How to Choose Kruger National Park Game Drives

Kruger National Park game drives are fantastic and insightful ways to travel around the park.  Rangers will often astound you with their keen animal spotting skills and point out wildlife you may have missed had you been driving yourself.

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Kruger National Park game drive

Your safari vehicle will typically be an open-sided four wheel drive.  Your ranger will tell you some really interesting stories along the way too. A ranger once told us he watched a 24 hour battle between a lion and a buffalo!

Once you’ve booked on a Kruger National Park game drive, all you have to do is turn up at the designated time and place that your tour departs from and let the ranger take care of the rest!

Game driving tours are a good option if you’re staying just outside Kruger National Park and want someone else to drive you through it, rather than doing your own self-drive safari.

Check out these top game drive tours on GetYourGuide. Each game drive has pictures showing the kind of up close with wildlife experience you may have as well as reviews by fellow travellers who have tried them.

SANParks Game Drives

South African National Parks (SANParks) run game drives lead by a Kruger Park ranger. Your options for doing this are going on one of the Park & Ride tours which leave from select Kruger Park entrance gates.

Park & Ride tours are morning and afternoon drives and currently run from:

Private Lodge Game Drives

If you’re staying at a private lodge in Kruger National Park, game drives will most likely be included in your safari package.

Staying Overnight in Kruger Park – Game Drive Choices

A ranger will drive you in an open-sided four wheel drive out of your rest camp and into the park.

The game drive options are:

Early morning drives leave well before dawn. If you don’t fancy getting up that early, you could go on a sunset or night drive. A part of each of these drives will be in the dark and are the only way to go on safari at night. Catch a glimpse of nocturnal animals on a driving tour!

It’s a lot harder spotting animals at night than in the day. Your ranger will give you lights to shine into the bush. Look for the reflecting eyes of the animals. If you see one, shout “stop” to the ranger. Then the ranger will help you identify the animal.

Sometimes you might not see any nocturnal animals at all. There’s still a really good chance of seeing an animal though. On one Kruger Park night drive, we saw a hippo running across the road. It was a very funny sight!

You might only get a fleeting glimpse of some animals because your view is limited by the torchlight. Plus animals run into the bush when they see you coming. Despite this, a game drive is definitely worth going on. It’s an amazing and daunting experience knowing that you’re out in the open in a game park at night!

Game drives leave or come back after the rest camp gates open or close. So you must be staying overnight at the rest camp that your game drive leaves from.

Children under 6 aren’t allowed on game drives.

Game driving tours from within Kruger National Park depart from:

Rest campMorning driveSunset driveNight drive
Crocodile Bridge
Lower Sabie
Punda Maria

There is also an all day drive, but you have to book it 2 months in advance! You’ll hire a vehicle and a driver for an entire day and go to parts of the park that tourists don’t normally access.

You can take a drink and a snack to eat on game drives.

There might be a toilet stop on the game drive, but it may be at an unfenced picnic sight. We prefer to go before leaving on our game drive so we don’t have to worry about what’s lurking in the toilet block! But don’t worry too much if you do need to go. The ranger will check the toilets for creatures before you use it!

It can be cool in the open-sided tour vehicle, even in summer. Take a jacket just in case it gets a bit chilly. In winter, rug up!

If you’re on a budget, Kruger National Park game drives are cheaper tour options than tours on foot.