The private game lodges inside Kruger National Park are often overshadowed by their famous counterparts in the surrounding Greater Kruger, in reserves like Sabi Sands and Timbavati, however they are still among the finest in Africa.

Private Game Reserve vs National Park

Aside from the breathtaking luxury and second-to-none service, private game lodges offer a variety of benefits when compared to the public camps within Kruger’s core:

  • Private lodges are situated on private concessions with exclusive traversing rights, which means game viewing is intimate and unobstructed by the hundreds of cars on Kruger’s main roads
  • Guides are usually permitted to drive off-road to get more up close and personal and gain access to sightings not possible from the main roads
  • Private concessions are usually located in the most wildlife-rich regions within Kruger National Park
  • Small, intimate luxury lodge settings mean that will never be surrounded by more than a couple dozen other safarigoers at a time
  • Guided bush walks are available at most private lodges, where guests are accompanied by knowledgable game rangers, to experience the African bush on foot

Here are the 13 best private game lodges in Kruger National Park:

Imbali Safari Lodges

Imbali lodge lies at the centre of the 10,000 hectare Imbali Concession, nestled discreetly between a canopy of Jackalberry and Tamboti trees. Built on the site of a 400-year-old African settlement that yields evidence of an ancient culture such as: clay pots, bone tools and grinding stones, the lodge continues safari traditions of a bygone era.

Imbali Safari Lodge | The Top Private Game Lodges Inside Kruger National Park

The lodge offers luxury accommodation in 12 spacious and private suites, each of which is complemented with the finest furniture and imported linen. Each suite boasts exquisite views from a large wooden deck, fitted with a private plunge pool or jacuzzi overlooking the Nwatsitswonto riverbed and the vast plains beyond.

Guests are treated to twice-daily game drives in open 4×4 vehicles and guided bush walks are available on request. You can also enjoy massage treatments in the comfort of your own room

Hoyo Hoyo Safari Lodge

Along the banks of the Mluwati River, in Kruger National Park, the breathtaking Hoyo Hoyo Safari Lodge features a unique blend of ethnic luxury, boasting both warmth and style.

Distinct thatched peaks, peeping over the lush leadwood treeline, signal your arrival at Hoyo Hoyo lodge, an intimate bushveld escape with six circular, luxury suites, all of which are air conditioned and fitted with king size beds, en-suite bathrooms with a stone bath, outdoor showers and private game viewing decks.

Hoyo Hoyo Safari Lodge | The Top Private Game Lodges Inside Kruger National Park

The main area is centred around a sunken fire pit, and circular timber decks which offer picturesque views over the waterhole and surrounding plains.

Experienced field guides take guests out on daily safaris into the surrounding wilderness where game viewing is superb with magnificent herds of game abounding.

Hamilton’s Tented Camp

Situated on a 10,000 hectare private concession within the borders of Kruger National Park, Hamilton’s Tented Camp reflects an adventure of the early twentieth century, where an African safari was the epitome of luxury travel.

Named after Colonel Stephenson Hamilton, one of the original pioneers in establishing the Kruger Park, Hamiltons Tented Camp offers a true luxury experience, while being submerged in the sights, sounds and smells of the African bush.

Hamilton’s Tent Camp | The Top Private Game Lodges Inside Kruger National Park

Six intimate canvas tents complete with teak floorboards, dreamy mosquito nets, slipper baths, outdoor showers and unparalleled views over the seasonal river are linked to the main lodge area by raised timber walkways, which wind through ancient Jackalberry trees.

Daily activities include morning and afternoon game drives and guided bush walks are available on request.

Jock Safari Lodge

Situated in the Southwestern corner of Kruger National Park, Jock Safari Lodge was the first private concession to be established within the park’s borders.

Found at the meeting point of the Mitomeni and Biyamiti rivers, the lodge offers 6,000 hectares of exclusive traversing rights in an area of the park which is celebrated for its big five game viewing.

The Top 13 Private Game Lodges Inside Kruger National Park
Jock Safari Lodge | The Top Private Game Lodges Inside Kruger National Park

There are 2 separate lodges at Jock Safari lodge, both of which offer guests the opportunity to experience a taste of old-world elegance surrounded by unspoilt landscape.

The main Jock Lodge provides a luxury experience in pure harmony with the natural surroundings. Twelve secluded thatched suites offer total privacy, leading onto a private deck with plunge pool and a day bed, all with a spectacular view of the riverbed.

Apart from exceptional game viewing, facilities at Jock include a Relaxation Retreat with steam room, sauna and exercise room. There is also a Gift Boutique, heated pool with deck, in and outdoor dining facilities and a library.

Kruger Grande

About an hour from Skukuza, and within the borders of Kruger National Park, Kruger Grande is a tented camp that offers a ‘luxury under canvas’ themed wilderness experience.

Each canvas tent is epitomised by true African elegance with comfy spacious interiors, luxurious linen and en-suite bathrooms with hot showers, all blended together seamlessly to create a real bucket-list experience.

Kruger Grande | The Top Private Game Lodges Inside Kruger National Park

Renowned for exquisite African inspired cuisine, best accompanied by award-winning wines, Kruger Grande is the perhaps the greatest culmination of raw, rugged bush and extravagant luxury.

Daily activities include guided game drives into the game rich bushveld of Kruger’s southern region, which is prime Big Five territory.