Kruger National Park Self-drive Safari Tips

Kruger National Park Self-drive Safari Tips

While researching safaris in South Africa it may seem like the best, and safest option is to go with a tour guide. However this is expensive compared to a self-drive safari. After a lot of research, Olivia Rosalie and her boyfriend decided to do a self-drive safari around Kruger Park in South Africa. She has written a guide with top recommendations and things you need to know before departing.   


Why the Kruger?

Kruger self drive safari guide

The Kruger is one of the most highly rated National Parks in South Africa for self-drive safaris. Also the campsites are of a good standard, we had a warm shower almost every day and there was a convenience store at most campsites. Another good thing about Kruger Park is that before you go you can see which campsites have petrol pumps and convenience, which meant we did not have to worry about running out of petrol or food.


Transport - Car or 4x4?

Kruger self drive safari - car or 4x4

Although we had done a lot of research we were still unsure of the road conditions in the park so we hired a massive 4x4.  There was, in fact no need for a 4x4 most of the main roads are tarmacked and the smaller roads are gravel. The only time we needed a 4x4 was when we did our overnight bush trail, this involved going over rough terrain and even through a very deep dried up river bed.   


Book in Advance

If you want to do a night bush safari book in advance. We booked in advance and even though it was meant to be for 6 cars we were the only car there. But because we booked in advance we still got to go, if we had just turned up on the day we wouldn't have been able to go.   


Take a Map

kruger self drive safari route

Know your route, always have a map. There aren't many signs in Kruger Park even at turnings it may be hard to tell which way you are going without a map. Maps are useful because they show you which road you should be on and also what fun and exciting detours you can take. You will spend the first few days looking for animals, and it will get frustrating, learn to enjoy the scenery around you and that animals are a bonus.  


Wake Up Early

Kruger self drive safari

If you want to see anything get up early, this means packing up your tent in the dark and getting dressed in freezing cold temperatures.  


Pack Sensibly

Layers - I started and ended the day wearing a big thick jumper and a coat because it was cold when the sun wasn’t up. But during the day especially when you are in a car the heat can be unbearable. You end up wearing nothing more than a t-shirt and shorts and that can still be un-comfy. Also onsies are highly recommended, in the mornings you want to be wearing layers that you can get off quickly, so you can jump into a warm shower quickly.        


Get Lots of Rest

Know that you are going to be tired, so bring food and things to bring the mood up. We often travelled 8 hours a day on very little sleep, which was hard but in the end you are on the most epic experience of a lifetime.   



kruger self drive safari tips

Enjoy - this is one of the most spectacular places in the world to see wildlife and nature!


By Olivia Rosalie



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