Apart from the magnificent wildlife and birdlife to witness at Kruger National Park, visitors can also experience 4×4 adventures, mountain biking and even a few rounds of golf nearby.
Why you should visit: Whether you’re a day visitor embarking on a self-drive safari or overnighting at one of the camps or lodges, game drives are the main attraction.
Travellers on a self-drive holiday are advised to check the sightings map at the reception areas. These are regularly updated daily with the latest sightings.
The best time for game viewing is early morning (just after sunrise) and late afternoon into the evening.
Some lodges include game drives in their rates, so overnight visitors can take advantage of this.
With experienced rangers and drivers communicating via radio, a guided game drive is the best way to increase your chance of great wildlife sightings. Day visitors can also opt for a guided game drive with the park’s “park and ride” scheme. It’s only available in the Marula region, however. Access is via the Numbi, Phabeni and Kruger gates.
Why you should visit: To get truly up close and personal with the wildlife, nothing beats a walking safari.
Many of the camps offer early morning and afternoon guided walks. Accompanied by two armed field guides, groups of up to eight people will be taken out of the camp to walk through the surrounding wilderness areas.
Guides know the areas well, so it is the best way to have amazing sightings (on foot!) but also to learn about the flora and fauna. No children under 12 are allowed.
How much does it cost: Contact reception at the camp for information.
Backpack through the Kruger
Why you should visit: Didn’t know you could backpack through the Kruger National Park? Well, in some areas, you most certainly can.
Three backpacking trails operate in the untouched wilderness areas of the park: the Lonely Bull Trail, the Olifants Trail and the Mphongolo Trail.
Trails are usually three nights and four days and the group is always accompanied by two professional trail rangers.
The routes are proper backpacking trails, however, guests will have to be prepared to carry their camping equipment and food and to cook on gas stoves. There are no overnight huts and hikers must sleep inside their tents for safety reasons. This is leave-behind-only-footprints hiking at its best. No toilets, bins or other facilities are provided.
Usually, a minimum of four people, and a maximum of eight, are allowed per trail.
How much does it cost: Enquire for pricing.
Overnight 4×4 adventure
Why you should visit: Adventure seekers can choose to self-drive an overnight 4×4 trail.
The Mafunyane 4×4 Eco-Trail is a four-day, self-catering 4×4 trail that covers 270km in the northwestern section of the Kruger National park. Bring your own vehicle.
You’ll be accompanied by a trail guide but participants are responsible for their catering and must bring their camping equipment. Overnight sites are basic with a fireplace, eco-friendly toilets and a shower (heat your water on the fire).
How to get there: Ask about pricing.
Why you should visit: If you’re heading to the Olifants camp, mountain bikers can hit the trails for a completely different game viewing and bushveld experience. Mountain bikes and supplies are provided (although guests can bring their own if preferred) and guests are accompanied by two armed field rangers at all times.
Choose from a morning or afternoon ride of about three to four hours.
Very experienced mountain bikers can also request full-day trails.
How much does it cost: Call the Olifants Camp on 013-735-6606/7, for pricing and booking information.
Skukuza Golf Course
Why you should visit: It’s not often golfers get the opportunity to tee off with the added challenge of a wandering hippo or baboon added to the mix. The Skukuza Golf Course was originally built to entertain the on-site staff but is now open to the public.
The course lies on the outskirts of the Skukuza Rest Camp, the largest camp in the park that lies on the Sabie River.
The course is not fenced, so keep your eyes peeled for hippo, warthog and others. It’s designed for all levels so it’s a unique, fun experience for everyone.