Visitors with their own vehicles are welcome to enter the park and explore it for the day. This is a popular excursion for locals and people holidaying in the park’s environs. Just make sure that you are out of the park before the specified gate closing time.
All the main rest camps have facilities for day visitors. These usually include a braai area and often a swimming pool. The rest camp restaurants, viewing decks and shops are also generally open to day visitors. Please note, however, that the accommodation areas of the camp are reserved for overnight guests only. Private bush camps and concession lodges are not open to day visitors.
There are also many picnic spots and other view sites throughout the park where day guests can get out of their cars and enjoy the bush. Various shops, restaurants, information boards and other activities are available at some of these picnic sites. Most rest camps also have a shop where day visitors can buy meat and picnic supplies.
Please note: to maintain the atmosphere of a tranquil nature reserve, there is a quota on the maximum number of vehicles that can enter the park each day. If this threshold is reached, only visitors with pre-booked permits or overnight accommodation will be permitted access.
Such situations tend only to arise during peak periods, such as public holidays and during the holiday month of December. Arrive at the gate early during these times to ensure that you get in, or book an advance day visitor permit through central reservations.
There are several picnic sites scattered throughout the Kruger National Park. These are excellent places to stop the car, stretch your legs and get a snack. Monkeys and birds are plentiful at the picnic spots, and several sites overlook riverine environments, offering visitors the promise of seeing bigger game.
I also enjoy indulging in a bit of human spotting at the picnic sites and, if you keep your eyes peeled, you might see a lesser-spotted Crimplene Warbler, a common Khakipant or even the endangered Crested Mullet. Gas skottels (mobile frying pans on stands) can be hired at most picnic sites for a nominal fee. The picnic site attendant will wash these on your departure, so you don’t have to worry about scraping off the grease.By David Fleminger