The Kruger National Park is a special place. No matter how many times you escape civilisation to spend a few days in the bush, the park will always lure you back. Retreating to the bushveld is something that every Lowvelder and every visitor to this region of Mpumalanga need to do at least once. To make your stay even more pleasant you need to spend your nights in the best camps. Here are the 10 best camps in the Kruger National Park and why they are the best.
Skukuza Rest Camp
The most renowned camp in the park also happens to be the camp that is the first choice for many day visitors and night time campers. This camp is easily reached from the Malelane gate and is perfect for those who only have a day in the camp and want to enjoy a hearty lunch during. And for those wanting to sleep over, there are a number of accommodation options to choose from.
There is an accommodation option to suit every budget and every taste. An internet café is also nearby to provide those who are travelling from far away countries to keep in touch with home and share photographs. There are also lots of things to see in the area, with many animals roaming in the region. Common animal and bird sightings in this area include fruit bats, Warthog, Bush Babies, Lories, and spotted Hyena’s.
Olifants Rest Camp
This camp is unique in that it is situated high above the Olifants River, giving guests that opportunity to look down onto the river bed below. Look out platforms give people a quiet place to stand and enjoy the animals drinking in the river or simply passing through. Animal sightings in this area include Lion, Hippo, Crocodile, Martial Eagle and Elephant.
There is plenty to see in this camp and with beautiful look out points you don’t have to travel far from the camp to enjoy the wildlife.
Letaba Rest Camp
With the options of staying in a tent, a caravan or a guest house, you will find Letaba Rest Camp towards the north of the park. The name Letaba means river of sand and the river bed after which this camp is named is the best place to view the numerous wildlife that trek across it.
Settling down for a night in this oasis of a rest camp means enjoying the sounds of the wildlife, from croaking frogs to roaring lions. In this area Elephant, Bushbuck and numerous beautiful birds are all common sightings.
Punda Maria Rest Camp
The name of this camp has changed numerous times, but the nature of the camp and the beauty of the camp remain the same. Punda Maria is the botanical gardens of the Kruger Park and it is one of the few rest camps that is located in the most northern areas of the park. This exquisite camp is also one of the best places in the park to indulge in some bird watching.
The location of the park allows you to exit it into three different places. Travelling north will take you into Zimbabwe or into the Limpopo Province while travelling east will take you into Mozambique. The architecture of this camp is also something to behold, with steeple hits dominating the sky. The most common animals in this camp include the Wild Dog, Sharpe’s Grysbok, Zebra and Nyala.
Shingwedzi Rest Camp
Shingwedzi is a very rustic camp and almost all who visit it enjoy taking a very scenic drive along the river after which the camp was christened. On the drive next to the river, you might come across Waterbuck, Elephant and Kudu. At night, the rest camp comes alive with accommodation being set up to surround camp fires.
Shingwedzi is rustic in ways that other rest camps are not. It is almost as if the modern world has not touched the camp. Some of the animal sightings to enjoy here are African Rock Pythons, Spotted Hyena and Elephant.
Bateleur Bushveld Camp
Just a few minutes South West of Shingwedzi is the small bushveld camp Bateleur, in the midst of the savannah. This camp is the smallest and the oldest one of its kind in the park. Just one of the things that draw people to this camp is the hide out that allows you to watch the animals at the waterholes in peace and safety. The camp is named after the stunning Bateleur Eagle.
Two of the nearby dams are exclusively for the viewing pleasure of those who are staying in the camp, so you will have lots of privacy and never feel rushed.
Tamboti Satellite Camp
A tented camp is sometimes the best option for people who like to gather together after an adventurous day. This camp has a boma around which people can sit and relax, sharing stories about the sights that they have seen during the day. The camp also has a bird hide to sit in and observe the many beautiful species that have made their home in the area. This camp provides guests with the complete bush experience by keeping the camp as close to nature as possible.
The back to basics camping feeling is ideal for those who are looking to experience a proper, old fashioned camping feeling. And if you are a birding fan, this camp is definitely the one to visit.
Balule Satellite Camp
Balule game reserve is technically a reserve outside of the Kruger National Park, but it is not fenced off from the park. Balule is a satellite camp and with no electricity available when camping, you will enjoy nights that are so clear that the Milky Way will be sparkling clearly above your head. It is also so quiet in this region that every animal sound can be heard after darkness falls.
For those in search of an authentic and vintage camping experience, it really doesn’t get better than this. The animals you can catch sight of include Elephant, Hyena and Hippos.
Satara Rest Camp
Satara is found in an area in the park that provides some of the best game viewing opportunities. For this reason, it is one of the busiest camps you will come across. Most of the accommodation is set in circles and the area has lots of open bush, giving you maximum viewing opportunities.
The great game viewing opportunities are what makes this camp one of the best, especially if it is your first time in the park and you want to see as much of the wildlife as possible. Lion, Buffalo, Giraffe and the elusive Honey Badger are often sighted in this area.
Mopani Rest Camp
This camp is named after the trees that dominate the area in which the camp has been built up. Within the centre of the camp, in the most seen and visited part of the camp, is a beautifully ancient baobab tree. Most of the vegetation in the camp is left to grow, giving the camp a very natural feel.
Offering you a wild and rustic experience, you are guaranteed to enjoy an authentic, wild Kruger Park camping trip. In this area, you are likely to see Tsessebe, Hippo and Waterbuck.