The best way to travel the 1155 miles (1859 km) between Cape Town and Kruger National Park is by plane. A direct flight takes just two and a half hours—although travelers may need to book a connecting flight via Johannesburg—which can add an extra hour or two.
There is also the option to travel by car for the entire route. This will take at least two full days of driving. Bloemfontein is a good place to stopover for the night. Those hoping to explore places along the way are recommended to break the trip up over three days.
This diverse 21-day itinerary includes Cape Town, the Garden Route, the Wild Coast, Kruger National Park, and more.
Duration: 2.5 - 4 hours
This is the best-recommended travel option. Travelers can either fly to Skukuza or Phalaborwa airport—depending on which is closest to where you are staying. A direct flight is two and a half hours but these are infrequent. Travelers may need to book a connecting flight via Johannesburg which will add an extra hour or two.
The airport in Skukuza is located within the southern part of Kruger National Park. From the airport, it’s recommended to use a private transfer to get to Skukuza Rest Camp in Kruger National Park. This is a 10-minute drive away. There is also the option to rent a car at the airport. Phalaborwa’s airport is a seven-minute drive from the northern part of Kruger National Park. After arriving in Phalaborwa, travelers can either use a private transfer or rent a car. For game viewing, travelers can make use of private game drives.
By Private Transfer or Rental Car
Duration: 2 - 3 days
Traveling by car for the duration of the trip will take at least two days. A recommended overnight stop is to stay in Bloemfontein. The quickest route is via the N1 highway. To get to Skukuza, travelers will drive along the N12 after Johannesburg, before turning onto the N4, R40, and R536 for the rest of the way. Those traveling to the Phalaborwa entrance will continue along the N1 past Johannesburg before turning onto the R71 after Polokwane for the rest of the route. Both routes take 20 hours without stops.
Travelers could also split the trip over three days which will allow some time to explore places along the way. Great places to visit include Beaufort West, Colesburg, and Johannesburg. The route to Phalaborwa goes through Tzaneen, a tropical garden town, that is worth visiting.
After arriving in Kruger National Park, travelers can self-drive to explore the reserve or use professional game drives.