Your Guide to Kruger Park Accommodation

[Updated June 2020]

Going on safari can be affordable. The Kruger National Park is a treasure South Africans can enjoy from under just R300 per night. There are camping options, permanent safari tents, luxury lodges, cottages, huts and guest houses. Most of the facilities come with fully-equipped kitchens and a braai area. The main camps generally have a large capacity and facilities such as a Mugg ‘n Bean restaurant, a food and curio shop and a petrol pump. Those seeking a quieter, less commercial experience can stay in the smaller, more rustic bush camps which form satellites around the main camps. We bring you useful tips on Kruger Park accommodation and what sort of game you are more likely to see in each part of the park.

For the true bushbabies

If you truly love getting away from it all and no electricity sounds like bliss and not a chore then Balule Camp is for you. Situated on the Olifants River about 6 kilometres from Olifants main rest camp, your evenings will be lit by stars and paraffin lamps and you will fall asleep to the sounds of hippos on the river. There are 15 campsites without power points and six budget huts with no electricity, no ceiling fans or windows, only serenity and stars!

Also read:

Spectacular river views at Olifants

Olifants is my personal favourite with its wrap-around views of the majestic Olifants River. Make sure to book a bungalow on the periphery of the camp for an incredible river view from your bed. Each bungalow comes with an open-air kitchen where you can watch the elephants frolicking at the river while you’re frying breakfast.

For the jet setters

Screen Shot 2016-05-25 at 4.17.21 AM

Courtesy of aimeeleemackay Instagram

The capital of the Kruger National Park, Skukuza, makes perfect sense for those seeking a luxe weekend away in the Lowveld. Skukuza has every amenity you might want, such as a shop, ATM, internet cafe, restaurant, library, fuel station and more. Skukuza Airport also makes sense for those heading to glamorous Lion Sands or Londolozi Tree Camp.

skakuza deck over sabie river

Courtesy of chrisdale12 Instagram

Serenity at Tamboti Tented Camp

tamboti tented camp

Courtesy of intothekruger Instagram

Tamboti (a satellite of Orpen in Central Kruger) is the only exclusively tented camp in the park. There are 30 safari tents scattered about, remote and beautiful set against the dry Timbavati River.

For those seeking big cat sightings

Screen Shot 2016-05-25 at 4.10.52 AM

Courtesy of mitch1699 Instagram

Satara Restcamp is the best spot for those hoping to see the magnificent lion, leopard and cheetah in action.

For a rustic bush wedding or family gathering

Satara is situated just 44 kilometres north of the beautiful Roodewal Bush Lodge. There is enough space for 18 people and the camp needs to be reserved en bloc. Spot game from the camp’s unique game viewing platform.

Community-orientated Punda Maria

communal braai punda maria

Courtesy of intothekruger via Instagram

Northern Punda Maria is perfect for large families or anyone who is a fan of communal braai areas and shared verandah spaces. It also has a bird hide in the camp facing the water hole, unique for a rest camp, which is a paradise for avid birders. If you favour more privacy, the tree-filled camping area will suit you well.
bird hide punda maria

Courtesy of intothekruger via Instagram

Luxurious Shingwedzi Main Rest Camp

luxurious shingwedzi

Courtesy of intothekruger via Instagram

The Shingwedzi bungalows have a lovely luxurious feel to them. Shingwedzi is also perfect for sundowners and dinner at the restaurant on the beautiful Shingwedzi river. You are in prime elephant country here.

Leafy Letaba – for the elephant lovers and river sundowners

Screen Shot 2016-05-25 at 4.46.46 AM

Courtesy of intothekruger Instagram

Letaba literally means “river of sand” however this camp is the exact opposite as it is an oasis of trees. The elephant museum at tree-filled Letaba will fascinate the youngsters.

Restful Mopani


Courtesy of intothekruger Instagram

Take in the fantastic views of Pioneer Dam, especially at sunset, and there’s a bird hide nearby.
fire at mopani rest camp

Courtesy of christoff_bothma Instagram

Spot rhinos at Pretoriuskop

pretoriuskop pool

Courtesy of travellers_life11 Instagram

Southern Pretoriuskop holds the title of oldest rest camp in the park. It is here you are most likely to spot an endangered rhino, so have your binoculars ready!

Getting there

Depending on which part of the park you’re visiting and from where you’re coming it might be worth driving to Kruger because the roads are in good condition and it is only half a day’s drive from Johannesburg. Once in the park, you’ll be glad you brought a vehicle as you’ll have the freedom to do your own game drives and determine your own itinerary. Once at Skukuza it is possible to go on daily game drives and night drives as often as you like.

Suggested routes:

Central Kruger, Phalaborwa Gate: 6-hour drive from Johannesburg along the N1. Use the Phalaborwa gate if you’re going to: Olifants, Letaba, Orpen Satara, Bulela, Roodewal Bush Camp, Taboti Tented Camp and Mopani.

Upper Kruger, Punda Maria Gate: 6-hour-and 20-minute drive along the N1 to the Punda Maria gate. Use the Punda Maria gate to visit Punda Maria and Shingwedzi.

Lower Kruger, Malelane Gate/ Paul Kruger Gate: Just a 4-hour drive to the Malelane gate. Use the Paul Kruger Gate if you’re going to Skukuza, Use the Malelane Gate if you’re going to Malelane or Crocodile Bridge.

Kruger Park map

That’s a wrap of some of the popular spots for Kruger Park accommodation. There are also plenty of options outside the park, but if you really want to get that cosy bush feeling, it’s so worth booking a few nights at any of these camps.

Let us know where your favourite spot to stay is in the comments below.

Don’t forget to sign up to our newsletter to stay on top of upcoming flight deals, travel tips and much more.

All information on this blog page was correct at the time of publishing and may change at any time without prior notice. Travelstart will not be held liable for loss or inconvenience resulting from the use of out-dated or incorrectly noted information.

Our Readers Comments

  1. Hi there,

    Thanks for reaching out.

    The closest gate might be Malelane.

    You welcome to go onto the National Parks website to get the most up to date information on Gates, rest camps, opening times etc

  2. We are planning to visit Kruger departing from Durban. Which is the closest gate we can use

  3. Hi Keith

    You’ll be able to travel from other provinces to the Kruger National Park now. Especially now that it rained in the Southern part of the Park near Malelane.
    I recently stayed at Jacana River lodge, and it was amazing!! I would certainly recommend a visit.

  4. Hi Akhona,

    Thank you for reaching out to us and showing interest in the blog information.

    You can check out for information on how to get to the Kruger National Park and then when at the park sign up for daily game drives. For more information on the daily game drives check on the blog under Getting there and the blue highlighted link Skukuza for further information.

    I hope this is helpful and wish you a wonderful day further.

    Kind Regards,

  5. Hello.

    What’s the best thing to do at Kruger if you have no car and can’t drive?

  6. Hi Keith,

    Thanks for getting in touch.

    At this take inter-provincial travel is not permitted during level 3, unless its for essential travel.

    Below I have provided a link to our site on Essential travel. Feel free to have a look.

    Here we provide the relevant information:

    Who can travel
    Travel requirements &
    Printable official travel forms

    We do ask that you check Governments website for the most up to date information. As this could change at anytime.

  7. Hi there,

    Thanks for the great question.

    I’m afraid inter-provincial travel is not permitted during level 3 unless its for essential travel.

    You welcome to have a look out our Essential Travel landing page:

    Here we show all the relevant information:

    Who can travel
    Travel requirements &
    Printable official travel forms

    We do ask that you check Governments website for the most up to date information. As this could change at anytime.

  8. Is travel from other provinces permitted in order to visit the Kruger Park?

  9. Can you advise whether Capetown residents can book and travel by car again to Kruger Park.

Have something to say...