Kruger Park private game reserves: Tips for hotels & Safari lodges

Affordable hotels & lodges in Greater Kruger Park

Going on safari in the Kruger Park is a super awesome experience. For the ultimate safari experience you need to spend a few days in the Kruger Park. Spending just one day in the park won’t be enough. Staying for the night in the Kruger Park, or in one of the surrounding private reserves, is an absolute must as far as I’m concerned. A number of private reserves are located on the edge of the national park, (such as Sabi Sands, Manyeleti and Klaserie), where the fences between the private reserve and the Kruger National Park have been removed. If you don’t know where to look, you will soon end up at the most expensive safari lodges in private reserves. Fortunately, there are more affordable accommodations. I would like to give you some accommodation tips!

Big 5 Private game reserves at Greater Kruger Park

1. We chose: isiLimela Game Lodge


IsiLimela Game Lodge  is located in the Big Five Greater Kruger Park Balule Parsons reserve. They have several beautiful rooms and lodges, everything is taken care of down to the last detail. Elephants, giraffes, they regularly visit! You can encounter the entire Big 5 in this private reserve. This lodge is very affordable compared to other accommodations. You can spend the night there from the low price of $197 per night including breakfast! Other guests rated IsiLimela Lodge with a 9.6. We ourselves give it a big fat 10!

This lodge is located in a private reserve and to get there you need a car, preferably a higher car.

Kruger Park Swimming Pool

Pool with a Kruger view!

Game Drives in Balule Parsons reserve

Be sure to book a game drive (safari in an open jeep) through Isilimela Lodge. You will drive with an experienced ranger through the private park, looking for the BIG 5 and other animals. You will pay 350 Rand ($36) per person for the game drive. An experience you shouldn’t miss! You can read more about our experiences at IsiLimela Lodge.

2. Also very specialPezulu Tree House

safari lodge kruger park private

I didn’t visit Pezulu Tree House myself, but a friend of mine did. She booked a complete South Africa trip through Riksja Travel and slept at Pezulu Tree House. Pezulu Tree House Lodge is located in the Kapama Private Game Reserve. The Kruger National Park (Orpen gate) is a 40-minute drive from this lodge. There are several treehouses and prices vary, a double room with private bathroom costs $270 per night including breakfast.

Game Drives in Kapama Private Game Reserve

Various safari activities are offered. A game walk costs R250/$19 per person and takes about 2 hours. Game drives, in an open jeep, are organized early in the morning and in the afternoon. A game drive costs R895/$67 per person and lasts 3 hours.

tree house kruger park

3. Also very nice: Muweti Bush Lodge 

Private game reserve lodge kruger

Muweti Bush Lodge is slightly less luxurious, but therefore also slightly cheaper. This lodge is located in the Grietjie nature reserve. The Phalaborwa gate of the Kruger National Park is 20 miles from the lodge. Muweti Bush Lodge is located in a Big 4 game reserve. The rhinoceros is also present, but too little of them to make the BIG 5 complete. Elephants and other animals will regularly come to drink water at the water source near the lodge. You can stay here from $125, – per night (for two people). This does not include breakfast, game drives and other food.

Infinity pool Kruger park

Game Drives in Grietjie nature reserve

You can book a tent chalet through The price ( $290 for 2 people) includes an overnight stay, all food and 2 game drives! That’s what I call a good deal!

4. More affordable: Olifants River Bush Hideaway

Kruger park cheap accommodation

I found Olifants River Bush Hideaway through AirBNB. A special accommodation in the Grietjie Nature Reserve, on the Olifants River. Chances are you see elephants and hippos bathe in the river. Phalaborwa gate is 19 miles from this lodge. This entire accommodation is made of wood and you will be sleeping in kind of a treehouse! There are mosquito nets available. Prices range from $100 per night to about $135 per night. You have to take care of food and drinks yourself!

Game Drives

The owner of this lodge owns a Jeep. A game drive costs only R260/$19 per person and takes 2 to 3 hours. A game walk will only cost you R60/$4,50. There’s no need to reserve the activities in advance.

Safari Lodge kruger park

5. Slightly more expensive: nThambo Tree Camp

Private lodge Klaserie kruger park

nThambo Tree Camp is a small and intimate camp located in the private nature reserve Klaserie. It features a lounge area made of thatch with a bar and a children’s pool. The property consists of chalets on wooden poles. Each room comes with a terrace, a private bathroom with a shower, a clothes rack and mosquito nets. An overnight stay with two people costs $530 per night, but includes food and two game drives!

It is therefore slightly more expensive, but you are only visiting South Africa once (a year ;-)) right? For $530, you are at a number one location and the food and safaris are included.

private game kruger park lodge

Priceless: Lion Sands

Luxurious game reserve kruger

Sleeping under the African stars. The Lion Sands Private Game Reserve is located in the Sabie Sand private reserve. Staying here for the night is not reserved for most of us. For a luxury suite you will pay + $1700 per night! Not so affordable, but nice to show you!

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