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Kruger National Park Safari – An Experience to Cherish

This time it is Africa!!! Recollecting memories from our old golden days in South Africa. Let’s take a walk down the memory lane and make my memories of Kruger National Park Safari alive again. This was one of our favourite destinations in South Africa. 

I still remember every details of my first visit to the park. It was a 3N/4D trip during Easter holidays in 2012. 

On the way to Kruger

In the early morning of April, we drove almost 4.5 hours to reach Kruger National park, the world’s greatest wildlife-watching destination.

The Kruger National Park is South Africa’s most exciting safari destination where nearly 2 million hectares of unrivalled diversity of life fuses with historical and archaeological sights. This world-renowned National Park offers a wildlife experience that certainly ranks within the best in Africa. 


Important tips:

  • It’s recommended to carry torch or headlight
  • Though chances of malaria is very low but carrying mosquito repellent is always a good idea.
  •  In the dry season the grass is short making it easier to spot wildlife as the water holes for the animals will be fewer, your chances of watching them at waterholes in any given area is higher.
  • Early morning and evening are the best time for Game drive. Although animal sighting is not guaranteed. Just enjoy the beauty of the surroundings. If you spot something it’s always a bonus.
  • Keep a safe distance when you encounter a wild animal and keep your windows rolled up for safety.
  • Kruger National Park Facts/FAQs are listed here.

Kruger National Park Safari – Day 1:

Meeting with big African animals

We entered the park through Numbi Gate, the south western entrance to the Kruger National Park. It is one of the most popular entrances because of its place in amongst granite Inselberg, and the predominance of acacia trees, tamboti trees and sycamore figs. 

A wild buffalo welcomed us just after entering the park. It is among the big five who belongs to all visitor’s bucket list. 

African Wild Buffalo

We took mainly H1 and H4 routes which are famous for wildlife sightings. You have to drive really slow to scan every possible place for new spotting. 

Along the way there was Transport Dam famous for ‘Battle at Kruger‘. 

The drive goes through Skukuza which provides some of the best drives in Kruger Park and  Sunset Dam which is always alive with birdlife, hippos, crocodiles and more. 

A glimpse of our 1st day sightings below:

Busy to get Marula

Kruger National Park is heaven for bird watchers, though you need to be patient to get the reward. We spotted few- frog tailed drongo, southern Yellow billed Hornbill, black smith lapwing, martial eagle, southern Ground Hornbill, Cape Glossy Starling are remarkable among them.


Sky was orange, Sun was sinking behind the slopping trees, making place for moon. Darkness was slowly swallowing all around. I wanted to enjoy the moment in savanna, but we had to leave as our accommodation was booked just out side the park for that night. I was disappointed but it made my day when a herd of buffaloes appeared from nowhere and crossed the road in front of us near crocodile bridge. It was like a consolation prize for me.

No luck with the famous Kruger Lion yet.

Kruger National park Safari – Day 2 :

Mating Lion

Early morning, jumped into the car to get the morning vibe of Savanna. The effort did not disappoint us though. A lion family with kids were enjoying the morning sun on a dry crocodile river bed. 
Our destination was Pretoriuskop camp via H4-1 , Lower Sabie. Few sightings on the way.

 In the afternoon the jungle looked mystic in the soft light of fallen sun. Nature had created a perfect atmosphere of love with her beauty, color and soft light. Love was in the air. A royal couple made perfect use of that. Though they were least bothered about our presence, my heart was saying me to leave the place to give them privacy.  

Royal Love Making near Nyamundwa


Our journey for the day ended in Pretoriuskop Camp which is the oldest in Kruger National Park . The surroundings was like an well-organized small village with beautiful small cottages.

All camps, inside the Kruger are really beautiful- far from the crowd in the middle of the jungle. Though every camp is surrounded by electric fence it is quite normal to spot big animals just outside the camps. All camps are fully equipped with all basic facilities for guests. From petrol pump to retail shop, restaurant, you can find almost everything inside the camps.

Mystic Full Moon


We were tired enough but wanted to explore the camp as it was our first night inside Kruger. We took a small stroll around the camp. The night was awesome with full Moon. 

The surroundings looked dreamy in moonlit night. the dark woods, gentle breeze, thatched cottages, gravelled trails, scream of anonymous night birds transformed it to unearthly.

Kruger National Park Safari – Day 3: 

Suspicious Mom

Morning 6 o clock!!! She was waiting to greet us just outside the camp gate. She posed, looked at us and then  disappeared into the grassland. 

kruger-lion She was so close that we even felt her breath – near Pretoriuskop Camp[/caption]

 This time destination was Satara camp via Skukuza. In Skukuja camp we saw cute vervet monkeys jumping around the place. Other notable sightings were Warthog, A flock of OstrichesHelmeted guineafowlsspringbok during the journey.

Skukuja Camp – Kruger National Park

We found famous Baobab tree near Kumana dam. The thick trunk of the Baobab is a massive water storage tank and sometimes animals shelter inside them!

Baobab Tree


Our day ended in Satara camp. It has a rustic charm, with the bulk of the accommodation set out in a series of circles. The area is well wooded. At night the chirping of cicadas and crickets , the clink of fruit bats, the hooting of owls and nightjars fused with the whoop of hyena, the screech of jackal and the roars of lion to create a thrilling atmosphere.

satara camp in kruger nationa park
Satara Camp


KNP Safari – Day 4 

The Lion Pride

The morning started with a beautiful show.
Good Morning from Satara!!

It was our last but the luckiest day in Kruger.  In the morning when we started our journey from Satara camp we noticed  almost all the cars were going to same direction. Expecting some ‘lucky sighting’ we followed them and took a gravel road. Within few minutes we realized that we did the right thing. There was a pride of 26 lions just beside the  road near Nsasane. After Finishing their grand feast on a buffalo one by one they crossed the road like real kings ignoring the presence of cars and disappeared into the grassland holding us spellbound.

After that breathtaking show we went to Gudzani dam, another great spot for wildlife sightings.  We saw steenbok, a small, graceful antelope normally lives alone near the dam. You can find them in pairs during breeding season.

We roamed around Satara camp, Sweni and kumana dam area.  

Wildebeest , Impalas, Kudus, Leopard along with few  birds like hooded vultures, Kori Bustards, Saddle billed stork, Cattle egret were posing for the visitors throughout the day.

Finally it was time to bid goodbye to Kruger . The Kruger national Park fascinated us with her charming beauty, mystic nature and wildness. It was far from hustle & bustle of the city life for 4 Days. 

Phabeni Gate

We left Kruger through Phabeni gate and started our journey back to Johannesburg hoping to Visit Again.




KNP for Pinterest
KNP elephant for Pinterest

Moon Ray

A Traveller with Nomadic soul.

This Post Has 35 Comments

  1. Gaurab

    Really like the way of your presentation… beautifully done 👌

    1. Moon Ray

      Thanks!!! Follow for more stories..

  2. Bijoy Krishna Das

    Lekha ta khub valo hoyeche..Tumi khub valo describe korecho…je keu porle tar mone hobe se sei moments ta feel korche tomari Sathe.

  3. Sayak Roy


  4. Joanna

    Oh wow, you were so lucky to see the big 5! I am going on a safari for the first time this year and I can’t wait! I will be going to Serengeti though in Tanzania, not Kruger.

    1. Moon Ray

      Good luck with your safari in Serengeti. Another awesome place to tick in the bucket list.

  5. Randy Baker

    Until recently, I had never thought much about going on a safari, but have really become interested in doing so. As someone who enjoys photography, it seems like not only an awesome experience, but a great way to capture once-in-a-lifetime photos. Your photos are great, by the way. It seems like there a lot of options for places to go on safari – Kruger looks like one I should keep in mind.

    1. Moon Ray

      If you like Photography the whole country will offer you something. Wildlife is a bonus in that case.

  6. Elizabeth

    Oh my gosh- to see all these animals in person would be simply incredible!!! I don’t know if we’ll ever make it Africa as my sons and I have to be very careful with vaccines because we often have terrible allergic reactions to inactive ingredients in them- so I’m not sure we could get the shots we need to be safe traveling to Africa. But gosh would I love to make it happen some day so we can see the wildlife!!

  7. Laurence

    This is so cool, seeing the wildlife in the national park. I’m still in awe every time I see one. But we always make sure to have some distance from them, After all it’s there habitat. Africa is so amazing!

  8. GGeorgina

    Like the sunrise on Day 4. Beautiful. You seem to have covered a lot for four days. I would love to visit South Africa one day and experience a stay at the National Park. Enjoyed reading this.

  9. Pauline

    It’s one of my biggest dream to go on a safari! Very good tips, especially about going early morning and around sunset, it’s the best moments to see wildlife. It must be so impressive and maybe a bit scary to be so close to them, I find it fascinating! And the cubs are super cute!

    1. Moon Ray

      Adrenaline will take-over fear for sure!!!

  10. Paul

    I love going on safari in Kruger, it has such a great diversity of wildlife. The last time we were there was during a drought, so it made it even easier to see the animals. I didn’t know there were any historical sites in Kruger, what are they exactly?

  11. Larch Gauld

    Reading this takes me back to our own safari in Botswana last year, you make it come alive and I feel as if I am there with you.

  12. What an amazing trip. I visited Kruger as a young girl when my family was living in South Africa but I’ve no real memories of the trip. I’d love to return with my son one day when he’s old enough to remember.

  13. Anna

    Oh my! This is absolutely awesome! I love how you tell your story. It is incredible to see that many animals. Africa is on my list of places to visit and I’m bookmarking your article for future reference. I have not made any plans yet, but it looks like next year 2020, spring, will be the time when I’m going.
    Thank you for sharing!

    1. Moon Ray

      Good luck with your upcoming safari. Wild life in Africa is Amazing!!!

  14. Vanessa Ball

    Kruger National Park is surprisingly huge at 2 million hectares, I really want to visit there. I’ve been on a few safaris but I didn’t manage to see rhinos, you were lucky. I love the wild buffalos, they have some funny expressions. Satara camp looks like a gorgeous place to stay.

    1. Moon Ray

      Thanks for your comment. Actually you don’t need to be lucky to see Rhinos in Kruger. I did not see Cheetah though among Big Five.

  15. Renata -

    I was on a safari in Sri Lanka last winter and it was amazing. However, it was nothing compared to what you’ve seen at the Kruger National Park. I would so love to go! Seeing all these animals in their natural habitat must be just mindblowing.

  16. Louise

    My dream trip is to go to Africa and do a safari. It sounds like you had a fabulous trip and how amazing to see all those animals in the wild especially the huge pride of Lions, was is scary being so close to them?

    1. Moon Ray

      Yes .. The trip was really fabulous. We could count of 26 lions in the pride including cubs. Probably adrenaline took over the fear at that moment. It was truly sight of a lifetime.

  17. I’ve never been on a safari, but I think it must be an amazing experience to see the wildlife from up close. I do wonder for how long you end up driving in search of the animals during a day. And if you need to go to the bathroom, do you even dare to go in the wild?

    1. Moon Ray

      Ha ha !!! valuable practical point. Of course you can visit rest camps or hide(fenced) for your practical needs. You are allowed to drive in the Park 6am to 6pm (+/- 30 minutes depending on the season). So you can plan accordingly.And yes if you like wildlife then Kruger National Park is the place to visit.

  18. Bernadette Jackson

    “So close that we even felt her breath…” That gave me goosebumps. What an incredible encounter. And the pride of 26 with the lioness looking out for her cubs. I loved that you showed the birds as well as the beasts, so spectacular in their own way. I found myself zipping back up the page to look at your pics one more time, with the kudu and the baboons and so many epic sightings.

    1. Moon Ray

      I would say this was a kind of lifetime experience. I would love to go there again!!!

  19. Yukti

    I have not been to Africa, but would love to go for wildlife safari when I go there. Kruger National Park looks wonderful with so many exotic animals. It is great you tipped us to carry mosquito repellant.

  20. Tina

    Oh wow this sounds like such an amazing experience! These are the real memories you’ll remember and treasure forever, right? Congrats on seeing the big 5, that is everyone’s dream on Safari! 😀

    1. Moon Ray

      Thank you Tina!!!! We missed the Chhetah in our safari though. I would love to visit Kruger again.

  21. SuBhaSun

    Wow! You were really lucky spotting so many wild animals, birds during your visit. Not even spot but you got to see various versions of their life as explained through your photos. Great post. Would love to explore Kruger National Park someday.

  22. jiwesh

    Wow recently i was planning to visit Kruger National park. Such a great post and it will definitely help me during my visit. You are really lucky that you were able to capture so many animals through your lens. Great itinerary and well explained. Thank you

    1. Moon Ray

      If you stay 3-4 days in kruger National Park , you won’t be disappointed. It is lovely place to see wild animals in theie habitat.

  23. Anosa Malanga

    I really miss traveling a lot. What I do nowadays is read and create my bucket list and Kruger National Park is awesome. I guess I need to add it up on my list. Wishing that we can travel just like to good old times.

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