Skukuza is the biggest rest camp in Kruger National Park and a popular place to book into. It’s conveniently located in the southern region of the wildlife reserve and you can find a lot of highly sought after game in the area.
The rest camp is well-equipped and has everything you’d find in a small village, such as:
- General Store
- Petrol Station
- Post Office
The general store is the largest one in Kruger National Park and sells lots of souvenirs.
The administrative offices for the park are at this rest camp too.
The rest camp is on the banks of the Sabie River. If you’re a day visitor, it’s a good spot to see the river and some animals. Elephants and hippos often go there.
If you want to stay at this rest camp, every type of accommodation is available here except huts. Choose from:
- Safari tents
- Guest houses
If your accommodation doesn’t have its own kitchen, you’ll be able to make use of the communal kitchens if you need to.
James Stevenson-Hamilton Memorial Library And Museum
The Stevenson-Hamilton Memorial Library And Museum (James Stevenson-Hamilton was the first warden of Kruger National Park) has some fascinating artefacts on display. You’ll get to know some things about Kruger Park that you’d never imagined!
There are also very engaging stories to read. Our favourite is the miraculous tale of Harry Wolhuter, one of Kruger’s very first game rangers, complete with real-life props. Check it out when you’re there!
There’s an Avis car rental office, so you can rent a vehicle there if you don’t have one when you arrive.
You would probably only really need to hire a car if you arrived at Skukuza by charter flight via the nearby airstrip or if you were on a shuttle transfer from a close regional airport, such as Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport.
There are a couple of restaurants and cafes to eat at, including the Selati Station Grillhouse, which is well-worth having a look at.
The Grillhouse is set around the original Selati Express train which brought the first tourists to Kruger National Park way back in the 1920s. Enjoy an evening there soaking up some Kruger Park history!
If you’re a keen golfer, there’s a 9-hole golf course on the outskirts of the rest camp. It must be the only golf course of it’s kind in the world! The course is unfenced, so expect the stray hippo, impala, warthog or baboon to be watching you, to name just a few!
Back at the rest camp, you’ll find an outdoor movie place showing nature films every evening except Sundays.
Walking around the rest camp is also interesting. You can see smaller animals like agama lizards. Plus green pigeons like to sit in the trees near the walkway to the take-away shop. Don’t forget to check up in the eaves of the thatched roofs either. You can often see bats hanging from them!
If you want to go on a safari tour from the rest camp, you can book:
- Morning and afternoon game walks
- Sunrise and sunset game drives
- Bush breakfasts and bush braais (BBQs)
If you’re interested in a more thorough expedition in the bush, the 4-day Metsi Metsi Wilderness Trail leaves from the rest camp. You’ll have to carry your own clothes on this trek, but food and accommodation is provided for you.
There’s a nursery 4km (2.5 miles) outside the rest camp where you can buy native trees and plants if you want to make your own Kruger at home.
Nearby the plant nursery is Lake Panic Bird Hide. It overlooks water and you can often see hippos there right up close and maybe crocodiles too! There’s an interesting display of bird life coming and going as well, like the African Jacanas with their long toes walking delicately across the lily pads.
The bird hide is well-worth going to and is our favourite hide in the whole of Kruger National Park. Be warned though, that it can be very humid there in mid-summer!
There’s a picnic area for day visitors too, also 4km (2.5 miles) outside the rest camp. There are BBQs there that you can use. If you want to make a splash, there’s a swimming pool there too 😉
The closest park entrance gate to the rest camp is Paul Kruger Gate. It’s 12km (7.5 miles) away. Allow about half an hour to travel the distance from the gate to the rest camp.
If there’s a place that could be called “downtown” in Kruger, Skukuza Rest Camp is it!