How to Explore Kruger Park on the Trail of the “Big Five” Like a South African

Elephants, lions, buffalo, leopards, rhinos… our advice for exploring the Golden Triangle on an overnight air tour from France, four days to the south of the park, independently and without breaking the bank. Howling like a real South African as a bonus.

A sanctuary of large mammals, a biosphere of small wonders, Noah’s ark under the rainbow, an open-air feast for the hunters who left behind 170,000 antelope, the “Kruger” remains a South African privilege. Less than 20% of its millions of annual visitors are foreigners, discreetly guarded by a semi-military organization Wild area, 20,000 square km – more than twice the size of Corsica – patiently cruises from bungalows to bed-and-breakfasts at speeds of up to 25 km/h To be crossed. The wonderful, old-fashioned atmosphere around the evening barbecue, when kudu fillets are grilled, makes us feel at home with the people here. Survival is quite easy for safari: know how to drive, know how to light a fire. Everything else can be paid for contactless at the store.

Explore Kruger National Park

On the border with Mozambique, served by three airports, about twenty overnight camps, restaurants and shops are available. Kruger National Park Proudly moving towards its centenary in 2026. You can travel freely on a 3,500km road network, half tarmac, half track, providing access to just 1.5% of its landscape. Essential: Have a map of the reserve and, like in a naval battle, be able to orient yourself by following the street nomenclature H1, H2…, S1, S2. GPS is no use in a straight line to cross 2000 lions, 10,000 giraffes, 15,000 elephants. Entry through Malelane Gate, exit through Crocodile Bridge.

Our road trip exploring the south of Kruger Park over 4 days/3 nights

Unexpected Kruger Park: 4 “Big 5” Days on the Wild Way.
illustration le figaro
  • Stage 1: Berg-en-Dal to Skukuza (1 day).
  • Step 2: Skukuza (2 days).
  • Step 3: Towards Crocodile Bridge (1 day).

Our road trip starts early in the morning Berg-en-Dal Camp, We would have reserved the night the day before on the site and the next night through the site sanparks.orgtasted the logo Bobotie – a South African dish And melktert Had more good sleep in the restaurant. A full tank of gasoline, a charged phone and without forgetting water bottles from the French tanker that has exclusive rights to the park.

Stage 1: From Berg-en-Dal to Skukuza

Day 1 – Pioneers Axis / 110 km – 5 hrs.

Cross the Selati Railway track.
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First coffee and drive north at 6:15am. An immersion in the bush along the tracks of the first explorers of the late 19th century, from the shores of Crocodile to the shores of Sabie. Your co-pilot has a map in his hand: S110, S114, S25, S119, S118, H3 North, S113, S23 South, S114 North, S112, S22, S114 North, H1-1,

Observe thirsty mornings at the observation point near Matjulu (674 m), and spare a thought for the young ranger who was eaten by a leopard before the eyes of his hosts in 1998.

Gardenia hideaway, watch birds, maybe rhinos, from an earthen basin and head up Mlamben River adorned with magnificent trees till amp water point,

but take a break Afsal Site 2 hours after departure: Sausage snack time boerewors In the cafeteria, keeping an eye out for the thieving monkeys. The surrounding area, an open savanna full of game thanks to the nutritious plants growing on gabbro outcrops.

follow the geometry course Through a wooded path that passes between granite blocks and termite mounds. Take out the binoculars to spot animals in the bushes. Moments of raw beauty.

Cross the route of the Selati Railway, which replaced bullock carts in the early 20th century. towards renostercopies, a salute to the memory of Pigalle-born French gold prospector Auguste Robert and smuggler Eugene Oppenheim. Adventurer-robbers, these brazen pioneers established the legend of the bush, long before the arrival of the reserve’s “father” James Stevenson-Hamilton, known as “Scukuza”, who rests there. Shirimantanga Dome,

Sacrifice for a Lover’s Ritual Braai In front of the bungalow in local fashion. At sunset, we crack open the foam boxes while stoking the red-veined wood fire. Soon it’s time to brown these Karoo lamb chops with bitter herbs and lift the ripe fruit of Pinotage (the local grape variety) towards the Southern Cross, total magic.

Step 2: Skukuza

Day 1 – Golden Triangle / 116 km – 4 hrs 45.

Admire the diversity of eco zones in the first 43 km on the banks of the Sand, Sabi and then Salitzie.
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Take advantage of the extremely diverse offer of Skukuza, the “capital” of Kruger. Swimming pool, spa, 9-hole golf course, cinema, fascinating museum, bistro on the quay of Celati, former station of the Franco-Belgian railway. supply of miscellaneous Biltons, beef, ostrich, springbok for later trail. Leave camp around 12:30 pm for this famous loop: H1-2, H12, S30, S29, H10 North, H1-2,

Admire the diversity of eco zones in the first 43 km, at the edge of Sandof sabei then on SaltjieA track of extreme beauty that leads to the land of the lion, from granite to basalt.

Inspect Lebombo Mountains On the right horizon, this savanna with its high animal density has been circling since the beginning of the world. stop-on-feeling Nakumbe Scenic Point,

Leave time on the way back Sites Lipan-OliphantDrinkgat-MantimahleA vegetable feast brought by sea rocks from Gondwana, which is well attended by animals.

Refresh yourself and then intoxicate by dining on fillet of wildebeest sauced with Cederberg Shiraz in the restaurant Malwa PuddingWhich was already appreciated by the great French ornithologist François Lavaillant of Cape Town at the end of the 18th century.

Day 2 – Eden de la Sabie / 46 km – 3 hours.

Pay attention to the Kruger “label” when bottling.
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At the pizzeria, we order warthog-avocado and kudu-bolognese for brunchNakuhlu area And pick up a local souvenir from the shop, like honey badger knives, tangerine nougat with macadamia nuts and dried Limpopo mangoes. On the way to Kruger’s Champs-Élysées on a victory evening, very busy H4-1, Seems to know all the animals in the park.

Leave around 10 am and stay under the mahogany leaves of Mahogany Popular Nakuhlu Picnic, facing the river. A little human warmth on the wild path.

Pay attention to the Kruger “label” when bottling. You don’t overtake, you don’t stick your head out the window to take a selfie with a nervous lioness, you don’t tease an elephant because he knows how to pick up your car.

Settle Lower Sabie Historical Camp (1930), if you’ve booked months in advance, and take a guided walk with Kruger Rangers in the mid-afternoon. Goodbye gin and tonic, grilled steak, Marula liqueur on ice on the panoramic terrace.

Step 3: Towards Crocodile Bridge

Day 1 – Savanna de Laporte / 35km – 1H30.

We break camp to continue the journey by road to Johannesburg.
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We break camp depending on the remaining journey road to johannesburg Or by plane. Careless would have made one bush walk Extra-morning with the Rangers office. Head south and descend to the Mozambican border post H4-2 Built more than a century ago by bushman Cecil de Laporte in the middle of a domain reserved for cheetahs, leopards and other cats.

Think of those who, like the Dutchman François de Kuyper in 1725, like the Portuguese João Albasini in 1846, like the British Percy Fitzpatrick in 1880 with his Staffordshire Bull Terrier “Jock”, surveyed the area on foot in search of a quick Dare to do. Wealth. Memory is rude, but plaques stick around GomondwaneTime swallowed.

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