1 Day Kruger National Park Safari Tour Itinerary

July 11, 2021

Rise and shine wonderful people. You have one day to tour the greater Kruger National Park, so what do you do?

As the largest national park in South Africa, there’s quite a bit to get done. This is why most people prefer to spend at least 7 to 10 days vacationing in this glorious nature reserve.

Although, with the right kind of itinerary and some thorough planning – you can explore the African bush in just one day and still experience all the luster it has to offer.

Depending on which of the wildlife animals you’re most interested in finding, you will have to prioritize accordingly to guarantee the best bang for your buck for your 1-day Kruger National Park itinerary.

Tips for the Best Kruger National Park Safari

You won’t want to miss out on your favorite Big Five animals, so you’ll want to make sure that you check out the best time to head to Kruger.

The warmer seasons are from September until the end of Autumn in May. It can get extremely hot and humid in the Summer months. Even with the summer rainfall, it is quite a scorcher. So, ensure that you’ve got a light coat as well as some shades while coasting through the wilderness.

The optimal time for game-viewing at Kruger National Park is the sunrise or sunset, as most of the animal kingdom is active in the early morning or the early evening.

If you’d like a midday drive, you could still bear witness to a herd of elephants at the watering hole. Since most animals prefer a drink of water when the midday sun is strongest.

You can expect to see a variety of antelope such as eland, nyala, springbok, or gemsbok. Your favorites from the Lion King like warthog and meerkat or even mongoose and a wide range of beautiful birds like the lilac-breasted roller.

If you’re lucky, you’ll come across a few cars grouped together. In which case, you’ll know that there’s something to keep a lookout for. So, while you’re looking for your preferred animals, it is also a great idea to keep an eye out on where other safari adventurers are as well.

Lilac-breasted roller perched in a tree

Kruger National Safari Tours and Prices

As a local, it’s easy to drive through Kruger with your vehicle and do your own safari drive. If you’re renting a car – you might want to consider getting a map and bumbling through the dirt roads yourself. Although you’ll have to rely on your instinct and a good eye.

If not, you could always procure yourself a great guide to help you catch a glimpse of the best sightings.

Kruger Safari Tours

There are some private tour options that offer you affordable prices and pre-prescribed Kruger National Park itineraries. An expert guide will offer running commentary throughout your trip around Kruger National park. These are usually expert trackers and are well-clued up on what lies behind the thickets and amongst the trees.

Full-Day Private Safari

With this safari tour, you will start your day bright and early at 5:30 am. The guide fetches you from one of the predetermined pick-up spots and will drop you right back once the day is done.

With this full-day private safari, you’re guaranteed a registered guide, bottled water, and a full day of safari adventure through the Kruger National Park. If you’re on the lookout for sightings of all Big Five animals (or as many as possible), this is the right tour for you.

Entrance Fee: Conservation fees at $30 per person

Check availability here

Morning Safari Drive

If a full day sounds like too much, why not just head out in the morning?

A seven-hour morning drive starting from 5:30 am, coupled with qualified guides sounds like a treat. Your guide will pick you up in the morning from your accommodation in Hazyview, and drop you off in the afternoon.

Entrance Fee: Included in the package from $200 per person

Check availability here

Yellow-billed hornbill perched on a branch

Kruger National Park Tours from Johannesburg

There is a ton of fun stuff to do in and around Kruger. Why not speed up the driving time, or skip the road completely? By opting to fly into Kruger from Johannesburg airport.

With this tour, you depart from OR Tambo airport in Johannesburg and then get picked up from the nearest Kruger National Park airport. The entire excursion will only take about 9 hours and only 40 minutes of flying time. This tour also allows you to pick up some lunch at Skukuza Camp, so you don’t have to pack in any padkos (an Afrikaans word that means food for the road).

Entrance Fee: Included in the package from $700 per person

Check availability here.


How to Get to Kruger National Park

While there are some Kruger National Park packages that sort your transportation out for you, you’ll be happy to know that there are a few options.

This includes flying and car hire, so check out the below and work out what best suits your 1 day trip to the Kruger.


There are three different airports that you can choose from. Depending on where you’re flying in from, you can either land in the northern, central, or southern parts of Kruger. Respectively;

  • Phalaborwa Airport
  • Hoedspruit Eastgate Airport
  • Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport

Car rental:

From the airports, you could rent a car from Phalaborwa, Hoedspruit, or Nelspruit towns and drive the distance yourself. It should take anywhere between 55 to 70 minutes to reach the closest gate entering into the Kruger National Park. The main gates are as follows:

  • Nelspruit (Malelane Gate)
  • Hoedspruit (Phalaborwa Gate)
  • Phalaborwa Airport (Phalaborwa Gate – takes about 10 minutes)

Car driving through the Kruger National Park

Final Say on Kruger, South Africa

By the end of your day, you will have fallen in love. You might even consider staying over for a night or a few. So, check out where to stay in Kruger National Park as well.

One day in the park can be enough, the day will still be great and you’ll leave with a load of memories and photographs.

Book your tours and be sure to learn everything you can about the cheetah, rhino, and white-backed vultures on your trip.


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