Kruger Park (South Africa)
South Africa’s flagship game reserve, the Kruger National Park, is a true wildlife mecca. Home to the largest variety and diversity of animals in the country, Kruger has safari options to suit everyone. This 19,633 kilometer park also has the luxury of smaller private reserves on its borders, including Timbavati and Sabi Sands, for those seeking fewer people and more exclusivity.
Kruger is located in the far northeastern corner of South Africa and shares a long eastern border with Mozambique. 3 airports serve Kruger National Park, Phalaborwa Airport, Hoedspruit Eastgate Airport and Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport (KMIA). Daily scheduled flights from OR Tambo and Hoedspruit are available, as well as from Cape Town and Durban (direct flights from these two cities only serve KMIA). Kruger is also easily accessible by car, particularly from either Nelspruit or Phalaborwa.
Attractions & Activities
A closer look at what your holiday could be.
Kruger is home to Africa’s big 5, and plentiful other species, including warthog, baboons, vervet monkeys, zebra, hippo and numerous antelope species. The park has the biggest number of large mammal species of all South African game reserves, and just over 500 bird species. Kruger also plays host to a small number of the endangered African wild dog, with around 150 individuals of the 400 thought to inhabit the country.
HISTORY AND CONSERVATION
Kruger takes its name from President Paul Kruger, who in 1898 opened the park in order to protect the area’s wildlife, naming it Sabie Game Reserve. In 1927 the first tourist cars drove into the park, and in 1928 the reserve’s name was changed to Kruger National Park and added to the National Park network. The park has since been dedicated to the preservation and protection of South Africa’s wildlife.
When to visit the Kruger Park
May to October is the driest time in the region, and the best time to see wildlife. The sparse vegetation makes it easier to track and spot animals, and water sources become hot spots for congregating game. Winter, from June to August, sees fewer mosquitos and pleasant temperatures, making this period better for visitors who
are concerned with malaria risks and who wish to avoid scorching temperatures. The Green Season, from November to April, gets the highest rainfall and thus lush, green bushveld. This is also the time when baby animals are in abundance, and a good time to see increased predator activity.