Guided safari in Kruger National Park

Guided safari in Kruger National Park


As a safari specialist in the industry, we frequently get asked the same question; why is a guided safari in Kruger National Park better than a self-drive for an individual who has not been to the Kruger National Park, let alone South Africa.

There are many ways to look at this question. For this reason, we have decided to put together a non- biased newsletter where you can read about what it takes to be a Field Guide and what the benefits are if you do decide to do a guided safari in Kruger National Park with Lion Roar Safaris. You can then decide whether or not to do a self-drive or not.

Credentials and requirements to be a Field Guide

All Field Guides working in the Kruger National Park must be registered with the National Department of Tourism & CATHSSETA, after having completed their FGASA (Field Guide Association of South Africa) theoretical examination (pass mark 75%) and practical assessment. Each assessment has categories ranging from ecology, geology, botany, taxonomy, climate, weather, etc. Studying to be a field guide is quite a broad spectrum and is a challenge to complete. For exactly this reason, we think that people should rather opt to go on a guided safari in Kruger National Park first before thinking of going on a self-drive.

Why you may ask? Well for the simple reason that these Field Guides took the time and effort to learn about the natural environment that is the Kruger National Park. They have completed their assessments as well as their Kruger National Park orientation. Together with these assessments, they had to obtain a first aid certificate as well as a professional driver’s permit to be able to operate legally. All this takes a lot of time and effort and one would never consider doing this if one did not have an absolute passion for nature and everything wild and wonderful.

A day in a Field Guide’s life

Field Guides wake up in the early hours of the morning to ensure everything is ready before the safari commence. A normal day in a field guide’s life can start at about 3am (depending on the season) and end late at night. They work long hours but are passionate about what they do. Going on a guided safari in Kruger National Park will allow you the opportunity to sit back and relax whilst the Field Guide takes care of everything from pick-up, drop-offs, transfers, payments, permits, route plans, pit-stops, safety, rules and regulations. A good Field Guide will ensure that the day runs smoothly and that their guests are tended to at all times, making it an unforgettable and memorable safari experience.

Most guides are quite hands-on and work as often as they can.  For this reason, they get to know the Kruger like the back of their hand. This also provides them with the perfect opportunity to get in touch with their natural surroundings and familiarize themselves with certain behavioral patterns of some species.  This allows the Field Guide to learn and understand and interpret the behavior of some species way better than the average guy, visiting the Kruger once or twice a year. This hands-on experience allows the guide to understanding how everything is connected. One only gains this knowledge by experience! This knowledge will, of course, be shared with the guest during the guided safari in Kruger National Park and it will improve the guest’s overall experience due to the fact that they can fully understand and interpret what they see because of the guide and the knowledge that they share.

Route plans, time frames, safety and knowledge

As previously mentioned, Field Guides plan their own routes, based on their knowledge of the area, the condition of the roads and of course the species that they know roam in specific areas.  This is just another reason why we suggest that one go on a guided safari in Kruger National Park instead of a self-drive.  The guide’s valuable knowledge of the above-mentioned will obviously increase your chances of finding more wildlife and who knows, you might even find some of the Big Five animals.

Safety, time and route plans.  With experience, guides learn how to anticipate certain animal behavior and they will know how far they need to keep from certain species especially the Big Five animals that have their own reputation for being dangerous and unpredictable at times. This will allow for safe wildlife viewing at most times.  On some rare occasions, freak accidents have occurred in the Kruger in the past, but most of the time it was not the Field Guides fault. Most of the time third parties have been involved, making the situation unmanageable and unfortunately resulted in an unforeseen incident. We all know upon entering the Kruger National Park that you enter a nature reserve filled with wild animals, and where there are wild animals, anything can happen. Best, you always listen to your Field Guide and keep to the rules and regulations to ensure your safety.

Guides operating in the Kruger National Park know how long certain roads will take from point A to point B, making it easy to plan ahead. Especially if you are part of a group safari where there is a specific itinerary involved. Route planning and time management by Field Guides ensure a pleasurable and memorable experience, one that doesn’t require stress that is compared with self-drive and having to drive an unknown route for the first time. The Field Guides know where they are going and how long it will take them to get there!

Most Field Guides have a lot of nature related knowledge and can talk just about anything; big or small. This will also ensure you get an unforgettable experience and see small things in a new light. Things that were once unknown and uninteresting can suddenly become something fascinating and important to you, just because your guide pointed out its value!

What is the cost of a guided safari in Kruger National Park? 

Unfortunately, not everyone has the luxury to be able to afford a guided safari in Kruger National Park. Why is that? A Full day safari normally runs from pick-up to drop off time and can be anything from 8 hours onwards depending on your safari operator. So before you say it is too expensive, think about everything that is included.

Why is the price of a guided safari in Kruger National Park so expensive?

All the below expenses are taken into consideration when working out our safari rate per person

  • Office staff salary
  • Guide’s daily fee
  • Daily open safari vehicle entrance fee
  • Transfers from a pre-arranged pick-up location to Kruger and back
  • Running costs of the vehicle that includes: fuel, general and cosmetic maintenance, keeping it clean and tidy, new tyres, alignments, rotations and vehicle services
  • Vehicle installments
  • Licensing & Permits: Renewal of license disks (roadworthy & operator card), NPTR operating license as well as the Kruger Permit
  • Renewal of annual Field Guide registrations, First Aid certificates, Kruger orientation courses as well as Field Guides’ Professional Driver’s Permits, medical checks to be declared medically fit and Police Clearance (fingerprints)
  • Uniforms: Staff uniforms, Guide Uniforms, winter and summer attire, sunglasses, shoes and sun protection
  • Ponchos: Dry-cleaning and buying new ponchos
  • Brand: Website, logos, business cards, brochures, logo embroidering, etc.
  • General: Office space, stationary, computers, electricity, etc.
  • Marketing: Website, hosting, social media marketing, Online booking and payment systems – Activitybridge & Paybridge, etc.

Next time you are planning on going on a guided safari in Kruger National Park, keep the price in mind and divide the total price per person with the number of hours you have spent from the moment of pick-up to the moment of drop-off. Now you will notice that it is actually not that expensive at all! After all it is a full day of entertainment in comparison to a night out at a local pub/night club or dinner; in addition, the guided safari in Kruger National Park will provide you with lasting memories.

We hope that you enjoyed this newsletter and all its information and hope it will help you to choose the best option which is: to self-drive or to not self-drive; that is the question!

YES! We offer affordable Kruger National Park safaris

Our rates include the following:

  • Transfers from a pre-arranged pick-up location to Kruger National Park and back (this can be at your accommodation where you are staying, depending on the location). This includes Nelspruit | Kruger National Park | KMI Airport | Skukuza Airport | White River | Hazyview | Malelane | Komatipoort and Marloth Park

  • Full Day safari with a luxury open safari vehicle

  • An accredited & professional Field Guide doubling as the driver of the vehicle on the day of safari

  • A snack box per person consisting of various treats to munch on during the day of the safari

  • Assistance with Kruger National Park entrance/conservation fee payments, paperwork and permits

  • +- 8 Hours of sheer “entertainment” in the world-famous Kruger National Park (excludes travel time outside the park)

  • The use of high-quality, fleece-lined ponchos on-board the vehicle, for those cold early mornings

  • Kruger Entrance/Conservation Fees are included in overnight packages

Please note:

Our area of operation covers Nelspruit and surrounding areas, White River | Malelane | Hazyview | Komatipoort | Marloth Park | Kruger National Park | KMI Airport | Skukuza Airport.

Please contact us if your accommodation falls outside of our area of operation.

We also conduct safari tours in the North of Kruger upon request and need. You also have the option to hire the safari vehicle privately, email us to find out more. Additionally, you have the option to add your Kruger entrance/conservation fees when you make your booking so you don’t have to go to the office on the morning of the safari to make payment for entrance fees.


Fantastic experience

We really enjoyed our safari with Liz and the web photographer. They pointed out many sightings which we would never have seen on our own. We saw 3 leopards, many elephants, rhinos, cape buffaloes, giraffes, zebras, hippos and different types of antelopes and birds.
They provided binoculars which helped a lot, especially when observing the leopards in the reed!
The service is top: on time, friendly, very informative and you get a feeling how much they enjoy “going the extra mile” for the customer. They tried to keep ahead of the crowd and do not enter thru Numbi gate which is usually very crowded. Its great the park fee is included in the price because then you do not need to queue at the entrance like in the case of some of the other operators. We will definitely recommend you!

dorischristina2015, TripAdvisor

(Translated by Google)

For those who go to South Africa, do safaris be sure to contact this company they are grade 10.

Para quem vai para África do Sul ,fazer safáris não deixe de contatar está empresa eles são nota 10 .

Achiles Neto, Google Review
Great services! Amazing commments

The guide was very friendly and helpful!
She really knew the way around the park and we were able to see a big variety of animals

344hama, TripAdvisor
Super accommodating and informative.
Liz was super patient in making sure we get the morning bush walk and night drive within limited dates. They know lots about every animal we saw. I love that they provide parkas for their guests because it gets super chilly as the truck moves. Their truck is clean and not loud like other trucks which tend to scare the animals away.
Zzame Em, Google Review
Spectacular day in the Mighty Kruger!

Even if the weather was cold during the day, the spectacular sightings we had made up for it all. Luckily this company is not one of those that rush from one big sighting to another but rather take it at a slower pace and therefore not miss even the small things like some bird species and trees and plants, lizards and much more.
Oh and I am so glad their Photographer was also on board with her very sharp eye sight. She spotted plenty of animals where the rest of us missed them…especially that Cheetah! And she took the most beautiful pictures (and some short videos clips) of all our sightings that day. We were surely one lucky group of people seeing all those magnificent wildlife, especially the Elephant Calves, Wild Dogs as well as Hyena Pups!
Oh and let’s not forget the snack bags that was packed for us!!
The Guide was very informative and interactive with our group. Evidently her kindness and helpfulness is not only restricted to the time a guest is on her vehicle still busy on the Tour but even helping when one of our group members was staying over at a place in the Kruger Park, she assisted him from booking in at the camp to taking him to where he would be staying, to briefly showing him around on what is where and available to him in the camp. And this all took merely a few minutes.
I would definitely be recommending Lion Roar Safaris.

Grifinne, TripAdvisor

Best experience ever!

Lizelle was very informative and made sure we had the best views of all the animals!

Johan , Google Review

Lizelle was the most amazing tour guide. She knew everything about the animals and gave us plenty of time to take photos and ask questions while still ensuring that we saw 4 of the big 5. She was just as excited as we were to view the animals. Without using a radio she was knowledgeable enough to know where to look and how to spot the animals even in the summer bush. Liz was there to help point out animals as well. We were pleasantly surprised to have two guides to make this experience incredible. The vehicle was as impeccable as the guides. They even provided snacks that can easily substitute lunch. The cherry on top is the fleece lined ponchos that kept us warm as it was a bit chilly and a little rainy.

Alicia K, Facebook Review
Amazing safari and the best guide!

We did a lot of research and chose Lion’s Roar based on it and were spot on with our choice! To my own shame, I cannot remember the name of our guide because it’s been a few months since he experience, but she truly rocked – she was knowledgable, funny and easygoing.

We got very-very lucky on the day we went and saw elephants, rhinos, wild dogs, hippos, numerous birds and other animals. We went again just with friends and saw hardly anything, so do yourself a favor and book with these guys!

LydiaBay, TripAdvisor Review
We loved it!

Liz was so great! Without a doubt, she made our trip a lot better than it would have been otherwise. She was knowledgeable and really wanted us to have a good time.

Lara550, TripAdvisor Review

Professional, great knowledge of all types of Wildlife, friendly and affordable!

Charl , Facebook Review

Friendly, professional, safari guides

Deon V, Google Review
Best safari company in the Kruger!

I want to congratulate Lion Roar Safaris once again for taking me on safari to the Kruger.

I had a spur of the moment urge to go on a safari. Even though it was a last minute booking, they were stil happy to accommodate me.

It’s always nice to just sit back and relax while everything is taken care of. For me, it is always a special occasion going to the Park. It’s the perfect opportunity to relax and recharge my batteries. Best of all, I learn something new everytime I go with Lion Roar Safaris.

Every safari with this company is unique. Everyone should do a guided safari with them atleast once in their lives otherwise you are missing out!

Keep up the good work Lion Roar and see you again soon for another safari adventure!

rianel1961, TripAdvisor Review
Wonderful safari experience in the Kruger National Park!

What an experience. The finer touch and extra service makes it very special. Neat vehicle and well organised logistics. Knowlegable, friendly and professional two ladies. Highly recommended. This safari in the National Kruger Park was definitely a highlight of my year. Well done !

ajohnson26, TripAdvisor Review
Memorable Father’s Day in the Kruger National Park

Usually I end up in the beautiful Nelspruit to see clients and to deal with work-related responsibilities. This year, my husband and I returned for a well-deserved holiday break. Yes, we came back and it is our second time doing a safari with Lion Roar Safaris, but this time I brought along the kids, my father and mother. One big happy family outing!

We booked the safari on Father’s Day, so my dad can enjoy the Kruger yet again. He hasn’t been to the Kruger for many years, let alone go on safari in an open safari vehicle. Everyone enjoyed it immensely, especially the kids who simply adore all animals.

My dad walks with a walking stick and my mother struggles to see & both of them make use of hearing aids. For this reason, we decided to book the safari vehicle privately so we don’t have to share with other people and if the kids misbehave or granny or grandpa can’t hear, we can talk a bit louder. (Even though we know that their company is child and elderly friendly). I’m glad my husband advised me to book it privately, it made it more special.

I just want to thank the team at Lion Roar Safaris once again. Everything from start to finish was great! I would also like to thank you for the extra touches you provide to make things comfortable, for example, the extra step that helped mom and dad get on the vehicle, the ponchos and most importantly the patience and professionalism of the guide.

We will keep coming back!

Lhug143, TripAdvisor Review

Some of the services Lion Roar Safaris Offer…

Upmarket Luxury Safaris  I  Tailored Safaris  I  Professional Personal Holiday Photographer   I  Hire a Professional Field Guide  I  Hire a Private Safari Vehicle   I   Accommodation in and around Kruger   I  Photographic Safaris   I   Safari catering – picnic lunches, dinners and BBQ’s and more…

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Guided safari in Kruger National Park
Article Name
Guided safari in Kruger National Park
As a safari specialist in the industry, we frequently get asked the same question; why is a guided safari in Kruger National Park better than a self-drive for an individual who has not been to the Kruger National Park, let alone South Africa.
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Lion Roar Safaris (Pty) Ltd, Kruger National Park South Africa
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