Kruger’s Numbi Gate, half an hour’s drive from Mpumalanga airport and things look decidedly human.
Animals stroll across roads, neither looking left nor right, oblivious of 4 wheeled Kruger safari observers.
Kruger National Park is one of the few animal-packed national parks in the world where tourists are permitted to drive around in their own vehicles, albeit NOT offroad. This cuts down on animal sightings but is a very comfortable, cheap and relaxing way to get around, particularly with kids on board, and all the more fun for bumping into an African elephant in a Ford Focus! Game lodges and rest camps run off-road wildlife safaris too in 4XD vehicles with trackers, included if the traveler is staying in a private lodge and pay-to-view if a rest camp is home. Car rentals can be made at airports, Nelspruit town or even Skukuza camp. Most Kruger roads are in good shape so 4WD is not necessary. Gas stations inside the park do not accept credit cards. SatNav is an asset. With a maximum speed limit on tarred roads of 50kph and 40 kph on dirt time required to drive between camps is between 1-2 hours in the southern sector. It is not permitted to get out of your car outside a rest camp. Gates to Kruger Park and rest camps close at more-or-less sunset (about 6pm) and open at about sunrise (5-6am). DO CHECK your rental car air con thoroughly before heading out on a Kruger safari! In the summertime, November-March, temperatures can reach 38C+ (100F+). Also buy a cooler box, ice packs, and groceries before arriving in the park, from a nearby town such as Nelspruit.