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The best hotels at Kruger From breathtaking bushveld retreats
to thrilling safari camps

Kruger Stunning wildlife encounters at Kruger National Park

Embark on a thrilling safari in the heart of South Africa, where sprawling savannas meet majestic mountains. Kruger National Park, a haven for iconic wildlife, beckons with unforgettable encounters. From the Big Five to a kaleidoscope of birds, witness nature's grandeur unfold. Explore vibrant ecosystems teeming with life, each offering a unique adventure. With an abundance of luxury lodges at Kruger, finding the perfect one can seem like a challenging task. That’s why our team of travel experts done all the legwork for you, thoroughly researching and hand-picking the 10 Best lodges and camps inside the park and the adjacent private reserves.

Thomas Stadler By Thomas Stadler
Updated November 2022

Enjoy Kruger!

The Best Kruger Safari Lodges

All our listings were hand-picked and experienced firsthand, so we can genuinely recommend them.

Jock Safari Lodge

Kruger National Park (South)

Jock Safari Lodge Jock Safari Lodge

Jock Safari Lodge Jock Safari Lodge

Jock Safari Lodge Jock Safari Lodge

Jock Safari Lodge Jock Safari Lodge

Jock Safari Lodge Jock Safari Lodge

Jock Safari Lodge Jock Safari Lodge

Jock Safari Lodge Jock Safari Lodge

Jock Safari Lodge Jock Safari Lodge

Outdoor Bathtub at Jock Safari Lodge Jock Safari Lodge

Jock Safari Lodge, the pioneering private concession within the Kruger National Park, is a tribute to the legendary tale of "Jock of the Bushveld", a local folklore hero. With exclusive traversing rights over a sprawling 6000-hectare expanse in the wildlife-abundant southern region, Jock provides guests with a nostalgic safari experience reminiscent of bygone eras, set at the picturesque meeting point of the Mitomeni and Biyamiti rivers.

Each of the twelve charming thatched suites offers an enclave of luxury and privacy. Guests can relax on their own private decks, complete with plunge pools, and a Sala—an outdoor day bed perfect for leisurely moments. In addition, every suite boasts outdoor showers and bathtubs, adding a touch of extravagance to the wilderness experience. The rooms are strategically positioned overlooking the dry riverbeds, which serve as a favored path for the park's diverse wildlife, giving guests a front-row seat to nature's theatre.

Klaserie Drift

Klaserie Private Nature Reserve

Klaserie Drift Klaserie Drift

Klaserie Drift Klaserie Drift

Klaserie Drift Klaserie Drift

Klaserie Drift Klaserie Drift

Klaserie Drift Klaserie Drift

Klaserie Drift Klaserie Drift

Klaserie Drift Klaserie Drift

Klaserie Drift Klaserie Drift

Nestled within the Klaserie Private Nature Reserve, the Klaserie Drift Misava Safari Camp offers an intimate escape into an area known for its rich biodiversity, varied landscapes, and unparalleled wildlife sightings. Strategically positioned on a hillside overlooking the Klaserie River, the camp unveils sweeping savannah vistas that can take one's breath away. Guests can indulge in serene moments by the infinity pool, all while witnessing the natural drama of the wild unfold before their eyes.

Misava Camp is a boutique haven, housing just six thatched suites: Four of these present enchanting garden views, while the remaining two, designed for those seeking an added touch of seclusion, provide expansive river panoramas, larger view-filled bathrooms, and generous private verandas.

The Outpost

Kruger National Park (North)

The Outpost The Outpost

The Outpost The Outpost

The Outpost The Outpost

The Outpost The Outpost

The Outpost The Outpost

The Outpost, nestled in the secluded northern reaches of the Kruger National Park, boasts some of the park's most picturesque and ecologically varied landscapes. A testament to modern architectural brilliance, the lodge merges steel, concrete, tented walls, glass, and aluminum in its design. These refined and minimalistic elements not only accentuate the majesty of its surroundings but also harmoniously blend with the pristine wilderness.

Comprising 12 elegantly crafted chalets poised on a cliff's edge, each is conceived in a spacious loft-style layout. These chalets present residents with an uninterrupted 180-degree vista of the bush and the serenading river, ensuring an immersive experience in nature's grandeur.

Kruger Shalati

Skukuza (Kruger)

Kruger ShalatiKruger Shalati

Kruger ShalatiKruger Shalati

Kruger ShalatiKruger Shalati

Kruger ShalatiKruger Shalati

Kruger Shalati, referred to as "The Train on the Bridge", provides an unparalleled fusion of history and luxury. Situated on the historic Selati Bridge above the Sabie River, it commemorates the exact location where pioneers first ventured into the Kruger National Park over a century ago. Today, this permanently stationed train celebrates that history through its meticulously redesigned carriages, each transformed into expansive luxury rooms spanning the full width of the train. The interiors showcase authentic African designs, paying homage to its rich heritage. An added touch of opulence, the bridge has been innovatively expanded to feature a walk-out terrace, crowned with a stunning infinity pool that offers panoramic views of the pristine wilderness below.

Royal Malewane

Thornybush Private Game Reserve

Royal MalewaneRoyal Malewane

Royal MalewaneRoyal Malewane

Royal MalewaneRoyal Malewane

Royal MalewaneRoyal Malewane

Royal MalewaneRoyal Malewane

Find old-world romance in the African wild at Royal Malewane, located with the Thornybush Private Game Reserve. Nestled within a setting that whispers of yesteryear's elegance, this luxurious retreat offers guests a chance to indulge in the charm of traditional decor. Each night, guests are cradled in the comfort of classic canopy beds, dressed in premium Ralph Lauren linens, amid a collection of genuine colonial antiques.

Guests can indulge in luxurious accommodations including six opulent suites, two grand royal suites, and the grand Africa House boasting six bedrooms. Beyond their spacious and air-conditioned splendor, these accommodations are enhanced with inviting fireplaces and sophisticated claw-foot bathtubs. The Royal and Malewane suites elevate the experience further, presenting expansive two-bedroom havens equipped with jacuzzis, plunge pools, and the exclusive services of a private chef and butler.

Daily ventures led by the property's adept ranger and master tracker promise close encounters with the illustrious Big Five, making every safari an unforgettable journey. Upon returning, the sanctuary offers sublime relaxation with indulgent spa treatments, exquisite dining experiences featuring silver and crystal elegance, and tranquil evenings in either the cozy library lounge or the intimate sanctuary of the suites.

Kapama Karula

Kapama Private Game Reserve

Kapama KarulaKapama Karula

Pool deck of Kapama KarulaKapama Karula

Restaurant of Kapama KarulaKapama Karula

Lobby of Kapama KarulaKapama Karula

Pool at Kapama KarulaKapama Karula

Lion at KapamaKapama Karula

ZebrasKapama Karula

Sunset after the rain at KapamaKapama Karula

Kapama Karula stands out as one of the most elegantly designed game lodges in South Africa. Bathed in light, its expansive spaces offer breathtaking views from every corner, rightfully earning its status as the crown jewel of Kapama Private Game Reserve. "Karula" is aptly named, translating to "the place of peace". Each of its 12 state-of-the-art villas boasts wrap-around glass sliding doors, leading to a spacious deck complete with a private heated swimming pool and captivating views of the Klaserie River.

At Kapama, an array of experiences awaits you, designed to immerse you in the mesmerizing landscapes and diverse wildlife. The daily game drives inside tje reserve and enlightening bush walks are the highlights of the Kapama experience. After your adventures, pamper yourself with a restorative treatment at our renowned luxury spa.

Earth Lodge

Sabi Sabi Private Game Reserve

Sabi Sabi Earth LodgeSabi Sabi Earth Lodge

Sabi Sabi Earth LodgeSabi Sabi Earth Lodge

Bathroom with a view of elephantsSabi Sabi Earth Lodge

Sabi Sabi Earth Lodge BomaSabi Sabi Earth Lodge

Earth Lodge offers an unparalleled experience, marking a groundbreaking evolution in luxury safari lodges. Nestled discreetly within the contours of the Sabi Sabi private reserve, the lodge seamlessly blends with its surroundings, becoming almost imperceptible in the vast landscape. Its design is an exquisite interplay of texture, light, and space, creating a sanctuary that stands out in its uniqueness.

Each of the 13 sumptuously appointed suites boasts custom-designed furniture, a private plunge pool, a glass-fronted en-suite bathroom, and both indoor and outdoor showers. The harmonious indoor-outdoor dining area provides a front-row seat to a tranquil waterhole and the expansive bushveld beyond.

Simbavati Lodge Collection

Timbavati & Klaserie Game Reserves

Hilltop Lodge during Green SeasonSimbavati Hilltop Lodge

safari tent at Trails CampSimbavati Trails Camp

A suite at Camp GeorgeSimbavati Camp George

Simbavati boasts a collection of four exquisite safari lodges, a unique trails camp, and several elegant villas set within the Timbavati & Klaserie Private Reserves.

Hilltop Lodge provides panoramic vistas of the bush, dam, and distant mountain horizons. Here, eight luxurious tents, each featuring expansive private decks, serve as intimate retreats amidst nature. River Lodge, with its authentic safari ambiance, is often graced by the tranquil presence of roaming elephant herds. Trails Camp delivers a raw and immersive African wildlife experience, seamlessly blending the comforts of luxury with the authenticity of a walking safari. Nestled amidst verdant gardens populated with towering fever trees, Camp George's chic suites effortlessly juxtapose safari traditions with a touch of modern sophistication. Waterside, poised elegantly beside the dam, impresses with the detailed elegance of its suites, making it a notable destination within the reserve.

Lion Sands

Sabi Sands Game Reserve

Lion Sands Lion Sands

Lion Sands Lion Sands

Lion Sands Lion Sands

Lion Sands Lion Sands

Lion Sands Lion Sands

Lion Sands Lion Sands

Lion Sands Lion Sands

Lion Sands is the only private reserve with access to the perennial Sabie River and boasts a collection of four stunning lodges. This area is famous for its record number of leopard sightings.

River Lodge sits right on the river banks, allowing unparalleled game viewing. At Ivory Lodge you will experience complete privacy, each of the 8 water-side Villas with private pools is set apart by some twenty metres. For the nostalgic, Tinga Lodge opens onto river frontage with a camp-style look that is reminiscent of the ‘Out of Africa’ era. The family-friendly Narina Lodge is perched on stilts under a canopy of 100-year-old trees just up from the water.

Soak up the sounds of the bush and sleep under a canopy of a million stars whilst staying overnight in one of the Lion Sands treehouses. You can be sure to have an unforgattable experience.

Singita Sweni & Lebombo

Kruger National Park (East)

Singita Lebombo Lodge at Kruger Singita Lebombo Lodge

Singita Sweni Lodge at Kruger Singita Sweni Lodge

Game drive with lion Game drive with lion

Nestled in the southeastern frontier of Kruger Park, adjacent to the Mozambique border, lie the twin gems of the safari world: Singita Sweni and Lebombo. This private concession is renowned not just for its remarkable density of the Big Five but also for its prominent "Mountain Pride" of lions, a testament to the region's thriving wildlife.

Lebombo Lodge, an architectural marvel, comprises 15 loft-style villas delicately erected on stilts. These villas gracefully ascend from a basalt cliff, offering panoramic views of the surrounding landscape. The more secluded Sweni Lodge, with its 7 bespoke suites, is serenely set along the banks of the meandering Sweni River.

Both lodges manifest an elegant synthesis of wood and expansive glass panels, allowing nature to seamlessly blend with luxury. This design ensures guests are constantly enveloped by the untouched beauty of the wilderness while relishing unparalleled privacy and top-tier service. The meticulous attention to detail, from the interiors to the immersive experiences they offer, make Singita Sweni and Lebombo the epitome of safari opulence.

We hope that our curated collection of luxury accommodations at Kruger has inspired your travel plans. If you wish to do a booking, make use of the direct links provided for each hotel.

More about Kruger

Discover the untamed beauty of Kruger National Park, where a world of majestic wildlife, lush landscapes, and captivating African sunsets await your exploration.

Continue reading for travel advice and insights on Kruger.

Best time to go

Generally, the Kruger Park can be visited all year around, but the different seasons offer different experiences. The dry winter months of May to September are considered the best time for game viewing as the vegetation is less dense and animals congregate near water sources making them easier to spot. Day temperatures in winter are pleasant but it can get chilly during the night.

The summer months of November to April are characterized by heavy rains, which can make road conditions difficult and limit game viewing, but it also means that the park is lush and green, and the wildlife is more active. Many young animals are born during this time. January to March is the best time for bird watching as many migratory species are present.





Kruger Travel Q&A

Setting off on an adventure to a new country is an exciting experience that also comes with a set of questions. In the following section, we've addressed the most common travel topics related to Kruger, from getting there and transportation to understanding local customs and ensuring health and safety during your trip.

How do get to Kruger National Park?

If traveling internationally, the most common entry point is through O.R. Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg (JNB). There are multiple daily flights to Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport (KMIA) in Nelspruit, the smaller Eastgate Airport (HDS) in Hoedspruit and Skukuza Airport (SZK) within the National Park operated by AirLink and CemAir. Some lodges feature their own airstrips, allowing guests to book direct fly-ins straight through the lodge for a seamless travel experience.

Kruger is about a 5 to 6-hour drive from Johannesburg along the N12 and N4 highways. The roads are well-maintained, and the drive is straightforward, taking you through some scenic areas of the Mpumalanga province.

Should I choose a lodge inside Kruger or at a Private game reserve?

Staying inside Kruger National Park plunges you right into the heart of one of Africa's most iconic wildlife terrains. You're amidst vast expanses teeming with the Big Five and myriad other species, granting a raw, unfiltered brush with nature.

Opting for a private game reserve, like Sabi Sands, Timbavati, Klaserie, Kapama or Thornybush, takes the experience up a notch. Here, it's about exclusivity. With fewer tourists around, sightings are intimate, and the off-road driving capabilities let you get up close. While the luxury and personalized service of private reserves might come with a higher price tag, Kruger's sprawling landscape offers a broader range of budget-friendly options. There are some lodges that boast private concessions within Kruger, offering an exclusive and intimate safari experience within the park.

Is there a risk of malaria in the Kruger area?

Kruger National Park is located in a region where there is a risk of malaria, especially during the rain season. Although the risk is generally low, it can increase during the wet summer months from September to May. It's advisable to take necessary precautions, which include taking malaria prophylactics, wearing mosquito repellents, and using bed nets to prevent mosquito bites, especially during the evening and nighttime. We recommend to consult with your doctor or healthcare provider before visiting.

What wildlife can I expect to see during my visit at Kruger?

Kruger National Park is renowned for being home to the Big Five, which consists of the elephant, leopard, buffalo, lion, and rhinoceros. It is one of the best places in the world to witness these magnificent creatures in their natural habitat.

Alongside the Big Five, Kruger hosts a stunning diversity of wildlife. In the vast landscapes ranging from dense forests to open grasslands, you can expect to see a variety of other animals including giraffes, which move gracefully among the acacia trees, and zebras that often graze alongside wildebeest forming a picturesque sight in the wild. Hippos and crocodiles can be spotted in the rivers and waterholes, offering you an amazing chance to observe their behavior in the wild. Not to forget the cheetah, another big cat you might encounter in Kruger; this majestic creature is known for its incredible speed and grace.

Bird watchers also flock to Kruger, as it is home to a plethora of bird species, boasting around 500 species, including the vibrant lilac-breasted roller and the large ground hornbill, offering splendid sights and sounds that complement the rich mammalian life.

What should I pack for a trip to Kruger National Park?

We advice you to wear light, breathable, and neutral-colored clothing as they blend well with the natural surroundings and don't attract unwanted attention from the wildlife. Avoid bright colors as they can disturb the animals and refrain from wearing white as it can quickly get dirty.

Consider clothing that covers most of your skin to protect against the sun and biting insects. A wide-brimmed hat can provide good shade for both your face and neck. Given the fluctuating temperatures, layering is a smart choice. It can be chilly in the morning and hot in the afternoon. Bringing a fleece or a warm jacket for the early morning game drives in open safari vehicles.

Comfortable and durable footwear is a must. Consider bringing shoes that support your ankles, especially if you are planning to do any walking or hiking. Shoes with thick soles will protect your feet from thorns and other sharp objects on the ground.

Are there also more affordable accommodation at Kruger?

If you're looking for a more budget-friendly way to discover Kruger, we recommend a self-drive safari and staying at one of the numerous SANParks rest camps, that can be booked directly with the South African National Parks on These camps are by no means luxurious but they offer a budget-friendly way to stay in a prime location within the national park. Its also worth checking booking sites like for alternative lodging options around Kruger, e.g. in Nelspruit, Hazyview and Hoedspruit.

Where can I enter the National Park and what are the hours?

Kruger National Park has several gates that provide entry to different sections of the park. Opening and closing times for these gates vary seasonally and are subject to change, so check the official website of SANParks. Usually gates open at 6:00 AM and close at 5:30 PM during the winter season (April to September), and open slightly earlier at 5:30 AM, and close later, at 6:30 PM during summer season (October to March).

Paul Kruger Gate, one of the primary entrances, is centrally located and provides direct access to the central part of the park and to Skukuza. Orpen Gate and Phalaborwa Gate are situated in the central zone, while Pafuri Gate is located in the far north. Gates in the south include Malelane Gate, Crocodile Bridge Gate and Phabeni Gate. Entering or leaving the park through Numbi Gate in the west is not advisable.

If your accommodation lies within the National Park borders, you have to be at the gate early enough to reach the lodge before the gate closure time, and the park rangers are very strict on that.

All information provided above is accurate to the best of our knowledge at the time of publication. For the latest updates and details, please consult relevant authorities or official sources.