Kruger National Park is a top safari destination in Africa. It is home to a myriad of wildlife, including the famed Big 5, picturesque natural scenery and a variety of accommodation options including world-class private safari lodges on private game reserves.
A private game reserve is one of the best options for a Kruger National Park safari.
Kruger National Park and the Greater Kruger are home to a number of private game reserves and private concessions. These are the reasons why we think you should visit:
A number of private game reserves lie on the western border of the world-renowned Kruger park. The public national park is government run which means standardized accommodation and a number of restrictions in place for visitors and game viewing procedures.
In comparison, these private reserves are independently run and offer an exclusive and intimate Kruger getaway for travelers seeking an unforgettable safari adventure. Each reserve is home to a select number of safari lodges. As these safari lodges compete commercially with one another, they strive to offer the best levels of service and accommodation to their guests. These private reserves include Sabi Sands, Kapama, Thornybush and Timbavati. There is something for everyone on Kruger’s private game reserves thanks to an array of accommodation styles and levels of luxury on offer.
Kruger is a wildlife watching haven. Self-Drive safari-goers and visitors to the national park will journey through the public park, enjoying group game drives or slef-guiding; sticking to a reliable network of roads, while guests in private reserves will be guided by expert game rangers and will traverse on trails and off-road. To ensure a top safari experience, there is an open fence policy between the national park and the private reserves allowing the animals to roam freely between the two areas. There are also less game viewing restrictions on the private reserves. This means private reserves offer exclusivity and the best Big 5 game viewing experience to travelers.
In addition to the private reserves, Kruger boasts a number of private concessions. These concessions are privatized sections of land within the national park that are for exclusive use by luxury safari lodges. They are run and managed in a similar way to the private reserves but still have to adhere to some of the public park regulations.
When staying in a private concession, guests have the benefit of being within the celebrated national park plus the exciting benefits of a private safari lodge.
So what are the benefits of staying at a private reserve or concessions?
One of the highlights of opting for a private game reserve or concession is the exclusivity. There will be far fewer crowds than in the public park. While you might have to fight the crowds to be at the front and center for a viewing in the national park, on the private reserves, guests can enjoy a more secluded, less crowded safari experience.
The private lodges offer guests exclusive experiences in a range of accommodation styles and levels of luxury. On the private reserves, the lodges share traversing rights. This means neighboring lodges can drive onto each other’s land in the same private reserve allowing game rangers to track animals more extensively. The number of game drive vehicles remains limited ensuring an exclusive experience.
The biggest factor in having a great game drive and safari is the quality of the guide. The right guide is going to know the ins and outs of his or her surroundings, be friendly and informative and will know the best way to track animals. Great rangers are found at Kruger’s private lodges where they offer guests top wildlife watching experiences. Game rangers go the extra mile to make your experience memorable. Look forward to them regaling tales of their time in the bush as well as sharing sundowners on an evening game drive and more! Sharing traversing rights has the added benefit of rangers sharing exciting sighting locations.
On the private reserves, game rangers are not restricted to national park rules. This means guests can look forward to night drives, walking safaris, viewings in elevated open-top vehicles, and tracking animals off road; this means guests can get a closer look and have more frequent sightings. As the number of game drive vehicles is limited, travelers won’t have to queue to see animals as might be the case in the national park.
Finally, Kruger is huge! Our advice would be to visit a number of the private reserves to get the most out of a Kruger trip. The different lodges, landscapes and biodiversity offer travelers a range of adventures sure to stay with them long after leaving.
A real safari is about the overall experience. Private lodges and reserves allow for the best safari trip; complete with great accommodation, warm hospitality, and fantastic game viewing and guiding.