The unexpected beautiful south
We have been in Kruger before but we always drove from north to south. This time we did it the other way around. We began in the south at Malelane gate and stayed in different camps. For the ones who have never been in Kruger before: there are 12 big camps where you can stay in different types of accommodation. Next to staying in your tent on a campsite you can also book a bungalow (with a lovely view) or hut. Furthermore there are satellite and rustic camps. During our stay in Kruger we camped at different campsites in the south. This post describes the campsites within the camps in the south. There are no check in times for the campsites (might be different when it’s super busy). Therefore you can check in in the morning, pick a nice spot in the shade and relax a bit after a morning drive. Each campsite has a tap for water, a braai (bbq), power point and a bin.
Amazing nature and wildlife
There are seven ecozones in southern Kruger. This results in diverse landscapes and wildlife. There are a numerous rivers in the south where there is always animal activity. Because you can get to the south of Kruger within four hours from Johannesburg is way more crowded than the north. Also, there are more day visitors just popping by for a game drive. If you see lions it might well be that there is a traffic jam behind you after a couple of minutes. However there are enough places and roads where it is less crowded (like the gravel roads) and it’s just you and ‘your’ animals. Also there is plenty of wildlife to see in the south so I’m sure you’ll have an amazing time.
Berg-en-dal is a camp near the Malelane gate. It is the only camp in the Malelane mountain area. There are beautiful routes to take around the camp where you can see different wildlife. Even before the gate we saw elephants standing in the river. The campsite is situated away from the main reception area at the camp. The campsite is huge. You can stand by the fence where you can see the park and spot wildlife or by the swimming pool. The sites are spacious and you can stay wherever you like. There are ablution blocks everywhere, so it is always nearby.
Pretorius is the oldest camp in Kruger, it is situated 9 km from the Numbi gate. The campsites are split in two. You can either stay behind the Doherty Brynt Guest House or behind the bungalows. The first campsite is a place at the back of the camp. I wouldn’t choose this spot because the campsite is close to the guest house. The other sites are much bigger. The sites are not marked so we picked a shady spot under the trees in the middle of a field and watched the sunset. There are trees everywhere, so there is enough shade. You do have to walk a little further to go to the ablution block. Another option is to stay at the fence.
Skukuza is the biggest campsite of Kruger. You notice this immediately if pass the gate. There is a big sign with all the buildings like a spa(!), museum, conference facilities and a restaurant. They even have a wifi hotspot at the restaurant (you are still in Kruger so the internet is not that great but you’ve got way more important stuff to do than check your phone 😉 ). The restaurant is situated along the river which results in lovely views while enjoying some good food. The campsite, like the camp, is also huge in Skukuza. The sites are shady and marked with red rocks. The ablution block is not far away.
Lower Sabie campsite
Lower Sabie is a wonderful camp because of the amazing view on the Sabie river (guess were the name came from). There is a restaurant which has got a magnificent view on this river. The campsite is situated at the beginning of the camp, unfortunately not next to the river. The sites are marked and a bit smaller than other camps. Not all the campsites have shade so it is important to check in early or have an awning with you. If you have a site at the beginning of the campsite you’ll have to walk a bit further to the ablution block.
Crocodile Bridge campsite
Then there is Crocodile bridge. This camp lies in the south near the gate. We didn’t sleep here but we did make a visit to the camp. It has a lovely coffeeshop with very delicious coffee (bonus!). The campsite is located on a small field near the fence. It has a difference ambiance because it’s next to the gate. They don’t have a restaurant so bring your own food (or buy it there). If you have the time I would suggest to drive to Lower Sabie which is 38 km further down the road. There is a lot of wildlife near Crocodile Bridge so it’s still worthwhile going there (or just for some coffee 🙂 ). It was near Crocodile Bridge where we saw the big five in a day! Read more about this day.
To sum it up, my favourite campsite is Berg-en-Dal with it’s spacious sites. Lower Sabie would be my favourite spot to go just for the location of the camp in general. No matter where you’ll stay: it’s going to be amazing!