Each gate offers designated game-viewing routes through the different biomes of the Kruger Park from the Sandveld and wooded savannah of the far-north, through the central Mopane woodlands and scattered grasslands to mixed woodlands and thorn thickets of the south. Therefore, your choice of access gate and its game-viewing routes will shape your safari experiences.
Paul Kruger Gate – Safe entrance into Big 5 territory
From the Kruger Gate Hotel, it takes just a minute or so to cross the Sabie Bridge and arrive at the Paul Kruger Gate, your gateway to the game-rich south of the Park. The Paul Kruger Gate offers the most direct route to the world-famous Skukuza Camp, known as the ‘Capital’ of the Kruger Park, and to the Skukuza Airport. The game-viewing routes that lead from Paul Kruger Gate offer guests some of the best safari experiences the Park has to offer. The area is known for its regular sightings of Lion, Elephant and Giraffe, and the thorn thickets are a favourite refuge of the critically endangered Black Rhino. The mixed woodlands and stretches of grassland sustain impressive herds of Impala, Blue Wildebeest, Burchell’s Zebra and Cape Buffalo. This concentration of prey animals supports healthy populations of magnificent African predators including Leopard, Cheetah, Wild Dogs and Spotted Hyena. However, it’s not just the large mammals to look out for. The routes from Paul Kruger Gate offer spectacular birding. Those on safari are likely to see Whitebacked Vultures, Bateleur and Wahlberg’s Eagles on the wing, but there’s also a good chance of ticking the massive Martial Eagle or spotting a Tawny Eagle perched in a large tree.
What can you expect from a summertime Kruger Gate Hotel Safari Experience?
There are guided, open-vehicle safari options enabling you to mix-and-match your game-watching experiences during your stay with us:
- An all-day Kruger safari is a more than 10-hour epic adventure that enables you to range farther into Park, covering extensive ground and increasing your opportunities for thrilling sightings. It’s a premium wilderness experience for those wanting to feel truly immersed in the wilderness. This is also a good option for birdwatchers who want to traverse diverse habitats so that they can spot as many bird species as possible. With more time on your hands, you can linger at the Park’s scenic waterholes, picnic spots and enjoy unhurried interludes with wild creatures.
- On days when you want more time at the hotel to chill out on the Pool Deck or indulge in a spa treatment, you can opt for a morning or afternoon safari. These 6.5-hour journeys get you into the Park during the cooler hours, when the animals tend to be most active. These somewhat shorter safaris tend to work well for families with younger children or elders who may not have the stamina for a full-day outing into the wilds.
- – Your morning safari starts pre-dawn with complimentary coffee and rusks in our reception. You board the open-air vehicle with your safari guide and a packed breakfast and set off into the Park for the sunrise and a host of exciting encounters with wildlife. In the first cool morning hours, the birds are particularly active, and you should look out for jewel-bright Lilacbreasted Rollers and European Bee-eaters hawking insects from thorn bushes along your route. Large herbivores such as Giraffe, Elephant and Buffalo start browsing the trees early, and if you’re lucky you may also come across small groups of Kudu and Waterbuck on the move. Mornings can also be good for spotting predators such as Cheetah, Wild Dogs and Lion. You will return to the hotel just before the midday heat sets in, just in time for a refreshing swim and an alfresco lunch at the Pool Bar.
- – If you choose an afternoon game drive, you will set off after lunch and you’ve got a good chance of seeing an array of animals enjoying a siesta. You will notice your trained guide paying particular attention to shady areas under trees in the hopes that you might see a pride of Lions resting up. Game-watching at the waterholes in the afternoons is often very rewarding as the herds arrive to slake their thirst, and Elephant, Cape Buffalo and Warthogs cool off in the muddy shallows. In the late afternoon, predators who like to hunt at dusk such as the Lion and Spotted Hyenas will be more active. You will make your way back to the hotel as the sun begins to set, painting the bushveld sky in vivid pinks, oranges and reds. You will have time for a quick sundowner on the hotel’s Viewing Deck before gathering in the Lapa restaurant for a sumptuous fireside dinner under the stars.
- Special features of our safari offering are the two to three-hour evening and night game drives provided under the protection of SANParks rangers. These exhilarating excursions give you the rare chance to be in the Park under the pristine night skies. You may see Lion, Leopard or Spotted Hyena on the prowl, and there’s the chance to see secretive nocturnal species such as Serval, African Wild Cat, Small-spotted Genet, Thick-tailed Bushbaby, and a variety of bats, owls and nightjars. On your return to the hotel, you can enjoy a nightcap in the Shilovo Bar where guests swop their safari stories of the day.
At Kruger Gate Hotel, you have the option to join a safari, or book a private guided safari on an exclusive vehicle. If you have flown in to stay with us and prefer a self-driving safari, you’ll find a Bluu Car Rentals service at our reception.