Kruger National Park, South Africa

The Kruger National Park in the north-east of South Africa is one of the largest game parks in Africa. It inspires with its incredible biodiversity and is excellently developed for tourism.

Kruger National Park, often referred to in English as "Kruger National Park", is located in the north-east of South Africa, is the largest game reserve in the country and one of the largest national parks on the African continent. The spectacular game park is one of our top 10 sights of South Africa.

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Fantastic biodiversity

The Kruger National Park was established as the Sabie Game Reserve in 1898 under President Paul Kruger, and became the Kruger National Park in 1926. The Kruger National Park covers the South African provinces of Mpumalanga and Limpopo and extends to the border with Mozambique. Formerly fenced off, most of the barriers have now been removed to allow the large animals to roam completely free.

Thus, especially in the dry season, the herds migrate to neighbouring areas to the west where there are still water holes. During the months after the rainy season in November to April, there is enough water for the animals to populate the entire park and spread as far as the Limpopo National Park in Mozambique.

The Kruger National Park is best known for its incredibly diverse biodiversity. Within its boundaries, a multitude of African wildlife cavorts, including the famous "Big 5″, lion, leopard, rhino, buffalo and elephant.

Other species include hippos, antelopes, guenons, hyenas, cheetahs, desert lynxes, jackals, ostriches, flamingos, vultures and eagles, to name but a few. In total, the Kruger National Park protects almost 150 mammal species, a good 500 bird species, over 100 reptile species and around 50 fish species.

A leopard crosses a road in Kruger National Park, South Africa - © Tabby Mittins / Shutterstock
© Tabby Mittins / Shutterstock

Not only the variety of wildlife, but also its number in the Kruger National Park is breathtaking. An area of 20,000 square kilometres is home to around 10,000 elephants and several thousand big cats. Archaeological sites such as Masorini or Thulamela show that the fantastic habitat of the Kruger National Park has been shared between animals and humans for centuries. The remains of lost civilisations are protected, as are the park's natural treasures.

On the Road in Kruger National Park

The best time to visit Kruger National Park is the African winter from July to August. This time is the driest and, at 20-30°C, not as hot as the rainy season, when the thermometer can sometimes climb to 40°C. On the other hand, it can get very cold at night in winter. On the other hand, it can get very cold at night in winter, but most years are frost-free.

There are several entrances to the Kruger National Park in South Africa, Malelane and Crocodile Bridge in the south, Numbi, Phabeni and Paul Kruger in the southwest, Orpen and Phalaborwa in the west and Pafuri and 'Punda Maria in the north.

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The Kruger National Park is very well developed for tourism. It can be explored on asphalt roads that are excellently signposted. Some secondary roads are sand or gravel tracks. Accommodation facilities in the form of 21 camps and 11 private lodges are spread throughout the national park and there are rest and picnic areas everywhere. The larger camps also offer shopping facilities from food to alcohol and souvenirs. Skukuza Lodge even has a 9-hole golf course, but beware: this is one of the hottest in the world and the sun has no mercy on the shadeless course.

Up close and personal with the wild animals

The most popular attractions in the Kruger National Park are, of course, related to the unique wildlife. Bush safaris can be booked at ed-Dal Berg, Skukuza and Letaba camps, where a group of ranger-guided four-wheel-drive vehicles transport safari guests through the park. The rangers explain the tropical plants and draw attention to animals that are so well camouflaged that you would never have spotted them yourself.

Talking of never discovered: this is exactly the purpose of the night safari. This tour, also guided only by rangers, shows very special, normally hidden sides of the Kruger National Park. On the night safari, lions, leopards and hyenas can be observed in full action in the headlights of the cars. These tours usually last about an hour and start just before the camp closes for the night.

Those who want to get really close to the wild animals in the Kruger National Park should opt for the bush walk. In groups of up to eight people, accompanied by a ranger, you stalk through the African savannah on foot. This is the closest you can get to Africa's fascinating wildlife without the disturbing noise of cars. It can happen that a rhino or an elephant suddenly marches past the tent during breakfast. If a three-day tour in the wilderness is too uncomfortable for you, you can also book a hike of several hours in the camps, such as the "Early Morning Walk".

Tip: On all these safaris you should of course definitely have binoculars or a camera with a zoom lens. You will take more photos than on an "ordinary" holiday, so be sure to take enough memory cards and spare batteries! If you have cheap equipment, you should bear in mind that there are often exposure problems with the morning haze or the intense sunlight at midday.

Further links:

Official site of the Kruger National Park (English)
Incredible list of animal species of the Kruger National Park on Wikipedia


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