5 Best Kruger Camps For Families
One of the top vacation spots in South Africa is the Kruger National Park.While you may choose to stay somewhere outside of the park and spend your days on a Kruger safari, staying at one of the park’s rest camps will give you a truly authentic African experience
One of the best places in Africa to see wildlife is Kruger National Park.
The park, which is primarily made up of woodland savannah, is home to a variety of species, including the much sought-after Big Five. Kruger is a well-liked destination for family vacations because of its great road system and reasonably priced accommodation.
Each camp in the Kruger National Park is unique, which is what makes them all so special. The topography on which each camp is situated varies, and although some campsoffer a ton of activities, others are ideal for somebody who values peace and quiet.All of Kruger’s rest camps, except the smaller satellite camps, provide a range of accommodationoptions, which includeself-catering chalets, huts, safari tents, camping and cottages. Amenities are included and almost all the camps have well-stocked stores and restaurants. Some camps also have a pool and a fuellingstation
Brief overview of Kruger National Park
One of the biggest wildlife reserves in Africa is Kruger National Park, which is a national park in South Africa. It is located in the provinces of Limpopo and Mpumalanga in north-eastern South Africa and comprises of 19,623 km2. It stretches 65 kilometres east to west and 360 kilometres north to south.
The two South African provinces of Limpopo and Mpumalanga are located to the west and south of the park. Zimbabwe is to the north, and Mozambique is to the east. Today, Kruger forms part of the Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park that links Kruger National Park with the Gonarezhou National Park in Zimbabwe, and with the Limpopo National Park in Mozambique.
Kruger National Park was founded by Paul Kruger, the president of the Transvaal Republic, in 1892. It was then known as the Sabie Game Reserve. Initially, the region between the Sabie and Crocodile Rivers was designated for restricted hunting. In 1902, James Stevenson-Hamilton was named the first warden of the park.
In May 1926, the Sabie and Shingwedzi Game Reserves were combined to become the Kruger National Park as we know it today. Rock art locations can be found among the about 254 cultural heritage monuments in the Kruger National Park.
The large protected wilderness area has a lot to offer everyone, whether they like animals, birds, nature, or just want to get away from the noise of the city and enjoy the peace and quiet of the beautiful bushveld.
It is one of the largest and most diverse protected wilderness areas on the Africa continent. There are nine main gates that lead to the 21 camps in the park. These camps are the main places to stay in Kruger Park. The main rest camps, satellite camps, bushveld camps, and bush lodges, as well as a rustic tented camp and overnight hides, are basic and affordable places to stay in the park.
If you are planning a family holiday in Kruger National Park, here are the five best camps suggested for families to stay.
Best 5 Kruger camps
#1 Lower Sabi Rest Camp
Lower Sabie is one of the most popular camps in the southern part of Kruger National Park. The camp is situated on the banks of the Sabie River, which is one of the few rivers that flows year-round through Kruger National Park. This camp is very popular with families because it has big lawns and trees that provide shade for relaxing or playing. It addition, the camp also has a swimming pool which is most welcome in the hot summer months.
Because there is lush vegetation and water in the area, there is a lot of wildlife. Surrounding the camp are some great drives in all directions, especially along the south bank of the river, and lions are often seen there. Going on an early morning or late afternoon drive will be rewarded with an abundance of animals.
Sunset Dam is only about 1 km away from the camp, and it is home to crocodiles, hippos, and many different kinds of birds. Game can be seen coming and going to drink and play in the water.
Lower Sabie is in the southern part of Kruger, about 45 km from the Crocodile Bridge Gate. It takes about 1.5 hours to drive from the gate to the camp.
The camp has an open-air restaurant that looks out over the Sabie River. It has a great view of the surrounding bush and animals are often spotted coming to drink at the river. You are likely to see most of the animal species in this area, like leopard, elephant, wild dog, buffalo, hyena, antelope, and giraffe, to mention but a few.
Depending on the size of your family, you have a choice of accommodation between huts, chalets, family cottages or a camp site. In addition, the camp also offers semi-luxury canvas safari tents. They are set up in a corner of the rest camp so that they are out of the way and have a view of the Sabie River.
#2 Berg-en-Dal Rest Camp
Berg-en-Dal is one of the popular camps accessible from the Malelane gate in southern Kruger. It is situated in a rugged mountainous environment, tucked away in a grove of riverine trees on the banks of the Majulu River.
Dry riverbeds border the camp on the northern and southern sides. The Majulu River has been damned in front of the restaurant and visitors can enjoy incredible game viewing around the dam while relaxing on the deck.
In addition, the surrounding bushveld is also rich in game and you are guaranteed sightings of the Big 5 and large numbers of antelope. Lions and leopard are often seen on the lower plains on the roads between Berg-en-Dal and Crocodile Bridge.
Berg-en-Dal is one of the newest camps in Kruger Park and was established in 1984. It is a more modern camp if you compare it to the older camps and offers visitors a choice of modern self-catering accommodation in chalets and family cottages. The camp also has camping sites and a popular picnic and barbeque site for day visitors.
Berg-en-Dal also has a cafeteria, a shop, a restaurant, a communal laundromat, a filling station, communal kitchens and bathrooms, braai facilities, an auditorium and conference rooms, and a swimming pool for overnight guests.
There are many things to do at Berg-en-Dal, such as guided bush walks, game drives with trained field guides, bush breakfasts and braais, Bushman and Wolhuter Wilderness Trails, a seasonal kids educational program, rhino perimeter trail camp walks with braille facilities, and wildlife film screenings every night except Sundays.
#3 Skukuza Rest Camp
Skukuza Rest Camp is the largest and busiest rest camp in Kruger National Park and also the administrative headquarters of the park. It is situated on the southern banks of the Sabie River in an area that has a variety of animals and birds. Skukuza was part of the original Sabie Game Reserve and established in 1898 which gives it a rich historical background. Historical sites in the camp are the dog cemetery, bell tower, old pontoon bridge, train bridge, Selati Rail Museum and Campbell Hut Museum and the Stevenson-Hamilton Memorial Library.
The closest entrance gates to Skukuza are the Kruger and Phabeni gates that can be reached via Hazyview. The camp is easily accessible for day visits or longer stays. Because there is so much to do in the camp in between game drives, it is also the best Kruger rest camp for families with children.
There is an abundance of animals to be spotted around the camp and with many trees and bushes along the river’s edge, visitors can expect to see a variety of animals, such as the Big 5, antelope, hyena, wild dog, zebra, and baboons, among others.
There is a big choice of accommodation at Skukuza and the camp can accommodate up to a 1 000 visitors in self-catering bungalows, family cottages and guest houses. It has a huge camping area which include safari tents.
Amenities include a sizable, fully stocked store, a library, a picture studio, an outdoor movie theatre, a children’s playground, swimming pools, and a walk along the river. The Skukuza staff village that is only a short distance outside of the camp, includes a 9-hole golf course and the Skukuza Airport is only a ten minutes’ drive away.
#4 Satara Rest Camp
Satara Rest Camp is located in the central section of Kruger National Park. It is the second biggest camp in Kruger and the most popular camp in central Kruger. It has retained much of its Kruger heritage and has a rustic charm. The closest entrance gate is at Orpen, Hoedspruit.
Although there is no huge flowing river around Satara the surrounding bushveld with sweet grass and many trees, attract large herds of animals such as buffalo, wildebeest, zebra, antelope and giraffe. Where there are ample herbivores, the carnivores will follow and visitors have a good chance to spot lion, leopard, hyena and wild dogs.
Most of the accommodation is available in a number of self-catering bungalows and rondavels that are set out in circles. It also has a camping section with a hundred electrified sites.
Other facilities include a restaurant, well-stocked shop, fuel station and a large swimming pool. It also accommodates day visitors in a clearly marked area where they can have a barbeque or picnic.
#5 Olifants Rest Camp
Olifants Rest Camp is most probable the most scenic camp in all of Kruger National Park. It is located in the northern parts of the park. It is situated on an escarpment overlooking the Olifants River with the Lebombo Mountain in the distance. The surrounding area is open savannah plains with Mopanie bush.
The closest entrance gates to Olifants is Phalaborwa and you should ensure that you have enough time to reach the camp.
There is lookout point next to the camp that offers stunning views. This scenic drive follows the Olifants and the Letaba Rivers and game such as elephant, impala, zebra, kudu and warthog are common sights, with a variety of other species as well.
Olifants is a big camp and the accommodation is self-catering with a choice of bungalows, family cottages and semi-luxury guesthouses. There are no camping facilities in Olifants but it does provide a day visitors area where you can picnic or have a barbeque.
Olifants Camp offers adventure in the form of guided bush walks and safari game drives, all under the supervision of well informed and keen professional field guides.
Facilities at Olifants offers everything you need for a family holiday and includes a restaurant, shop, fuel station and medical clinic. This is elephant area and visitors should ensure they visit the Elephant Hall at the Letaba Rest Camp which is only a 15-minute drive away. Here you will be able to learn more about the Big Tuskers of Kruger.
Which part of Kruger National Park is the best?
Kruger’s southern section is the most popular and easily accessible from Johannesburg and Swaziland. The south offers the best game viewing and the shortest distances between rest camps and picnic sites.
Which camps in Kruger Park have swimming pools?
Berg-en-Dal, Lower Sabie, Letaba, Mopani, Pretoriuskop, Skukuza, Olifants, Orpen, Punda Maria, Satara, and Shingwedzi has swimming pools which are only for overnight visitors. Skukuza and Letaba are the only camps that have additional pools for day visitors.