9-Day Kruger Park Safari
The word “safari” refers to an overland trip that most people who go to Africa do to learn more about the different people, landscapes, and animals that live there.
What Is an 9-Day Kruger Park Safari?
Going on a Kruger Park safari is an exciting and adventurous way to see the “real Africa” because you can see many different species in their natural habitat.
The word “safari” in Swahili was first used to mean “journey.” Its meaning comes from the Arabic word “safara,” which also means “travel.”
A safari can be done by walking through the bush, driving through it in 4×4 vehicles, or flying over it in a small plane.
On a 9-day safari in Kruger Park, you can drive yourself or go on a guided, open-air vehicle safari that is both easy and gives you the best view of the wildlife.
Safaris in Kruger Park usually are conducted through the southern part of the park, where there is more wildlife. This is where you are more likely to see all of the “Big 5” animals, as well as large herds of wildebeest and zebra and many different kinds of birds.
Imagine having the chance to spend nine days at a private retreat in the natural bushveld, where the only sounds you will hear are the calming tones of many birds and the hustle and bustle of city life will feel like it is hundreds of kilometres away…
This is what you can expect on a luxury safari in the Kruger that lasts 9 days.
Brief overview of the Kruger National Park
Kruger is the best place to go on a safari in South Africa. It was founded in 1898 and covers an area of about 19,000 sq km (7,335 sq mi). It is home to 147 mammal species, the most of any African national park, and has more elephants, buffalo, lions, and rhinos than any other protected area.
Kruger is a great place to go on safari, no matter how much you want to spend or what you want to do. No other big African park is as popular as this one.
On the west side of the national park, the private game reserves offer more luxurious (and more expensive) places to stay, as well as extra activities like off-road game drives, guided nature walks, and night drives. Because of this, seeing the Big 5 is pretty much a given.
Many Kruger Park safaris come as a package deal, with accommodations ranging from four- to five-star lodges and open vehicle safari drives to more basic lodgings with optional self-catering and the option to drive yourself or have a guide take you on game drives.
What Should I Pack for My Safari
- Pack comfortable clothes in light, neutral colours and clothes that can be worn in layers.
- A lightweight, water-resistant rain jacket, some scarfs and bandannas
- Sunglasses, a wide-brimmed hat, sunscreen, and lip balm for sun protection
- Comfortable walking shoes and sandals
- Binoculars, Camera, lenses, additional batteries, and memory cards
- A personal first-aid kit
- All your travel documents
Best Time to Go on Safari
From May to September is the best time to go on a safari in Kruger Park. During these winter months, the park is in its dry season, and it is easier to see wildlife because there is less vegetation and animals gather around waterholes and rivers.
Summer is the best time to watch birds and see migratory birds.
3 Best 9-Day / 8-Night Kruger Park Packages
A Budget 9-day Kruger Park safari tour is a cheap way to see the wildlife.
Over the course of 9 days, you can really take in the beautiful scenery and wildlife of Kruger National Park. You may see the Big Five (elephant, leopard, buffalo, rhinoceros, and lion) more than once, either on your own or with a skilled local guide on a morning, sunset, or night drive.
You can save money on your safari trip if you can use your own car or rent one. Most likely, you will stay in a big rest camp, a self-catering bungalow, chalet, or family cottage, a bushveld camp, or a satellite camp.
There are several tour companies that offer 9-day safaris where you can drive yourself or go with a professional guide. You can go on game drives in the morning, at sunset, or at night as part of your package, but they are usually extras because they aren’t included in the price of your lodging.
You will have to cook for yourself, but many of the larger rest camps have restaurants and ways to get food to go. A conservation charge must be paid for each night spent in the Kruger National Park.
From Johannesburg, tour companies also offer several luxury 6-day safaris to Kruger. Luxury lodges in concessions inside the park or private reserves on the west side of the park offer places to stay.
Itineraries include breakfast and dinner at the lodges and game drives in open safari vehicles in the morning and at sunset. You can choose to go on walking safaris or do other things.
Pros and Cons of a 9-Day /8-Night Safari
|You will have enough time to truly appreciate the park’s diversity
|The longer your stay, the more money your safari will cost
|You will have time for many additional activities, even short excursions to nearby attractions
|If your game drives are not planned properly, it may become boring
|You should be able to see all of the Big 5
5 Tips for Going on Safari
- Stay inside the park or as close to it as possible to take advantage of the fact that the rest camp gates open an hour before the park gates. Different places are better for seeing different animals, so choose a rest camp near the area you want to see.
- You don’t need a 4wd because driving off-road is not allowed, but a vehicle with a higher clearance will help you see animals that are hiding.
- Don’t forget things like binoculars, a good camera with a telephoto lens, and a lot of memory space.
- Don’t forget to wear a sun hat, sunblock, and sunglasses. Kruger has a low risk of malaria, so cover your arms and legs with light clothing and lots of DEET mosquito repellent.
- Get a wildlife guide or an app to help you tell the animals apart.
Luxury vs Budget Safaris Explained
Safaris have a reputation for being expensive ways to spend a holiday, but a cheap, self-drive safari is a good option when money is tight. You only have to pay fees for conservation, and then you can drive around for the rest of your stay. You can also stay in a regular self-catering place that doesn’t have any extra perks.
On the other hand, a luxury safari in Kruger National Park gives you some of the best chances to see the Big 5, along with award-winning accommodations, well-planned logistics, and some of the best trackers and guides in Africa.
Luxury Kruger Park Safaris offer all-inclusive packages for the discerning traveller, with four- to five-star lodges that offer exclusive and personalised service. Meals and open-air safari drives from and back to Johannesburg are also part of the package.
Optional Activities on Your 9-Day Safari
Being the biggest national park in South Africa, visitors can expect an abundance of wildlife sightings, but also need not to worry about how to fill their free time.
The park camps offer an exciting assortment of activities, each one aimed at bringing the guest closer to nature.
Participants in all activities can rest assured that experienced, professional and armed guides will act as trail leaders and interpret the environment.
Available activities include wilderness trails, game drives, guided walks, 4×4 trails, mountain biking, backpacking trails, eco-trails, golf and birding.
Types of Accommodation to Choose From
Self-Catering Rest Camps in Kruger Park
Rest camps in Kruger National Park offer a wide range of places to stay, such as campsites, huts, bungalows, cottages, rondavels, safari tents, and guest houses.
There are restaurants, stores, and petrol stations at the camp. You can drive yourself on a safari from these camps, or you can use guided wildlife drives.
In Kruger National Park, there are also concessions and high-end lodges.
Inside the boundaries of the park, there are a number of private concession areas that have been leased out. Even though these concessions are inside the main Kruger Park, only guests who have made reservations are allowed to enter. This makes your safari experience even more unique.
Is a 9- Day Safari Too Long to Spend in Kruger?
No, a 9-day safari is not too long to spend in Kruger Park. Depending on how many camps you plan to include in your itinerary, 9 nights would be enough to spot the wildlife on your bucket list, but also some time to enjoy the camps.
Where Should You Spend 9 Days in Kruger National Park?
You should definitely spend your 9 days in the park in at least 2 or 3 different camps from the north to the south.
Is Kruger Park the Ideal Safari Destination for a First Timer?
Yes, Kruger Park is the ideal safari destination for a first timer, since you can stay in safe, fenced camps and still enjoy everything the wilderness can offer.
What Can I Expect from the Weather on a Kruger Park Safari?
Days can be sunny and of mild temperature, but nights can get quite chilly.
Can you go on a luxury safari inside Kruger National Park?
Yes, there are several private concessions with luxurious safari lodges located in the national park.