KRUGER NATIONAL PARK
Stretching over more than two million hectares, the Kruger National Park is one of the world’s largest game reserves and a truly remarkable destination. Owing to its exceptional size, visitors are able to experience fantastic diversity – from changing scenery and ecosystems to an impressive array of animals, plant life and birdlife. The park is home to over 130 mammals and over 500 bird species. Visitors can look forward to learning about the area’s prehistoric past, enjoying a host of accommodation options, and viewing the abundant wildlife including the famed Big Five. The diversity sheer density of wildlife makes Kruger National Park an unforgettable and potentially life-changing experience. This is truly the safari capital of South Africa!
Most locals opt for a self-drive journey into the park, where accommodation ranges from mid- to budget self-catering cottages. For the more discerning, there are a multitude of private reserves and concessions that share unfenced borders with the main park. Accommodation here is sheer luxury, with award-winning lodges, majestic views and highly personalised safari activities.
Central Kruger is home to the largest impala, buffalo, kudu, giraffe, wildebeest, waterbuck, sable and zebra populations in the park, which are drawn to the region’s fertile soils and many trees, including the knobthorn and the marula and its edible fruit. These grazers, in turn, attract nearly half of the park’s lion population and many of its leopards, cheetahs and hyenas. Elephants and black rhino may be spotted, and a wide array of bird species can be seen all over, especially in the basalt plains. experience.
Although located close to the Indian Ocean, northern Kruger experiences high levels of aridity because of the Limpopo high pressure system. Covered in a blanket of shrub mopane, the low-lying northern Kruger area is dissected by the Olifants and Letaba rivers and other, smaller rivers that are more like large pools of water. The addition of reservoirs has allowed for the presence of hippos and water birds. These areas of water have created lush river corridors, adding to the ecological diversity of the area and attracting various animals and birds, including waterbuck, bushbuck, kudu, nyala, buffalo, lion, leopard, hyena and half of Kruger’s elephants.
Credit: The Outpost
The southern area of South Africa’s most famous game reserve is separated from lush farmland by the Crocodile River, a popular spot for lazy crocs, playful hippos and thirsty animals. The game viewing area is known as the ‘Southern Circle’ and is renowned for its rhinos and lions, of which there are different prides with definitive hunting techniques and behaviours. Also found here, near the Hippo Pool, are ancient San rock paintings.
Private reserves and concessions
Scattered along the unfenced western boundary of the world-renowned Kruger National Park, private game reserves combine with the Kruger to establish one of the world’s largest game reserves. This incredible destination offers visitors excellent Big Five game viewing opportunities and an array of luxury safari accommodation complete with world-class cuisine, relaxing spas and private pools. Visitors can look forward to fascinating night-drive safaris, guided nature walks, and open-top safari adventures. Some of these prestigious private reserves include: Sabi Sands Private Game Reserve, Thornybush Private Game Reserve, and Timbavati Private Game Reserve, to name a few.
What to experience in Kruger National Park
Walking safaris. Join a professional guide as you trek the bushveld looking for wildlife. This experience is truly fantastic, and allows you to see all the little things not visible from a safari vehicle. Pack long socks, a hat and sunblock.
Game drives in private reserves take place twice a day, in the early morning and late afternoon, when wildlife are most active.
Star beds. Some lodges offer open-roofed “star-bed” experiences, where you can observe the celestial bodies that glitter above you. Perfect for honeymooners who want some alone time.
Bush meals. Prepare to be pampered with breakfast, lunch or dinner in the middle of the veld. You’ll be served by a personal butler.
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