The Kruger National Park has more than 3000km of roads! It’s a staggering, even daunting distance but you can rest easy knowing that these roads will always take you back to a camp. Even if you’ve taken a loop road and you are unsure, keep in mind that it is call a loop for a reason. Since you cannot get lost as long as you stick to a road, you may as well get adventurous and try a new road.
Tar or dirt? The Kruger National Park’s roads are well maintained, and unless there has been severe weather (in which case the Park will close of the roads that are severely damaged) you can drive the roads with pretty much any car.
It is to be expected that on a gravel road you may find corrugations which are not the most pleasant to drive on, but normally it is only small stretches of the road and then the road will once again be fairly easy to navigate.
Many visitors to the Kruger National Park tend to stay on the tar roads. It is highly recommended that you break that habit and get on the dirt roads as this is often the best place to see animals. And regardless of the type of road you pick, one tip that we can give you is that it is always a good idea to stay on roads that are close to rivers or dams. Animals frequent these water sources!
Arguably the most popular tar road in the southern part of the Kruger National Park has to be the tar road between Crocodile Bridge and Skukuza. This road, for the best part, runs next to the Sabie River and is very scenic and has good sighting potential. But because of this, the road is very congested with traffic in the busy season.
The stretch of road from Skukuza to Satara is another tar road that has a fair amount of game and the landscape is truly scenic. On this road there is an area around the Mantimahle Dam and Olifantsdrinkgat that usually attracts a lot of game. Also on this road there is a section that runs next to the Sand River, which is always a good place for viewing game.
If its elephants you are after, the tar road from Lower Sabie to Tshokwane has good visibility and the lush vegetation en route is a big favourite with the elephant. Keep a keen eye out as you pass the rocky ridges of the Nkumbe Hill or you may miss seen the Klipspringer that make that area their home.
For some of the best wild life sightings, it is strongly advised to take the Crocodile River road. This is possibly the best dirt road for the best game viewing. This dirt road is 44 km and follows the Crocodile River. For Big 5 sightings, head out on this road when the gates open in the morning and you will be rewarded with an abundance of wild life.
Another dirt road worth taking a drive on is the Albasini Road. This road loops around the Shabeni Mountain that is the largest undisturbed rock face in the Kruger National Park. Baboon and klipspringer are among the sighting along this stretch of road. The Mestel Watering hole is also on this road which attracts a large variety of animals. Also on this road you can see the Albasini Ruins. Albasini established a trading post here known as Magashula’s Kraal in 1945.