A Guide for First Time Kruger Visitors

A Guide for First Time Kruger Visitors

A Guide for First Time Kruger Visitors

Those who are first time visitors to the Kruger National Park are truly in for one of the most life changing experiences. This park is the stuff of legends and it is often featured on the must-see places lists as well as being a bucket list adventure of note.

Planning your trip to the Kruger National Park will present you with a myriad of options. You can choose to book a safari with a touring company like Royal Safaris, or you can drive yourself. Both have their pros and cons, and both will have an effect on your budget. When you begin your planning, you should do so with a clear but flexible budget in mind and it is important that you make sure you have researched all of your available options, and come up with an idea of how you’d like to see this world famous park.

In our quick guide, we cover the basics about what you need to know while planning your trip to the Kruger Park for the very first time. Our tips are helpful for both self-drive safaris and guided ones.

Plan your time of year

Summer or winter? There are benefits to visiting at either time and it’s really a matter of preference. Many park guests find that autumn, winter and spring, which runs from April to October, are the best times to visit as the intense heat that characterises summer has not yet arrived. Summers in the park can be quite overwhelming as it can be rather uncomfortable for most.  During the summer months the vegetation in the park can be quite over grown, which makes it incredibly difficult to spot animals.

What would you like to see?

Planning your route can, in a way, help you plan what you see. Keeping in mind that the animals go where they please making it impossible to know exactly what you’ll see, there are some places in the park that are home to more of one kind of species.

At entrance gates and rest camps, you’ll find sightings boards marking what has been seen and where. You can then drive these roads in search of those animals, and if you are lucky, they will still be hanging around.

Planning your route is also important for other reasons. Certain areas of the park are known to be more prone to malaria infected mosquitoes while other regions are almost malaria free. The routes you choose can also take you to watering holes and rivers (where animals are known to frequent) and you have the opportunity to take a trip to historical landmarks and memorials.

Where will you stay?

If you are going on a Kruger Park safari with a company, your accommodation arrangements should be included as a part of the package, if you are spending more than a day in the park. Many safari companies choose Hazyview as the place to accommodate guests. If you are driving yourself and intend to stay in the park, there are over 12 rest camps to choose from while there is also private accommodation and luxury accommodation in the park.

Getting there

Whether you’re driving or flying, the park is only 3 hours away from Johannesburg, and depending on the entrance you’d like to use, the park is an hour’s drive from Nelspruit and Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport. The park is easily accessible and there are countless transfer companies offering a ride.

Royal Safaris takes the hassle out of organising a Kruger National Park safari and we offer a wider range of safari options than most of our associates. With us, you can enjoy a morning drive with breakfast or an evening drive with a memorable braai and sundowners. The choice of how you experience the park is up to you.

The Best Tips For Your First Time On A Safari

The Best Tips For Your First Time On A Safari

The Best Tips For Your First Time On A Safari

The Kruger National Park is without a doubt one of the best places to travel to, not just in South Africa, but in the world. A visit here is one that needs to be properly planned and entirely thought out. And that means doing your research in order to ensure that you have all of the best tips at your aid.

Whether you are looking forward to enjoying a morning safari with breakfast or an enviable evening drive and dinner, you can do with a few helpful tips to make your time here more enjoyable and less stressful. From travelling documents to the right footwear and even what accessories to have, the list of tips can help to ensure that you have a trip that you will never forget.

The Kruger National Park remains the best place to visit in South Africa and so many pieces of advice are floating around out there, that it can be difficult to pinpoint which is the best of the best. Sometimes the advice that you need comes directly from those who have been to the Kruger and done the whole safari thing.

So which of the hundreds of safari tips circulating the internet are the best? Let’s break them down for you.

  • Pack your binoculars and your camera

The Kruger is as far from a zoo as you could get. You won’t necessarily be seeing animals up close. Instead, some of the best sightings are far away in the distance, away from your safari vehicle. Having binoculars on your person will allow you to spot and watch those distant animals. And having a camera will allow you to capture the moment. We recommend investing in a quality camera. Some photographers will say that the DSLR is the better option, but whatever you are most comfortable with is what matters the most.

  • Respect the park rules, respect your guide

As a wild place, your safety depends on following all of the park rules and following whatever it is that your guide says. You can either Google the park rules or collect them at any one of the park’s gates. The rules are to be respected throughout the safari. As for your guide, they know more about the park and its inhabitants than you do. This means, for instance, that they are aware of when an elephant is unhappy and about to charge the vehicle. Whatever it is that they tell you to do could very well save your life.

  • Protect yourself from the sun

Regardless of the time of year you choose to visit the Kruger National Park, you should bring something to protect your skin. A hat is a good choice but it’s often not enough, even in the winter months. Pack a powerful SPF lotion and apply it as often as necessary.

  • Be realistic

As the Kruger is a nature reserve and not a zoo, you need to be realistic about what you can expect to see. Some say that it is better to not have a list of animals, birds or anything else that you hope to see but to rather accept sightings as they come. You’ll probably miss some animals, but you’ll also see animals that you might not have expected to see.

  • Be respectful

To the guide, to the park officials, to your fellow guests. There is no place for rudeness in Africa. As one of the friendliest countries, you will find that those you engage with have a pleasant and welcoming demeanour. Keep your manners in mind and simply enjoy your time in Africa.

The Kruger Park safari is one of the most exhilarating and unforgettable experiences you will ever have. Book your tour of the Kruger with Royal Safaris.

5 Best Ways To See The Kruger

5 Best Ways To See The Kruger

5 Best Ways To See The Kruger

The Kruger National Park is one of the world’s best loved nature reserves. Home to all kinds of African animals, birds and reptiles, the best way to explore this land is by embarking on a Kruger National Park safari. For some guests, enjoying breakfast or lunch in the park is enough while others prefer to have the best of both worlds, by heading out early in the morning for breakfast in the park, before indulging in a full day safari.

Safaris can be enjoyed in one of five ways. And each guest has their own favourite way to travel.

  • The Self-Drive Safari

A Kruger Park self-drive is a great way to see the park. The advantages of such a trip include driving along those roads you want to explore, rather than only travelling where the safari company takes you. You could say that the self-drive safari gives you more independence. Whether you are visiting from overseas and hiring a car to take you into the park, or if you are a local driving yourself through the Kruger, you’ll be itinerary free and have all the time to explore. Depending on how much time you’ll be spending in the Kruger, you may well end up travelling the entire park, stopping off at all of the monuments and lookout points as you go.

The biggest downside of the self-drive experience is that you can get rather tired quite quickly. You will spend most of the day driving yourself around and as a result, you might not get to spend all that time sightseeing. You still have to pay attention to the road after all.

  • Open Vehicle Safari

All those open vehicles you see in the pictures?  They are actually the norm here in Africa. These open safari vehicles provide the right height to see over the vegetation which grows thickly here in the Kruger, while it also allows you to really take in all of those memorable smells. One of the best parts about hopping on board an open safari vehicle is that you won’t be doing any of the driving. Instead, you can kick back and relax. Safari vehicles are driven by expert guides who also have a keen eye for spotting even the most elusive of wildlife. This is the plus of any guided safari. You can be sure to see all kinds of animals by the time your time in the park comes to an end.

  • The Closed Safari Vehicle

If you don’t want the wind in your hair, or if we really can’t convince you that a cheetah won’t pounce on you, then you might want to consider the closed safari vehicle option. You’ll still have that once in a lifetime safari experience, but you’ll have it in the comfort of air conditioning.  The visibility from these vehicles might not always be what you expect, and you might have to go on a shared safari, but you’ll still have a most memorable time.

  • Shared Kruger Park Safari

Ideal for anyone on a budget or who has no problem sharing their time with a group of strangers, there is something comforting and exciting about sharing a Kruger Park safari. Sometimes the best experience is that which is shared with a group of people who are all looking to get the same thing out of their time here. Lifelong friendships can be forged when on a shared tour of the Kruger National Park.

  • A Private Kruger Park Safari

Finally, the last great way to see the Kruger is to embark on a private Kruger Park safari. Ideal for family groups or friends looking for a unique holiday, the private tour is the perfect trip. You won’t have to do any of the driving. Instead, you will be able to enjoy the same journey as those who you share it with.

Royal Safaris has some of the most wonderful Kruger Park safaris available to guests visiting from all of the world. Book your tour with us today!

The Kruger National Park: A Short Introduction

The Kruger National Park: A Short Introduction

The Kruger National Park: A Short Introduction

Royal Safaris has a unique approach to the Kruger safari experience.

While we give guests the option of doing the traditional safari, our breakfast trips to the Kruger will give you an unforgettable journey into one of the world’s most enduring and beloved nature conservations.

We see only the surface of the park; the complexity of the thousands of plants and animal species in the park is exceptionally complex. Visitors of all kinds will find something to love about the Kruger, and when like turns to love, it’s enough to bring guests back again and again.

The Kruger National Park is situated in the North-Eastern corner of South Africa and expands into neighbouring conservation areas in Mozambique and Zimbabwe. The park is also surrounded by private nature reserves who have an open border agreement with the Kruger.

A huge space of untouched African wild, the Kruger National Park is a piece of time locked away and preserved for us to enjoy. The animals living here have lived the same lives for thousands of years, untroubled by humanity and its ever-changing nature. The moment you enter any of the gates, you can feel a shift in the atmosphere. Suddenly all of your day to day thoughts and the stresses that are ever present with modern living simply disappears and there is a sense of tranquillity. There is no sound of traffic or hooting cars; no shouts or loud music. And the parks very strict speed limit will force you to take it easy.

Bigger than Israel and about as big as Wales, it was the quick thinking of a group of men that led to the creation of the Kruger. The park has met challenges and has overcome impossible odds during the more than 100 years since its inception.

A Short History

The Kruger National Park is in many ways a symbol of love for nature. The Kruger was founded as a place where the area’s dwindling wildlife would have a sanctuary from hunters, who at the time were quickly destroying animal populations in their desire for trophies. At the time, those hunters could not have appreciated that the area in which they hunted was far more diverse than anything they could have possibly imagined. Perhaps, if they had known, they might have thought about their actions a little differently.

The park is named after Paul Kruger, the one time president of the Transvaal, but it took more than one man to establish the conservancy, and over the years it has taken a board of committed directors, planners and other officials to keep the legacy alive.

Originally, the Kruger Park was named the Sabie Game Reserve. At first, few guests were permitted entrance into the park as there was always a strong emphasis on limiting the number of people in allowed into this habitat. Paul Kruger, while a founder, had very little influence over what the park would become. The one person who had the most profound effect on what the Kruger would become is James Stevenson-Hamilton.

The Wisdom of a Warden

As the parks first caretaker, Stevenson-Hamilton was a warden for 44 years and turned the park into a “Great Lady”. Although at first, he was just as reluctant as the rest of the board to admit guests to the park, he would eventually see that the very survival of the park would depend on allowing people to be a part of the experience.

Just like most of the planning that has gone into the founding of the park, the process of making the park accessible to guests was one of careful planning. The thought was why have a place filled with animals if you would not be using the reserve as a place to educate? The Kruger would be a great place to teach people about the unique and beautiful animals.

Although faced with many opponents who would have happily seen the Kruger completely destroyed, Stevenson-Hamilton started promoting tourism and encouraging visitors. His approach earned him more supporters and soon the public was excited about having the opportunity to visit this previously off-limits location.

Finding the perfect balance of visitors would, and continues to be, key to the preservation of the Kruger. Allowing uncontrolled numbers into the park would upset the ecosystem to the point that it could be destroyed. To this day, the Kruger has a strict limit on the number of guests allowed entry.

The earliest visitors to the park were quite the adventurers! The accommodation was beyond rustic, and often the security around the camp would be the bare minimum. The huts had no windows, so you can only imagine the number of insects coming in!

Visitors to the park remained low until South Africa enjoyed a boom after the Second World War. After that, the park became extremely popular. Accommodation improved and became more abundant, and transport also became more accessible and more reliable. The Kruger National Park has been growing in leaps and bounds ever since.

Kruger Park Safaris

The single best way to explore this fantastic nature conservation park is by going on Kruger Park safaris. Trips to the Kruger in the company of experienced guides can give you the very best way to see and learn more about the park. At Royal Safaris we take a different approach to the Kruger Park safari. We have the conventional approach, which consists of day tours of the park consisting of morning and afternoon drives, and we have those special safaris that can be ideal for romantic getaways and those wanting to mark a special occasion.

These are some of our current safaris:

We also offer other tours of areas around the Kruger National Park, including giving guests the opportunity to see the Panorama Route.

The Kruger has one of the richest histories and one of the most diverse landscapes. Come and experience a once in a lifetime trip. Book your tour with Royal Safaris Transfers and Tours.