Kruger National Park Safari Cost

Cost of a safari in Kruger National Park

Holidaymakers visiting South Africa’s Kruger National Park have three (3) major ways of taking a safari here to explore its rich wildlife diversity and unique scenery. This can be done by taking an organized Safari through a tour agent or through taking a self-drive safari or by staying at any of the lodges in a private game reserve.

In this article we are going to analyze the different factors that affect the cost of a safari in Kruger National Park and how they will influence the overall Safari cost.

Factor that affect the cost of a Safari in Kruger National Park

  1. Type of accommodation

There is a wide range of accommodation facilities that cater for every type of traveler visiting Kruger National Park. The price of accommodation defers basing on the standard of comfort that every facility offers and they range from basic camping or staying under canvas, guest houses or basic hotels that offer rooms, safari cottages as well as luxury facilities that are offered by the private game lodges.

Below is a table showing the average costs of different accommodations in Kruger National Park

  Category Low Season Shoulder Season Peak Season
  camping R300 $19 R300 $19 R408 $25
  Budget accommodation R1310 $80 R1310 $80 R1550 $95
  Mid-range Accommodation R3035 $185 R3035 $185 R3600 $220
  Luxury Accommodation R8425 $515 R8425 $515 R9800 $600

 

  1. Park Entrance Fees

Holidaymakers visiting Kruger National Park are required to pay a mandatory conservation fee that is valid for 24 hours and this fee depends on whether you are a citizen or resident or a foreign visitor as highlighted in table below.

    price the person per day
  Category child Adult
1. South African resident citizen $4 $7
2. South African development community Nationals $7 $14
3. foreign visitors $14 $27

 

Kruger National Park offers a number of different gates through which visitors can enter. You are highly advised to access the park using gate that is closest to your accommodation or where you will be staying. the opening as well as closing times for the gates defers depending on the time of the year as highlighted in the below

Camp Gate Opening time

  Month Month
1. November to January 4:30 a.m.
2. February to March 5:30 a.m.
3. April to September 6 a.m.
4. October 5:30 a.m.

 

Opening Times for entrance gates:

October to March: 05:30am

April to September: 06:00am

Closing time for all gates

  Month Month
1. November to February 6:30 p.m.
2. March to April 6 p.m.
3. May to July 5:30 p.m.
4. August to October 6 p.m.  

 

  1. Cost of safari activities

The most prominent Safari activity conducted within Kruger National Park is game viewing and this is mainly done through the amazing thrilling game drives conducted across the park’s beautiful terrain. The cost of a game drive depends on the type of vehicle you are using as well as the company that is providing the service. Game drives can be conducted all through that day and normally run for about 4 hours. There are early morning / sunrise game drives, the mid-morning game drives, the sunset / evening game drive as well as the night game drives. These can best be enjoyed when led by an experienced Safari guide who is more familiar with the National Park and knows where to find the various animals, however this service comes at an additional cost. Nonetheless Kruger national park is also visited by holidaymakers who prefer to go on self-drive game drives and this is a good option for those traveling on budget. When going when a self-drive safari you are highly advise to purchase a map and guide book for Kruger National Park and this costs about $10 or R160.

 

Table showing cost of Activities conducted in Kruger National Park

  Activity Where Conducted Adult rate Child Rate
1. Early /Sunrise Game drive Crocodile Bridge Gate

 

R 446 R 223
Pretoriuskop, Bateleur, Shingwedzi, Berg-En-Dal, Skukuza, Letaba, Shimuwini, Lower Sabie, Satara, Olifants, Punda

Maria, Orpen Camp

R 346 R 173
2. Sunset Drive Crocodile Bridge Gate R 446 R 223

 

Mopani, Olifants, Talamati, Bateleur, Skukuza, Berg-En-Dal, Shingwedzi, Biyamiti, Shimuwini, Crocodile Bridge

Camp, Satara, Punda Maria, Letaba, Pretoriuskop, Lower Sabie, Orpen Camp

R 346 R 173
3. Night Drive Crocodile Bridge Gate R 370 R 185
Shimuwini, Talamati, Bateleur, Sirheni,Punda Maria R 346 R 173
Olifants, Skukuza, Letaba, Shingwedzi, Lower Sabie, Satara, Mopani

 

R 270 R 135
4. Morning Walk

 

Crocodile Bridge Gate R 700 N/A
Olifants, Skukuza, Berg-En-Dal, Shingwedzi, Satara, Biyamiti, Mopani, Pretoriuskop, Letaba, Orpen Camp, Lower Sabie,

 

 

R 600 N/A
5. Afternoon Walk Skukuza, Letaba R 480 N/A
6. Mountain Biking Phalaborwa Gate R795 to R1,095 N/A
7. River Walk Olifants R346 N/A

 

Additional activities include playing golf as well as bird watching. You can inquire through your travel agent for the latest prices for these activities

  1. Time of year to visit

From June to September, Kruger National Park is experiencing the dry season and receives the highest number of tourists which makes it the peak tourist season. During this time of the year, there is high demand on accommodation and the overall cost of a safari is high. Budget travelers on the other hand are advised to avoid this season as well as the Christmas holidays. You can refer to our table above showing a comparison of accommodation in the different seasons of the year.

  1. Cost of Meals

the cost of meals within kruger National park will depend on whether you are on a self catering safari (for instance persons camping or staying at rest camps with shared kitchens) or if you are staying at a lodge  / hotel that provides meals as part of their accommodation packages. travelers on limited budget can always prepare their own meals or eat at the restaurants (which may not be as scrumptious) found at the rest camp where on average  meal may cost about $10; packing some snacks and enough drinks will also help cut down the budget. The more expensive accommodations on the other hand offer accommodation packages that are all inclusive providing breakfast, lunch and dinner and the cost of these meals are normally more costly and fixed priced.

  1. Self – Guided or Guided Safari?

Kruger NP can be explored on either a guided or a self guided safari depending on your safari budget. However the park can best be enjoyed when led by a professional guide you will offer you all information you need to know and guide you to best places to see the different animals. Safaris booked through tour agents normally have a safari guide and this cost is incorporated in the total safari cost. The cost of a professional guide ranges from $20 to as much as $100 per day especially if the guide is also going to serve as a translator. Holidaymakers on a limited travel budget are advised to take a self guided safari as its more cost friendly.

Best time to Visit Kruger National Park

Kruger National park can be visited all year round however the best time to visit is in the dry season from June to September when most the vegetation in dried out and thin, and most water sources have dried out leading to a large number of the wild animals congregation around the few remaining water sources.

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