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Here are the top 7 tips from Bonga Njajula, Head Guide at Kruger Shalati.

Check the digital sighting board at Kruger Station, located just outside the grab-and-go takeaway. Review the latest sightings the night before and plan your route for the next day. In many cases, cats linger in the same area for an extended period, giving self-drivers an advantage in spotting them again. #gamechanger

Rise and shine! Leave early for your game drive. Don’t miss the crack of dawn; head out as soon as the gates open. Early departures offer the best chances of spotting wildlife and witnessing beautiful sunrises.

Engage with fellow travellers! Politely inquire about their sightings along the way. Their insights might lead you to unexpected encounters. You’ll optimise your route and maximise your wildlife sightings by fostering these conversations.

Make the most of your driving time. Devoting most of the day to exploring the park’s roads enables you to cover extensive distances and encounter a variety of landscapes and wildlife habitats.

Knowing where to drive is essential to see certain types of animals. For example, if you are looking to see zebras, wildebeests, and giraffes, go to open and plain areas like Satara and Lower Sabie, the eastern part of the park and halfway central north of the park. You might also find lions and other cats as they follow the game. Stay close to river courses and shaded areas to see elephants. Elephants get quite hot quickly and need to cool down by splashing water.

Stay within Kruger for added convenience. Remaining inside the park allows extra driving time without rushing to the gate. Additionally, it affords you an additional 30 minutes in the morning to embark on your game drive.

Recognise the two main seasons of the year: the Dry and Wet seasons. The Dry season, optimal for game viewing, unfolds during winter. Despite the lushness of the bush during the Wet season in summer, visitors can still enjoy memorable sightings during self-drives, appreciating the beautiful greenery. Additionally, September and October are considered the best months for game viewing.