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The Kruger National Park is owned and run by the South African government. Using the model so successfully initiated by the Botswana government, the park awarded concessions to private operators. The concessions are leased for a 20-year period on the condition that camps should in no way disturb the environment.
The benefit for the tourist is that the general public is not allowed access to the concessions unless they are spending the night at one of the concessions' lodges. This leads to a very rewarding, private safari experience in pristine wilderness for those that visit the Kruger Concession safari lodges.
There are no fences between the concessions and the Kruger National Park. Rangers within most of these concessions can drive off-road to track or view animals for a close-up perspective and night drives are also offered.
The Singita Lebombo/Nwanetsi Concession is an exclusive 15,000-hectare concession situated on the remote eastern boundary of the Kruger National Park, and offers discerning guests a first class wilderness experience. The name ‘Lebombo’ derives its name from the Lebombo mountain range. The area offers superb opportunities for Big Five sightings. The reserve is situated on the migration routes of many prey species, and sightings of Lion, Leopard and even the elusive Cape Hunting Dog are common. This concession is situated in the very heart of the African wilderness.
The Pafuri or Makuleke Concession is situated in the far north of the Kruger National Park. This 24 000-hectare area is the ancestral home of the Makuleke people and is one of the most diverse and beautiful areas in the Kruger National Park. This area is wild and the most remote part of the Kruger National Park. It offers varied vegetation, great game viewing, the best birding in all of the Kruger.
The Tinga Private Concession is a private and exclusive 5000-hectare concession within the Sabie Rivier area in the prime game-viewing area of the Kruger National Park. Guests can view wildlife on safaris or guided bush walks, whilst accompanied by expert guides and trackers. The concession vehicles have access to the entire Kruger road network, hence allowing guests to view the areas of historical significance that the southern Kruger has to offer. The Sabie River has the highest recorded density of leopards in Africa.
Sighting the "Big Five" has become something of a quest for many people when on safari, and Kruger National Park has more than its fare share of these, with an estimated 1,800 lion, 9,125 elephant, 25,000 buffalo, unknown number of leopards and 2,300 black and white rhino.
It should certainly not be a pre-requisite of a safari to see these or even a priority, as there are plenty of other fascinating animals and birds in the African bush. With approximately 500 bird species, some of them unique to this area, there is enough on the ground and in the air to keep anybody's binoculars busy. Some of the biggest and most impressive birds to be seen here are the ground hornbill, martial eagle, lappet-faced vulture, kori bustard and saddle-billed stork.
There really are some wonderful safari lodges in the Kruger Concessions. Camp Shawu in the southern part of the Kruger is a comfortable camp that overlooks a dam. Near the Paul Kruger Gate, Tinga Legends Lodge is a luxurious safari lodge. Guests have an excellent chance of seeing black rhino at Tinga.
The most remote safari camp in the Kuger, is Pafuri Tented Camp. The camp is located in the far north of the Kruger. It is well known for its fever tree forests, beautiful gorges and Crook's Corner, where the Limpopo and Luvuvhu rivers and three countries, Zimbabwe, South Africa and Mozambique, meet.
There are daily flights from OR Tambo International Airport (Johannesburg International) to various airports in the Kruger National Park, i.e Kruger Mpumalanga Airport (KMIA), Hoedspruit Airport (also called Eastgate) as well as Phalaborwa airport. Once guests arrive at the various airports they have a choice between, a car hire option (self-drive), a road transfer arranged by Sun Safaris or a short air transfer (flight hop) to the various lodges.
All the Kruger Concession lodges are accessible via self drive with a sedan rental car from anywhere in South Africa. Obviously the drive time depends on where you are driving from! To self drive from Johannesburg will take approximately 6 hours.
Rainy Season: The subtropical climate has hot rainy summers starting in October and ending around March. The summer rains transform the arid park into a lush flowering paradise, but the increased foliage does make animals harder to see.
Dry Season: The winter months from April to September are extremely pleasant with warm dry days and cold nights. Traditionally, the best game viewing is in winter as the vegetation becomes sparse and water is restricted to rivers and artificial waterholes.
Plains Tented Camp is a small and intimate bush camp offering only 4 traditional canvas safari tents situated underneath the trees promising spectacular bush views and comfortable en-suite facilities.
Pafuri Camp offers a wild and traditional safari experience in a private corner of the Kruger National Park and offers varied vegetation, incredible game viewing and some of the best birding the Kruger has to offer.
Camp Shonga is ideal for safari guests looking for a personal wildlife and safari experience. The focus at Camp Shonga is on the wildlife experience without losing the luxury and impeccable service the camp is renowned for.
Rhino Post Lodge offers 8 elegant safari suites in an exclusive property within the Kruger Concession area. Special care was taken when building the lodge to minimise the impact on the environment and it offers a huge diversity of fauna and flora.
Camp Shawu offers visitors an authentic safari experience in a secluded and private corner of a 15,000 hectare private concession in the Kruger National Park. Camp Shawu is small and personal, accommodating only 10 guests in luxurious rooms with private viewing decks.
Hoyo Hoyo Tsonga Lodge is an authentic safari lodge offering guests luxury and charm in the heart of the Kruger National Park. Accommodation is luxurious and only 6 traditional Tsonga Huts are available ensuring a personal safari experience.
Imbali Safari Lodge is a luxurious safari lodge offering an exclusive safari experience situated within the game rich Kruger National Park. The lodge offers only 12 suites with large viewing decks and private salas offering spectacular views.
With its magnificent location; guests can enjoy a superb Big 5 safari experience in a warm, family-friendly environment. Shishangeni offers a private location in an enormous concession in the south-eastern corner of the Kruger Park.
Hamilton’s Tented Camp offers luxurious safari accommodation in a private concession of the Kruger National Park. Guests can enjoy a variety of safari activities including game drives, bush walks and bird watching.
Lukimbi Safari Lodge is a magnificent safari lodge situated in the sought-after Kruger National Park. The park is renowned for its incredible game viewing opportunities as well as big five game viewing.
Jock Safari Lodge is luxurious and unique; situated amongst lush trees and reed walls; guests can enjoy a luxurious safari experience in complete privacy in an untouched wilderness. Luxurious safari suites with en-suite facilities and private views.
The Outpost Lodge offers visitors a private and exclusive safari experience in the Makuleke Region in the northern parts of the Kruger National Park. The area is renowned for large herds of elephant and buffalo as well as leopard and prides of lion.
Lion Sands Narina Lodge offers guests a traditional African bush experience. The lodge is situated on stilts and nestled amongst the leadwood trees on the banks of the Sabie River; the secluded wood and thatch suites make an ideal location for a romantic honeymoon.
Singita Lebombo offers a private and remote location in the Kruger National Park. Guests can relax on large wooden decks and enjoy the magnificent views from their luxurious accommodation with outside showers, Egyptian cotton and modern amenities.
Tinga Legends Lodge offers the ultimate in five star bush luxury with luxurious and spacious safari suites offering air-conditioning, double showers and modern amenities. The Sabie River is known to offer the highest recorded concentration of leopards in Africa.
Singita Sweni Lodge is situated on the banks of the Sweni River in an exclusive 15 000 ha private concession on the remote eastern boundary of Kruger National Park. Singita Sweni offers guests a traditional safari experience in an unspoiled wilderness area.