How to go from Swaziland to the Kruger

How to go from Swaziland to the Kruger

Day 14: Hlane Park – How to go from Swaziland to the Kruger

Today it’s time to go from Swaziland to the Kruger, to begin what will be the last stage of the trip to South Africa in 25 days, which we know will be the perfect icing on the cake to one of the most incredible destinations that we have had the great luck to visit.
As we discussed yesterday, today we will start the day with a sunrise safari in Hlane Park, one of the places to see in Swaziland, so when it is 4 in the morning our alarm clock gives us the warning and after a quick shower without electricity, but In the light of the oil lamps, we set out when it is 5:15 in the morning, approaching the general parking lot, right next to the reception, where we have met the ranger who will take us to this first game drive of the South Africa for free.

Game Drive at sunrise in Hlane

In Hlane you have the possibility of doing self-drive and game drive, the name by which traditional African safaris are known, which go through different areas of the park in open Land Cruisers and Land Rovers, with canvas roofs.
Although for us to do it on your own, in a rental car, it is a unique experience, we believe that doing a game drive as a compliment is almost essential to know some safety rules first-hand, in addition to having the opportunity to see and learn first-hand hand the fauna of the place.
Game Drive at sunrise in Hlane
Game Drive at sunrise in Hlane
In this case, we have chosen to do the Sunrise Game Drive with a duration of 2.5 hours, for R375 per person. In this game drive, we will be able to enjoy wildlife at dawn, including the restricted area of the lions, which cannot be freely accessed.
In addition to the car safari, in case the ranger finds it suitable and safe, a short walk is made on foot to get up close to a rhinoceros.
This safari includes tea/coffee and a snack halfway, in an area of the park where you can get off and have a small picnic.
It should be noted that this activity is not available for travelers staying at the Bhubesi Camp unless a group activity of at least 6 people is carried out, with which it will be allowed to leave directly from this camp.
Game Drive at sunrise in Hlane
Rhinos on the Game Drive at sunrise in Hlane

Tips for doing a sunrise safari in Hlane

Although when going with a ranger, you do not need a lot of advice, we want to leave you some details that we believe, can help you to fully enjoy a guided safari in Hlane.
  • Keep in mind that starting at 5:30 in the morning the weather is usually very cool, so it is advisable to bring something warm, although the ranger also provides you with a blanket.
  • Don’t forget the binoculars and the camera with a good lens.
  • Although in our case we have not had the option of doing the Sunset Drive, the ranger tells us that at dawn the animals are much more active so, after this and our experience, we can only recommend doing the Sunrise Drive.
Game Drive at sunrise in Hlane
  • Whenever possible, the ranger will invite you for a hike to get up close to one of the white rhinos that inhabit Hlane. Keep in mind that this must be done in absolute silence and always following the instructions of the ranger. We cannot forget that they are wild animals.
Rhinoceros calf
After 2 and a half hours and an incredible experience, in which we have been alone since no one else had signed up for the Game Drive and in which we have been able to see lions, a couple of scenes with elephants and a short walk to get closer to A rhinoceros with its calf, we dare say that we have enjoyed one of the most brutal safaris we have ever done.
In addition to this incredible encounter with nature, halfway through the tour, the ranger prepares a small breakfast for us in a designated area, where we can have a coffee with sweets, which gives us the energy to continue with the day that we will remember as unforgettable in the one that after the Sunrise Game Drime, it’s time to go from Swaziland to the Kruger.
Hlane park
Elephant on the Game Drive at sunrise in Hlane
We finish the safari when it is 8 in the morning and after checking out and saying goodbye to Hlane, we cannot avoid going back to the pond that has given us so many moments these days, to have a coffee while we enjoy one last gift, watching how the hippos return to the pond after having been eating all night in the inner area of the park.
Hippos in Hlane
Hippos in Hlane
It is 9 in the morning when we start the journey to go from Swaziland to the Kruger, leaving Hlane Park and heading to Crocodile Bridge, which will be the entrance gate that we take in the Kruger and the camp where we will stay the next two nights.
From Hlane al Kruger we have 130 kilometers that we travel with a pinch in the stomach, sensing what awaits us in the next few days, to arrive at 11:30 in the morning after crossing the border between Swaziland and South Africa, where we return to carry out the procedures, this time without paying anything, to resume the route in South Africa.

Entrance formalities to the Kruger

Although the entrance procedures to the Kruger are nothing special, we leave you a series of recommendations for this moment.
  • Keep in mind that you can enter and leave the Kruger every day, following the schedules and paying the corresponding fees, such as staying in the camps inside the park.
  • Whatever your circumstance, you must go through the entrance ticket offices, either every day or only the first day, depending on the option you have chosen.
  • Once there, you must go to the reception, pay the fees (included in the Wild Card) and with this ticket, which you must keep throughout the entire stay since it will be the entry receipt that you must deliver each day at the camp in which you make a new stay, hand it over to the guard, who will check the car and give you access to the Kruger Park.
  • The entrance price to the Kruger is R372 per person per day and as we mentioned before, it is included in the Wild Card.
  • Entry hours to the Kruger change depending on the season and whether or not you are staying in the park.
Kruger schedule. Image of South African National Park
How to go from Swaziland to the Kruger
After going from Swaziland to the Kruger and completing the entrance procedures, we go directly to the Crocodile Bridge Camp, where we take the opportunity to buy basic products for these days and eat after checking in, which is at 2 in the afternoon, do the first safari in the area, where we begin to enjoy one of the most incredible places in the world, where you can have direct contact with the wildest nature.
Crocodile bridge
First safari in the Kruger

Map of today’s route from Hlane Park from Swaziland to the Kruger

We leave you a map of today’s route to go from Swaziland to the Kruger, to start the last stage of this trip to South Africa.

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