Private Reserves Bordering Kruger National Park
South Africa

There are a number of Private Game Reserves bordering the world famous Kruger National Park, all offering luxury private safari lodge accommodation and superb game viewing.

Private Game Reserves near Kruger like Sabi Sands or Timbavati are very well-known and offer some of the best private and luxury safari lodges in South Africa. There are no fences; the animals roam freely between Kruger Park and the Private Game Reserves. Spot the wild animals from your lodge while they are gathering around a waterhole or go on day or night drives in open land rovers. For the adventurers, bush walks are also available.

Thornybush Game Reserve

Located in 11 500 hectares of prime South African bushveld adjacent to the Greater Kruger National Park, Thornybush Game Reserve offers 5 exclusive and luxurious lodges. Visitors can enjoy this pristine game viewing area with opportunities of seeing the Big Five game animals plus a variety of other wildlife and 250 species of bird. The luxury safari lodges have fully qualified rangers who take guests out on early morning and evening game drives in open landrovers.

Sabi Sand Game Reserve

The Sabi Sand Reserve borders Kruger National Park and there are no fences between them which allows the animals freedom of movement to wander their chosen routes over vast areas which was normal in the past. Visitors have the choice of some of the best private game lodges which are in the Sabi Sand Game Reserve. Opportunities abound of seeing Lion, Leopard, Buffalo, Elephant and Rhino commonly known as the Big Five. Access to this reserve is very good; there are a number of transfer options out of Johannesburg to this area by road and by air, all lodges have arrangements in place for guest access.

Kapama Game Reserve

Kapama Game Reserve is situated just west of the Kruger National Park, next door is the Timbavati Game Reserve, where the game are free to roam between these 3 reserves as there are very few fences. There are many great lodges to be found in this area and access from Johannesburg is no problem with a variety of options by road or air via the Hoedspruit Airport located nearby.

The winter period here is a good time for game viewing because it is characterised by bright days and chilly nights. The animals can be seen better because the vegetation is not as thick. The summer rainfall period from November to February provides relief for everyone in the lowveld area which is usually hot and dry.

Timbavati Game Reserve

Without fences between them, Timbavati and Kruger National Park provide a vast area where the animals can roam freely through the wood and grasslands. This hot lowveld setting is the perfect home to all of the Big Five animals, namely Buffalo, Elephant, Lion, Leopard and Rhino, also a wide variety of predators and antelope species. Excellent private game lodges can be found here. Summer rainfall is not guaranteed, and drought sometimes sets in, the winter days are usually very clear with cold evenings - perfect for time spent at a roaring boma fire (open-air enclosure with fire).

Manyeleti Game Reserve

Manyeleti also borders South Africa's famous Kruger National Park and there are no fences between them. This gives the resident game and wildlife room to roam. This area tends to experience very hot weather and is dryer than further south. The summer rainfall, quite often is not adequate leading to some drought, animals are usually seen around the waterholes. Winter days are clear and bright and the evenings, around the open air fires, are cool.  

Klaserie Private Nature Reserve

This reserve borders the Kruger National Park and Timbavati Game Reserve. The game animals are free to roam over large areas and visitors can see Lion, Elephant, Rhino, Leopard and antelope species. The reserve is mostly dry and hot during the year; the sparse bush however does recover quickly if the summer rains come.

Balule Private Game Reserve

This South African private game reserve came about when a number of farmers decided to get rid of their fences and form the reserve, this area is expanding as more land owners follow suit in the Greater Kruger National Park Management Area.

The reserve is located just west of the Kruger Park between Phalaborwa and Hoedspruit, with easy access by road or air. Home of the Big Five game animals this area is famous for prolific wildlife and birds, the perennial Olifants River runs through the reserve.

All the lodges are family friendly in Balule, visitors can self cater or stay in affordable through to luxury accommodation. Night and day game drives, as well as guided bush walks are offered.

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Private Safari Lodges near Kruger Park