This whirlwind tour features the best of Kruger National Park - home to more than 500 bird species, 100 reptile species, and 150 mammal species, including the Big Five (elephant, rhinoceros, buffalo, lion, and leopard) and the endangered African wild dog.


  • Search for Africa's Big Five: elephant, rhinoceros, buffalo, lion, and leopard
  • Take bush walks with experienced rangers to look for wildlife on foot
  • Head out at sunset in search of nocturnal animals

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Johannesburg  Kruger National Park
Day 2 Kruger National Park Kruger National Park
Day 3 Depart  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Johannesburg

Leopard in Kruger National Park
Leopard in Kruger National Park

Welcome to South Africa! Arrive in Johannesburg (known by locals as Jo-burg) and make your way to Tremisana Lodge in the Big Five Balule Game Reserve - home of hefty elephants and elusive leopards. The drive out is a long one, but the landscapes out the window are worth every minute of the eight-hour road trip.

When you arrive, settle in and then board an open game-viewing vehicle for a sunset drive. Don't forget your camera - the light is perfect for capturing the park's wildlife. Pause as night falls at the new Marula Tree Boma, deep in the bush, where you'll find a clearing full of flickering lanterns and dinner grilled over open fires. Then continue your quest, searching for nocturnal wildlife by a spotlight as you make your way back to the lodge.

Plan your trip to South Africa
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.

Day 2: Kruger National Park

African elephants spotted on safari in Kruger Natl. Park
African elephants spotted on safari in Kruger Natl. Park

After breakfast, head back out into the park to explore the Orpen area from the comfort of your open-sided game-viewing vehicle. Thanks to the higher elevation in this part of the park, the views can be sweeping, and the photography opportunities stunning. The Orpen Gate of Kruger has the highest percentage population of giraffes, zebra, and antelope in the park, and those attract lions and other predators - so keep an eye out! 

Day 3: Depart

Blyde River Canyon
Blyde River Canyon

Take a morning bush walk with an experienced ranger who will point out the smaller features of the South African bush—insects and scat included. Keep an eye out for nyala and buffalo. Then return to the lodge for breakfast before boarding your transport and bidding the park goodbye. On the way back to Jo-burg, stop at the three rounded peaks known as the Rondawels of Blyde River Canyon

More Great South Africa Itineraries

Looking for more inspiration for your trip to South Africa? Check out these other South Africa itineraries, with outdoor adventures, cultural trips, and best-of tours to hit the highlights.


Map of "Big Five" Tour in Kruger National Park - 3 Days
Map of "Big Five" Tour in Kruger National Park - 3 Days