If listening to Sir David Attenborough whisper sweet narrations about wildlife is what inspires you to get closer to nature we completely understand. But if you’re looking for real adventure and you’ve got a tent but you don’t have a clue where to go. Well, Kruger National Park is calling your name.
Camping on an African safari tour sounds great but you’re not so keen on sharing your tent with a pride of lions. And sure, a night under the stars sounds magical but is there a bathroom other than hiding in the bush? Or you’ve gone camping before but camping in the Kruger National Park is feeling a little too higher grade for you, right?
Stop overthinking it. All your concerns are valid but they shouldn’t deter you from taking a trip to the wild side. This guide will answer your questions and put your mind at ease so that camping in the Kruger National Park is amazing. We’ll get you amped up and ready to stay a night (or two) at only the best camps in Kruger National Park.
Camping Kruger National Park
The Kruger National Park is truly a treasure. Every inch of it is amazing and believe us when we say, ‘bring an extra memory card’ because you’ll be snapping at everything. But besides the Kruger’s breathtaking scenery and sites, planning where to stay the night can be overwhelming.
Kruger National Park has two main camps, five satellite camps, five bush camps and two overnight hides. And lest we forget to mention there are a number of luxury lodges and wilderness trails. With endless options like that, even Dora the Explorer would ask us for help. So, here we are ready to give you our favorite picks on where to park your caravan and spend the night.
If Disney’s The Lion King is your favorite childhood movie or you simply love cats then Satara camp is the purr-fect choice. This Kruger camp is one of the best for spotting Cheetahs, Leopards and of course the majestic Lions. These wild felines call Satara home as this is an area in the Kruger with the most grazing lands that surround the camp.
South Africa’s Big Five also roam these plains with guest appearances from Giraffes, Impala’s, Zebras and the Honey Badger if she isn’t feeling too camera shy to say hi.
Punda Maria Rest Camp
This campsite is the most luscious in flora and fauna. In the Northernmost area of the Kruger National Park, this is where sightseeing is the most rewarding. For those who are geared up with binoculars and a notebook, be prepared to take notes of all the great birds you will spot here. From the Yellow Oxpecker to the Cape Parrot, you’re in for a one-of-a-kind airshow.
Olifants Rest Camp
Located on top of a hill facing the Olifants River, you’re in for some idyllic panoramic views- told you to bring an extra memory card. With miles of bushveld that stretches further than the eye can see, Olifant Rest Camp is the watering hole for the wildlife here.
This camp has a few shops, cafes and restaurants. So, day guests can catch a bite to eat and do a bit of shopping before heading on safari. For the overnighters, if the tent is feeling a little crowded there are some inviting bungalows and guesthouses to relax in.
The Olifants River is the transitional spot where animals cross from one end to another for greener pastures. Here you’ll spot a wide range of game including Buffalos, Zebras and Giraffes. With a clear view of the river’s edge, you can spot a family of yawning Hippopotamus and a few sneaky looking crocodiles.
This is the main camp rest that you’ll most likely pass before heading off to another. Skukuza is the largest camp within the Kruger National Park and home to some of the most beautiful luxury lodges. So, if you’re more of a ‘glamper’ than a camper, we would recommend that you make a pitstop here.
Skukuza has great facilities and activities here are diverse for the Caravan-towing family. But for the Kruger National Park day visitors, Skukuza has a great viewpoint to check wildlife passing through while getting a snack.
If you’re the type to prefer a more secluded wildlife experience then the Bateleur Camp will be heavenly. Bateleur is one of the oldest camps in Kruger National Park and is also the smallest. There are no restaurants or cafes here and the only mini-mart provides for those who stay the night.
With plenty of space for a bushveld ready night under the stars, Bateleur Camp is also known for its comfortable luxury accommodation. The cottages at this campsite have en-suite bathrooms and their own kitchens that are serviced daily.
This is probably the most rustic of all the Kruger camps. Tsendze does not have electricity but offers a communal gas freezer. Everything else works with the use of solar power and there are quite a few outdoor rain showers.
Tsendze is lined with trees, so if you were looking to literally be inside nature – this would be the place. There are also quite a number of owls who sit perched in these trees so enjoy the hooting sounds from these wise birds.
Final Thoughts on Kruger Park Camps
This list has only hit the tip of the iceberg because there are dozens of campsites worth the mention in this guide. However, we’re hoping you’ve found at least one on this list that you and your family are eager to stay over at. From North to South of the Kruger National Park, it’s all worth the adventure.