We are frequent Kruger visitors so we compiled this list to help first-time visitors, we hope this list comes in handy even for someone who has visited the park before.
Pack light, even in winter Kruger is warm so don’t bother packing winter clothes only, pack one warm jacket and the rest should be your summer wardrobe. Read our packing list here.
Don’t buy hiking boots, unless you are going on a hiking trail you do not need hiking boots at the Kruger, you will only be sitting most of the day
Bring binoculars, some sightings will be far and the only way you might get to see them is with binoculars, especially if you are wanting to find birds, binoculars are a must
Don’t get out your car, please abide by the rules and stay in the car, Kruger is not a zoo
Be prepared for early mornings, we all like to sleep in during holidays, but this is one place where the saying the early bid catches the worm applies, you are more likely to spot animals during early mornings, so set your alarm for an early rise.
Be realistic, again this is not a zoo therefore sightings may not be definite, we all want to see things similar to what we see on documentaries but that may not always be possible.
Be respectable of others at sightings, you may not be the only other person at a sighting so don’t block the sighting from others and park your car in a position where traffic can flow and wait your turn when there is long waiting cue.
Focus on one area of the park, you driving from north to south is just not doable because the park is so big, so when you are making arrangements make sure you stay at a section that you would really like to visit.
Go for at least a few days, you will be lucky to see the big 5 in one day but that may not be the case thus stay for at least a 5 days if possible.
Be ready to get dirty, be prepared to get dusty even from just sitting in the car the whole day.
Don’t be alarmed when travelling through townships to get to the Kruger, the Kruger neighbors townships so don’t panic just be vigilant.
Make friends and ask questions, speak to people at camps and at sightings they might inform you of other findings.
Take a bathing suit, even in winter it can be warm enough for a dip at one of the rest camp pools.
Take anti-malaria tablets, the Kruger is a malaria zone, take precautions by bringing anti-malaria products and by taking tablets.
Be prepared to not have cell reception, you may only have signal at the bigger rest camps.
Do not feed the animals, cute monkeys will come up to you and you might be tempted to feed them but please don’t, the same goes for birds and other small animals you might come across.
Drive on sand roads for less congestion, in the south of the park the tar roads get congested with visitors, to avoid that travel on sand roads for a higher chance to enjoy sightings on your own.
Look under trees and in trees, animals are easily camouflaged so remember to look properly especially for leopards hidden in trees.
Buy a Kruger map, there are signposts but the map makes it easier to get around, you can find maps at any rest camps.
Don’t leave a sighting right away, you will come across a pride of lions lounging around and you might leave to try find something better but if you stay, maybe a unsuspecting antelope walk by the lions and you will get front row seats for a kill.
Know how long it’s going to take you to get from camp to camp, there are gate times and speed limits which you need to abide by, when planning routes make sure you will have enough time to get back to camp.
Check the sighting boards & latest sightings, you will find the boards at the rest camps and latest sightings makes use of Whatsapp for sightings, but remember not all sightings are guaranteed.
Turn your car off at sightings, trust us there is nothing more annoying than being at a great sighting and you can’t enjoy it because the car next to you has their diesel engine running.
Walk around the camp perimeter at night, if you are not in the mood for going on a night drive, walk around the camp fence, you don’t know what you will find.
Do not report rhino sightings, rhinos are highly endangered and we don’t want it to make it easier for poachers to find them.