On your next Kruger safari, why not take a drive to Skukuza Rest Camp - Kruger Park’s largest rest camp and administrative headquarters? There is a museum at the camp, a golf course nearby and, from here, not only will you be able to see a variety of animals and birds but the stunning Sabie River as well.
The banks of the river is the ideal spot to see crocodiles (Crocodylus niloticus), hippo (Hippopotamus amphibius), elephants (Loxodonta africana) and other wildlife that come there to quench their thirst. Better still, there’s a viewing deck near the camp’s restaurants that overlook the river.
Other interesting sightings around Skukuza include the humble fruit bat (family Pteropodidae), thick-tailed bushbabies (otolemur crassicaudatus), warthogs (Phacochoerus aethiopicus), the purple-crested lourie and spotted hyenas (Crocuta crocuta), to name a few.
Due to it being the largest rest camp, it can sound quite daunting to explore Skukuza Camp, but the Reception can be seen when you drive in and everything is well-marked. From here, you’ll be able to find out more information about how to embark on guided bush walks, morning and evening game drives and other activities around the camp.
The camp is lush and beautiful, aesthetically. While you’re there, be sure to find the wall by Reception, commemorating the founders of the Kruger National Park.
FYI: You’ll also see a bust of political figure and president of the Zuid Afrikaansche Republic (ZAR), Paul Kruger just outside the closest gate to the camp… but more about that later.
Skukuza Rest Camp has many facilities, including a swimming pool, several restaurants (one of them being the Cattle Baron Grill & Bistro) that offer breakfast, lunch and dinner, a conference facility, a filling/petrol station, ATM facilities and a camp shop, where you can purchase gifts for friends and family, food items, drinks, water bottles, hats, and maps and guides.
To satisfy your thirst for knowledge about the Kruger National Park and its history, you can visit the Stevenson-Hamilton Memorial Museum, which contains artefacts and a wealth of information about how the park came to be. You can even see a knife that belonged to ranger, Harry Wolhuter, which he used to kill a lion, while saving his own life in the process.
The Little Heroes Acre, located just outside the museum, is also a must-see and pays tribute to the dogs that have passed on, that served alongside the park’s rangers.
It’s also worth mentioning that there is cellphone service at the camp. Just remember to buy a South African sim card before you leave for the park.
Like the other rest camps in Kruger Park, Skukuza Camp has several types of accommodation including camp sites - which make use of communal ablutions and cooking facilities and even permanent, furnished safari tents.
There are also bungalows; luxury bungalows; family cottages; guest cottages, and guest houses. The guest houses, in particular, sleep between 8 and 12 people and come equipped with kitchens that have microwave ovens, separate bedrooms, and bathrooms.
Depending on which lodging option you choose, you may even get to enjoy a view of the river from the comfort of your accommodations.
Hint: Need some assistance booking your accommodation at Skukuza Rest Camp? We can help! Simply let us know when you’d like to stay at the camp and we’ll take care of the rest for you.
In order to get to Skukuza Rest Camp, the closest gate (and the easiest way to access it) would be through Paul Kruger Gate, which contains a statue of the head of Paul Kruger, president of the Zuid Afrikaansche Republic (ZAR) at one time, just outside it. The rest camp is approximately 12kms from this gate.
Another gate that you can use is Phabeni Gate, however it is much further away from the camp - around 47kms. Having said this, if you have the time and want to enjoy a drive through the park (or tackle one of the many game drive routes around Skukuza), this might be a great option.
Guided bush walks, wilderness trails and game drives are, of course, offered at the camp - simply visit Reception to book these activities.
On the outskirts of the camp, you’ll also find Skukuza Golf Course - a 9-hole course that offers guests stunning, uninterrupted views of the South African bush that surrounds it. Yes, you read that right - the course is not fenced in, which means it often plays host to warthogs, baboons, impala and even the occasional hippo!
Tee-off times are generally between 07:00 and 11:00 from Sunday to Friday, but in order to enjoy this activity, guests must book it in advance. Like most other courses, a standard golf dress code applies and an indemnity form has to be signed before guests are allowed to make use of the course.
And for the birders, the Lake Panic Bird Hide is located about 7kms outside the camp and offers guests the perfect opportunity to spot some of the park’s incredibly-beautiful birds.
Speaking of the park’s magnificent creatures, the area around Skukuza Rest Camp is ideal for spotting all manner of wildlife and birdlife.
Lions (Panthera leo) and wild dogs (Lycaon pictus) are sometimes spotted while on a Kruger Park safari, not to mention the majestic giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis), vervet monkeys (Chlorocebus pygerythrus) and impala (Aepyceros melampus), to name a few.
You can also learn a great deal about the vegetation around the camp, while admiring the lush surroundings of the epic and incredible, Sabie River, as you drive through the park.
Skukuza Rest Camp is the only camp where you can see a doctor, so this is very important to remember, should you need to.
As always, it’s crucial to carry a torch with you at night and guests also need to be aware of bats, spiders, snakes, scorpions, and the fact that the camp is in a malaria zone.
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