If you still haven’t been to the Kruger then now’s the time to add this beautiful South African destination to your must-visit list. It’s one of the most incredible places you will ever visit and one of the best places in South Africa to check out our natural wildlife. The only thing ‘wrong’ with the Kruger National Park is that it’s so big that the accommodation options are almost endless. From luxury lodges to self-catering chalets, Kruger has it all, but how do you go about narrowing down the search to find the accommodation that best suits your holiday style and budget? The answer is simple; just check out my list of top 4 places to stay in Kruger National Park.
The great thing about Kruger National Park is that it’s a holiday destination for all seasons. Marion Geiger, owner of Motswari Private Game Reserve says that the bush is great all year round. She explained that the summer season brings both heat and rain and the bush is filled with abundant life as many offspring are born in the summer months. She also proclaimed to love winter in the bush as animals are drawn to watering holes and the landscape is dry and open with excellent views deep into the bush.
1. nThambo Tree Camp – Klaserie Private Nature Reserve, Kruger National Park
The oh-so-incredible nThambo Tree Camp is located in the Klaserie Private Nature Reserve which shares un-fenced borders with the Kruger Park. The intimate tented tree camp offers visitors luxury accommodation in one of five stand-alone, two-sleeper tented chalets in the heart of the bush.
This spot is the perfect place to get up close and personal with all sorts of African wildlife and when I say it is in the heart of the bush I’m not kidding. During our stay at the lodge we had hippos brazenly grazing underneath our tented tree house at night and the resident honey badger popped in for a visit during dinner each night (he even helped himself to a few drinks from the honesty bar and judging from his haul I’m sure he’s run up quite a tab!)
nThambo offers guest a fabulous down-to-earth spirit with a splash of luxury. Guests are encouraged to spend their days doing whatever they’d like – including enjoying a few drinks at the bar, relaxing with a good book in the communal lounge area or catching a tan while enjoying the view from the pool deck.
Rates start from R2 650 per person per night on full board (includes all meals, game drives and walks, teas and coffees). Click here for more details on nThambo Tree Camp and say Hi to the lodge on Facebook.
2. nDzuti Safari Camp – Klaserie Private Nature Reserve, Kruger National Park
This cosy, owner-run camp offers travelers a guest house type of experience in the bush. If face-to-face encounters with buffaloes and bats in your chalet ceiling aren’t your type of thing then this fenced camp is ideal for you. With just four double en-suit rooms (sleeping only eight guests) leading off the communal kitchen, lounge and dining area nDutzi is as intimate as it gets. You’ll get some pretty impressive hands-on service from the owners, a husband and wife team who are beyond passionate about their business.
The camp offers a lovely boma area and swimming pool where you can relax with a drink and a good book in between game drives. The boma and bedrooms over look the bush and a nearby watering hole which often attracts a few elephants and other animals looking for a drink. The camp is also home to a curious monkey who loves to join in when guests are enjoying lunch on the lawn outside. I paid a visit to nDutzi with the boyfriend and we met other couples while we were there but it is also a great place to get away with friends; you can rent out the whole place and have a cracker of a weekend away with no interruptions from other guests.
Rates start from R1 950 per person per night on full board (includes all meals, game drives, teas and coffees). Click here for more details on nDzuti Safari Camp and say Hi to the safari camp on Facebook.
3. Motswari Private Game Reserve – Timbavati Nature Reserve, Kruger National Park
This family-owned and operated four-star luxury safari lodge prides itself on its warm atmosphere and luxurious accommodation. With 39 years in the business you can bet that this family knows a little bit about good hospitality (their motto is; “Arrive as a visitor, leave as a friend” for goodness sake) so if it’s a warm and welcoming vibe you’re after then this is the spot for you.
Motswari also offers guests wonderful luxury bedrooms, with each bedroom having its own unique look. Owner Marion (a renowned fine artist) has carefully chosen the antiques and other decor that are displayed in the naturally-furnished interiors of each bungalow. With personal touches like this you will feel like you’ve just popped over to a friend’s house for a visit rather than a lodge filled with strangers.
If you don’t believe us then believe past guests turned friends of the lodge! Guests who have visited the lodge describe it as “not just a hotel – it’s an experience” and say that “compared to other lodges it has a real ‘in the bush’ feeling, without sacrificing luxury or service”.
Rates start from R3 045 per person sharing per night. Click here for more details on Motswari Private Game Reserve.
4. Lodge 23 – Kruger National Park
Guests who love quiet luxury will adore this self-catering lodge which sleeps just 8 guests. Set on the banks of the Sabie River, Lodge 23 offers a bush getaway like no other and was born from the Lederle family’s dream of owning a house in the midst of the Kruger National Park. The family pulled together influences from their most inspiring travels around the world to designed the unique bush getaway and the result is a luxurious, four-bedroomed luxury villa with whispers of faraway lands such as India and Morocco.
Situated on a 290ha private reserve estate aptly named Elephant Point, Lodge 23 borders the iconic Kruger National Park. Guests can while away the hours with a good book on the poolside deck, or enjoy a night under the stars around the fire in the boma all while listening to the call of the fish eagle and the trumpeting of elephants echoing through the ancient African bush. The African sun-worshiping rooftop deck and a game viewing deck, complete with bar and lounge, offers uninterrupted views of an expansive riverfront where hippos play. Guests can enjoy self-drive game viewing, guided Rhino Walks, or open air vehicle game drives – it’s up to you!
Rates start from R8 100 per night for exclusive use of the lodge for 1-4 people (including teas / coffees, basic ingredients and spices, daily housekeeping, boma cleaning facilities and free WiFi in entertainment areas). Click here for more details on Lodge 23.