The Greater Kruger area, located in northern South Africa, is made up of Kruger National Park as well as over 20 private reserves that border the park to the west. It makes up an area of over two million hectares of protected land – one of Africa’s largest safari regions.
Kruger National Park is a fantastic experience for the self-drive market. It has a network of tarmac roads that are used by camping safaris and overland group tours. As this creates a high build-up of traffic, this is the kind of safari experience we prefer to avoid and so do not recommend staying within Kruger National Park itself.
Instead, at Yellow Zebra, we suggest a safari within one of the private concessions within Kruger National Park, such as the Singita Concession and the Makuleke Concession. Only guests staying within the private area can explore these concessions and the result is a wilderness experience that remains as exclusive as possible within the Kruger itself.
Guests staying at the properties within the Kruger's private concessions also have access to the national park and your guide might choose to take you into the park for special sightings.
The Singita Concession lies in the southeastern reaches of the Kruger National Park, on South Africa's border with Mozambique. On the confluence of two rivers, it is a remote and mountainous area that stretches across 33,000 acres of pristine wilderness. It boasts possibly the highest concentration of wildlife in the park and is home to two of the finest lodges on the continent – Singita Lebombo and Singita Sweni.
Farther north in Kruger National Park is the Makuleke Concession, named after the Makuleke people, to whom the land has been returned and who benefit from any profits from tourism. This remote and seldom-visited part of the park is over 24,000 hectares in extent and is home to almost 80 per cent of its biodiversity. Big-game sightings are certainly good, but the main attraction of this area is its feeling of true wilderness. A recent flood has meant that there is now only one high-end option – The Outpost.
Great Kruger’s Private Reserves
Another alternative would be to stay in a private reserve that borders or runs adjacent to Kruger National Park – such as the Sabi Sands and Timbavati in particular, which are home to some of Africa’s most luxurious safari properties and a number of ultra-exclusive game-viewing areas. We cannot recommend them highly enough, and we find that most of our clients choose to stay there rather than within the park itself.