Venue & Travel

Skukuza Rest Camp, Kruger National Park 

Situated on the southern bank of the Sabie River, Skukuza is located in the southern area of Kruger National Park and is the most popular and accessible camp, and one of the best for game viewing. In the vicinity of the camp all of the African Big Five (lion, leopard, rhinoceros, elephant, and Cape buffalo) can be found. The nearby Lake Panic Bird Hide is a birders paradise, where you can spot a large selection of water birds such as herons, fish eagles, storks, kingfishers and crakes. The camp itself overlooks the Sabie River where elephants sometimes congregate. The stretch right opposite Skukuza is home to a number of hippos. Accommodation at Skukuza can vary from small but comfortable to large guesthouses. Each house has an outside braai and mosquito protection.

The name, adapted from Sikhukhuza, was a nickname for James Stevenson-Hamilton. The camp was originally known as Sabie Bridge or simply Reserve, the name was changed in 1936. Skukuza Rest Camp in Kruger National Park is named after the Tsonga name for James Stevenson-Hamilton, the first warden of the park. Literally translated it means 'he who sweeps clean', a reference to his removal of all the local people to make way for the establishment of the Park. The Stevenson-Hamilton Memorial Museum houses many interesting artifacts - very well known is the knife ranger Harry Wolhuter used to single-handedly slay a Lion and save his own life. Skukuza is the Kruger National Park's largest rest camp and administrative headquarters.

Skukuza Rest Camp has several attractions such as a museum hut, the Stevenson-Hamilton Memorial Library, an information centre and an auditorium. Wildlife documentaries are shown in an outdoor amphitheater. Skukuza Rest Camp has shops and two restaurants. Besides the camp basics, Skukuza also has 2 swimming pools, a golf course, a police station, a post office and even a bank.

These shops and facilities are surrounded by different sized huts and guest houses. Skukuza Rest Camp in Kruger National Park features a variety of accommodation options such as camp sites, 21 furnished safari tents, semi luxury bungalows, cottages and 4 guesthouses. The myriad of birds and wild game in the area is easily spotted by going on bush walks and game drives. From the main reception, a visitor can arrange game drives, bush braais and guided walks in Kruger. GPS Co-Ordinates: -24.989840 S / 31.592630 E

VISA Information

We recommend attendees to check relevant South Africa visa requirements as soon as possible. The average processing time for a visa can take up to 2 months. Visas are not issued at South African ports of entry. For more detailed information or to determine whether you require a visa to enter South Africa, please visit the website of the South African Department of Home Affairs.

For U.S citizens, the U.S. Department of Staff website includes facts on passport validity, vaccinations, and visa requirements.

  • Traveling with children: For children under the age of 18 traveling to South Africa, an unabridged birth certificate is required for obtaining a visa and for entry into the country. For more information read Government Advisory.

Medication & Vaccines 

Visit the CDC website or your doctor at least 2 months prior to your trip for recommendations on vaccinations. The CDC has a list of health clinics across the U.S. at which you can get vaccines and medications such as Cipro for intestinal bacterial infections. 

Malaria: The Kruger National Park is located in a malaria risk area and it is advised to take malaria prophylactics when visiting the Park. For more information on malaria, please click on the following link or view this handout provided by the local planning committee. In addition, The University of Pretoria Institute for Sustainable Malaria Control (UP ISMC) launched the mobile app, Malaria Buddy  to help spread news and information about malaria, download here.

Inoculations: Visit the CDC website or your doctor at least 2 months prior to your trip for recommendations on vaccinations. 

Additional resources:

Weather and Climate

The month of June is the perfect time to visit Kruger National Park in South Africa. Marking the area's wintertime, now is when most of the park's wildlife will be out and about in search of food and water. This is Kruger's coldest month with temperatures sitting around 26C (78F) in the daytime and 6C (42F) at night.

  • We recommend that you pack warm clothing for early morning and evening game drives and sunblock SPF50 and above for sun protection.

 

Getting to Skukuza Rest Camp 

Fly to Johannesburg - OR Tambo International Airport (JNB)

  • Website: http://www.acsa.co.za
  • Number of terminals: 2
  • Location: The airport is located 22km (14 miles) east of Johannesburg.
  • Flights to Johannesburg: There are more than 750 international flights per week to OR Tambo Airport. Please check Skyscanner and/or Expedia to see which airlines fly to South Africa.
  • Car hire: Avis, Budget, Europcar, Hertz, Imperial, and Tempest are located in the car park opposite the Domestic Terminal. Drivers must own a credit card and International Driving License, unless the driver’s national license is printed in English and bears a photograph of the holder.
  • Public transport: It is advised to only use official ACSA-approved operators of taxi, shuttle and bus services. The airport information desks will provide assistance. Airport information desks are located in International Arrivals and Departures, and Domestic Arrivals.
  • Hotels: City Lodge Hotel at OR Tambo (Parkade 2 level 5), Protea Hotel by Marriot OR Tambo (0.8km from OR Tambo), InterContinental Johannesburg OR Tambo Airport Hotel (0.2km from OR Tambo)

Shuttle Services or Flight Options to Kruger National Park (from Johannesburg)

From Johannesburg - OR Tambo Airport, you will need to connect via a domestic flight to either the Skukuza Airport (SZK) or the Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport (KMIA). Or take a van shuttle service from OR Tambo Airport to Skukuza Rest Camp (for more info, see Skukuza daily shuttle service section below).

Please note that the Rand (ZAR) currency is used in South Africa, and that money should be exchanged at OR Tambo International Airport as no such facilities are available at Skukuza. Entrance gates at the Kruger National Park and rest camp gates are closed at night, thus allow sufficient travelling time to ensure timeous arrival at your rest camp. Information on gate times can be find here.

Skukuza Airport (SZK)

Skukuza Airport is situated in the Kruger National Park and is about a 15 min drive from the symposium venue. Two daily flights (45 min) are available from OR Tambo Airport and one flight from Cape Town International Airport (2.5 hrs). For more information on flight prices and schedules, please follow the link to SA Airlink website.

  • AVIS provides car rental options as well as a shuttle service between the airport and Skukuza rest camp. This service can be booked hereYou can also email them at avisskukuza@avis.co.za
  • Skukuza Airport Transfers also provides shuttle service from airport and can help book travel tours in South Africa. 
Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport (KMIA)

The Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport is located 27km north east of Nelspruit, Mpumalanga. Many flights operate between Johannesburg - OR Tambo and Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport. The airport has customs and immigration facilities, banking, ATMs, VIP lounges, and car rental depots.

  • Transfer time from the airport to Skukuza rest camp is approximately 1.5 hrs. Just Transfersprovides a shuttle serves between the airport and Skukuza rest camp. This service can be booked hereCar rental services including Avis, Budget, Bidvest, Eurocar, Hertz, and Tempest are available. 

Travel by road

  • The distance from Johannesburg to Skukuza (S 24 59′ 43″ E 31 35′ 34″) is about 450 km (5 to 6 hours traveling time). Roads are in good condition.

  • Directions: From OR Tambo get on the R21 and follow the N12 and N4 to Nelspruit. Then take the R40 to Hazyview via White River. From Hazyview, take the R536 to the Paul Kruger Gate. Skukuza rest camp is 12 km away from the gate. Allow for about a 30min drive until you get into the camp.

  • Toll fees are payable on the N4. There are 24-hour service stations with restaurants and ATMs at regular intervals on major routes.

Skukuza daily shuttle service

A daily shuttle operated by “Just Transfers” departs OR Tambo International Airport at 10h00, arriving at Skukuza, rest camp at 16h30. The Shuttle also depart from Skukuza at 10h00 daily. For early bookings and inquiries please contact Ian Tomlinson (ian@justtransfers.co.za).
Additional shuttle services operating throughout South Africa:
  • Just Transfers (from OR Thambo and KMIA to Skukuza)
  • CityBug Shuttle Service
  • EZshuttle
  • Uber (Note: One must activate your roaming cell service to use Uber. As with many countries in the world where Uber is used, there have been violent protests between the meter taxis and Uber. The most prevalent places where these conflicts have taken place are at the Airports and Gautrain stations.)

Extending Your Trip in South Africa: Excursion Resources

We are thrilled that you are thinking about traveling in South Africa before or after the symposium. Although we have many IASWG members living in South Africa, their expertise is in social group work rather than arranging travel excursions. We highly recommend that you check out your local library for guidebooks or speak with a trusted travel agent (a few are suggested below) to customize your travel plans to match your desired trip. With this said, our local planning committee has gathered resources and listed notable destinations below to help you chart this once in a lifetime excursion.

Suggested South Africa Travel Guide Books (available at most libraries and bookstores):

  • National Geographic Traveler
  • Insight Guides
  • Dream Trip: Inspirational itineraries for planning the trip of a lifetime
  • Lonely Planet

Travel agencies to book excursions:

  • TravelstartCheap flights, incredible hotels and affordable car rentals. Travelstart is Africa's leading online travel agency. Based in sunny Cape Town, we have offices across Africa and the Middle East where hundreds of Travelstarters are dedicated to rocking your travel world. 
  • Thompsons Holidays - For unrivalled travel value and unforgettable, hassle free holidays. Browse fantastic range of packages to destinations across the world.
  • Flight Centre - The Airfare Experts and World's largest travel agency. What's the difference between Flight Centre consultants and everyone else in the known world? It's their passion for travel and their experience. It's a combination that is unbeatable in the travel business
  • STA Travel - STA Travel is the world’s leader in student and youth travel, with a global network of over 400 stores worldwide. 

If you prefer to book your own travel excursions, here are a few sites commonly used in South Africa:

Local airlines that can be used to book local flights at a cheaper rate:

More expensive airlines are:
  • SAA
  • SA Express (this airline goes to the more remote places where the traffic volume is less, such as Skukuza, Eastern Cape, George) - 
  • Airlink is also operated by SAA and flies to various remote places including Skukuza 
  • British Airways (BA)

Dream Trip Routes:

  • Cape Town to Garden Route (Cape Peninsula, Seal Island, Robben Island, Gordon’s Bay, Hermanus, Swellendam, Garden Route, Plettenberg Bay, Oyster Bay/Oudtshoorn, Cango Caves, Worcester, Winelands, Knysna Treetop Tour)
  • Durban to Battlefields to Nelson Mandela Bay (Valley of 1000 Hills, Hibiscus Coast, Wild Coast, East London, Grahamstown’s National Arts Festival, Addo Elephant National Park)
  • Johannesburg to Kruger National Park ( Magaliesberg Mountains, Sun City, Game Reserves, Blyde River Canyon, Panorama Region)
  • Johannesburg to Cape Town (Kruger National Park, Swaziland, KwaZulu Natal, Ushaka Marine World, Moses Mabhida Stadium Swing, Durban, Valley of 1000 Hills, Battlefields, Drakensberg, Garden Route, Cape Town)
 

Notable Attractions in South Africa:

 

 

  • Learning about South Africa’s past at Cape Town’s Robben Island or Pretoria’s Apartheid Museum and Monument
  • The view of Cape Town from the top of Table Mountain, also visit the nearby Winelands (option to use the hop on hop off red buses to travel tour the city  and wineries, alternatively the MyCiti Bus in Cape Town is an excellent public transport system that is safe to use.)
  • Visiting the Garden Route’s small towns and beaches (view an African sunset)
  • Hiking in Drakensberg Mountains, and seeing the their San rock art
  • Going on a Big Five safari
  • Experiencing the fast-paced, thrill of Johannesburg

Johannesburg/Kruger Experiences and Places Not to Be Missed:  

In Johannesburg

  • Soweto & Hector Pieterson Museum (Soweto tours are done through travel agencies and the hop on hop off red buses are visible in Johannesburg as well)
  • Cradle of Humankind (40 km to the northwest of Johannesburg)
  • Shopping and eating in Sandton City and Nelson Mandela Square

In Pretoria & North West Province

  • Apartheid Museum & Monument
  • Magaliesberg Mountains
  • Sun City and Pilanesberg Game Reserve

In Kruger National Park and Panorama Region

  • Watching the Big Five
  • Pampering in a private game such as Sabi Sands
  • Stunning views at Blyde River Canyon
A few travel articles, websites and blog posts discovered by IASWG members to inspire, and help you plan, your upcoming adventure: