South Africa is one of those countries associated with some of the best game safaris anywhere in the world – and for good reason. The sheer scale of species you are likely to sight in any safari park outweighs what you are likely to encounter almost anywhere else. Kruger covers 2 million hectares of wild terrain and unrivalled biodiversity – from bird watching to the big five and beyond, Kruger has it all.
There are a number of safari parks within driving distance of OR Tambo International Airport, with the Kruger National Park being one of the unbeatable favourites. You could fly directly into Kruger airport, by small plane or even helicopter, landing at a helipad. Your best option though is to get there by road, but as some tracks could lead you off the beaten track, your best bet is to get a transfer from Johannesburg to Kruger, and beyond if you so desire.
There are a number of companies that will happily facilitate your transfer from Johannesburg to Kruger individually or in groups by bus. It is just as fuss-free to arrange a transfer from Johannesburg to Kruger from not just the airport, but any base in Joburg and surrounds.
There are also specialised companies who deal with helping you transfer from Johannesburg airport to Kruger Park and other safari ventures specifically. They arrange transfers in the form of flights, taxis, shuttles or guided self-drive. Self-drive is one of the least popular options for tourists, but should you wish to do so, you will easily be able to get a car rental from Johannesburg airport.
If you’re looking for a transfer from Johannesburg airport to Kruger Park via a flight, you have three options to choose from. There are daily flights out of Johannesburg to Kruger from Skukuza, Phalaborwa and Hoedspruit airports. The flights take just over one hour each.
If you’re looking for a transfer from Johannesburg airport to Kruger Park via road, you’ll find no shortage of private bus shuttle services departing at flexible times or even around your individual schedule. The roads to Kruger and surrounds are well-tarred, so you don’t need a four-wheel drive, although it is best to hire someone that knows the route well.
For your road transfer from Johannesburg to Kruger, you could deviate from using special shuttles and opt for a cab or taxi-style service instead. However, as this is not likely to be a specific taxi route and your fee could be based on each kilometre travelled, it’s likely to be the more expensive option.
Should you wish to arrange your transfer from Johannesburg to Kruger via the Kruger National Park itself, you’ll be pleased to know that Kruger will gladly and efficiently do so, usually by minivan from the airport. They can also charter private flights and arrange a number of safe, convenient and secure arrivals into the park for you.
Your best self-drive route for a transfer from Johannesburg to Kruger is uncomplicated and easy to follow on a map or via GPS coordinates. From the airport you’ll take either the N4 or N12. The N4 will get you to Kruger in just over five hours if there are no traffic backlogs, and the N4 will get you there in under six hours in average traffic.
When arranging a transfer from Johannesburg to Kruger by road, make sure to book your return trip upfront. Calling out an uber-style taxi via one of the service providers of a transfer from Johannesburg to Kruger to drive out all the way to Kruger and return you to the airport, is likely to cost you double that of a prebooked return journey. Most prebooked journeys are in the range of R2 500 to R3 800 return, per person. If you’re a big group, specify this, as the typical shuttle bus will comfortably seat ten people.
Kruger visitor tips
- Take any safety instructions seriously. Unless you’re with an expert guide, if you’re in a self-driven route once inside Kruger, do not drive with your windows open. Animals such as baboons and tigers have been known to leap through windows, especially when chased.
- Respect any green policies in Kruger. Maintaining the integrity of the biodiversity in this part of the world is critical.
- Do not attempt to handfeed any animals or take selfies with them. At night at camp, bring all food inside as there could specifically be hyenas on the prowl.
- Bring with practical walking and hiking boots, as well as headlamps for night walking, along with torches. When following your guides, do not venture off on your own.
- When doing walking trails, stick to the routes and keep walks shorter, rather than longer. There is always the risk of disorientation. Inform someone at camp of your route and expected time back, and stick to these.
- If you’re coming in as a day visitor, you may not consume alcohol in any of the public spots in the park.
- There are numerous rest camps within the Park. They have ablution facilities and cleaning staff. However, be mindful of your carbon footprint regardless. Most rest camps have restaurants and shops. The rates quoted for these camps do not include meals.
- Be mindful of the animals when driving. Stick to the require speed limits and driving routes and refrain from hooting or playing loud music. Stop if you see herds of animals crossing the road. One particular sign of irritation is an elephant flapping its ears. Stop and wait until this agitated display is over, as elephants can tipple cars.
- Remain calm should an animal such as a cheetah jump on your car roof. Do not attempt to shake the car or drive off, and close your windows. It won’t be too long most likely before the animal leaves.
- The best times to view fame are early morning and early evening. This is when hunting and drinking at boreholes takes place. The quieter and more unobtrusive you are, the likelier you will be to spot animals.