The Kruger National Park is South Africa’s largest nature reserve. From a safe distance, any adventurer can view a range of wildlife, birds, and spectacular flora. People love a good Kruger vacation. For this reason, luxury lodges are quite popular. Luckily, for the traveler on a budget, there are some cheap places to stay in Kruger National Park.
Spanning over 2 million hectares, it can become tricky to decide exactly which neck of the woods you’d like to call home. Nonetheless, there are tons of backpackers and campsites that will make your budget a bit more palatable.
There are lots of activities available and each establishment is well equipped with essential facilities.
Here is a list of some of the most affordable accommodation in the Kruger National Park.
Cheap Places to Stay in Kruger National Park
There is no easy way to decide on the best place to stay in Kruger National Park. Each campsite, lodge, and backpackers offer you a different perspective of this fascinating wildlife arena.
Whether you’re into camping, would like a little bit of luxury, or are hopelessly devoted to backpacking across Africa, there’s something here for you.
Kruger National Park Accommodation: Camping
Camping is not for the faint of heart, especially in this boundless reserve. To make things safer for humans and animals alike, the park has designated camping sites. Visitors are welcome to pitch their tent and reset their biological clock to the rise and set of the Lowveld sun.
There are bungalows, huts, and chalets available for those of us who despise setting up our own camp. It’s reasonably priced without neglecting any level of comfort.
Berg-en-dal Rest Camp
Berg-en-dal is the only self-catering rest camp that is situated in the mountainous area of the Kruger National Park. The camp is easily accessible through the Malelane Gate and can be found on the southern side of the park.
Keep your eyes peeled as you might catch a glimpse of klipspringer and wild dogs all while making breakfast.
Crocodile Bridge Restcamp
On the northern bank of the Crocodile River, marula trees fill your line of vision. You’re provided with amenities such as a laundromat, grocery store, liquor store, and more. You can easily spot any of the Big 5 from this vantage point.
Although, it isn’t just a regular safari experience. With a handful of history, this campsite grants you the opportunity to delve deeper into the stories and workmanship of the 19th Century and historical San rock art.
Punda Maria Rest Camp
If you’re looking for elephants, nyala, kudu, or buffalo – this is a camp that you’ll have to see. This campsite is located in the northern region of the park and about 5 hours drive away from the city of Johanessburg.
Once you’re through the Punda Maria gate, you’ll feel the warm temperatures of the African bush. It can get quite heated in the summer months. So, be sure to check out the best time to visit the Kruger National Park.
Each Campsite offers you clean ablution facilities, electricity, and communal kitchen facilities. If you opt for a bungalow, you’ll have private kitchens and bathrooms. Either way, you’ll be safe in the heart of Kruger National Park. With grocery stores, petrol stations, restaurants, and self-serve cafeterias at your disposal.
The prices vary from season to season but you can expect to dish out anything between $30 for a basic campsite to $250 for a 6 sleeper family unit. Did someone say, bargain?
The Kruger National Park is filled with various campsites; such as:
- Lower Sabie
Bushveld Camps and Overnight Hides
If you choose one of these camps, you’re accepting the ultimate self-catering challenge. Bushveld camps in the Kruger National Park have small shops that cater to basic needs.
Many of these are situated on the banks of dams or rivers and will afford you a beautiful game viewing experience. Most camps range between $100 and $250. With priceless views, these are definitely some of the cheapest places to stay in Kruger National Park.
- Bateleur Camp
- Biyamiti Camp
- Sirheni Camp
- Talamati Camp
The Overnight Hides transform your daily bird-watching hide into a basic sleepover by night. You might not sleep much as lions and buffalo will wake you throughout the night. With beautiful neighbors like these, it may be an all-nighter that you’ll never forget and lost sleep that you won’t regret. Overnight hides start from $50 per night.
- Shipandani Sleepover Hide
- Sable Sleepover Hide
Kruger National Park Backpackers
A backpackers’ experience allows you to meet new people, learn something unexpected and hopefully save a whole lot of cash.
These specific backpackers are situated outside of the park itself but still close enough to enjoy your morning game drives after a decent amount of sleep.
Kruger Inn Backpackers
At the Kruger Inn Backpackers, you’re essentially 30 minutes away from the Kruger National Park. Located on the outskirts, in Lionspruit Reserve, this backpackers offers you a home away from home.
With a private bath and shower, there’s no need to feel too crowded in this top-rated location. If you’ve got some spare time, you could take a hike or hire a bike and explore a different part of Mpumalanga.
Sabie Gypsy’s Backpackers
Wake up to a mountain view in our second top-rated location. At Sabie Gypsy’s Backpackers, you’ll experience some good value for money, coupled with friendly hosts. This backpackers is just 2 minutes away from Sabie Falls by car.
To get to the Kruger National Park, you’ll have to drive for about an hour and a half. You might want to consider renting a car while you’re in town. After your trip to the reserve, you can come back home to a warm BBQ and take a dip in the swimming pool.
Kruger National Park Lodging
If old-school camping is not your thing and you’re still wondering where to stay in Kruger National Park, you’ll be elated to know that there’s a place for you too.
Lodges in the Kruger National Park sometimes take on a more luxurious vibe. Consequently, that means a hefty fee is involved as well. With the options listed below, you might be giving up a private plunge pool and spa treatments but your wallet will thank you later.
The private camps take you on a journey much different from what you might be used to. It’s the quintessential camping experience laced with all of our favorite comforts.
Tanda Tula Safari Camp
Like regular camping, you’re still sleeping in a tent. But, Tanda Tula encapsulates you with warmth and style. Their packages include almost everything from sipping cocktails at sunset to wildlife walks and stargazing.
Tanda Tula Safari Camp brings you affordable luxury living by intertwining opulence with the great and natural outdoors.
Boulders Bush Lodge
If you’re looking for something off-grid, this may be your one true love. Hidden between the bushes, this lodge offers no cell reception, no sockets for electrical appliances, and no shop around the corner.
You are about 25 kilometers away from the nearest camp, but, with braai facilities and great company, you can watch the free-roaming animals from your verandah. Prepare the barbecue, decant the wine and enjoy the absolute serenity.
Kruger National Park Lodges, and More
While many of these places are a stone’s throw away from Kruger National Park. They offer you a distinctive experience of the African Bush.
Some are unique, and others conform to your regular expectations. If your biggest checkboxes are comfort and affordability – these may be worth considering.
- Old Post Office Inn
- Ebundu Lodge
- Chill Inn Malelane
- Three Bridges B&B
- Magoebaskloof Mountain Lodge
- Casa Leitao Lodge
- Cu Guest House
- Machaton Private Camp
Kruger National Park Hotels
Hotels are few and far between in the Kruger National Park. Simply because of how incomparable the available lodges are. It’s also quite rare to want to build high-rise buildings with a landscape so tranquil.
Albeit, there are a few hotels near Kruger National Park and they’re just as lovely as the safari camps and private lodges.
A hotel that feels like home, the Carjori hotel is about 3km away from Kruger National Park. After a long day of touring the bush, you can come home to a Nguni bar and a wonderful restaurant.
SleepOver at Kruger Gate
This motel-style accommodation is situated 6km away from the Kruger Gate. Imagine a bush-themed commune with a dash of business chic. Complete with a workstation and air-conditioning.
Final thoughts on Cheap Places to Stay in Kruger National Park
Now that you’ve got a better idea of where to stay in Kruger National Park, the accommodation aspect of your trip shouldn’t seem as overwhelming. There are airports near the park which are a great help when arranging transport.
This list is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to what Kruger National Park has to offer. Draw up your list of everything you’d like to see and start figuring out what to pack. Your adventure awaits!