_Kruger National Park
About a 6 hour drive, or a 1 hour flight, from Johannesburg, Kruger National Park is South Africa's largest and most famous national park.
With nearly 2 million hectares, and an enormous variety of species (336 trees, 49 fish, 34 amphibians, 114 reptiles, 507 birds and 147 mammals), you can ensconce yourself in Africa's wilderness with ease.
Bordering the park to the west is a number of private game reserves, with luxury lodges and exceptional game viewing.
Inside the main park, visitors can drive themselves, and have access to remarkably low priced accommodation options.
Big 5 and More
Very few places on earth can compare with Kruger National Park's concentration or diversity of flora and fauna. On every game drive you can see something different, and besides the "Big 5" of lion, elephant, leopard, rhino and bufallo, prepare youselves to see zebras, giraffes, impala, kudu, hippo, hyena, cheetah, wildebeest, eagles, owls, eagle, kingfishers, etc etc etc etc etc!
The landscapes are as diverse, with mopane bushland to golden savannah to rocky mountains and flowing rivers.
Self Drive Safaris
Unlike most game reserves outside of South Africa, Kruger National Park is very condusive to self-driving tourists, and in this way offer some exceptional value experiences. Inside the main park, the SANParks Restcamps provide everything you need, with some simple, comfortable, self-catering accommodation, and you can be free to explore the park on your own.
The restcamps also have restauarants, shops, swimming pools and their own safari vehicles which offer day and night game drives if you feel like being guided.
Private Game Reserves
On the western border of the park, the fences have been dropped, and a number of private game reserves have been incorporated into the main park.
These private reserves offer an exclusive experience, with luxury lodges, virtually guaranteed Big 5 sightings, open sided game viewing vehicles, and the ability to go off-road, meaning you get a lot closer to the animals you find.
The private reserves of the Timbavati, Sabi Sands, Mala Mala and Londolozi have become world famous for their luxurious products and incredible sightings.
Luxury Camps and Lodges
While not invented in Kruger Park, the idea of luxurious safaris was definitely perfected there, with the private reserves delivering accommodation options that are hard to match.
From exhorbitantly stocked wine cellars to private plunge pools and jacuzzi's, no expense has been spared nor detail overlooked wth some of the lodges, and you can feel like you are relaxing more in the lavishness of Dubai than Africa, were it not for the call of the wild, and the buzz of the bush.
Non-Luxury Camps and Lodges
Not everyone is looking for all of the creature comforts of the high-end lodges, and the great thing about Kruger is that it caters for all tastes. For those preferring a back to basics experience, there are the SANParks restcamps, with basic bungalows as well as excellently maintained public campsites.
A number of companies offer group tours which provide you with any necessary camping equipment, if you are not prepared for a self-drive.