Referring to the over twenty private nature reserves located to the west of the state-operated Kruger National Park, the Greater Kruger National Park is one of the largest areas for nature sightseeing in all of South Africa. The GKNP is a great place for travelers looking for an authentic, yet ethical, African safari experience. While there isn’t much of a difference from a wildlife perspective between the privately run GKNP and the state-run KNP, there are several key differences that you should take into consideration as you plan your trip.
One of the major advantages to touring the Greater Kruger National Park is that they are private parks, and as such they can be much stricter about who can be on the land at any given time. The state-owned Kruger National Park can be quite crowded at times, so you can rest easier knowing that you won’t have to fight the crowds to get the best, most authentic safari experience.
Exploring the GKNP also comes with far greater access to the vehicles and other tools you need for a more enjoyable experience. The guides at the various parks can take you to out-of-the-way spots in off-road vehicles, plan out a walking safari, and even take you on a night drive. Also, you will have access to some of the best accommodations located within the park borders. Many of these lodges are high-class and provide personalized attention and a dedication to service.
When travelling anywhere, the knowledge of locals can make a big difference in making your trip the best it can possibly be. Safaris within the Greater Kruger National Park come with some of the best, most knowledgeable rangers in the region who will make sure you get the most out of your experience!
Notable Parks within the Greater Kruger National Park
The GKNP comprises over twenty private nature reserves totaling 180,000 hectares of wildlands. Each park is unique in its own way, but here are some of the more notable parks to check out:
- Balule: home to the “Big Five” of African safaris (lions, leopards, rhinoceros, elephants, and Cape buffalos), but also hosts a wider variety of wildlife within the park and the teeming Olifants River.
- Timbavati: covering over 50,000 hectares, Timbavati is famously known as the place to go and see white lions!
- Sabi Sands: while the Sabi Sands also features a nice variety of wildlife, this is the park where you’re more likely to see big cats such as leopards!
Explore the World with AESU!
Are you ready to plan an adventure of a lifetime? AESU offers unique, thrilling travel programs for college students and young professionals at affordable rates. Each trip is action-packed and informal—designed just for people your own age. We are also able to design custom tours just for your group.
Looking to travel this year? We still have space available on some of our exciting journeys such as Peru’s Inca Trail and New Year’s Eve on Cloud 9 in Austria!
2022 tour dates are now available! If you have any questions or want help booking your next adventure, please contact AESU by calling 800-638-7640, or fill out the contact form found on our website. Follow AESU on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.