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Earthstompers does Kruger National Park: Photo blog

Home / News Blog / Earthstompers does Kruger National Park: Photo blog

In early May 2023, Chrissy and I spent 8 days exploring the Greater Kruger and Kruger National Park to view some of the beautiful lodges we recommend to our guests.

At Earthstompers Adventures we have a golden rule, and that is not to send clients where we have not been ourselves. We are always out and about to explore more beautiful places to send our guests, and to be able to give good advice to our clients. Chrissy always says; “tough job, but somebody has to do it!”

We were amazed at the excellent service, fresh and tasty food, beautiful, spacious and luxurious accommodation, and the amazing game viewing. Photos do not do this wonderful experience justice, but see below some photo highlights of our time in beautiful Kruger.

Day 1: Thornybush Game Lodge, Thornybush Nature Reserve – Greater Kruger

The sightings:

The beautiful lodge & food:

What did we love? We had a great overall experience at the newly-refurbished Thornybush Game Lodge, but the highlight must be to see a young leopard walking in the riverbed below the lodge while we had breakfast!

We also viewed: Saseka Tented Camp that is perfect for honeymoons or couple getaways, and Kamara House that is perfect for multi-generational family holidays.

Day 2 & 3: Monwana Lodge, Thornybush Nature Reserve – Greater Kruger

The sightings:

The beautiful lodge & food:

What did we love?  Monwana is a new, modern lodge with excellent food, excellent service and spectacular game viewing. Monwana has one of the most beautiful and stylish lodges that we have ever experienced. The spacious suites offer you privacy, luxury, and excellent views over the waterhole from the shower (inside and outside shower), bathtub, pool and even from your bed. The lodge owner is a geologist, and we enjoyed the beautiful and unusual stones in the decor. There is only one problem with visiting Monwana – you are spoiled for life, and nothing compares afterwards!

Day 4: Ivory Wilderness River Rock Lodge – Klaserie Nature Reserve – Greater Kruger

The sightings:

The beautiful lodge & food:

What did we love?  – The game walk was excellent and expertly led by Warren (owner) and Shane. It is special experience being on foot in a big 5 area. We loved “reading” the animal tracks in the dry river beds, with our rangers able to determine the species, age, direction of travel, and more. Warren grew up in the bush and in Klaserie and you can pick this up through his passion and knowledge of the bush. Accommodation & food are more basic than some of the other options, but if you are visiting for the nature experience and not the luxury spoils, this lodge can be a good option.

Day 5: Kruger Shalati – Kruger National Park

The sightings:

The beautiful lodge & food:

What did we love?   The views! This is really a unique setting on the old train tracks above the Sabie River. We loved seeing the elephant, buffalo and hippo enjoying the river below. The river is alive and you can sit and stare at it for hours, from the comfort of your carriage. The design is modern, African, and offers a stylish unique and luxurious stay. It is nice to do game drives in Kruger National Park itself, with the added bonus of being able to depart on a game drive 30 minutes before the Park gates open to day visitors.

Day 6 & 7: Narina Lodge, Lion Sands Game Reserve, Sabi Sands and *Kruger National Park

*Narina Lodge, Lion Sands is situated in a private concession in Kruger National Park, but the have traversing rights in Sabi Sands Game Reserve. (No fences between, see picture below)

The sightings:

The beautiful lodge & food:

We also viewed: Tinga Lodge, River Lodge and Ivory Lodge

What did we love? The safari in this part of Kruger is magical. This area around the Sabie River is alive and we saw the big 5 in one day (even on one game drive), and some amazing sightings of wild dog, leopard and many more wildlife. We of course loved the beautiful lodge and our suite overlooking the Sabie River, excellent food & 5 star service.  Eating a delectable lunch, sipping a glass of South African white wine, watching three big bull elephants cross the river in front of you…. magic.

A boring photo? Can you see what we see?

There is no better way to explain Greater Kruger National Park than this photo. To the left you have Kruger National Park and to the right you have Sabi Sands Private Game Reserve. See, no fences. Animals migrate freely between these areas,which makes for some of the best game viewing (if not the best) in Africa.

A big advantage of visiting the privately owned lodges or private concessions within Kruger National Park is exclusivity.  Although animals move freely between these areas, the human impact and movement is limited.  Only guests staying at private lodges are allowed to do game drives on the private reserves. Animal sightings are very well managed with communication among the rangers, meaning that only two game viewers are allowed at a sighting at any one time.  If you are having a magical moment watching a pride of lion in the middle of the bush, you will appreciate not having to compete for views with the Kruger Park public day visitors or self-drive vehicles.

There is a good reason that Kruger has a world-renowned reputation: it is a magical, wild place that is a privilege to be able to visit.  Chat to us for assistance on choosing a life-changing holiday experience.

Greetings from Cape Town

Hendrik & Chrissy Human (Owners – Earthstompers Adventures)

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