Today I am going to talk to you about South Africa’s top safari destination: Kruger National Park!
About Kruger Park
Kruger National Park is South Africa’s most notorious and largest reserve of the country. With an estimated area of 18,989 square km, it is about half the size of Switzerland (not bad huh…)! One of its initial founders was Paul Kruger (President of the Transvaal state at the time), who in 1898 created the Sabie Game Reserve to control hunting and protect the diminishing wildlife of the area.
Presently, it is home to an incredible number of species: 336 trees, 49 fish, 34 amphibians, 114 reptiles, 507 birds and 147 mammals (according to SANparks).
Flora and Fauna
If you’re looking for incredible game viewing opportunities in a unique and pristine locality, then look no further…Kruger National Park is the place to go! Whether you’re searching for Africa’s famous Big five, unparalleled birding prospects or astonishing and peaceful scenery; you can only be pleased! There is so much to see, listen to or smell…an absolute treat for the eyes and senses!
You’ll just be amazed by what mother nature has to offer!
In my own opinion, it is perhaps one of the best places to experience close encounters with white rhinos and elephants. Especially with rhinoceros: they are just everywhere! One peace of advice though: make sure the close encounter is not too close…you might regret it! After all, they’re just wild animals…
Accommodation and Activities
In terms of facilities Kruger is extremely well organized. It has over 20 camps and lodges suiting all tastes and wallets! The largest main camp is Skukuza in the South. It offers a combination of bungalows and tents, has a restaurant overlooking the river (which is a non-negligible advantage), and its own shop for curios and groceries. Be on the look out for hyenas at night, and loud thick-tailed bush babies lurking by your tent!
My camp pick: Lower Sabie. The deck view along the river bed is just astounding…and both hippo and crocodile sightings are highly probable!
The park also offers a variety of different activities ranging from game drives, night drives, walks, etc. Ask for the various possibilities at your hotel desk, or at any of the main park entrances.
Entrance Fees Fees may vary according to the season or whether you are a local or a foreigner. My advice is that you buy a Wild Card, which enables you to visit most of South African National Parks (depending on the formula you choose) at a fairly decent price.
5 Things to Look For
- The Big Five – Buffalo, Elephant, Leopard, Lion and Rhino.
- The Little Five – Buffalo Weaver, Elephant Shrew, Leopard Tortoise, Ant Lion and Rhino Beetle.
- The Birding Big 6- Ground Hornbill, Kori Bustard, Lappet- faced Vulture, Martial Eagle, Pel’s Fishing Owl and Saddle-bill Stork.
- Five Trees – Baobab, Fever Tree, Knob Thorn, Marula, Mopane.
- Natural/Cultural Features – Letaba Elephant Museum, Jock of the Bushveld Route, Albasini Ruins, Maserini Ruins, Stevenson Hamilton Memorial Library, Thulamela.
For more information on Kruger National Park, visit the SANParks website.