Kruger National Park, situated in northeastern South Africa, is one of the biggest game reserves in Africa and famous for its high density of wild animals. Two airports serve the national park: Skukuza and Phalaborwa. Flying to the airport closest to your accommodation offers great convenience. While there are direct flights from Johannesburg, those flying from other airports like Cape Town or Durban may need to book a connecting flight. This will add an extra hour or two.
There is also the option of traveling by car. The car journey will take five to six hours from Johannesburg, 10 hours from Durban, and at least two days from Cape Town.
This 12-day itinerary includes many of South Africa’s top destinations like Cape Town, Johannesburg, Kruger National Park, and more.
Duration: 1 - 6 hours
The best way to get to Kruger National Park is by plane. Travelers can book a flight to either Skukuza or Phalaborwa depending on which entrance is closest to your accommodation. A flight takes approximately one hour. After arriving at Skukuza or Phalaborwa, travelers can choose between using a private transfer or renting a car at the airport.
Alternatively, there is also the option to drive the whole way which will take between five and six hours. Those traveling to the Skukuza gate will drive on the N12 and N4 highways. For those entering the Phalaborwa gate, the shortest route is via the N12 highway. Travelers may choose to stop at the town Bela Bela or Tzaneen en route.
This article offers more information on getting to Kruger National Park from Johannesburg.
From Cape Town
Duration: 2.5 hours - 2 days
Due to the long distance between Cape Town and Kruger National Park, traveling by plane is recommended. A direct flight takes two and a half hours to both Skukuza and Phalaborwa. There is typically only direct flight a day and travelers may need to book a connecting flight via Johannesburg—which takes around four hours.
There is also the option to travel by car the whole way. This will take at least two days. To get to Skukuza, travelers will drive along the N1 highway before turning onto the N12 after Johannesburg. You will then turn 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.
You can find out more about traveling between Cape Town and Kruger National Park here.
Duration: 3.5 - 10 hours
While there are no direct flights between Durban and Kruger National Park, traveling by plane is still the most convenient option. You will fly via Johannesburg which will take at least three and a half hours to get to Skukuza or Phalaborwa.
Travelers can also self-drive or use a private transfer. This takes ten hours without stops. The quickest route goes past Hazyview along the N2, R66, R34, R33, R38, R40, and R536. The drive to Phalaborwa takes an extra thirty minutes. You will drive along the N3, R74, N11, N4, R36, and R40 past the towns Newcastle and Lydenberg.