Discover the best private concessions in Kruger National Park

When travelling to Africa for a luxury safari, staying in one of the Kruger National Park private concessions is a no-brainer. Not only will you find the most luxurious lodges in these private concessions, but there are also many other exclusive activities you can only enjoy while staying here. 

Here are our favourite lodges to stay at when visiting Kruger National Park’s private concessions. 

What is a private concession?

So, what's a private concession, you ask? In these areas, carefully selected operators are granted licences to offer the benefits of a safari lodge on a private reserve. As a result, staying in the private concessions in Kruger National Park means getting access to the most exclusive, luxurious safari lodges and experiences. Do you want to soak in an outdoor bath, sipping bubbly while elephants shuffle past right in front of your suite? Or do you want to get so close to a lion that you feel the vibration of his roar through the soles of your feet? Well, then you should opt for a safari in a private concession! 

Whereas guests to the public areas in Kruger National Park are confined to set game drive times and strict rules, private concessions have much more flexibility and freedom. For example, game drive vehicles can venture off-road within their concession boundaries, allowing for incredible up-close wildlife encounters. The game drive also does not have to end when the sun goes down. Therefore, you can continue your safari after dark with a spotlight to see if you can spot any nocturnal animals. Another exciting activity you can only do on private concessions includes going on bush walks by exploring the wild on your own two feet for a truly immersive safari. 

You also don't have to share the road with a convoy of other game drive vehicles, as Kruger National Park private concessions generally limit how many vehicles are allowed to be out at a time. The open-air game drive vehicles are also often kitted out for budding or pro wildlife photographers, offering spectacular photo safaris.  

Aside from being the largest in the country and second-largest on the continent, the Kruger National Park boasts the greatest concentration and diversity of species on the globe. It's hardly surprising that visitors worldwide flock to Kruger. However, this, in turn, leaves the park crowded. On the other hand, the private concessions here share an unfenced border with Kruger National Park, offering guests an intimate and exclusive safari without the crowds while still giving them access to the same wildlife Kruger is renowned for. 

Guests can still head into Kruger National Park itself should they wish. However, those in the national park cannot venture into the private concessions.

Highlights of a safari in a private concession

  • Uncrowded, more exclusive safaris

  • Game vehicles can go off-road to get you up close to the wildlife

  • More flexibility and freedom, with night safaris also allowed

  • Bushwalks are allowed on private concessions 

  • No day visitors or self-drive safaris are allowed

  • Vehicles out on safari are limited per concession 

  • Top luxury lodges and all-inclusive options 

  • Luxury services from private butlers to exclusive-use villas

  • Incredible wellness experiences 

Why stay in a luxury lodge in a Kruger National Park private concession? 

If you're finally travelling to Africa for that long-awaited dream safari, you want to ensure you experience the best of the best. And as safaris go, there's no better place than the Kruger National Park for a wildlife-rich, unforgettable experience.  

This globally-known Big 5 safari mecca consistently ranks as one of the top-visited African destinations. In northeastern South Africa, Kruger National Park is located in the Mpumalanga and Limpopo provinces. It covers almost 2 million hectares. And all of this wide-open space is packed with exceptional wildlife, impressive rivers, flora and fauna! This picture-perfect setting also offers unbelievable sunsets and sunrises, which is when you'll probably be heading out on safari.

Home of the Big 5 and many more 

Kruger National Park is home to the Big 5, namely the rhino, elephant, leopard, lion and African buffalo. However, it has so many more species to offer. There are 1,982 plant, 120 reptile, 52 fish, 147 mammal and 35 amphibian species in Kruger! 

The diversity of animals you'll see here is truly baffling. From as small as the dwarf mongoose to as tall as a giraffe, the bush is alive with activity – day in and out! And when you're staying in a private concession, you get to experience first-hand and up-close what these creatures get up to, from sunrise to after sunset when you go on night drives with a spotlight to see what lurks in the dark. 

Other noteworthy wildlife you can look forward to seeing in Kruger National Park are the world's fastest land mammal, the cheetah, and the elusive leopard. In fact, Kruger is known for its high density of these stunning spotted creatures. Other rare species like the African wild dog, blue crane bird, oribi antelope, and more also call this wildlife heaven home. 

Birder’s paradise 

You should not only keep your eyes fixed on the ground. Lift your gaze a bit higher, and you'll see some remarkable birdlife spread their wings above your head. Kruger National Park is a birder's paradise, with over 517 bird species, some of which you can't see anywhere else in South Africa! 

Exhilarating activities 

If you want to really get on the same level as the wildlife, a bush walk takes you on a journey through the bush to admire all the small details and soak up the sights, scents and sounds you might've missed while on a game vehicle. Many of the lodges also offer photo safaris, often from fully-kitted game drive vehicles or hides at watering holes to give you the best angles. 

Our favourite luxury lodges in Kruger’s private concessions

  • Singita Lebombo: This luxury lodge offers sophisticated, elevated suites for incredible river and bush views.

  • Singita Sweni Lodge: With only seven suites featuring bold contemporary design hidden away in a canopy of trees, it’s an exclusive, immersive experience.

  • Jock Safari Lodge: A piece of history, this lodge offers private thatched suites on the riverbed or the exclusive-use camp Fitzpatrick at Jock.

  • Lukimbi Safari Lodge: Set on the banks of the Lwakahle River, you can expect regular elephant sightings from this lodge.

  • The Outpost: Very remote lodge, located near the borders to Zimbabwe and Mozambique and high on a hill for breathtaking views.

  • Lion Sands Tinga Lodge: Set on the Sabie River bank, you have the bush and its wildlife residents on your doorstep.

Book your Kruger National Park private concession experience today! 

What are you waiting for? Book your dream African safari in one of the private concessions in Kruger National Park with Rhino Africa today. 

As the World’s Leading Safari Company, you can rest assured that you’re leaving your safari in the hands of the best in the biz. Contact our Travel Experts today, and let’s start planning! 

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