Activities,  South Africa

The perfect itinerary for my incredible Kruger National Park safari

Ready to explore the most famous national park in South Africa? The recommended itinerary for your safari at kruger national park is to stay in the South of the reserve where there is the most water point therefore the most chance of seeing animals. The circuit lasts 2 days in autonomy in your rental car (the roads are paved inside the park) and allows you to explore the whole region to maximize your chances of see the Big 5 (the 5 animals most coveted by tourists). This article describes the Day 1 program. The rest is in the article on the Day 2 program that you will find here.

The ideal route to visit the southern part of Kruger National Park: from Skukuza to Malelane

Day 1 itinerary at Kruger National Park in South Africa: from Skukuza to Lower Sabie to Malelane Gate

It is advisable to start your itinerary in the Kruger National Park early as the animals go out in the morning and late afternoon. Head to the Paul Kruger gate and enter the largest reserve in South Africa. For your first day, the circuit lasts about 7 hours and goes through Skukuza, Lower sabie and ends up at Malelane Gate.

A leopard along our best route to visit Kruger National Park in South Africa

Do not hesitate to stop to eat or drink in the areas on your way (Restcamp) because they have maps where tourists indicate where they have recently seen animals. It is very useful for finding leopards. One last important thing: don't forget the binoculars.

Rhinos along our best route to visit Kruger National Park in South Africa

Personally, from day one at Kruger National Park we saw the Big 5 following this route. It took the pressure off us for the second day of the circuit! We were very lucky because we saw a leopard sleeping on a tree 10m from the road with its antelope hanging from the branches for dinner ...

Gazelles along our best route to visit Kruger National Park in South Africa

Tips for staying at Kruger National Park near the Porte Malelane

the good low-cost deal for accommodation near Malelane gate in Kruger National Park is the Hhusha Hhusha B&B

For accommodation after your first part of the route in Kruger Park, the good inexpensive plan near Malelane gate is the B&B Hhusha Hhusha. It is a quality haven of peace at the gates of the Kruger National Park with a very pleasant swimming pool to relax after so much driving under the African sun! We highly recommend it further as the hosts are very friendly and welcoming.

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Another much more upscale (and much more expensive) option near the Malelane gate is Buhala Lodge.

The best hotel to stay near Malelane gate at Kruger National Park in South Africa is the Buhala Lodge

If you have not seen all the animals wanted during your tour, you still have a chance to see them at sunset because they come to drink along the river that runs along the lodge. Guaranteed magic moment. If you can afford it, choose the rooms with a view of the Kruger river, you will not regret it. On site, you can relax in the hotel spa and if you haven't had enough, the night safaris are not to be missed. You set off again for Kruger National Park in a jeep with a guide when it gets dark to try and see the felines hunting. For us, the night safari is the best paying activity in the national park even if we are not always lucky ...

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If the Buhala Lodge is not in your budget but you still want to see animals drink along the river at dusk then the best plan 500 meters from Malelane Gate (literally) is the Hamiltons Lodge & Restaurant.

The best place to stay near Malelane gate in Kruger National Park is the Hamiltons Lodge & Restaurant.

Half price as the Buhala Lodge for the same view of the Kruger Park river! (But more expensive than the unbeatable price of B&B Hhusha Hhusha)

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NB : Find the program for the next day in our article The best route to visit the Kruger National Park day 2/2.

If you wish to explore the Kruger National Park on a luxury safari you can also consult our article The best private reserves in Kruger Park in South Africa.

Our tips for a successful trip:

  • Book your flight in advance to take advantage of the best prices

Airline ticket prices are cheaper when booked 6 to 3 months in advance. To be sure of getting the best price, we recommend using a flight comparator such as Skyscanner.

  • Book your accommodation before departure to have access to the best offers

You will always find a room at the last minute, but the best located accommodations are necessarily those that are always full. That's why it's best to book your accommodations as soon as possible. We recommend going through Agoda which offers the best prices. In addition, this site allows you to be easily reimbursed in the event of cancellation.

  • Skip the line to visit the most popular attractions

By booking your excursions in advance on Civitatis, you do not queue on site to get your tickets. Less time waiting = more time enjoying your vacation! Plus, their guided tours ensure you have a knowledgeable guide who speaks your language.

  • Use a comparator to find a rental car at the lowest price

Save yourself hours of research with ou These comparators are the best for finding rental cars at the lowest prices.

  • Don't leave without travel insurance

For us, it is unimaginable to leave without travel insurance. We recommend the one proposed by AXIS. This is the best guaranteed way to leave with peace of mind. However, consider taking out additional specialized insurance for activities not covered (such as skiing or scuba diving).

  • Want more information about your destination?

Do not hesitate to complete the information present on this blog with a travel Guide. You can take it in your luggage and refer to it throughout your vacation.

To find out more about South Africa:

Itinéterre is a travel blog written by a team of expatriates and locals. They share their experiences so that you can enjoy the best tours in their countries. Their advice will help you plan your vacation easily as if a local is accompanying you!