Getting to Kruger National Park – What Will Fit your Plans Best?

There are several ways of getting to Kruger National Park. The best way for you will probably depend on your budget and how much time you have.

Let’s have a look at the main choices.


Driving to Kruger National Park is a very popular option. So much so because in most cases (unless you’re staying at a private lodge and all your safaris are led by rangers) you’ll need your own car to get around the game reserve and to wildlife spotting.

If you’re driving yourself, you might have your own car or be getting a hire car. If you have your own vehicle, it might take you a couple of days to get to the park depending on where you’re coming from.

Waterbuck by riverCape Town is the furthest major city from Kruger National Park. It’s at the diagonally opposite end of the country and it’ll take a few days to drive the distance to the park. Even more if you’re stopping to sightsee.

If you don’t have the time to spare with that driving, then flying to Johannesburg or a regional airport closer to the park is an option. If you do this, you’ll need to get your own hire car once you land, unless you’ve made an alternative arrangement.

The most direct route to the park from Johannesburg Airport is along a couple of freeways. Expect about three toll gates along this way.

Shuttle Bus Services

There are lots of tour companies that offer shuttle services to Kruger National Park from Johannesburg Airport.

If you need transport once you’re in the park, make sure the shuttle takes you to Skukuza Rest Camp. This is the only place inside the wildlife reserve where you can hire a car.

Zebra crossing roadFlying

If you’re an overseas traveller and visiting the park is first on your itinerary, then you’re well placed to get there if your plane lands at OR Tambo Airport in Johannesburg. From there you’ve got the choice of:

  • Getting a shuttle bus.
  • Renting a car and driving the rest of the distance.
  • Getting an onwards flight to a closer town. You’ll be able to hire a car from any of those regional airports too.

If you’re staying at one of the luxury lodges, they can arrange for charter flights to one of the few airstrips in Kruger National Park. Once you land, you’ll be met by a shuttle service which’ll take you to your lodge.

For details on flying near to or into Kruger National Park, see our flights page.

Cheapest Option

If you’ve got the time and a car full of passengers, then the cheapest way of getting to Kruger National Park is definitely by road, even if it’s not in your own car and you hire one.

If you are renting a car, remember to allow for mileage in your budget. Car rental companies tend to charge by the kilometre once you’ve exceeded a certain limit.