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.
There really are some wonderful safari lodges in the Kruger Concessions. These lodges and camps have private access to the land they occupy, making safaris exclusive and tailored to guests' preferences.
Singita Lebombo and Singita Sweni are two of Africa's most luxurious safari lodges and offer world class cuisine and hosting. The lodges are located in a true wilderness area within the Singita concession.
The most remote safari camp in the Kuger, is Pafuri Tented Camp, in the secluded north. It is well known for its fever tree forests, beautiful gorges and Crook's Corner, where the three countries, Zimbabwe, South Africa and Mozambique, meet.
Staying in one of the exquisite Kruger Concession lodges means that guests can enjoy an all-rounded experience of the bush. Rangers and trackers will take guests out on bush walks, off-road 4x4 driving, and night time game drives.
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 area offers superb opportunities for Big 5 sightings, as it is situated on the migration routes of many prey species.
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. 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 Kruger Park. Guests can view wildlife on safaris or guided bush walks, whilst accompanied by expert guides and trackers. The Sabie River has the highest recorded density of leopards in Africa.
There are daily flights from OR Tambo International Airport (Johannesburg International) to various airports in the Kruger National Park, namely the Kruger Mpumalanga Airport (KMIA), Hoedspruit Airport (also called Eastgate) as well as Phalaborwa airport.
Guest flights will be booked by Sun Safaris agents. Upon arrival at the various airports guests will pick up their hired car (self-drive), take 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. To self drive from Johannesburg will take approximately 6 hours.
Sighting the Big 5 has become something of a quest for many people when on safari, and Kruger National Park has more than its fare share of these animals. During the summer months, when the vegetation thickens up, game viewing becomes more difficult, but the landscape becomes more beautiful and lush.
In winter when it's dry and there are fewer water sources and less bush to look through, all the many species of game are frequently spotted and with luck, guests can witness predator-prey interaction, shier herbivores grazing away, birds calling from the trees, and huge herds of animals moving through the veld.
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.
The climate in the Kruger is considered subtropical. Summers are very hot and humid and winters are cool and dry.
Summer is from October to March and is characterised by hot, humid days and afternoon thunderstorms. Daytime temperatures can get very high, followed by cooler more comfortable nights. The dry bushveld comes to life after the rains, however game becomes more difficult to find as numerous waterholes fill up and the foliage becomes thicker.
Winter, known as the dry season, is from April until September and brings clear skies and warm, sunny days with cold to chilly early mornings and evenings. Winter means less water is available in the region and animals tend to congregate around the water sources, making game viewing in the dry winter months the best.