Kruger National Park Camping Safari

Norman had to come to South Africa for a business meeting and wanted to add on a Kruger National Park camping safari that wouldn't break the bank. Here is his review...

Table of Contents
The Safari
Cape Town
In Closing

Kruger National Park Camping Safari

Our main point of entry to Kruger was the Orpen gate, and we stayed inside the park at the Maroela tent campground.

The folks at Livingstone Trails were totally fabulous. Starting out, it took us 5 minutes to find a herd of 12 or so zebra who were 20 feet away. They were intermingled with an equal number of impala.

From there on it was simply one herd, or group of animals, one after another. Every 10 minutes or so would be another animal sighting... a lone bull elephant with huge tusks, baboons, a grouping of giraffe, a herd of wildebeest, kudu, warthogs, tortoise, hippos, buffalo, crocodile, steenbok, eland, vervet monkeys, storks, vultures, eagles, ibis, different species of hornbill, heron, ostriches, large baobab trees, and many more.

The stand out sightings during my Kruger National Park camping safari were...

  • A family of 30-40 elephants (with babies) walking single file, across the road in front of us to a watering hole. They drank, sprayed themselves to cool down, and threw dust over each other...
  • 3 rhinos charging out of the bush, running alongside the road next to us, crossing right in front of us, and then running back into the bush...
  • A herd of 80-100 zebra (with babies) at a watering hole...
  • A huge lone male lion slowly walking down the middle of a dry river bed, do a morning check of his territory...
  • A family of 16 giraffe munching on leaves 10 feet away...
  • A tree full of baboons lounging about in the shade.

It's pretty hard to grasp (much less describe) the sheer biodiversity, reality & scale of the place. Every day is completely different from the previous. Amongst our group was a retired Dutch couple on their 6th safari... I can see why people just keep coming back!

We got up at 5:30am every morning. A couple of people woke up when some lions roared in the dark nearby, but I slept through that!

I must say the seeing the stars with such clarity was also a treat.

My wife and daughter are SO sorry they couldn't go. We're already thinking about if we can all come back as a family next year. You can be sure that I'll touch base with you as soon as we start thinking about dates!

View Norman's photos of his Kruger National Park camping safari »

Norman's tour with Livingstone Trails was a budget camping safari where he as a single traveller joined a small group. Transport from and back to Johannesburg was included as was en-route stops at God's Window, Blyde River Canyon and Bourke's Luck potholes (all part of the "Panorama Route"). The first of his 3 nights was spent at a tribal village near the Kruger.


Back to the questions

Apart from the Kruger National Park camping safari, I can also highly recommend the day trips to Soweto and Cradle of Humankind/Sterkfontein Caves.

The operator (A Taste of Africa) had an extremely sharp young woman from Soweto pick me up with a driver. A personal tour with just myself, she took me through Soweto showing me the major sites, but also showing me the personal side of Soweto with a walk and tea in Kliptown and lunch at a friend of hers who runs a small restaurant out of her living room (all included in the R450).

The same woman and driver picked me up the next day for the outing to the Cradle of Humankind. We were there on a Sunday morning, so the crowds were very light.

Norman stayed at "A Room With A View" guest house in Melville, Johannesburg for 3 nights from where his day trips were organised.

Cape Town

Back to the questions

I spent the last week in Cape Town at a conference by the V&A Waterfront.

Luckily, I have some old friends who live there who took me all over including Cape Point, Boulders Beach (lots of penguins), Stellenbosch wine area, etc.

In Closing: Kruger National Park Camping Safari and South Africa as a Whole

Back to the questions

What a wonderful, amazing trip. In the U.S., we often just hear about the "bad" things in South Africa (crime, politics, etc.)... So I have to say that I was totally thrilled to find and meet so many outgoing friendly people.

I've also gotten a taste for rooibos tea, rusks and biltong.... Not sure how I'm going to find any of these in the U.S.!

Safari Location: South Africa: Kruger National Park, also Johannesburg & Cape Town
Safari Company Used: Livingstone Trails, arranged by Wilma (African Safari Journals)
Duration: The safari was 4 days: 18-21 February
Traveller Details: Norman Hulme, USA
Rates & Availability: Plan your own safari. Make a Kruger National Park camping safari enquiry

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