How to combine Cape Town & Kruger for the ultimate South African Safari

South Africa is, rather famously, a land of contrasts. From the soaring heights of (the impossibly flat) Table Mountain to the vast expanse of the Lowveld, it’s a country that never ceases to surprise and delight.

Cape Town is a city that’s equal parts modern and historic, with iconic landmarks like Table Mountain and the colourful Bo-Kaap neighbourhood drawing millions of visitors every year. But Cape Town isn’t just a pretty face – it’s also a foodie’s paradise, with a vibrant culinary scene that melds African, European, and Asian flavours.

On the other side of the country lies the rougher (but no less brilliant) diamond, the Kruger National Park, a sprawling wildlife reserve teeming with the legendary Big 5: lions, elephants, buffaloes, leopards, and rhinos. A safari in the Kruger is a once-in-a-lifetime experience that gets you up close and personal with some of the world’s most awe-inspiring creatures. Whether you’re watching a leopard lounge in a Jackalberry tree or a massive herd of elephants crossing the savannah, Kruger National Park is a true natural wonder.

But why choose between Cape Town and Kruger when you can have both? (At Hidden Africa, we believe this is non-negotiable). By combining these two destinations, you’ll get the best of two distinct worlds: the cosmopolitan charm of Cape Town and the untamed beauty of Kruger National Park. So pack your bags and get ready for the adventure of a lifetime!

How much time do you need in each destination?

So you’re ready to embark on the ultimate Southern African safari by combining Cape Town and Kruger National Park. But how much time should you set aside for this epic journey? While we’re all for cramming in as much as possible, we recommend allowing at least 7 days to do justice to both destinations. If you can spare 10 days, even better. Here’s why:

Cape Town is a city that deserves to be savoured. With iconic landmarks like Table Mountain and the Cape of Good Hope and a dynamic culinary scene, you’ll want to take your time and soak up all the city has to offer. And let’s be honest, after all that sightseeing and wine tasting, you might need a day or two to recover.

Once you’re ready to take to the skies and head east to Kruger, we recommend a minimum of 3 nights (and 2 full days) in the park. This will give you plenty of time to spot the Big 5 and other wildlife and soak up the stunning scenery (and a few G&Ts).

Of course, we understand that time is a precious commodity. If you’re short on it, a 7-day trip can still be a thrilling adventure. But if you can spare 10 days, you’ll have the luxury of fully immersing yourself in the beauty and diversity of South Africa. And who knows, you might even pick up some of the local lingo (it’s handy to know your bokkies from your bakkies).

Cape Town or Kruger first? The travel logistics to consider

When it comes to the order in which to visit Cape Town and Kruger National Park, there’s no right or wrong answer. It largely depends on your travel overall travel plans and preferences. But here are a few things to consider:

Cape Town will likely be your first port of call if you’re flying in from overseas. From there, you can fly directly to one of Kruger’s main airports: Skukuza, Hoedspruit or KMIA (don’t worry, we won’t make you pronounce Mpumalanga). The direct flying time is just over 2 hours, so you can watch the sunrise over the Atlantic Ocean and the sunset over the African savannah with an ice-cold G&T within arm’s reach.

On the other hand, if you’re starting your trip from Johannesburg or another city closer to Kruger, doing the safari first might make more sense. From there, you can fly on to Cape Town for the second leg of your trip.

Easy direct air access between Cape Town and Kruger makes combining these two natural wonders easy. It allows you to maximise your time at each destination, no matter how you slice it.

Timing your safari

When planning a combined Cape Town and Kruger National Park safari, one crucial consideration is the timing of your trip. South Africa experiences a range of climates and weather patterns throughout the year, so choosing the right time to go can make a big difference to your overall experience.

The good news is that both Cape Town and Kruger National Park are year-round destinations, each with its own unique charm and appeal, depending on the season. Here’s a breakdown of what to expect in each destination:

Cape Town

  • Peak season: December to February (summer)
  • Shoulder season: March to May, September to November (spring and autumn)
  • Low season: June to August (winter)

In summer, Cape Town’s Mediterranean climate means long, balmy days and a lively atmosphere as locals and visitors flock to the city’s beaches, markets, and outdoor events. This is peak tourist season, so expect to see a few more faces out and about (we’re not talking Easter at St Mark’s Square). Spring and autumn are milder and quieter, with fewer tourists and pleasant weather for exploring the city’s many attractions. Winter can be chilly (with daytime highs averaging 60F) and rainy. Still, it also offers the chance to experience Cape Town’s cultural and culinary offerings without the crowds.

Kruger National Park

  • Peak season: July to September (dry season)
  • Shoulder season: April to June, October (transitional seasons)
  • Low season: November to March (wet season)

The dry season is the best time for wildlife viewing in Kruger, as animals gather around watering holes and the vegetation is less dense. This is also peak tourist season, so book well in advance to secure your preferred safari lodge and safari experiences. Shoulder seasons offer milder weather, with the added bonus of newborn animals and migratory birds. In the wet season, you have to work a little harder to spot game in the lush vegetation, but it also brings beautiful green landscapes and fewer people.

Ultimately, the best time to go depends on your interests and priorities. Whether you’re seeking sun and sea in Cape Town or prime wildlife viewing in Kruger, there’s a season and a vibe that will suit your needs.

Budgeting for a luxury Cape Town and Kruger safari

Hopefully, we’ve convinced you of the necessity of combining Cape Town and Kruger National Park. The next important factor to consider is your budget. To us, luxury is all about the experience, and we never compromise on that. Whether you choose indulgent luxury or prefer a pure and simple safari tent – or a mixture of both – we’ll know just where to send you and your budget. And in which order, too. It’s just another one of our many impressive skills. Here’s what you can expect in terms of budget when planning your trip with us:


Our hand-picked collection of luxury African safari accommodations, which includes romantic tented camps, wildly stylish safari lodges and boutique hotels, is anything but ordinary. In fact, it’s far from it. It’s a carefully curated smorgasbord of exquisite design, impeccable service, fine wines, and four-figure thread counts in some of Earth’s wild and wonderful settings. We work with top-rated lodges and camps in private concessions of Greater Kruger. These properties offer exclusive access to some of the best wildlife viewing areas and luxuries such as private plunge pools, gourmet dining, and spa treatments. Prices for accommodation range from around $500 to $1500 per person per night, depending on the level of luxury and exclusivity. We celebrate the experiences that you can’t put a price on. So, start saving, or we’d be happy to help you spend the kids’ inheritance.


Our safari packages include various activities such as game drives, guided bush walks, birdwatching and stargazing. These activities are led by experienced and knowledgeable guides who will help you make the most of your time in the bush. We can also offer a wide range of Signature activities, from heli flips to Cape Town Walking Food Tours that generally range from $100 to $300 per person per activity.


We recommend taking a direct flight to travel between Cape Town and Kruger to save time and hassle. Flights vary depending on the time of year and the airline but generally range from $200 to $500 per person for a one-way ticket.

Overall, we recommend budgeting at least $5000 per person for a 7-day luxury Cape Town and Kruger safari package. This price includes accommodations, safari activities, internal flights, hotel and lodge transfers, and some meals and drinks. Our prices exclude international flights, visas, and travel insurance. Remember that prices may vary depending on your travel dates, preferences, and group size.

Insider tips for a memorable Cape Town and Kruger safari

A combined Cape Town and Kruger National Park safari is an incredible adventure highlighting South Africa’s best natural beauty, culture, and wildlife. To make the most of your trip, here are some insider tips from Hidden Africa:

  • Travel in low season: While the peak season for a safari in Kruger is from June to October, travelling in the low season can be a great way to save money and avoid crowds. December to March is considered low season, and it’s a great time to enjoy the lush greenery and fewer visitors in the park.
  • Be prepared for the weather: South Africa has a varied climate, so pack accordingly. Cape Town can be chilly and rainy in the winter (June to August), while Kruger can be hot and humid in the summer (December to February). Be sure to bring layers, comfortable walking shoes, and sunscreen.
  • Trust your guide: Your safari guide is your best resource for spotting wildlife, learning about the local culture, and staying safe in the bush. Be sure to listen to their advice and ask plenty of questions.
  • Embrace the unexpected: One of the joys of safari is the unpredictability of nature. Be open to surprises, whether it’s a rare bird sighting or a chance encounter with an elephant herd. Remember to slow down, take in the scenery, and savour every moment of your South African adventure.

That’s it! You’re now qualified to embark on a luxury Cape Town and Kruger safari that will leave you with memories to last a lifetime. So, pack your bags, grab your camera, and get ready for an unforgettable journey through the breathtaking landscapes and vibrant cultures of South Africa. Contact Hidden Africa to start planning your dream trip today. Are you coming?

Chad Le Helloco

Head of Sales

In addition to heading up our sales team, Chad’s the artistic genie who makes our aesthetic dreams come true; the go-to guy on all things design-related. Surprisingly, for such a high functioning creative, he’s a real ‘people person’. Then again, nothing about him is average – except maybe his Padel ranking.

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