South Western Gate
When you drive through Malelane Gate, you will be entering the core original reserve, where Kruger Park’s first warden, Colonel James Stevenson-Hamilton was placed in 1902. It was his job to create a home for the wildlife where no one could hunt them. There are a few routes you can follow. These routes will guide you to restcamps and some game viewing spots.
Entering Kruger through Malelane Gate is like taking a trip back in time. Behind you lies the pumping heart of South Africa’s subtropical export industry based on the growing and processing of citrus, sugar, avocados, bananas, mangoes, litchis, nuts and vegetables.
Before you is the pristine environment as it existed before the economic development of the lowveld.
Malelane Gate is on the Crocodile River, about 50km upstream from Crocodile Bridge. Be warned, it is one of Kruger’s busiest gates and there are often long queues of cars waiting to get into the Park at weekends and during school holidays.
Malelane has been a river crossing for hundreds of years and takes its name from the Malelane Regiment of King Mswati II of Swaziland which was stationed here in the 1850s when the area was under Swazi control. Mswati’s regiments conducted regular forays into present-day Kruger during the mid-19th century and, at points, his influence extended as far as southern Zimbabwe and central Mozambique. Many of the names in southern Kruger are Swazi in origin, while Shangaan names dominate further to the north.
Closing Time for all Gates October to February: 18h30
March to April: 18h00
May to July: 17h30
August to September: 18h00Opening Time for Entrance Gates
October to March: 05h30
April to September: 06h00