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Book a flight with SouthAfrica.TO and you qualify to earn travel vouchers, which can be used to reduce the cost of future car hire, flights and even cruises. Simply email a writeup & photos of your trip to the Kruger Park to cheapflights@southafrica , and we send you vouchers. Easy.

Phone/email:
· Nelspruit Kruger Airport: 013 753 7500
· Hoedspruit Airport: 015 793 3681
eastgaterecep@kapama.co.za

Cheap Flights to Kruger

The Kruger National Park is the largest jewel in South Africa's tourism crown - the main aim of most foreign tourists is to see the wildlife. So, it's not too surprising that we're spoiled for choice with flights to the Kruger. The park is serviced by 4 airports - the Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport (MQP, Nelspruit), Hoedspruit Airport (HDS), Phalaborwa Airport (PHW) and Skukuza Airport (SZK).) Skukuza Airport starts receiving flights in June 2014. There are also regular charter flights right to the game parks' private airstrips, with Federal Air. If not, most of the lodges will pick you up from the airport you land at, if you're not keen on renting a car. The cheapest option, though, is to simply hop onto a flight to Johannesburg, hire a car at OR Tambo/Lanseria Airport, and drive to the Kruger (about 5 hours). There are even shuttle services from OR Tambo International Airport offered by companies like Tours de Mornay (see below).

An African Buffalo in the Kruger Park.

Wild about the Kruger

19 December 2013: My New Years resolution for 2014 is to fly at least once a year from Cape Town via Johannesburg to Nelspruit with SA Express, to explore and stay at my favourite holiday destination, the Kruger National Park. As wildlife photography is my hobby and my passion, there is nothing else that my heart desires more than to visit this wonderful destination. Staying over in a rondawel in a camp, having a braai at sunset and inhaling the 'bush air' is all I wish for. Ilse

A pair of male white African rhinos.

An adventure at Kruger

10 December 2013: My husband and I are bush addicts. We travel to game reserves, utilising any opportunity we get. Armed with the all-important map of the reserve, our checklist promising the many different species one can see there and some snacks to keep us going until we get to the next camp, we set off on a route which promises the best viewing. We drive on the gravel routes, past waterholes and up the mountains to the viewing sites. We compete to see who can spot the most animals first and savour the quality animal sightings when we are fortunate enough to see a cheetah hunt, mating lions or vultures feeding off of a kill. Sometimes, we drive for hours without seeing any large animals besides the grazing plains game which are always so plentiful. Once we became fascinated with hundreds of spiderwebs glowing in the light of the morning sun. Apart from the thrill of seeing fascinating creatures, the main reason we enjoy our bush visits is the remoteness and contrast of the bush to the concrete jungle of the city, the lack of cellphone reception and therefore unwelcome interruptions, the calmness that pervades one when driving for long periods through unspoilt nature, and the wonder that is inspired. There is also a temporary companionship that one shares with strangers that one meets at the same viewing spots – shared exclamations of joy at a sighting and jokes told at a waterhole. My earliest memory of Kruger National Park is driving through it with my family when I was six. We parked off at the side of the road and watched a magnificent lion family lazing in the sun, fascinated by the sight of so many lions not enclosed by the barricades of a zoo. A bit later, we had to contend with some baboons jumping on our vehicle. Fortunately, the vehicle was closed and the windows were rolled up so they got tired of us and left. Since then I have been on innumerable other visits to the park and gathered a treasure trove of unforgettable experiences. There was the elephant bull that pursued us and the herd of a thousand - plus buffalos that we watched for over an hour as they crossed the road in front of us. Once, a foreign tourist travelling in the opposite direction to us excitedly flagged us down. On stopping, he exclaimed “Hyeens, hyeens (sic)”. We then encountered a pack of wild dogs that wouldn’t budge off of the road. However, my last trip to the bush was the crowning glory. We had been driving for hours without seeing anything interesting. My kids were moaning and groaning about how they'd rather be watching Disney channel at the hotel. Then my cousin sent me the latest sightings via BBM and we went to the area where a leopard had earlier been spotted siting on a signpost. We didn’t see anything in the vicinity and chided ourselves for thinking that the leopard would still be waiting for us there. We were heading to the nearest camp for a toilet break. As we rounded a bend, a couple in a stationary vehicle facing us frantically beckoned to us to stop. We stopped and had the shock of our lives when seconds later a leopard sprinted in front of our car hurling itself at the gullet of a female impala grazing on the opposite side of the road. The occupants of the other car had obviously seen the leopard crouching behind the bush, preparing to ambush the poor impala. The leopard had a firm hold on the impala's throat, but was acutely aware of the growing number of spectators around him. I became aware that the herd of impalas that had just lost one of their own began emitting strange sounds and made a mental reminder to Google their behaviour. The leopard had finished off the impala and dragged it behind a bush. The cars continued to coalesce and the leopard suddenly dropped his prey and ran off into the bushes. By then, there was a huge traffic jam. We moved to give other spectators an opportunity to see the fresh kill and as we manoeuvred our car through the queue in order to continue to our destination, we were stopped repeatedly by other cars that had just happened on the crowded scene and wanted to know the reason for the furore. I would have loved to have gone back later to see if the leopard had returned to claim his kill or if other predators like lions or hyenas had come to claim it for themselves. As for the leopard, I don't know whether it was the cars or the other impalas that had driven it away. In retrospect, it did seem to be an unusual leopard, sitting on signposts and hunting during the day! This was the most thrilling experience we had ever had in Kruger Park and my kids now see the park in a totally different light. As for me, it just re-inforced my desire to return to Kruger Park every opportunity I get! Sara

A herd of African elephants in the Kruger Park.

A Kruger Holiday

26 November 2013: I was in my final of year of high school, and it was during the December 2010 holiday. My family and I went on holiday with my grandparents to the Kruger Park. Although we stayed in Kruger Lodge, we went to Kruger National Park a few times in those two weeks that we were there. I am not sure from where we started to travel but we drove a for week before staying at the lodge through a lot of mountains to explore South Africa. We stayed in a large house, and played Monopoly with our grandparents, it was so fun - except for the fact that my grandpa is very good with anything concerning assets and savings,so we played one round of Monopoly with five people for approximately four hours! And there were bucks running around between the houses, beautiful birds that would sit on your porch, tortoises walking on the lawn and hippos in a dam - there wasn't one dull moment... and every morning started off with a breakfast on the porch! When we were at the National Park we saw a few animals, and a teacher from my school, that was so funny - because we were waiting for our final marks to be published in the newspaper, so he laughed at me for stressing while I was on holiday and he told me that I can have fun because I did well. But my grandfather - as smart as he is, he is funny too - got us lost in the park, but if we had not become lost we wouldn't have seen all of the animals that we saw. We even saw a rhino family - a mom with a dad and a baby. Chanel.

First Trip to the Kruger Park

24 November 2013: Last weekend I visited the National Kruger Park for the first time ever! On arrival at a friend's parent's place in Hazyview, we saw a frog, chameleon and a tame buck! That was to be the beginning of a terrific and forever memorable trip. We were lucky the weather had calmed down a little, so that we weren't uncomfortably hot the entire day. We set off early with a jump in our steps to the car, and headed for the main Kruger Gate so that we could do burpees in front of the statue of Paul Kruger, for our travelling burpees album. A little mad, and the Warthog thought we were, too! My first wild animal sighting, and he was busy munching on the grass very close to the road. Amazing! I never knew they bent down onto their knees before. Fortunately, I was with the fine company of a good friend and her parents, who each appreciate the smaller wildlife as much as the proverbial big five. So we were thrilled when we came across a number of species of birds, and their beautiful calls. With binoc's firmly in our grips, we were able to get a good look at 2 kingfisher beating a lizard against a tree - until a larger sparrow flew in for the steal! The slow but beautiful tortoise took the heat in its stride, and was brave enough to walk alongside the road. Since we were all so excitable, we had a Spotting competition - the winner would cook dinner later that night. Buffalo crossing the road; numerous elephant dung and family sightings, seemingly thousands of dainty buck and butterflies were spotted. Then we came to the Panic Bird Viewing site where a croc was waiting patiently to take some prey, and birds were displaying their plumes and dosing in the sun for our eager eyes. Hippos were few - but amazing as ever to see their rock-disguised build and 'cute' eyes and ears. It seemed we were incredibly lucky as just when we thought the sightings may have slowed, we would spot another, and rested our eyes and filled our bellies at a remarkable picnic spot where I was so pleased to hear that the gas was a mere R20; quick and easy to fry up some bacon, eggs, and tomatoes. Rejuvenated, we were so fortunate to come across a circling group of vultures; kudu; 2 white rhinos! And we finally spotted the elusive baby buck we had been waiting for. If that wasn't enough to satisfy and thrill a newcomer, we sat for sundowners and a swim whilst watching the magnificent hippos playing, lazing, and eventually coming out of the dam, at Sabie, with their young, to feed on land. If ever I want to connect with nature again, and feel the true pace and enormity of Africa, I will visit Kruger again. What a special trip, I shall never forget. Liz

Being in the Kruger

19 November 2013 : To be in the Kruger National Park is such an enriching experience.  To feel the tension of animals always on the look-out for predators vs  Impala's gracefully grazing on greens, almost indescribable. Sitting next to a waterhole, watching a bush-veld story unveil between a few young elephants and giraffes; where the youngest elephant decided this is his domain and with much bravery tried chasing the giraffes away,ears flapping.  Eventually, the giraffes had enough and walked away, quite ignoring this play of bravado.  So many wonderful experiences, and when you depart for home - you say good-bye to "your" animals, till next time. Martie Snyders

Are flights to the Kruger too expensive?

24 Oct 2013 : A reader wrote to us, saying : "Have been a visitor and lover of Kruger for many years BUT live in Cape Town. Pity that those flights to Kruger be it directly from Cape Town or even from Joburg to Nelspruit/ Hoedspruit are so hellishly expensive – way out of the reach of the ordinary man on the street". Morna

Two Impalas 'in love'

Johannesburg to Kruger Park flights

It being the major centre of wealth in South Africa, it's not surprising that there are flights from Johannesburg's OR Tambo International Airport to all of Hoedspruit, Nelspruit, Phalaborwa and Skukuza. Those arriving in South Africa on a flight to Johannesburg's OR Tambo International Airport have loads of options. Note that there are no flights from Lanseria International Airport to the Kruger.

Airline

Airports

Stops

SA Express

OR Tambo to Hoedspruit (HDS)

Non-stop (1 hr)

SA Express

OR Tambo to Nelspruit (MQP)

Non-stop (1 hr)

SA Airlink

OR Tambo (JNB) to Kruger Mpumalanga International (MQP)

Non-stop (50 mins)

SA Airlink

OR Tambo to Phalaborwa (PHW)

Non-stop (1 hr 20 min)

SA Airlink

OR Tambo (JNB) to Skukuza (SZK)

Non-stop (50 mins)

Historical sidenote: there used to be flights to Skukuza up to 2001, when SanParks ran the airport, but closed it due to flood damage. A Dutch company, PAM, wanted to build Nelspruit's Kruger Airport, and agreed with SanParks that they shut down Skukuza Airport to public traffic in return for R5m. A Competition Tribunal ruled that this division of markets was in contravention of the Act and fined PAM R2m in 2009. Wind the clock forward another 5 years and we now have both scheduled flights to Skukuza and to Nelspruit's Kruger Airport. Great example of competition law working in the public's favour.

On 1 November 2013 SA Express start flying from Johannesburg to Nelspruit, joining Airlink as the 2 carriers on the route..

Cape Town to Kruger Park flights

There are flights from Cape Town Airport to all of Hoedspruit, Nelspruit & Skukuza; thus ensuring good connections between 2 of South Africa's largest tourist attractions.

Airline

Airports

Stops

SA Express flights to to Hoedspruit (HDS) from Cape Town International (CPT)

Non-stop (2 hrs 40 mins)

SA Airlink

Cape Town to Nelspruit Kruger Mpumalanga International (MQP)

Non-stop (2 hrs 40 mins)

SA Airlink

Cape Town International (CPT) to Skukuza (SZK)

Non-stop (2 hrs 30 mins)

Durban to Kruger Park flights

As the largest South African seller of cruises, SouthAfrica.TO is delighted that there is a flight connection between Durban and the Nelspruit Kruger Mapumalanga International Airport, thus allowing tourists to enjoy the pleasures of an island cruise from Durban, before heading off to see the beasts of the Kruger.

Airline

Airports

Stops

SA Airlink to Nelspruit Kruger Mpumalanga International (MQP) from Durban (DUR)

Non-stop (1 hr)

Car rental

If being driven around by a tour guide during your stay is not your thing, then there are quite a few car hire options:

Airport

Car hire companies available

Hoedspruit (HDS)

Avis

Kruger Mpumalanga International (MQP)

Avis, Budget, Europcar, First Car Rental, Hertz, Tempest & Thrifty

Phalaborwa (PHW)

Avis, Europcar

Nearest Gates to Kruger Park

Airport

Nearest park entry gate

Hoedspruit (HDS)

Numbi & Malelane

Kruger Mpumalanga International (MQP)

Orpen

Phalaborwa (PHW)

Phalaborwa

Skukuza (SZK)

(located inside the park)

 

Tours de Mornay logoGuided Tours & Shuttle Services

If driving around by yourself doesn't sound appealing, then Tours-De-Mornay is an In-bound Tour Operator, specialising in tailored and packaged itineraries to South Africa, with the focus on Kruger National Park (Kruger) and the surrounding areas. Tours-De-Mornay provides an airport shuttle or transfer service from Kruger Mpumalanga Int Airport (MQP), Hoedspruit / Eastgate Airport (HDS), OR Tambo International Airport (JNB) and Skukuza to the various camps within Kruger and surrounding areas. Tours-De-Mornay further provides day excursions, like the Panorama Route and day game drives / safaris for the full day, in open safari vehicles or even an elephant or microlight safari. They'll collect and drop you off at your camp, within the Kruger. Phone Mornay at 013 744 0456 or email  info@toursdemornay.com to make a booking.

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