5 game reserves to visit in the Greater Kruger area

Posted on 23 November 2022 By Jordyn Johnson

The Kruger National Park is always a great idea, but these five game reserves in the Greater Kruger Area are definitely worthy of sharing that top spot with KNP.

Many South Africans love the sound of a lion’s roar in the distance, the call of the fish eagle, and the golden hour of sunrise as they rush through the gates of the game reserve each morning. Have a look at these reserves in the Greater Kruger.

greater kruger area

Picture: Keyur Nandaniya from Unsplash

1. Manyeleti Game Reserve

Picture: Adriaan Greyling from Unsplash

Manyeleti borders the western side of Kruger and is situated between Sabi Sands and Timbavati. There are no fences between Manyeleti and Kruger, so you always have the chance of spotting one (or all) of the Big 5.

There are only three lodges so you are always guaranteed a much quieter wildlife getaway. What makes this game reserve so unique is that it is exclusively owned and managed by the local Mnisi tribe, and the three privately owned lodges ‘make use of the land on a concession basis.’

2. Kapama Game Reserve

greater kruger area

Picture: Getaway Gallery

This 5-star luxury lodge is the biggest in the Kapama Game Reserve. It’s more festive and social than their other camps so it’s very popular among young couples and groups of friends.

Their African-themed lounge is perfect for lazing around in on hot summer days, their River bar serves delicious cocktails that you can sip while lounging by their rim-flow pool, and the wildlife is free to walk past the deck at their leisure.

3. Makalali Private Game Reserve

Game reserves Greater Kruger

Picture: Makalali Private Game Reserve

Makalali Private Game Reserve is situated on the border of Kruger, and is close to Hoedspruit as well as the Drakensberg Mountains. Makalali Main Lodge is known for their ecotourism, and boasts exceptional service and delicious Pan African cuisine. Large rocks in the area were ingeniously used in the construction of the lodges, and Tattler’s Magazine voted Makalali ‘the most innovatively designed hotel in the world.’

4. Thornybush Nature Reserve

game reserves greater kruger

Picture: Getaway gallery

Thornybush Luxury Game Lodge is the perfect place to unwind and enjoy South African wildlife. Go on an exciting game drive, or even sit on your private deck and look out for game at your leisure. The watering hole can be seen from the main deck and elephants frequently visit, along with other antelope.

5. Sabi Sands Game Reserve

game reserves greater kruger

Sabi Sands is a well-known reserve that shares a border with the Kruger National Park. The Sabi and Sands River runs through it which adds to the biodiversity of the park and attracts lots of wildlife into the area. A game ranger will escort you to your treehouse camp after dinner, and you can enjoy the views of nature below you at a safe distance.

Pictures: Getaway gallery

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