Motorhome Republic Bucket list road trips - Kruger National Park, South Africa

Motorhome Republic Bucket list road trips - Kruger National Park, South Africa

Kruger National Park, South Africa – Walk on the wild side

No motorhome road-trip bucket list would be complete without getting up close and personal to the most beautiful and diverse wildlife on the planet – and South Africa’s Kruger National Park offers up a truly unforgettable adventure, with some of the best infrastructure, information and facilities for a self-drive safari. 

Set out from O.R. Tambo International Airport just outside Johannesburg. If you need somewhere to stop for the first night, or want to explore the city for a few days, try the Airport En Route Travel Lodge and Guest House, which offers campervan sites in a friendly atmosphere only 15 minutes from the airport – a travellers’ favourite. The journey to the park itself takes around five hours

Once you arrive, there are rest camps administered by SANparks. Plan a route with these in mind so you have a booked place to stay each night. Far from being simple bush accommodation, they have powered sites for your motorhome and facilities such as kitchens, bathrooms, restaurants, swimming pools and laundry rooms. Simply put, they’re a wonderful place to rest and recuperate after a day of driving and animal spotting.

First time on safari? For an unhurried route, we start with a night at the Berg-en-Dal camp just inside the park near Malelane, then move to Pretoriuskop, Olifants and Lower Sabie camps for a night or two each, giving you plenty of time to take it all in. Between Berg-en-Dal and Pretoriuskop is only an hour-and-a- half total drive, but for the first day you will appreciate the time to stop frequently and relax in the afternoon and evening. This type of outdoor experience can take it out of you! Talk to locals at each camp and immerse yourself in their knowledge – they can help with places to go and things to do along the way.

One of the largest game reserves in Africa, Kruger sits in the mountainous and rain-rich south-west region. The best game viewing is around the Berg-en-Dal camp, where mixed grazing attracts herds of buffalo and zebra, along with the lions who see them merely as food. The Voortrekker Road between Berg-en-Dal and Pretoriuskop has plenty of rhino.

Rock art can also be seen in the foothills. The Skukuza area and Grasslands support huge herds of zebra, buffalo, impala, giraffe and wildebeest, along with the big cats that hunt them, so keep an eye out for a kill – a brutally exciting experience! The open grasslands also make for easier spotting.

The Olifants and Letaba area is as far north as many self-drive safari-goers venture, as the camps are more concentrated in the south. Around Olifants are rocky lands with tough vegetation and a river running through – ideal for viewing elephants, lions, hippos, crocodiles, baboons and many bird species. Waterholes such as the one on the S90 road are prime spots for watching animals gather.

A motorhome trip through Kruger National Park is a once-in-a-lifetime experience! With the network of camps and well-maintained roads in place, everything is set up for the ultimate African self-drive safari. It would be a shame not to visit the rest of South Africa while you are here. Durban, Cape Town and Port Elizabeth all have plenty of things for you to see. While you are in Kruger National Park, you could also cross the border to Zimbabwe in order to see the stunning Victoria Falls.

Written By: Alex Bell

A journalist and editor for nearly two decades, I am originally from London but proudly call New Zealand home. Having travelled the South Island in a campervan, I know exactly how liberating motorhomes and campers can be. It’s a great opportunity to be part of Motorhome Republic, as we look to educate and encourage people to hit the road in what is, essentially, a portable hotel! I will be creating interesting industry articles, travel itineraries, road-trip ideas, movies and so much more. Come along for the ride!