Kruger National Park, South Africa - Best Tours & Trips 2019
Classic 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 Guided Experiences 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 Ocean 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 Tour 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.
Independent Package 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 Ocean 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
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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.
All Kruger National Park, South Africa tours, river cruises, expedition cruises, and adventure trips. Find the best guided trips and expert planned vacation and holiday packages. Average rating of 4.8 for all Kruger National Park, South Africa trips.