The Phabeni Gate is situated only 430km from Johannesburg and provides immediate access to the southern region of the Kruger National Park. Constructed in 2002 to ease entrance into the park for people coming from Johannesburg and Pretoria via Hazyview, it is the best way to get into Skukuza from Gauteng. Its African architectural design emphasises the new South Africa and the 3 indigenously themed rondavels at the gate provide an interesting contrast to the usual thatch and brick aesthetic of most buildings within the park.
The gate was named after a Swazi chief. Phabeni (meaning “shelterâ€ in Sotho) is also the name of the stream one crosses not long after entering the gate. There are several Albisini ruins and the remains of Joao Albasini’s trading store from 1846.
Although the southern region of the park is relatively small, it is by far the busiest section of the park. This region's popularity is often said to be simply because it is the most accessible, but the truth is that this is also where the best game viewing is to be had. This area is greener that the north and sustains a wide variety of game in great numbers.
Because driving over 40kmph is not permitted in the park, a journey from north to south takes in the region of 10 hours of driving time. This makes it crucial to plan your trip carefully. The gates close at dusk, as driving is not permitted inside the park after dark. For animal safety, driving inside the park is at a snail’s pace, and injuring an animal is not taken lightly.