Great Kruger

private game reserves

about great kruger private game reserves

Private game reserves offer the opportunity to savor wonderful game viewing and stay in exclusive safari lodges. In most private game reserves, game viewing vehicles are allowed to drive off-road to search for big cats or to track specific animals, which allows visitors to get much closer to the animals. Because tourist volumes are much lower, leisurely game drives tend to focus on staying with good sightings.The Greater Kruger Park area is the size of a small country and encompasses private game reserves and the Kruger National Park to create a huge wildlife reserve which offers the visitor a truly unique African experience. Fencing has been taken down to form one vast ecosystem allowing animals to roam free and migrate.. Big Five viewing is superb throughout Greater Kruger, and the private reserves are unmatched when it comes to regular close-up sightings of big cats.Lodges in South Africa's private reserves offer luxurious bush-style accommodation to go with the incredible game-watching. Prices are generally on a par with five-star hotels, but then so is the service. In most cases, the wining and dining is world-class, too, with dinner often served under the stars in a traditional boma, where guests can swap their tales of the day over drinks around the campfire. Here is our guide to the top private game reserves in South Africa.

Timbavati Private Game Reserve (600 km²)

Timbavati Private Game Reserve borders Kruger National Park. The lodges are spread out in the rugged landscape and vehicle traffic is minimal, which tends to make the safari experience more peaceful and unique. Aside from 18 all-inclusive luxury lodges, there are a couple of luxurious self-catering camps. Keep an eye out for white lions, the reserve’s claim to fame. Although they haven’t been seen in a long time, the gene is still around and you might spot some pale individuals that carry this recessive genetic variant.

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Sabi Sands Private Game Reserve (650 km²)

Sabi Sand Private Game Reserve shares an unfenced border with the much larger Kruger National Park. This makes the reserve part of a vast self-sustainable ecosystem. There are lots of different lodges to choose from, most of which are small and luxurious. This is Big Five territory at its best, and habituated leopards are the top attraction

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Manyeleti Private Game Reserve (230 km²)

Manyeleti means “Place of the stars” in the local language. It truly is a unique safari destination well off the beaten path and the only one which is owned and managed by the local people. All safari lodges in Manyeleti Game Reserve are privately owned and make use of the land on a concession basis. As there are only three lodges in the reserve, and more than 200 kilometres of gravel roads, you can assume to have this game reserve pretty much to yourself which makes this a rather unique pristine bush experience in one of the world's most beautiful places.

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Klaserie Private Game Reserve (600 km²)

The Klaserie Private Nature Reserve is the Kruger's hidden secret. Klaserie has always focused on keeping commercial and human impact in the reserve to a minimum. As a result, it is one of the most unspoiled reserves in the area. Being part of Greater Kruger it offers great game viewing opportunities and is also home to some endangered species, such as the African wild dog, southern ground hornbill and white-backed vulture. In addition, the reserve is ideal for walking safaris.

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Mala Mala Private Game Reserve (133 km²)

MalaMala is a large privately owned game reserve neighbouring the Sabi Sands Game Reserve and shares a common border with the famed Kruger National Park. It is one of the oldest and more established private reserves in the greater Kruger Park region

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Private Concessions

There are a number of private concessions within the Greater Kruger National Park. Similar in concept to the Kruger’s private game reserves, these exclusive-use and unfenced concessions are set in prime Big 5 wilderness areas and deliver excellent, crowd-free game viewing. Accommodation is limited to two or three luxury lodges per concession and includes several of the finest safari lodges in Africa.  Some well known ones are Singita, Lukimbi, Cheetah Plains, Londolozi, Ulusaba and Dulini amongst others.

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