The Kruger National Park in north-eastern South Africa is one of Africa’s largest game reserves and the SANParks accommodation in the park is very affordable for visitors, including South Africans who can view hundreds of animals here from the Big Five (lions, leopards, rhinos, elephants and buffalos) to diverse bird species. Kruger is very family friendly, and it is ideally set up for taking children with you on safari. Every year families flock to the Kruger National Park to take the kids on a Kruger Safari where they can get up close and personal with animals – either from your own car, a safari vehicle or even on foot!
Kruger National Park and kids
The south of the Kruger National Park is more child-friendly as the distances between the get-out points are shorter and there is plenty of game for your children to spot. If your children have a short attention span, then enter by the Crocodile Bridge Gate as the chances of seeing large numbers of game soon after entering are very good. Lower Sabi, which is a child-friendly safari environment, is also only about an hour’s drive away and you can stop here for lunch and to use the facilities. The rest camps are all fenced, almost all have swimming pools and restaurants (with most offering special children’s meals), and several have play areas. Berg-en-dal, Letaba, Skukuza, Satara and Shingwedzi also have regular evening wildlife movies (usually Monday to Saturday evenings at 7pm) that are good for all ages, and Letaba has an interesting elephant museum. Camp shops, however, generally don’t stock nappies (diapers), processed baby food or formula, so bring these items with you.
Tackling Kruger National Park on foot
Kruger safaris are changing and instead of being behind the wheel in the confines of a vehicle, adventurous travellers are starting to venture into big game country on foot, accompanied by experienced, armed rangers and trackers, often for several days. Walking safaris are unforgettable adventures that allow you to get as close as possible to the Big Five during the day and in the evening, you can sit around the campfire and hear their roars and barks just a few kilometres away.
Walking safaris are ideal if your children are older as children under 12 are not allowed on SANPark’s wildlife walks. The 4-day Kruger Park walking safari package includes one night at a safari lodge, which includes game drives and two nights at a tented camp where the focus is on safari bush walks.
A walking Kruger safari will help you understand the rhythm of the Kruger Park’s wilderness and guides will take you on informative, leisurely-paced walks. You will also have the opportunity to track African wildlife on foot and get up close and personal with sights and sounds of the African wilderness
All your needs are taken care of
Kruger walking safaris are great if you are flying in from abroad, or even locally as all your meals and activities will be taken of – and flights and transfers are often included in the Kruger Walking Safari packages.
Tips if you are taking your kids to Kruger National Park
Make a game of game drives and walks
To keep your children focused and interested make a game of the animals you spot. Keep a list of the species you spot and have a daily prize for the person who spots the most animals and different plant and bird species.
Stock up on snacks, go slow on drinks
Whether you are driving or walking, toilet facilities can be quite far apart so keeping your drives and walks short enough to match your children’s attention spans and bladders!
Temperatures can get very high in the Kruger Park during the summer. Ensure the camps that you stay at have a swimming pool, so your children can enjoy a cool break and have some fun in the water.
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