4-star Pestana Kruger Lodge is on the doorstep of Kruger National Park, right near Malelane Entrance Gate. This is the closest gate to the park if you’re coming from the direction of Johannesburg, which is 4.5 hour’s drive away.
Pestana belongs to an international chain of hotels, but Kruger Lodge in the town Malelane (as opposed to the rest camp Malelane) is the only Pestana hotel in South Africa.
Like many lodges on the boundary of the park, Pestana has views across the Crocodile River and beyond into Kruger National Park.
Crocodile River runs all along the southern border of the park. You could see any type of animal down by the river banks or even some swimming! So keep an eye out for crocodiles and hippos when you’re there!
Back at the lodge, Pestana offers a range of facilities and services, including:
- Boma braai (meal cooked around a traditional camp fire)
- Conference rooms
- Guided safari tours into Kruger National Park
- Swimming pool
- Transfer services
If you ever visit Pestana Lodge’s website, don’t be fooled by the description of their location. They state that they’re in Kruger National Park itself, but they’re not. They’re just outside it.
So what does this mean for you? If you’re staying at Pestana Lodge and it’s peak time of year to visit Kruger National Park (peak time is school holidays), you may not be able to enter the game reserve on your own self-drive safari if too many people have gone in before you! This is because the park has a quota system and only lets in a limited number of day visitors.
If you don’t want to miss out on doing your own Kruger National Park self-drive safari you can avoid this problem by pre-booking your day visit by contacting SANParks or by being ready and waiting at Malelane Gate to enter the park at opening time, very early in the morning.
Alternatively, give Pestana’s own guided safari tour a go. You’ll get informative commentary from the guide and you don’t have to worry about quotas or driving. Just relax and enjoy watching the animals.