1 day Kruger safari

Last update :

A Kruger National Park safari offers some of the finest Big 5 game viewing in the world, award-winning accommodation, smooth-running logistics, and some of Africa’s best trackers and guides. A one day safari in Kruger is short, but absolutely worth it for the memories you’ll have for a lifetime!

If you love to see animals in their natural surroundings, then this is the place for you. You’ll discover elephants, buffalo, rhinos, giraffes, zebras, lions, leopards, wild dogs, cheetahs, wildebeest, kudu, impala, waterbuck as well as warthogs, hippos, crocodiles and hyenas.

One day Kruger Tours 

Tour breakdown for a one day Kruger trip

The cost of a one day Kruger safari depends on the type of accommodation you choose and whether it’s located inside or outside the park. On average, one day safaris start from $150 per person and upwards depending on the duration and range of activities added on, which may include a hot-air balloon safari. 

For those on a lower budget, self-drive Kruger safaris are an option however you won’t see as much wildlife as you would with an expert guide, who communicates with other guides on walkie-talkie and knows exactly where to find each particular animal.

Check out the seasons too; low-season prices can be favorable and while you’ll probably get some rain at this time, it’s when the scenery is at its best.

Tour breakdown for a typical one days in the Kruger

Safari tour highlights

  • The largest game reserve in Africa
  • See the Big Five including the lion, rhino, elephant, buffalo and a thriving population of leopards, the most elusive big cat
  • Six different ecosystems in a single 7,500 sq. mile park 
  • Private tour guide in English and other languages
  • All-inclusive tours including entrance fees, meals, and transport
  • Game drives in comfortable, open top safari vehicles
  • Optional activity add-ons including hot air balloon safaris

Tour inclusions

The following details typical tour inclusions and exclusions on the best one day Kruger safari package:

Tour inclusionsTour exclusions
Game drives per the itinerary as well as pick-up and drop-offVisa fees, laundry services, drinks including mineral water at the hotels
Experienced english-speaking guide and driverInternational/domestic flights
TransportActivity add-ons
Park feesTips to the driver guides, waiters and porters
Breakfast, lunch and bottled water
Government taxes

Safari essentials and information

Is a one day safari in Kruger sufficient?

A one day trip is indeed short, but it can be done and you will get to see the Big 5. If you’re coming from Johannesburg, taking an internal flight direct to the Serengeti would be ideal, as this takes just 50 minutes, if your budget allows for it. 

The number of days needed to properly do a Kruger safari can range from 1-2 days to 1-2 weeks, depending on how much time and budget a visitor has. A longer safari would be better as you’ll have more time in and really immerse yourself in the bush experience, however this depends on the amount of time you have available and budget. 

Each day consists of an early morning game drive and a late afternoon game drive, certainly sufficient time to view the big 5 and incredible scenery. On a safari trip, you can even break up the drive to or from Kruger with an overnight stay at the Mala Mala Game Reserve or Balule Private Nature Reserve.

Overall, a one day safari is better than not having any safari memories however if you can allocate a few more days to your safari, that would be ideal.

Animals on a Kruger safari?

You’ll find just about everything in the Kruger! The massive expanse of the Kruger National Park is home to over 147 species of mammals, 114 reptile species, 51 snake species, 49 fish species and a massive 508 species of birds, a number unrivaled anywhere else in South Africa.

The reserve is home to the Big Five (lion, leopard, rhino, elephant and African buffalo) and visitors will also find spotted hyenas as well as numerous hippos and leopards. 

Kruger is an important stronghold for both rhino species: the larger and more placid white rhino is common and very likely to be seen over the course of one days, but you would be very lucky to see the more scarce and secretive black rhino. 

All the big cats are found and lions, in particular, are frequently seen in the south of the park. This combination gives you a reasonable chance of seeing all the Big Five in a short time. 

Fly or drive to Kruger?

On a one day safari, flying and driving to the Kruger are both viable options, with flying bringing obvious time savings (approximately 55 minutes from all three locations of Johannesburg, Gauteng and O.R. Tambo International Airport) and incredible views of the wildlife and landscape. 

Flying of course comes with a higher price tag however they do typically include top-end accommodation and all of your activities. The drive to the Kruger from Johannesburg takes 4-5 hours with the quickest route via the N12 and N4, a 245 mile drive. 

Driving is generally cheaper, and you will see some interesting countryside en route. And, with an early start, you’ll be in Kruger for lunch. Kruger is further from seaside destinations such as Durban, Cape Town or the Garden Route, so traveling overland isn’t a realistic option unless you’ve enough spare days to treat it as a road trip. 

If you decide to fly, different airports service Kruger, and your best choice will be influenced by where you’ll be staying. The busiest flight hub is Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport, which lies outside the national park, but offers good access to southern Kruger via Numbi Gate (40km/25mi) or Phabeni Gate (60km/36mi). 

Alternatives include Skukuza Airport, which stands inside the park close to Skukuza Rest Camp, and Hoedspruit Eastgate Airport, which is near central Kruger’s Orpen Gate.


How much spending money do I need for a one day Kruger safari?

Visitors should budget for approximately $320 for a Kruger safari per person per day, including food and accommodation. 

What animals will I see on a one day Kruger safari tour?

Visitors on a one day Kruger safari will see the Big Five (lion, leopard, rhino, elephant and African buffalo), hyenas, wildebeest, giraffes, cheetah, zebras, endangered black rhinos, hippos, crocodiles and much more.

What is the best time to go on a 1 day Kruger safari?

The best time to go on a 1 day Kruger safari is the dry winter season from May to October when the bushveld is more open, allowing for better visibility. To avoid crowds, avoid the public area south of the Sabie River and long weekends or local school holidays.