There are a lot of options for day visitors to Kruger National Park. With good planning, you’ll have time to enjoy a fulfilling mini-safari.
Entrance Fees Per Day
The first question that holidaymakers want to know the answer to, is how much a day pass to Kruger National Park costs.
We’ve got all the details about the admission prices per person and even for couples and families, for South African citizens, residents and foreigners, on our entry fees page.
If you’re a pensioner, there are no special SANParks conservation fee rates. What pensioners could get though, is discounted accommodation, but generally not on weekends or around public holidays.
Already have a Wild Card that covers entrance to Kruger National Park? Then use it instead of buying a day visitor ticket. Alternatively, if you’re planning to make further trips to Wild Card reserves, it might make financial sense to buy one.
Be careful about planning your visit to the game reserve without having pre-paid the day entrance tariff. At peak times especially, like school holidays and long weekends, you might be all ready to go on your safari until you come across a sign at an entrance gate like this:
It means that only people who have accommodation booked in the park for that night or who have pre-bought a one day ticket, can enter Kruger Park. The park has set limits on the number of people allowed in per day so that it doesn’t get too crowded. (There are over 1 million visitors a year!)
So, what can you do about this to ensure you can get access to the park when you want to visit?
You can make a reservation for a day trip by contacting SANParks Central Reservations on +27 (0)12 428 9111 or online.
If you do make an advanced booking, you must book to enter the park at a nominated entrance gate. You won’t be able to enter through any other gate other than the one you booked. There’s also a small administration cost for each person for advanced bookings. This is on top of the regular conservation tariffs.
If you need to leave Kruger National Park and come back in again the same day, you may be able to get a re-entry permit from the gate you came in by. Check at the gate when you first go into the park.
On any day in Kruger National Park, you’re bound to see a range of mammals and birds. There’s a fair chance that you’ll even see at least one of the big five.
Some people ask how many animals you would expect to see in Kruger National Park on a one day safari. Well, seeing animals just depends on being in the right place at the right time and also how in tune your eyes (and ears) are to finding wildlife. Be assured though, that you won’t leave the park disappointed!
It’s worth checking the animal sightings boards to see what of the most well-known animals have been seen around the area during the day. Sightings boards are at park gates, picnic sites and rest camps.
The topic of food always comes up when someone starts getting hungry. There are several options for having lunch on your day game drive.
You can pack your own lunch and eat it at any picnic spot or main rest camp or even in your car if you’re glued to an amazing wildlife sighting. You may also hire a skottel braai (portable gas BBQ) at picnic sites and main rest camps to cook your own meal!
Main rest camps and picnic spots all sell food which you can eat either as a sit-down meal or take-away.
When you’re planning your safari, it’s also a good idea to check the weather forecast so you know what sort of temperature you’re in for!
If you need to cool off on a hot humid summer day, Skukuza and Letaba rest camps have swimming pools that can be used by day visitors.
If you want a guided tour of the park rather than driving your own car around, you could organise a half day tour through the reception of your accommodation. If you do so, the price of the tour will probably include the park entrance fee. Check with the tour operator before you book.
You could also try one of the half day park and ride Kruger National Park game drives. These tours depart in the morning and afternoon and run from the gates in the south-west of the park. You’d have to pre-book this type of tour to ensure your place on it!
4×4 Day Routes
There is one 4×4 route which could be done if you’re visiting the park for a day only. The Mananga Adventure Trail leaves from Satara Rest Camp. You will need to pre-book this trip.
Some people visit Kruger National Park for the day to have a round of golf at the Skukuza golf course! The course has 9-holes and is close to Paul Kruger Gate. You should feel a rush of adrenalin playing on the course because it’s not enclosed in a fence and any animal might wander onto it!
If you take all this into account, day visitors won’t be short of ideas or things to do!