Where to go?

Written by Jacqui. Posted in Safari Guide

Kruger vs. Kapama?
Sabi Sands or Thornybush?
Timbavati, Klaserie, or Balule?

You may know about the Kruger National Park, but do you know about the equally breath-taking bordering reserves? We help you to understand the differences between every option, and ensure that you find the perfect destination for your safari experience.

With Southern Africa's rich diversity of habitats, there are a wide range of places to experience a safari. At Lodge Trackers, we focus on what is known as the 'Greater Kruger Area'. This means that we cover the world famous Kruger National Park, and all of the surrounding reserves. The surrounding reserves mean that either they are 'bordering reserves', (physically connected to the Kruger National Park), allowing for all the animals from the Kruger to walk in and out as they please (as their are no fences). Or, a private reserve is one that holds it's own animals within it's own fences, located close to the Kruger.

This includes:
- Kruger National Park
- Sabi Sands Reserve (bordering reserve)
- Klaserie Private Nature Reserve (bordering reserve)
- Timbavati Private Nature Reserve (bordering reserve)
- Balule Nature Reserve (bordering reserve)
- Thornybush Game Reserve (private reserve)
- Kapama Reserve (bordering reserve)

Generally, the reserves that border the Kruger National Park witness just as much action as the park itself, as all animals are free to wander around the reserves. Thus, if an animal is known to the Kruger, there is just as much of a chance to see it in a bordering private reserve.

However, just because a reserve is not directly linked to the Kruger Park, don't let this put you off. Reserves such as Thornybush, Kapama, and Karongwe all boast their own collection of not only the Big 5 (Leopard, Lion, Elephant, Buffalo and Rhino), but all of the smaller mammal, bird, and reptile species that the Kruger National Park is also home too.

What are the benefits or disadvantages of booking in a private/bordering reserve, or the actual Kruger?
The benefits of booking with a bordering reserve, a private reserve, or a even private lodge within the Kruger National Park, is a more personalized experience, far less traffic (as these areas are not open to day only visitors), professional safaris with highly qualified guides and trackers in open 'safari-cruisers', and often - a higher level of luxury accommodation and treatment. The private lodges and reserves are focused on providing guests with a thorough safari experience. This differs to the government accommodation in the Kruger (such as Satara, Skukuza, Orpen & so on) as while they are cheaper, the camps are self catering and do not include any service (such as game drives), and a rental car is necessary to self-drive around the park.

Below is a map, designating the different areas of Lodge Trackers operations, and the Greater Kruger Area.

KRUGER NATIONAL PARK: 19,480km2. Kruger National Park is one of the largest game reserves in Africa. It covers 19,485 square kilometres and extends 360 kilometres from north to south and 65 kilometres from east to west.

65,000 hectares/153,000 acre


53,392 hectare

11,000 hectare

13,000 hectare

9,000 hectare

40,000 hectare






















Baboon photograph courtesy of Science Photo Library
Map courtesy of

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