The Kruger National Park is South Africa’s flagship Big Five game reserve, covering two million hectares of the Lowveld region. Anyone who’s visited this natural treasure knows all too well that this is where you go to recharge your batteries, absorb nature and unwind for a while. That is exactly why TravelGround compiled a list of stays close to the entrance gates of the Kruger National Park, allowing you to enjoy comfortable getaway destinations not too far from the park! 

Sit back, relax and scroll through these conveniently located spots.

1. Hamiltons Lodge and Restaurant

Malelane

We kick this list off with this family-friendly stay with a relaxed and casual atmosphere, just a stone’s throw from the Kruger National Park. This is a spot where the fresh Bushveld air helps unwind any guest. The charming rooms are all decorated in soft colours and serviced daily, and boast high ceilings, DStv, and large sliding doors.

Distance to Park: 500 metres from Malelane Gate
Facilities: Swimming pool, à la carte restaurant, two local art and homeware shops, conferencing facilities and several cycling trails that start and finish here
Extras: 45 kilometres from the borders of both Mozambique and Swaziland, wheelchair friendly and breakfast is included

Click here for rates. 

2. Elephant Walk Retreat  

Crocodile Bridge

Break away from the city to this popular retreat on the banks of the Crocodile River, catering to those in search of wildlife including the Big Five. The lodge lives up to its name with magnificent herds of elephants often visiting the area. The luxurious units at Elephant Walk Retreat each have views of the Crocodile River and park, making this the ideal stay for nature lovers. 

Distance to Park: 700 metres from Crocodile Bridge Gate
Facilities: Braai facilities, swimming pool, shaded lapa area and free Wi-Fi
Extras: Activities on offer include game drives into the Kruger National Park, hiking tours, the Panorama Route, Sudwala Caves, Swaziland Day Tours, Mozambique Beach Day Tours and fishing.

Click here for rates. 

3. Sausage Tree Safari Camp

Hoedspruit

This safari camp is exactly where you want to be if you’re in search of a luxury African safari experience. The Northern Drakensberg Mountains act as a backdrop to these tents that overlook a dry river bed and are nestled in between marula, knobthorn acacia and sausage trees. Each dreamy tent has a private deck and outdoor shower, allowing you to be fully immersed in nature. Guests can enjoy breakfast and dinner with a view of the bush and waterholes frequented by a variety of animals.

Distance to Park: This stay shares an open boundary with the Kruger National Park.
Facilities: Boma, sunken swimming pool and fireplace on the deck and free Wi-Fi
Extras: Rate includes two home-made meals and two Big Five game drives per day.

Click here for rates. 

4. Silonque Bush Estate & Spa

Phalaborwa

Silonque Bush Estate flaunts luxury self-catering safari houses, each suitable for two to six guests with terraces facing the Kruger National Park. Enjoy the birds, warthogs, impalas and other animals that roam freely on the estate and get quiet at night to listen to the lion’s roar in the distance. 

Distance to Park: 8 kilometres to the Phalaborwa Gate 
Facilities: Tennis courts, 2 pools, Wi-Fi

Click here for rates. 

5. Cambalala Kruger Park Lodge

Hazyview 

This beautiful self-catering lodge is located on a golf resort on the banks of the Sabie River and offers the perfect location for exploring the South African Lowveld region, including the Kruger National Park. Impala, vervet monkeys and Egyptian geese roam free on the grounds while the lodge also has a hippo hide. The rooms are ideal for couples, families or groups of friends, and guests can braai on one of the large wooden decks.

Distance to Park: 9 kilometres to the Phabeni Gate 
Facilities: Tennis courts, mini-golf course, swimming pools, walking trails and a Gary Player-designed golf course
Extras: A daily cleaning service is included.

Click here for rates. 

6. Awelani Lodge

Tshikuyu

Awelani Lodge hides in a 1700-hectare conservancy, near the Pafuri Gate on the R525. Here, guests can walk or mountain bike through a wooded conservancy with a variety of trees, including baobab, pod mahogany, lebombo, ironwood, mopani, rock fig and marula. Accommodation is available for two to six guests in bungalows, a chalet, standard rooms or neat safari tents. 

Distance to Park: 12 kilometres from Pafuri Gate
Facilities: On-site restaurant and pub, braai facilities, a swimming pool, Wi-Fi and conferencing facilities
Bonus: Groups can book an evening braai in a nearby cave.

Click here for rates. 

7. Kruger Bush Camp

Phalaborwa

Kruger Bush Camp is a fenced camp in the Balule Nature Reserve and offers accommodation in an apartment that sleeps four guests and several impressive tents each suited for two guests. Kruger Bush Camp is where you go to experience luxury camping and a true sense of nature with wildlife roaming around freely and an abundance of birdlife surrounding you. 

Distance to Park: Shares open borders with the Kruger National Park
Facilities: Wi-Fi, outdoor lounge, pool, boma and outdoor dining facilities
Extras: Daily game drives, as well as day trips to the Lowveld region, are available on request.

Click here for rates. 

8. Royale Marlothi Safari Lodge

Marloth Park

Each chalet at this lodge has a deck, splash pool and braai area. It comfortably sleeps two to six guests, is equipped for self-catering and has air conditioning for those hot summer days. Enjoy a peaceful and relaxing stay while giraffes, zebras, kudus, warthogs, impalas and wildebeest roam freely in the lodge and surrounding areas. Be ready for some up close and personal encounters with these creatures! 

Distance to Park: 22 kilometres to the Crocodile Bridge Gate 
Facilities: Splash pool and braai area
Bonus: Children aged between 0 and 12 stay free

Click here for rates. 

9. Bundox Safari Lodge

Hoedspruit

Bundox Safari Lodge has created a relaxing space with a true Bushveld atmosphere, enhanced by beautiful wooden furnishings. It is located on a small conservancy near Hoedspruit and guests can easily visit the Blyde River Canyon. Two chalets and seven structured tents offer unique accommodation experiences and some units flaunt small boma areas. Guests also praise the early morning sounds of roaring lions from nearby reserves. 

Distance to Park: 50 kilometres from Orpen Gate
Facilities: Swimming pool, a deck overlooking the bush, two bomas, free Wi-Fi and braai area
Extras: Children aged between 0 and 3 stay free, and dinner and breakfast are included in some units.

Click here for rates.

10. Amafu Forest Lodge

Kruger to Canyons

Amafu Forest Lodge boasts tents, cottages and freestanding units suited for couples or bigger groups. This oasis lies in the foothills of the Mariepskop Mountains and is just a short driving distance from the Blyde River Canyon

Distance to Park: 62 kilometres from Orpen Gate
Facilities: Restaurant, alfresco bar, infinity pool, Wi-Fi, braai area and boma
Extras: Features over 500 species of birds and pets welcome per arrangement.

Click here for rates. 

What are you waiting for? Book your stay close to one of the Kruger gates today to experience Africa, wildlife and so much more that South Africa has to offer. 

Feature image: Manor House At Safari Tintswalo (TravelGround)