What to expect on a self-drive safari in Kruger National Park, you ask? Expect the unexpected! No day in nature is like the other and new adventures await around every corner.

However, there are things you should know and can look forward to on any given self-drive safari in Kruger National Park.

Early risers

One of the unwritten rules of any self-drive safari in Kruger: your day starts early. Whether to enjoy the twittering of birds travelling through the cool air or to watch the fog waft across the savannah. Early mornings in Kruger are special and that’s exactly when you will feel the South African spirit deep down in your tummy.

More so than the magical atmosphere though, early mornings allow for the best opportunities for great wildlife sightings. Gates usually open around 6am. Lions, cheetahs and their like have feasted the night before and are now hungry for more. Chances to witness one of these predators on the hunt or devouring their kill are best during the cool hours of the early morning. During the day you will most likely see them lounge in the shade underneath a tree. Their camouflage makes it tricky to tell them apart from the golden savannah. Start your Kruger self-drive safari early to make the most of it.

BBQ like the locals

First things first, start calling a BBQ a “braai” and you have gone a big step on your way to experiencing a local self-drive safari in Kruger Park. After your early morning game drive, it’s time to take a lunch break. South Africans are professionals when it comes to enjoying lunch on their self-drive safaris in Kruger. It sizzles and simmers around the resting areas. The delicious smell makes you want to make new friends with the woman with the braai tongs right away.

At many resting areas you can rent a gas cooker with integrated frying pan. So if you want to do it the local way and create that special bush feeling, it’s worth bringing your braai goods along and fire up your BBQ skills. If that’s just too complicated, you can buy your lunch at a shop or restaurant in the park. Bring along re-usable tupper ware from home to avoid single-use containers!

Wildlife on your self-drive safari in Kruger

Once the sun has passed its highest point, it’s time to head back out again for more wildlife adventures. There’s always lots to discover along the road. Elephants crossing in front of your car, their offspring in tow; springboks grazing so close to your car that you could – theoretically – almost touch them. The inhabitants of the southern Kruger have gotten used to their visitors on four wheels and are not alarmed by cars. You may even spot lions, napping away at the side of the road.

If you see several cars stopping at the same spot, chances are high there’s wildlife to spot. Always remember that the animals are in charge. You should never get too close, cut of an animal’s path of walking or disturb them in their natural habitat.

It is customary to share your latest sighting with other visitors also doing a self-drive safari in Kruger Park, looking for wildlife.

If this is not your first safari, you may be relaxed enough to enjoy the smaller wonders of nature: a river winding through the landscape, an impressive tree, a dikdik antelope or a group of zebras can be as exciting as the Big Five. Take your time and immerse yourself in nature – there’s a new discovery waiting around every corner, as long as you keep your eyes and mind open.

Late in the afternoon, the question of “what’s for dinner” comes up on ever self-drive safari. Restaurant or home cooking?

If you want to fire up the braai one more time, make sure to have enough wood or char coal. And enough time! If you’re not a regular, getting your meat and veggies right is not as easy as it looks. Just head over to your friendly South African safari neighbours and get some first-hand advice.

Get in touch and together, we’ll plan your self-drive safari in Kruger National Park!