We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Kruger Safari - How Long is Long Enough

Calgary, Canada
4 posts
Kruger Safari - How Long is Long Enough

Hello all,

My husband and I are looking at booking a safari at the beginning of October and are considering Kapama River Lodge as our destination. We don't want to be moving around to multiple different lodges and want to stay in one area but are not sure how long to book. He was thinking up to 5 nights but we aren't sure that this would be too long. How many nights would you recommend spending at one location?


Kruger National...
Level Contributor
1,447 posts
45 reviews
1. Re: Kruger Safari - How Long is Long Enough

Hi there!

How exciting - I hope that our beautiful bush here pleases you, I am sure that it will :-).

We usually recommend to our clients anywhere between 3-6 nights, depending on time and budget allowance. 5 nights would be wonderful - that's 10 safaris! You can also combine your traditional vehicle safaris with walking safaris too.

Kapama River Lodge is a beautiful option, and very popular. You will be very happy there!

However, is there a reason you are looking at Kapama, instead of the Kruger area?

Warm regards,



Lodge Trackers

Safari Specialists

South Africa

Calgary, Canada
4 posts
2. Re: Kruger Safari - How Long is Long Enough

Hello Jacqui, we were considering Kapama after a recommendation from a friend since we weren't sure of what area was best. We of course are open to other suggestions on lodges directly in the Kruger park.

London, United...
Level Contributor
399 posts
3. Re: Kruger Safari - How Long is Long Enough

Olifants and Satara camp get my vote! Book at Sanparks.org

Gold Coast
Destination Expert
for Kruger National Park
Level Contributor
3,932 posts
22 reviews
4. Re: Kruger Safari - How Long is Long Enough

Agree with Than staying right in Kruger park and self driving is an amazing experience and the two camps he has suggested are in fantastic game rich locations. This involves self driving and is what thousand of people do every year in the park. Generally you will find agents do not offer this option as you are staying in a national Park, therefore they are more likely to recommend the more expensive private lodges.

So it seems you may have already decided but if not your first decision is whether you are wanting to stay in the park and self drive or stay in a private lodge where everything is included but there is a huge difference in price. Some of the best private lodges are located in the the greater Kruger adjacent to the main park as Jacqui has suggested .

Both are wonderful but completely different experiences, I won't go into more detail yet not knowing if you have made that decision.

Depending of how much time you have, a combination of self drive staying in park accomodation with a few days in a private lodge can give you the ultimate safari. One way you get to find and enjoy wildlife from the comfort of you own car and can game drive for twelve hours a day if you like, with all the flexibility you want. The other way is generally pretty luxurious and will include two game drives a day of around three hours in a safari jeep that will also be able to take you off road for a great sighting.

As for how long this is really up to the individual and how much you want to see and how much you love wildlife, very much a personal preference. We usually do a combination of both, but I think you would need at least a week to get the full benefit of that.

For some three or four days may be enough, for us three weeks is not long enough !

Edited: 9:00 pm, May 08, 2013
Hong Kong, China
Destination Expert
for Hong Kong, Macau, Holiday Travel, World Cup, Bargain Travel, Food and Travel
Level Contributor
23,903 posts
3,989 reviews
5. Re: Kruger Safari - How Long is Long Enough

Depends on how much you enjoy safari? Everyone has their threshold. If you are a first-timer, then I'd say 3-4 full days (6 game drives) is a fair amount. If you are naturally interested in outdoor and wildlife activities, another day or two wont hurt. If you can split 3 days private reserve / 3 days self-drive, this might even be best. ;-)

See link about the self-drive vs. Private Reserve


Hope you've a great trip whatever you decide to do.

San Jose, California
Level Contributor
1,391 posts
65 reviews
6. Re: Kruger Safari - How Long is Long Enough

We are going to Kruger for our very first safari this summer. We also have 5 nights inside Kruger.

We will be doing 2 days of self drive. We booked one night at Olifants Camp, and one night at Skukuza camp. We actually tried to book Lower Sabie, but they were already full.

Then we will have 3 nights of private lodge. We booked at Londolozi.

So, hopefully 5 nights is just perfect for the first timer.

Gold Coast
Destination Expert
for Kruger National Park
Level Contributor
3,932 posts
22 reviews
7. Re: Kruger Safari - How Long is Long Enough


How wonderful, you will really get to experience best of both worlds.

Skukuza to Olifants is a great area to game drive we have had some of our best ever sightings from those camps. Then there is the river view at Olifants to enjoy, have seen elephants, antelope and more from the room/viewing deck there. Lower Sabie is always tough to get into, but dont worry it is a nice drive to go there from Skukuza along the river. Just make sure you allow plenty of time if you are heading from there back to Skukuza late in the day, thats when the elephant herds cross the road to go to the river to drink and there is often traffic jams as a result.

Followed by 3 nights at Londolozi, wow what an amazing five days you should have, dont forget some feedback when you return.

Ontario, CAN
Level Contributor
443 posts
36 reviews
8. Re: Kruger Safari - How Long is Long Enough

I would recommend at least a couple of days of self driving - it is so exciting to spot game on your own. It is not as intimidating as one might think. You can purchase a very good road map at the gates or camps, and we found the road signage excellent......so pack up your breakfast snacks and head out early in the morning - choosing a couple of roads you'd like to try and the best advice we were given is go s-l-o-w! We stayed at Lower Sabie for 2 nights, Satara for 1, and Olifants for 2. Our first day we also booked a night safari with the ranger at Lower Sabie which we really enjoyed. Would I like to stay in a private reserve? Perhaps for a couple of nights just for the experience, but my preference I am certain (as well as my budget) would lean to the self drive option.

London, United...
Level Contributor
399 posts
9. Re: Kruger Safari - How Long is Long Enough

I found the self drive option the more special experience and have been back to self drive only. I like spending up to an hour at a nice look out, but on private safaris, other guests would get impatient if they were not seeing the big 5!

Johannesburg, South...
Level Contributor
677 posts
10. Re: Kruger Safari - How Long is Long Enough


I don't recommend less than 3 nights, but if you can do 4 or 5 that would be great.

I would consider lodges in the Sabi Sands or Timbavati reserves as they are not fenced reserves and are a part of the Greater Kruger conservancy, whereas Kapama is a self contained fenced reserve.

Self drive in the Kruger is also great and will offer you a completely different experience to a private safari lodge. As your first trip, I would defs recommend a private lodge or a combination of self drive and private lodge.


Brett | Owner | Safaris For Me | South Africa