Skukuza or Lower Sabie: Which Is Best?

Skukuza or Lower Sabie: Which Is Best?

One of the primary questions when traveling to the Kruger National Park is which camp should I stay in? And so, after a bit of research, we are often asked by travelers if Skukuza is better than Lower Sabie or vice versa. This Skukuza or Lower Sabie question is a really difficult one to answer if you’ve experienced both camps. That being said, what is definitely true is that each of them can be best for you depending on what experience you’re looking for, and what wildlife you’d like to see.

Both Skukuza and Lower Sabie offer various self-catering accommodation options, extensive guest facilities, and exceptional game viewing opportunities — making them two of the most popular camps in the Kruger!

Besides being separated by 40 kilometres of pristine bushveld; significant differences between the two camps include style, size, and configuration. It will ultimately be a decision based on personal preference!

Skukuza or Lower Sabie

Skukuza Rest Camp

Skukuza Rest Camp

Skukuza Rest Camp nestles just 12 kilometers from the Paul Kruger Gate, on the southern banks of the Sabie River. It is the largest and the most popular of the Kruger camps and is easily accessed by road and by air with Skukuza Airport only a few kilometers away; boasting 198 bungalows, 15 guest cottages, 12 safari tents, 80 campsites, a family cottage, and 4 guesthouses — perfect for large groups and families.

Being the hub of the Kruger, Skukuza can get very busy during the day when day visitors are about but generally settles down in the evenings when they have left the park.

Highlights during a stay at Skukuza include:

  • Bushwalks and game drives (with guide)
  • Metsi-Metsi Wilderness Trail
  • Exceptional bird watching
  • Magnificent 9 hole golf course. The course is as close-to-nature as you’ll get with beautiful bushveld trees, wonderful birdlife, and views over Lake Panic. The course is not fenced in so a round of golf often provides wildlife sightings.

Skukuza also offers conference facilities and a spa.

Wildlife to see at Skukuza

Wildlife to see at Skukuza

The Kruger is most famous for its Big 5 but unique animals to look out for during one’s stay at Skukuza include the fruit bat, thick-tailed bushbaby, warthog, lions, spotted hyena, and the purple-crested lourie.

Lower Sabie Rest Camp

Lower Sabie Rest Camp

Lower Sabie Rest Camp is located 53 kilometres from the Paul Kruger Gate and also graces the banks of the perennial Sabie River. Lower Sabie is considerably smaller than Skukuza with 60 bungalows, 2 family bungalows, 24 safari tents, 30 huts, 33 campsites, and a guesthouse — ideal for couples and small families.

Highlights during a stay at Lower Sabie include:

  • Visits to Sunset Dam (1km from camp)
  • Nthandanyati Bird Hide (approximately 11km from camp)
  • Exceptional bird watching
  • Guided day & night drives

Our only advice when booking this camp is to do so timeously as the camp does tend to book out rather quickly, particularly during peak times of the year.

The spacious restaurant/bar area leads onto an expansive wooden deck which provides an elevated view of wildlife watering in the Sabie River. Whether you prefer spending your time in the bar doing some passive game viewing from the deck or relaxing with a light meal from Natures Café, you are assured of time standing still for you to experience it.

Wildlife to see at Lower Sabie

Wildlife to see at Lower Sabie
Goliath Heron image

The area surrounding Lower Sabie offers an opportunity to view leopards, hippos, lions, goliath herons, and giant kingfishers.

The answer to the question of Skukuza or Lower Sabie is therefore that it really depends on what you are looking to experience, and what wildlife is most important for you to see. No matter which camp you choose, you can rest assured that you’ll experience warm South African hospitality and encounter several wildlife species.