Kruger National Park, South Africa - Best Tours & Trips 2019
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Relaxed A lot of free time, with very few inclusions. Ideal for independent and/or low-key travelers and cruisers.
Full on For those looking to maximize their sight seeing time. You thrive on a packed day’s schedule from 8 am to 6pm, with some (but limited) free time. Most activities and meals included.
Mixed You will have solid amounts of both free time and structured time with some activities and meals included.
Group Tour Groups are between 25-60 people, typically ~30-40. Usually there will be many opportunities to split off and enjoy meals and excursions in smaller groups. This is the most economical way to travel, saving up to 40% versus booking the same itinerary yourself.
Small Group Tour Small groups are usually defined as between 10 and 24 travelers, often less. If you're the kind of person who enjoys more intimate experiences and personal service this is a good choice. All else being equal you will pay a premium for this style vs a larger group tour.
River Cruise These vessels are smaller than most ocean cruisers, limiting which amenties are available. Passenger counts can vary. One of the biggest advantages of a river cruise is the ability to dock at smaller ports and local villages.
Small Ship Cruise Small ship cruises usually have a max passenger count of 500. The primary purpose of these trips is to spend time off the vessel in local ports (e.g. Mediterranean) or experiencing nature (e.g Galapagos or Antarctica). Cabins can vary from budget to luxury.
Private Guided Private tours give you the undivided attention of a guide, and often involve special access to sites and unique experiences not available to larger groups. This is a great option for families, couples, and small friend groups. Expect to pay a bit more for the extra service.
Self Guided / Independent Tour A travel company plans your itinerary and arranges all the logistics including lodging, local activities, and transportantion. You have the flexibility of a solo trip while still getting the convience and time savings of expert planning. Get 90% of the benefits of a tour, without a guide.
Vacation / Holiday Package Similar to a self guided tour, this usually involves a home base, such as a hotel or resort, with packaged activities and day tours as a part of the stay.
Large Ship Cruise This is the "floating city" experience, with multiple ways to enjoy your vacation aboard the ship as much as on land. Ships are multiple floors, provide several activities, culinary, and shopping options. They often make fewer stops and have less time available for shore excursions.
Camping Typically involves most nights sleeping in tents (sometimes permanent tented sites) or in rustic cabins and lodges.
Basic - 2 star You'll stay in no-frills, but clean and comfortable, hotels or guesthouses. A 'Basic' trip might also involve a few nights of camping.
Value - 3 star Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels.
Premium - 4 star 3 to 4 star western hotel equivalents. While not all lodging will be 'luxury' they will be quite comfortable by western standards.
Luxury - 5 star The highest level of comfort and service. All accomodations are in four or five star hotels, boutique lodges or high-end homestays.
Price Per Day
Very Easy Minimal walking - motor vehicles available for all major parts of trip.
Easy Normal generally flat walking in urban or suburban environments.
Moderate Walking or physical activity half to most of day - no carrying equipment.
Strenuous All or most of day hiking or biking, hills included.
Extreme Very challenging all day hiking and backpacking carrying significant equipment.
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Rivers & Seas
Cities & Attractions
Good for Singles Trips that specifically cater to travelers looking to meet other singles.
No Single Supplement Trips where single supplement is usually not required for solo travelers.
Flights & Transport
Continents & Regions
- Explore rural vineyards in the Winelands, close to Cape Town
- Dine in some of South Africa’s finest restaurants and enjoy excellent local wines
- Scale Table Mountain and soak up incredible views across Cape Town
- Learn about South Africa’s cultural history with a visit to Robben Island or visit a local township
- Track the Big5 on guided day and night game drives through predator rich Timbavati Reserve near Kruger National Park
- Enjoy bush walks to spot tracks and signs of smaller wildlife you may miss from a vehicle
- Stay in barefoot luxury in a small hotel on a pristine beach
- Soak up the views from your private plunge pool
- Experience world-class snorkeling and diving on undisturbed reefs
- A private 13-day adventure that blends city comforts with the real African wilderness
- Experience the view of Table Mountain and the Robben Island in the center of excitement in Cape Town’s harbor
- Visit the beaches at Camps Bay and Clifton and then cross to Hout Bay for a boat cruise that takes you to Seal Island
- Visit Stellenbosch, a wine producing region
- Visit Franschhoek Town
- Explore Timbavati which is popular as the birthplace of the famous African white lions
- Enjoy exclusive wildlife viewing away from the crowds on safari in private game reserves.
- Examine ancient rock art with an archaeologist and see pottery shards and trading beads that date back thousands of years.
- Set out on a wildlife cruise in Botswana’s Chobe National Park and watch elephants “snorkeling” in the river.
- Sip sundowners on the classic steam train Royal Livingstone Express as it travels through Mosi-o-Tunya National Park.
- Combine contrasting - but consistently luxurious - stays in the city center, wild bush and picturesque Victoria Falls during a single itinerary
- Discover the Cape of Good Hope and the Boulders African penguin colony
- Dive into local cuisine with Chef's Table experiences, dining on a chef-led progressive dinner and cooking traditional dishes side-by-side with a chef
- Experience game drives, bush walks, hippo walks, astronomy and wildlife lectures during a stay at Lion Sands, the only reserve in South Africa to offer safari in both the Sabi and Sand rivers ecosystem
- Cruise the Zambezi River at sunset, taking time to appreciate the fiery African sky
- Explore thunderous Victoria Falls by private walking tour and private cycling tour
- Cape Town Orientation Tour
- Table Mountain (Cape Town)
- Cape Peninsula (Cape Town)
- Winelands (near Cape Town)
- Robben Island
- Kruger National Park
- Explore Table Mountain (Cape Town)
- See the Cape Peninsula (Cape Town)
- Explore amazing Hluhluwe Game Reserve
- Visit to Kruger National Park
- Vist Apartheid Museum (Johannesburg)
- Visit Kruger National Park
- Enjoy Africa's incredible wildlife as you explore Singita's private concession with knowledgeable guides
- Explore Cape Town
- Massive Victoria Falls an acclaimed Natural Wonder of the World.
- Explore Durban
- Discover Johannesburg, opportunity to spot the Big 5 as well as enjoy sun-downers
- Explore Zimbabwe, you will have the opportunity to go on a game drive at The Hide
- Explore Cape Town
- Visit Kruger National Park, viewed on guided game drives will provide a lifetime wildlife encounters
- View of Drakenstein Mountains in the distance as you experience some of South Africa's most beautiful landscapes
- Enjoy the famous food and wine culture of Cape Town city
- Experience a safari like you haven't before - a Cape Town Jazz Safari
- You'll visit Franschhoek
- Explore Cape Town
- Experience Africa's incredible wildlife as you explore Singita's private concession
- Visit Kruger has an amazing memories and photographs
- Explore wine lands of Stellenbosch and embark on a full day Devon Valley bicycle tour
- Enjoy a romantic sunset cruise on the Zambezi River
- See the stunning Victoria Falls, one of the seven natural wonders of the world
- Soak up the atmosphere in Cape Town
- Visit Soweto, a vibrant township that offers a fascinating glimpse into South Africa’s political history
- Take in a game-drive through the breathtaking Kruger National Park in search of the BIG FIVE
- Begin in Cape Town, known as the Mother City, and enjoy three tours taking you to the city, wine country and coastline.
- Travel to three different wineries and taste incredible South African wine. A bottle makes a great souvenir!
- Enjoy daily safari drives throughout the famous Kruger National Park.
- Succumb to Mauritius' charms: white sandy beaches, jungle-clad mountains, glistening blue lagoons, and more.
- Taste multicultural Mauritius on a plate, made up of Indian, Chinese, French and Creole influences.
- Enjoy the comfort and convenience of private transfers between airports and hotels.
- Take advantage of included city tours in Cape Town and Doha.
- Snap photos from the top of Table Mountain!
- Clink glasses on your full-day South African Winelands tour.
- Spot lions, cheetahs, elephants, and more during your two-day safari adventure!
- Take in the sights of Cape Town from the best vantage point: Table Mountain.
- Enjoy full-day tours through the city, surrounding areas, and the best places to get wine.
- Take a walk on the wild side as you go on safari in Kruger National Park.
- Spend a night in Johannesburg and make the choice of unwinding or diving straight into the nightlife.
- Tour through scenic and lovely Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe, experiencing the culture of South Africa and partaking in some of their customs.
- Stroll down the bright streets of Bo-Kaap in Cape Town! Gawk at the brightly-colored homes that line the streets of this richly historic neighborhood.
- Discover beautiful handmade crafts and souvenirs at local markets. Don't be afraid to bargain! South African market culture is all about getting the most for your money.
- Enjoy included tours of the Cape Winelands, Table Mountain, the Cape Peninsula, and more!
- Fulfill your dream of going on an African safari! Come face-to-face with the Big Five and more.
- Relax on the bright blue coast of Mozambique. Discover the magic of the ocean by snorkeling, diving, or kayaking.
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Top Kruger National Park, South Africa Experiences
- Spotting the Big Five: lions, leopards, rhinos, elephants and Cape buffalo.
- Checking off other species: Kruger is home to 147 different mammals, 507 types of birds, 49 species of fish, 36 amphibians and 114 varieties of reptiles.
- Scanning the skies for the “birding big six”: ground hornbill, kori bustard, lappet-faced vulture, martial eagle, pel’s fishing owl and saddle-bill stork.
- Keeping a close eye out for the park’s cleverly named “Little Five:” buffalo weaver, elephant shrew, leopard tortoise, ant lion and rhino beetle.
- Learning to identify Kruger’s five main tree species: baobab, fever tree, knob thorn, marula, and mopane.
- Visiting the Letaba Elephant Hall, to learn about elephants and view the ivory tusks of six of the “Magnificent Seven,” so-called because they were among the park’s largest bull elephants.
- Touring the park’s archaeological sites, including the remains of two 19th-century Portuguese trading posts, and the ruins of a stone citadel that dates back to 1250 AD.
- Taking a drive along the waterfall-and-mountain laden Panorama route, with a foray through the Blyde River Canyon, one of the largest and deepest on earth.
Kruger National Park, South Africa Trip Reviews
Kruger National Park, South Africa Tours and Travel Guide
Kruger National Park, South Africa Attractions & Landmarks Guide
Kruger, the flagship of South Africa’s extensive national park system, is one of the oldest game parks in Africa, first established in 1898, and rivals the best wildlife viewing experiences on the continent. It covers more than 7,300 square miles in parts of two provinces (Limpopo and Mpumalanga), and shouldn’t be rushed to be fully appreciated.
Along with 142 other mammal species, constituting the widest selection of mammals anywhere in Africa, you can spot the Big Five here -- lions, leopards, rhinos, elephants and Cape buffalo. You’ll also find hippos, giraffes, zebras, warthogs, and cheetahs. Guides lead both morning and evening game drives, when viewing is best, as well as bush walks. During the winter months (May-September), especially, it’s a good idea to bring warm clothing for evening drives, and during he South African summer (October-April), it’s best to prepare for rain.
Park vs. Poachers
The park is located toward the far northeastern reaches of the country, in an area known as the Lowveld, which is blessed with a wide diversity of life (vegetation as well as animals) and ecosystems. Kruger is recognized for its environmental management policies, and wildlife poaching is vigorously prosecuted, though rhino poaching remains a serious problem.
Conservation efforts also extend to the longtime human history evident in the area. Within the park, you can find ancient bushman rock paintings at nearly 130 different sites, and archaeological sites such as the Masorini and Albasini (old Portuguese trading posts) and Thulamela. The latter, the ruins of a stone citadel dating from a centuries-old civilization, is reminiscent of the Zimbabwe Ruins. Prehistoric man is believed to have occupied the area for as long as 500,000 years, and Stone Age cultural artifacts have been found dating back 100,000 years. You may want to stop in at the Stevenson-Hamilton Knowledge Resource Center, which houses a museum where some of the park’s historical artifacts are kept.
Wide Range of Lodgings
Accommodations are plentiful within the park, ranging from some luxurious private lodges to tent camping. A step above the latter is the “safari tent,” permanent canvas tent bedrooms situated on platforms, often containing kitchens and washrooms. Small huts and bungalows – single bedroom units with bathrooms and kitchens – and cottages, single or multiple bedroom units withliving rooms as well as bathrooms and kitchens, are also available, as are guest houses with lounge areas and views.The park is also lined in places by private reserves along its borders.
The far northern part of the park is the wildest and is difficult to access, but adventurous travelers should inquire with their safari operators about visiting there. Bordering countries such as Zimbabwe and Mozambique have agreed to remove their border fences along some far northern stretches of the park to create the mammoth Greater Limpopo Transfrontier Park, a true transnational wilderness.
With Kruger National Park as a not-to-be-missed destination in South Africa, using Stride to help you choose among the many safari operators serving the area to get the right option with a minimum of hassle. You’ll find a wide selection catering to every level of comfort and budget.
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