Charge the camera, we're going to Kruger

The most famous game park in South Africa is truly teeming with photography opportunities. Beyond the Big Five, you'll be snapping photos of some of Africa's other iconic wildlife, like graceful giraffes, speedy cheetahs and dazzles of zebras during the day, while dramatic orange sunsets and undisturbed starry skies will fill your memory cards at night. Since there are no boundary fences in the reserve and your overland vehicles can go off the designated paths, the animals will be closer than you can imagine... no zoom lens necessary.

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Kruger National Park safari highlights

A group of travelers and a guide have a close encounter with four hyenas in an open-sided safari vehicle

Lose your lid in an open vehicle

Kruger safaris are operated in open-sided 4WD vehicles that are just that: 4x4s with no sides, tiered seating and an open roof, providing incredible wildlife viewing and photo ops. With nothing between you and the animals, the freedom of an open-sided vehicle will surely give a more immersive safari experience.

A safari guide takes his vehicle off the path to follow a group of elephants

Take off-roading to a new level

In South African parks, safari vehicles and guides are permitted to go off the designated paths to get you closer to wildlife. Many guides stay in constant radio contact, so if your group gets a tip on something extra exciting (like a birth or Big Five sighting), you can expect to do some serious off-roading to get to the site.

A pride of three lions stalks their way across the savannah

Search for sought after wildlife

Kruger National Park is reputed to have the continent's greatest variety of animals and its sprawling stretch of savanna offers one of the best safari experiences in Africa. The park will not only treat you to the Big Five but also to 150 other photogenic mammals, like cheetahs, giraffes, zebras and the endangered African wild dog. If you look close to the ground you might be able to spot one of 100 breeds of reptiles, while birdwatchers can delight in the 500 species of birds that inhabit the park.

Two crisp white beds in a comfortable tent on a Kruger safari

Sleep in style in a lodge

If a safari is on your bucket list, but you're more of a comfort glamper than a hardcore camper, a Kruger lodge experience will be just your speed. After a full day of bushwalks or game drives, lay your head in a wonderfully intimate safari-tented room with a private ensuite bathroom, and yes, even a shower! The lodge also offers a comfortable lounge (perfect for chatting with the other guests over a drink or two), a swimming pool, shaded deck area, dining tent and WiFi. You can even book a massage treatment... sign us up!

Kruger National Park tour reviews

Kruger National Park FAQs

Trips from 1 January 2023 onwards

From 1 January 2023, Intrepid will no longer require travelers to provide proof of vaccination against COVID-19 (excluding all Polar trips and select adventure cruises). However, we continue to strongly recommend that all Intrepid travelers and leaders get vaccinated to protect themselves and others.

Specific proof of testing or vaccination may still be required by your destination or airline. Please ensure you check travel and entry requirements carefully.

Learn more about Intrepid's COVID-19 policy

South Africa is a seasonal destination, with a marked hot and steamy summer from December to February and a colder, drier winter from June to August. The best time for Big Five sightings in Kruger is during the dry season when vegetation is thinner and animals congregate near watering holes. It can be chilly in South Africa's open-sided vehicles in the mornings and evenings, so layering up is a must!

Safaris during the wet season are still an option, but it can be more difficult to spot game through tall grasses and lush vegetation, and daily rainstorms have been known to disrupt travel plans and decrease visibility. On the upside, November-March is birthing season for some animals, so you might have a chance to spot adorable pups, cubs, and calves.

Read more about the best time to go on safari.

We can’t guarantee you’ll spot the Big 5, but you’d have to be seriously unlucky to see no animals at all. On our safaris, you’ll explore some of the best game parks and national reserves in the world. These protected areas are filled with a huge variety of species and your expert driver and local leader will be on hand to point you in the right direction (literally).

The “Big 5” used to refer to the five big game animals that were the most difficult to hunt. Now that most shooting is done on a camera, the Big 5 are the most exciting animals to spot while on safari: the lion, leopard, rhinoceros, elephant, and Cape buffalo.

Loose, light layers in neutral colors are the best attire for a safari (dark colors will get hot in the sun and can attract the Tsetse fly). You’ll also want a sun hat, some good walking shoes, a camera, sunscreen and bug spray. For more details, check out our ultimate Africa packing guide

It depends on the trip style you've chosen. On our Basix trips, you’ll have a cook traveling with you who'll whip up a variety of local and Western-style dishes. Along your route, your cook will stop to purchase fresh, locally sourced food for your meals. You can expect a variety of things for breakfast like fruit, eggs, toast and cereal; lunch is often sandwiches and salads; and dinner is usually a hearty meal like pasta, curry or a BBQ.

On our Original and Comfort trips there'll be more meals at camps and lodges along the way. One thing's for sure: you definitely won't be going hungry on safari!

Most of the permanent tented camps will have private bathrooms with flushing toilets and showers with warm water.

Many of the campsites we stay at have communal facilities with flushing toilets and showers with warm water. However, in some of the more remote areas, there may only be basic facilities (toilets and cold running water).

Some of our hotels and campsites will have Wi-Fi, however, internet and phone access may be limited in more remote areas. But you won’t think twice about emails and social media when you’re watching a pride of lions prowl through long grass or enjoying a drink around the campfire with your group.

We are committed to making travel accessible to everyone, so we will work with you to assess whether you will be able to complete an existing itinerary, or whether we will be able to make reasonable adjustments to meet your needs before you book. Please see our accessible travel page for more information. 

Read more about travel in South Africa