Kruger National Park

The Kruger is home to the Big Five

The Kruger National Park is a world-renowned wildlife destination. It is the epitome of African safari destinations. The Kruger National Park is not just a massive expanse of wilderness all give over to conservation, but is home to the largest population of mammals in Africa including the famous Big 5.

The Kruger National Park is the largest national park in Africa. Covering about 20 000 km2 over a length of 352 kilometres, the park is larger than Israel. It borders on the countries of Mozambique and Zimbabwe and is part of the Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park, a massive peace park endeavour of the three countries to create one of the largest conservation areas in the world.

The park started in 1898 when the president of the Transvaal Republic created the Sabie Game Reserve as a way to control the amount of hunting taking place in the area. In 1903, the Shingwedzi Reserve was created to the north. In 1926 the two reserves, along with many interlaying farms, were brought together to form the Kruger National Park as we know it today and in 1927, it was opened to visitors.

Today it is a immense land of baobabs, marula trees, mopane forest, acacia thorns and bushveld that stretches over six different eco systems. The baobab sandveld, Lebombo knobthorn marula, mixed acacia thickets, woodland on granite, riverine forest and cambretum-silver clusterleaf systems are home to the over 176 species of mammals and countless other species of insect, bird and reptile.

The Kruger National Park is famous for hosting the Big 5 - the elephant, the Cape buffalo, the rhinoceros, the lion and the leopard. But, the Kruger National Park is also home the so-called 'Little 5' - the buffalo weaver, the elephant shrew, the leopard tortoise, the ant lion and the rhino beetle. Here, visitors can also see six rare African birds including the ground hornbill, the kori buzzard, the lappet-faced vulture, the martial eagel, Pel's fishing owl and the saddle billed stork. For all kinds of wildlife, the Kruger National Park is the place to see them.

One of the many rest camps in the park

And seeing this diverse panoply of wildlife is quite simple and easy. The Kruger National Park boasts one of the best infrastructures of all national parks in Africa. A combination of paved roads, picnic sites, waterholes and rest camps make the Kruger National Park the ideal place for a self-drive tour of the park. Guided tours of the park are also available.

Accommodation in or near Kruger National Park is also available. The park itself has 21 rest camps that are run by the South African National Parks Board. The rest camps offer caravan or tent areas but most also have houses or rondavels. While they are self catering, the rest camps usually have shops, restaurants and other basic amenities available to visitors.
For a more luxurious stay, the Kruger National Park has seven private lodges that are built on concessions in the park. These lodges offer direct access to the park but with much better service and luxurious lodge accommodation. For even more privacy, the many private reserves on the western edge of the park may be the best bet. Some of these lodges have a very good reputation and offer five star service and accommodation to guests. These reserves are open to the Kruger National Park allowing animals to freely wander between the reserves and the park. At these reserves, guided game drives are usually the norm since access to the Kruger National Park is not included.

The Kruger National Park is the premier African wildlife destination in South Africa. There are few places that offer as much as the Kruger National Park does. The human element is downplayed considerably to allow animals as much peace as possible, while still allowing visitors to see some of the most incredible animals of the wild in their element.

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