Kruger National Park is one of the largest protected areas in Africa. You can enjoy fantastic and iconic wildlife sightings.
The biggest draw for many visitors are the Big 5 that roam the park in abundance. These include the iconic animals of Africa, such as elephants, lions, leopards, rhinos and cape buffalo. And for the greater Kruger region, there are some fantastic Kruger National Park Lodges.
Once named because they were the hardest and most dangerous animals to hunt, the Big 5 now represent the top animals to view in the wild.
And you can find all of these in Kruger.
Kruger National Park covers over 19,600 km2 of mostly savanna habitat, and the Greater Kruger National Park includes another 3,500 km2 supporting an incredible diversity of species. And impressively, you can find more large mammal species in Kruger than any other game reserve in Africa.
This makes Kruger an excellent choice for your African safari. However, there are some better regions of the greater Kruger region for seeing the best wildlife.
And there are especially some great sections if you want to find the top Kruger National Park lodges.
We will mention our recommendations below.
Where to go for the best safari experience?
The Greater Kruger National Park includes the unfenced reserves surrounding the government-run Kruger National Park. They are connected with unfenced boundaries allowing animals to move freely, and they can be better for experiencing this incredible region.
One of the reasons is because other areas of Kruger are government-run and public access, which can mean it’s harder to spot wildlife. There’s also more crowding in certain areas and the game vehicles are not freely allowed off-road meaning its harder to spot animals.
There are also more watering holes in the connected reserves we will mention, which concentrates the wildlife. And it means these regions are home to the highest densities of large African mammals, which many visitors want to see.
We recommend the areas that provide you with a more exclusive and personalized safari experience.
And for this article, we have selected one of the best areas for animals in the Greater Kruger National Park. This is known as the Sabi Sands or Sabi Sand Game Reserve.
A fantastic area for the Big 5, the Sabi Sands is famous for the higher chance of leopard viewing. These elusive cats are often hard to find in other regions but can be found here in abundance.
The below safari lodges have been selected to give you the best experience of the Kruger region. They offer you comfortable accommodation and professionally guided tours with expert guides, trackers and rangers.
The lodge safaris include accommodation, meals, game drives with experienced guides and trackers, and walking safaris. They also include your transfers from the local airstrip (Ulusaba).
And the selection criteria includes:
- Wildlife-rich region
- Comfortable accommodation
- Professional and experienced guides and trackers
- Environmental and community responsibility
The Kruger National Park lodges for the best wildlife
For a fantastic luxury experience of the Sabi Sands area of Greater Kruger with a traditional safari feel, we recommend the Dulini Moya Lodge.
The leather furniture, hardwood table and large, welcoming fireplace transport you back to the elegance of traditional safaris with modern touches to keep you comfortable.
You will head out on twice-daily safaris to find the Big 5, including elephants, lions, buffalo, leopards and rhino. You will also see large herds of antelope and rare predators.
With your suite’s large windows or spacious private deck, complete with plunge pool, you can even see wildlife from the comfort of your accommodation.
Offering a more modern design with African-inspired aesthetic, you can choose the Dulini River Lodge.
Found in a slightly different habitat of the Sabi Sand Nature Reserve, the Dulini River Lodge is perched over the Sand River itself that gives the area its name.
You will head out on twice-daily game drives to observe the wildlife. See the Big 5 as well as other animals and plants. And you can also choose walking safaris to get a little closer to nature.
And offering a similar experience, there is also the Dulini Leadwood Lodge positioned closer to the meeting of the Sand and Mabrak rivers. The lodge offers just four exclusive and spacious suites. And this is a perfect choice if you’re looking for a romantic safari escape or if you’re simply seeking adventure with a little more privacy and exclusivity.
You’re also welcome to message any of the above lodges using their tour bubbles and ask about combining experience to stay in different areas of the Sabi Sands.
Getting to the region
To get to the Sabi Sands region of Greater Kruger National Park, you can arrange a flight from Johannesburg with Federal Air. These flights land at Ulusaba Airstrip, which is a private runway within the Sabi Sand Game Reserve.
The nearest commercial airport is Skukuza (airport code: SZK), which is about a 60-minute road transfer from the Sabi Sand Game Reserve.
We recommend asking the lodges using their tour bubbles on this page during the reservation process for help with transfers.
The Dulini Moya Lodge
The Dulini Moya Lodge is located in the Sabi Sand Nature Reserve of Greater Kruger National Park, South Africa. From this very comfortable and elegant lodge, you can experience the ultimate romantic African safari.
The lodge is in a lush riverine area surrounded by ancient ebony and leadwood trees. And in fact, you will enjoy delicious lunches and breakfasts under the shade of these trees.
The lodge offers a classic safari experience with modern luxuries and is famous for the Big 5 – elephants, lions, buffalos, leopards and rhinos. With 65,000 hectares of land, the private conservancy shares a 50-kilometer unfenced border with the more public area of Kruger National Park.
Twice-daily safaris will take you on exciting encounters with wildlife. And in addition to the Big 5, you will find large herds of antelopes and rare predators. Note that leopards are particularly famous in this area. Your knowledgeable guide and tracker will lead the way, and you can also opt for daily walking safaris for a more immersive safari experience.
The Dulini Moya Lodge sits along the riverbank and offers six beautiful, thatched suites with private heated plunge pools. After a day of adventures, indulge in delicious meals under the stars in the traditional Boma.
The Dulini River Lodge
The Dulini River Lodge offers a luxurious safari experience of the remarkable Sabi Sands. Perched on the Sand River itself, enjoy beautiful views of the African savannah and riverine habitat.
You will head out on twice-daily game drives to find leopards, lions, elephants and rhino, as well as many other animals, including vast herds of antelope. You can also head out on walking safaris to get a little closer to the African bush.
The lodge is designed for couples, solo adventurers and groups. And the inspiration was to provide you with a memorable and luxurious safari experience.
You’ll stay in one of the six spacious suites, which are connected by a raised boardwalk. And each of these offers a private terrace for breathtaking views. And on your terrace, you can relax in your heated plunge pool looking over the beautiful savannah and river scenery.
The Dulini Leadwood Lodge
The Dulini Leadwood Lodge offers you a little more exclusivity on safari with only four spacious suites.
The lodge is positioned where the Sand and Mabrak rivers converge providing beautiful views from your suite, private terrace or while enjoying your delicious meals.
The Dulini Leadwood is styled to blend with the surrounding riverine habitat using natural shades and materials. Enjoy an intimate and indulgent safari experience perfect for honeymooners and small groups.
From the lodge, you will head out on two expertly guided game drives each day to find the Big 5 animals and several other species. You can also arrange walking safaris to get a little closer to this extraordinary environment and its wildlife.
The Inyati Game Lodge
Offering a more economical option in the Sabi Sands, the Inyati Game Lodge provides a comfortable safari experience with exceptional wildlife and is a perfect option for families.
Indulge in an unforgettable African safari experience at Inyati Game Lodge. Located in the western section of Sabi Sand Nature Reserve, the lodge offers some of the best game viewing opportunities in Africa. Head out on game drives to find the Big 5, as well as cheetah, giraffe, zebra, wild dog, antelope and more.
The lodge has two different accommodation options. These are the family chalets and standard chalets depending on your group or family size.
You will enjoy game drives, guided bush walks, stargazing, fishing, and cultural experiences. The accommodation options are tastefully furnished and offer beautiful views of the African bush and Sand River. When back at the lodge after your safaris, relax by the pool or lounge area and enjoy delicious meals paired with excellent South African wines.
The Top 4 Kruger National Park Lodges – Summary
And here is our selection of the top Greater Kruger National Park Lodges: