 different kinds of trees and shrubs and well over 1 000 species of plants. About half of southern Africa’s known species of insects are found in the Kruger which adds up to a mind-boggling 20 000 insect species, including 169 species of ants. The insects sustain 39 different species of insectivorous bats.



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