If there is a stage in your stay where you can have fun without having to regret it, it's good at the Kruger! Instead of visiting the park independently, you can opt for one of the many private reserves offering luxury safaris. Take our word for it: this unique experience is definitely worth it! These reserves are luxurious privatized areas inside the Kruger which offer a lot of advantages and whose only drawback is their price (although some are affordable : see our selection below).
Pros and Cons of Kruger National Park Private Reserves
|Visit of the national park in autonomy||Grand luxury safari in private reserve|
|Benefits||• Inexpensive (around 28 dollars per person per day to enter the Kruger park)|
• Free to do the circuit you want.
|• Private reserves are much smaller than the Kruger so you are much more likely to see the Big 5.
• You have a guide who is a wealth of knowledge but above all who has a radio where they communicate the places where the animals are.
• You are in a luxurious lodge straight out of your dreams. It is ideal for a honeymoon or a wedding anniversary.
|Drawbacks||• You must stay on paved roads so you can only see animals near the road.|
• As soon as a feline is found on the edge of a road like a sleeping leopard on a tree, then a huge plug forms and you can get stuck for a while because the roads are not wide.
• You see everything from behind a window.
|• You are not independent and do your safari in jeeps.
• More expensive than the self-drive although the prices are all inclusive (accommodation, safari excursion, drinks and meals).
List of the best private reserves in Kruger Park in South Africa
Here is our selection of best private reserves in Kruger Park in South Africa. The list could have been longer but we have only selected THE best private reserve for each price category: from the very high-end to the good accessible plan.
1. Royal Malewane private reserve: the best lodge in a safari park in the world
Le Royal malewane is the crème de la crème of the best lodges in a private reserve. But not only at Kruger National Park in South Africa… It is considered to be THE best safari lodge in the world. Just that. So no need to say more. Go ahead with your eyes closed.Check availability
2. Lion Sands River Lodge: Top of the Best Private Reserves in Kruger National Park
Lion Sands River Lodge - Sabi Sand is part of the best private reserves to stay in Kruger National Park in South Africa. We recommend it because it is cheaper than Royal Malewane for a service that is always very upscale: massage at the top of a tree with a panoramic view of the savannah, starred meal under the stars, room with bathtub overlooking the points of water where bush animals drink, etc. The list would be too long to finish. Also, it is located close to the Shukuza gate, so you can get there quickly from Graskop if you are coming from the Blyde river canyon.Check availability
3. Lukimbi Safari Lodge: the private reserve with the best value for money in Kruger National Park
Lukimbi Safari Lodge is located in the South Kruger (which is great if you are continuing your route to Swaziland). It is the private reserve with the best quality price report from Kruger National Park and it offers high-end safaris at much more affordable prices than the Royal Malewane or the Lion Sands.Check availability
4. Hoyo-Hoyo Safari Lodge: the best deal for staying in a private reserve in South Africa
Even cheaper, Hoyo-Hoyo Safari Lodge offers all the advantages of a private reserve without breaking the bank. The lodge is by far the best tip from the Kruger National Park in South Africa and we highly recommend it to anyone who has scared the prices of the previous 4 private reserves!Check availability
WARNING : All of these Kruger National Park private reserves are in great demand but have very few rooms. It is therefore advisable to book well in advance.
Our opinion between stays in private reserves and the self-tour in the main Kruger reserve
If you can afford it, we recommend that you stay on a private reserve for two days. This is warranty to see all the animals in no time. Discovering the Kruger National Parc in luxury safari mode is a magical experience that we wish everyone ... That said, discovering the immensity of the park by going on a self-drive safari is also a special adventure (see our tour recommendation in our two articles'The best route to visit Kruger National Park day 1/2'and'The best route to visit Kruger National Park day 2/2'). Having done both, we recommend that all travelers divide their time at the Kruger in half :
If you have 2 days in the park, do one day on your own and the other on a private reserve. If you have 3 days at the Kruger, do 2 days in private reserve and 1 day on your own (or vice versa if your budget does not allow it).