Kruger Accommodation, South Africa
Lukimbi private safari lodge, Kruger accommodation (in June).
Kruger accommodation possibilities
Kruger is scattered with 21 rest camps and a dozen private safari lodges, accessed via nine gates. Most visitors head for the easy-to-reach southern section, especially those arriving from abroad since Mpumalanga is the only international airport in the vicinity.
Advantages of rest camps
• Camps are not cheap, but compared to most of the private lodges they are bargains.
• Use your own car and you may see more wildlife than on a paid and painful 4WD guided tour.
• All Accommodation has a BBQ setup (known in South Africa as a braai) outside at least, while many units also have a small kitchen inside. Take advantage of self-catering not only for cost-effectiveness but also to avoid sloppy, time-consuming restaurant rage.
• The better camps (see below) have plenty of parking, swimming pools and animal-spotting terraces inside the grounds.
Disadvantages of rest camps
• Incompetent, disorganised, careless staff and consequently chaotic and unsatisfactory service.
• Game drives on wintertime mornings are very cold, starting before sunrise and you may find yourself crammed in between two-legged elephants and having a view mainly of puffy red anoraks. Less 4-wheel game drives and more 2-legged walking tours would be an improvement.
Third Party views of Kruger accommodation
Lower Sabie Camp in south Kruger. The Sabie River is the core of Kruger’s most bountiful game sightings.
Lower Sabie on the bank of the Sabie River is arguably the best of all Kruger’s camps. Not a pretty site (pun intended) but due to its brilliant Sabie-side location animal viewing from the terrace is frequent. Lower Sabie’s accommodation is simple, including some large, platformed tents, or chalets with kitchens. As elsewhere, restaurant food quality and service is questionable and erratic.
From EMS1981, London, UK
Had three nights in a bungalw at Lower Sabie. We had one of the older ones which was a shame but it was clean if basic. Good views from the veranda of the river and sounds of Hippos.
Ate at restauarnt once for breakfast and once for dinner; both very average. Much better to eat at the Cafeteria. Shop was well stocked and I loved the walk-in beer fridge and superb range of biltong.
Tips: Bring a torch to get around after dark. If you have them bring B-B-Q utensils, that way you can make use of the Braai that is provided with each bungalow (it’s what the regulars do). Alternatively use the cafeteria. Be prepared to adjust your body clock to fit in with the nature. The camp is almost dead by 20. 00hrs and comes to life again just before daybreak.
By BeaverK from Cologne, Germany
The whole camp site is not what I would call beautiful but the chalets where pretty good. Very well equiped with a kichen and nicely located towards the river.
We only ate once for lunch in the restaurant and that was awful. When then cooked ourself. Good shop to buy what you need and there is a barbecue place with every chalet.
The Kruger National Park safari are so and so. If you drive with your own car you see as much. The quality of the guides seem to vary a lot.
By Eric201029 of New York, USA
We had the best viewings here. Stayed at Oliphants, Skukuza and Lower Sabie – total of a week. Also – game drives were great and guide Andrew was awesome.
However, although all three restaurants had great views the restaurant food and service is horrible. Waiting 20 minutes to get a menu, then 20 minutes to get a beer, then 20 minutes to take your order, then come back 20 minutes later and ask you your order again because they forgot to put it in, then another 40 minutes to get food if you didnt get the buffet.
Waiters changing the prices to increase them on your bill from what is on the menu to rip you off – then telling you “I gave you better food than what was on the menu”. Service is NON EXISTANT. Ordered a steak, got it ice cold – I complained – and they offered to microwave it. My advice – just go to the restaurant and have a bottle of wine on the deck to relax and watch animals before the sun goes down – all three have great decks. Dont eat there – buy food at the extensive camp shops and grill at your hut.
Despite all this – I would still recommend going. We got huts with great views, animals and acitvities were great, and I loved the park. Good value overall – just stayaway from restaurants! .
Mopani Camp in north Kruger National Park.
Mopani is one of Kruger’s newer rest camps, well built near a dam in a high-game density area, so viewing a large variety of animals from camp grounds and terraces is easy. Mopani is very well organised and comfortable, with an excellent restaurant and swimming pool.
Best Rest Camps in Kruger for animal sightings, especially the Big Five
Lower Sabie, Olifants (get a perimeter bungalow), Satara Bush Camp ( 2nd biggest camp in Kruger, not very good accommodation) and Skukuza. Letaba is in a lovely setting and specialises in elephant sightings.
Worst Rest Camps
Pretoriuskop – poor facilities and worse food; Crocodile Bridge – conveniently close to Crocodile Gate and civilisation but small and nothing else to commend it; Orpen, similarly adjacent to a gate so convenient and with adjacent waterhole but otherwise small and lacking character.
Other Kruger accommodation
In addition to Rest Camps and Luxury Safari Lodges there are:
a) Satellite Camps operated by some rest camps. These will be a few kilometres away from their big brothers and much more basic – for example using tents and only self-catering – but closer to nature and cheaper. e. g. Satara Rest Camp (RC) runs Balule; Berg-en-Dal RC runs Malelane; Orpen RC runs both Maroela and Tamboti; Letaba RC runs Pionier.
b) Bush Camps, much smaller and more basic than rest camps. e. g. Bataleur; Biyamiti, Shimuwini, Sirheni, Talamati.
Luxury Kruger accommodation
A more extravagant, upmarket bedroom in Lukimbi.
Lukimbi Safari Lodge, Tinga Private Game Lodge, Jock Safari Lodge, Singita Private Game Lodge, Imbali Safari Lodge, Rhino Walking Safaris, Shishangeni Lodge.