The reason why Kruger is world famous is because of its outstanding wildlife. Here, you’ll find everything from the Big Five (elephant, rhino, lion, buffalo and leopard) and over 147 species of mammals here, making this the most of any African country.
On a 3 day safari, you’ll see these amazing creatures in their natural habitat and more, with Kruger having a thriving population of leopards, the most elusive big cat and cheetahs, giraffes, hyenas and even wild or ‘painted’ dogs roaming the plains.
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The best 3 day Kruger Tours
Price of a 3 day Kruger safari?
The cost of a 3 day Kruger safari depends on the type of accommodation you choose and whether it’s located inside or outside the park. On average 3 day safaris start from $600 per person for budget rest camps to $950 for mid range accommodation to upwards of $1,200 for luxurious lodges.
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 3 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
- Luxury lodges and world-renowned hospitality
- All-inclusive tours including lodging, entrance fees, meals, and transport
- Game drives in comfortable, open top safari vehicles
- Optional activity add-ons including hot air balloon safaris
The following details typical tour inclusions and exclusions on the best 3 day Kruger safari package:
|Tour inclusions||Tour exclusions|
|Game drives per the itinerary as well as pick-up and drop-off||Visa fees, laundry services, drinks including mineral water at the hotels|
|Experienced english-speaking guide and driver||International/domestic flights|
|Transport and park entrance fees||Activity add-ons|
|Accommodation (full-board safaris)||Tips to the driver guides, waiters and porters|
|Breakfast, lunch, dinner and bottled water|
Safari essentials and information
Is a 3 day safari in Kruger sufficient?
3 days is plenty to see, hear and experience the incredible wildlife and sights of the Kruger. 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 the famous Lion Sands Game Reserve.
Overall, 3 days is a good amount of time for a safari in the Kruger if it is part of a larger South Africa tour, but if not, allocating a few more days to your safari would be ideal if possible.
Accommodation offered on a 3 day Kruger safari?
After a long day surveying the incredible South African landscape and wildlife on offer, guests can look forward to the very best safari accommodation the Kruger has to offer. The accommodation here is excellent with numerous options from tented camps, luxury lodges to camping grounds.
More than a dozen rest camps offer the choice of camping or staying in a comfortable self-catering bungalow. Some safaris stay outside the park, at one of several lodges that lie close to an entrance gate. These accommodation options include simple backpacker lodges, smart chain hotels and owner-managed boutique properties.
Of particular note are luxury lodges where you can see wildlife as they come down to the waterhole to drink. From the comfort of your own African themed accommodation, sip an evening cocktail from your wooden veranda or relax in a massive bathtub before an incredible culinary evening experience.
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 3 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 3 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 3 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 3 day Kruger safari tour?
Visitors on a 3 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 3 day Kruger safari?
The best time to go on a 3 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.