Kruger National Park offers some of Africa’s most unique safaris, with nearly two million hectares of primitive wilderness inhabiting much incredible fauna. Kruger National Park is surrounded by a number of privately owned game reserves that are considered Greater Kruger National Park.
When making a safari in Kruger, it is always important to consider budget, interest, and time of year. I’ve put this guide below to help you plan a safari that meets your every expectation.
One of South Africa’s landmarks and arguably its top tourist destination is Kruger National Park. The Park is located in the Lowveld region of the country’s northeast, at the base of a significant escarpment. In comparison to other conservation areas in Africa, it is believed to have the greatest diversity of plant, bird, and animal species. It borders Zimbabwe in the north and Mozambique in the east.
14 fascinating facts about Kruger National Park
- Here, the elephant, lion, leopard, cheetah, rhino, buffalo, giraffe, hippo, and zebra—all famous safari animals of Africa—do well. More than 12,000 elephants, 27,000 African Buffalo, 2,000 leopards, and 2,800 lions may be found in the Kruger National Park. In addition, it’s said to be the greatest location in the world to observe a leopard.
- More than 147 different kinds of mammals, 114 different reptile species, 51 different snake species, 49 different fish species, and a whopping 508 different bird species call the vast Kruger National Park home. These numbers are unmatched anywhere else in South Africa.
- Human occupancy has been documented for 1.5 million years.
- The Bushmen, the first inhabitants of South Africa, resided in several of the local caves and rocky shelters and left behind a legacy of Stone Age implements and artifacts in addition to countless rock drawings.
- It’s really big. It spans an area of almost 20 000 square kilometers, making it bigger than numerous nations.
- Over 12,000 elephants, 27,000 African buffalo, 1,000 leopards, and a wide variety of other amazing animals may be found in the Kruger National Park.
- Did you know that Africa’s largest wildlife reserve is the Kruger National Park? There are 19,633 square kilometers of it. That is hardly a fraction of Belgium’s size!
- There are 15 exclusive safari lodges and 21 visitor rest camps.
- The Sabi Game Reserve was the name of the Park when it was first established on March 26, 1898. Over time, it grew, becoming national in status in 1926 when it was granted its current name in honor of the president of the Transvaal Republic, Paul Kruger.
- The Thulamela Iron Age Site is a stone-walled location that dates back between 450 and 500 years and is located close to Pafuri in the extreme north. The village was a part of an active trading network off the east coast of Africa at this time, as evidenced by several artifacts discovered on the site.
- The 517 species of birds that live in Kruger include 253 permanent species, 117 non-breeding species, and 147 nomadic species.
- It is home to 114 different kinds of reptiles, including roughly 3000 Nile crocodiles and many snakes, the most venomous of which is the black mamba and puff adder.
- In 1902, Colonel James Stevenson Hamilton was chosen to serve as the reserve’s first warden. His selection as a Scottish cavalry officer who had participated in the Anglo-Boer War turned out to be a wise one. He worked diligently for the following 44 years to transform the Park into the animal haven it is today.
- The Park’s length is 360 km, and its widest point is 65 km.
30 Things To Know On Traveling Kruger National Park
1. At Kruger National Park, is it possible to pay at the gate?
The Kruger National Park has admission fees, and guests must pay a daily conservation charge at the gate. The costs can be paid in cash at the entrance gates and offices upon arrival or in advance online at the SANParks website.
2. What amount of time should I allot to Kruger National Park?
You may spend up to a week on safaris and nature walks in South Africa’s Kruger Park, which has the largest variety of animals. The park’s incredible animal watching may be seen in as little as two days, but you’ll need at least five days to fully understand its richness.
3. Which entrance to Kruger National Park is ideal?
The best method to enter Skukuza while traveling by car from Johannesburg is through Phabeni Gate in Kruger National Park. Phabeni Gate was built in 2002 to make access to the Park easier.
4. The finest area of Kruger National Park, which one?
You’ll probably be going to the southern part of Kruger. It is the most well-liked and conveniently reachable from Swaziland and Johannesburg. The shortest distances between rest camps and picnic areas are found in the south, where you can enjoy the greatest game-watching.
5. The Kruger National Park has bathrooms, right?
At every location, there are restrooms and barbeque areas (Cadac gas braais). Some locations also have a tuck store where you may buy food, soft drinks, and wood. At most picnic areas, you may also rent a gas skottel (a portable frying pan on a stand) for a little charge.
6. How much does it cost to enter Kruger Park?
For visitors from outside South Africa, the daily rates are 440 ZAR ($26.50) for adults and 220 ZAR ($13.20) for children. Citizens and residents of South Africa pay R110 for an adult and R55 for a kid each day. For residents of SADC (with a passport), the daily rates are R220 for adults and R110 for children.
7. Is it permitted to bring food into Kruger National Park?
The Kruger National Park allows visitors to bring their own meals. Get a portable vehicle fridge or freezer if you have perishable food to store it in, especially for a summer trip.
8. Can I use my cell phone in Kruger National Park?
There is spotty mobile phone reception in Kruger National Park. There are intense areas of coverage in the southern part of the park and concentrated locations there as well, with some significant gaps in between.
9. In what ways is the Kruger National Park not permitted?
Bicycles, motorbikes, skateboards, and roller skates are all forbidden. You should consult your doctor and obtain the necessary medicines before visiting the park because the Kruger is in a malarial region.
10. What guidelines does Kruger National Park have?
- Follow the posted speed limit! Within the Kruger National Park, all common driving regulations are applicable.
- Follow the gate hours shown on your green gate permit.
- Driving “off-road” or on roads marked “no entrance” is prohibited.
- Animal feeding or disturbance is a serious crime.
- KNP prohibits the entry of animals.
11. Enjoy a safari on the cruiser – the southern and central regions
South and Central Kruger are open to self-drive visitors and travel agencies who bring guests from hotels and lodges outside the park.
The park offers guided game drives and walking safaris for a nominal fee and has several self-catering relaxation camps that are great for last-minute trips and short stays.
It is important to note, however, that all vehicles need to be driven on turbid roads, and that Kruger can be crowded during peak season.
12. Visit Sabi Sands Private Game Reserve
Lions and leopard visits at Sabi Sands Game Reserve are the best to meet with several Lion Coalition groups.
Sabi Sands is world-renowned for its luxurious safari and incredible big cat sightings, especially the leopard.
The 65,000-hectare Sabi Sands Game Reserve is privately owned but shares a 50km uninterrupted border with the world-renowned Kruger National Park. The reserve is good habitat, flowing through two main river reserves.
At Sabi Sands, the game is seen incredibly often with animals. There is always room for up-close encounters with some of Africa’s most beloved wildlife and a bit of photography.
One of the unique experiences of being in the nearby Hajiview town is the interaction with an elephant, where you can learn about their lifestyle and touch these gentle monsters.
There are 300 of the 500 bird species found at Sabi Sands Kruger, making it the best place for bird-watching safaris.
Sabi Sabi Private Game Reserve and Mala Mala Game Reserve are part of Sabi Sands and are both internationally recognized as Africa’s top luxury game reserve. They are both top choices for a luxurious safari with the crew.
13. Kruger – The Northern Territory is a safari
Parts of Northern Kruger National Park are open to the public and there are several self-catering rest camps for overnight stays and short commutes.
North Kruger is generally quieter than South Kruger, making it an ideal destination for a more private safari experience and a great choice for travelers enjoying satellite camping.
14. Timbavati Private Game Reserve
The 7-hectare private Timbavati Game Reserve offers a truly bio-diverse ecosystem that offers sanctuary for more than 40 species of mammals and 360 bird species.
The Timbavati Private Game Reserve offers an incredible opportunity to visit the Big Five but is famous for the world’s latest wild white lions and has the largest population of African giraffes.
The Negala tented camp on the Timbavati River is bottomless and has been recognized as the leading tented safari camp in South Africa for 20 years.
15. Thornybush Private Game Reserve
The 14000-hectare private Thornbush Game Reserve, which is limited to the Kapama Private Game Reserve, is well-known for offering one of the best five safari experiences and is involved with a variety of projects, including local community improvement and sustainable farming.
Travelers can look forward to a variety of safari activities, including horseback rides, helicopters or light aircraft offered on the game reserve, and hot-air-balloon safaris.
The reserve has plenty of luxurious lodges for families, couples, and solo explorers alike.
16. Kruger National Park: Wildlife
Kruger is famous for the Big 5 – lions, leopards, rhinoceros, elephants, and buffalo and has the largest number of mammals in Africa
There are a total of 148 mammals, including cheetahs, hyenas, wildebeest, wild dogs, giraffe,s and zebras. Kruger is a favorite to watch over 500 species of birds recorded in the park
Kruger National Park is one of the very few places in Africa where you can still see endangered wild dogs K Kruger has some incredible plants – about 990 different plant species that are best seen on guide-walking safaris. These plants play an important role in the ecosystem, and Kruger loves to share their traditional herbivorous and medicinal purposes for ideas.
17. Kruger National Park Accommodation
Within the Kruger National Park are several popular self-catering relaxation camps popular with locals, offering guided tours to families of young children with the flexibility they need and the option to drive the park themselves or book a book. The accommodation in these camps is rustic but comfortable and the facilities are good.
In private game reserves, safari vehicles, and accommodations with fewer people on the reserve, the luxury is more luxurious and the safari experience is more exclusive.
The nightly rates at these lodges include all your meals, two daily safari activities, and in some cases local drinks.
Sir Richard Branson’s Yulusaba Safari Lodge is one of the elite Lobby of the Private Sabi Sands Game Reserve.
18. Kruger National Park: Activities
A safari on Kruger usually includes a game drive in the morning and afternoon/evening openings and guided bush walks after breakfast.
In private reserves, game drives allow for off-road, much more animal encounters. Bush walks are led by armed rangers and discover more small shrubs, as well as trees and shrubs, in the bushes.
Some game reserves provide village activities, including local village tours, hot air ballooning, elephant interaction, visits to various animal rehab centers, treehouse slip-out experiences, and a photographic safari.
Game drives on private cruises are operated on open safari vehicles, which offer some incredible photographic opportunities.
There is also the opportunity to enjoy panoramic views on the Panorama tour or take the family on a tobogganing adventure.
19. You’ll need how many nights in Kruger National Park?
Although many guests remain for up to a week, the typical length of stay is between 2 and 3 nights, with 2 nights being the optimum minimum. That would increase your chances of seeing everything there is to see in the African wilderness and provide you with the finest opportunity to take in the surroundings.
20. Which Kruger rest camp is the best?
Some of the best campgrounds for rest in Kruger National Park:
- Skukuza Rest Camp Tours.
- Shingwedzi Rest Camp Tours.
- Berg-en-Dal Rest Camp Tours.
- Lower Sabie Rest Camp Tours.
- Olifants Rest Camp Tours.
- Punda Maria Rest Camp Tours.
- Satara Rest Camp Tours.
- Pretoriuskop Rest Camp Tours.
21. Driving across Kruger National Park takes how long?
Depending on the entrance gate you choose to use, allow anywhere between five and nine hours to go to Kruger. After entering the park, you might have to travel a long way to get to the camp where you will stay. In the park, the top speed restriction is 50 km/h, while the bottom limit is 40 km/h.
22. In the Kruger National Park, can I purchase a wild card?
On the official SANParks website, new Wild Card membership may be acquired and paid for online. It can also be purchased at relevant Conservation Partner gates or receptions at rest camps.
23. Are crocodiles present in Kruger National Park?
The Nile crocodile, the second-biggest species in the world and the largest in Africa, is found in Kruger National Park. The only larger animal is a saltwater crocodile. If you pay attention, you could spot several enormous crocodiles in the park. Males have a maximum length of about 5 meters (16 feet).
24. What time of year experiences rain in Kruger National Park?
In Kruger Park, summer is the wet season. The lush appearance of the bushveld is a result of the rains filling the rivers and waterholes. Because of the lush foliage in the summer, it can occasionally be more challenging to spot and monitor wildlife.
25. How many people can ride in a car there?
The Kruger National Park has a limit on the number of passengers per automobile. COMPLIANCE 1.1 All COVID-19 rules must be strictly followed because they are still in effect. At this time, it is still not allowed to combine several vehicles (including OSVs, buses, and taxis) into one household. 70% of a vehicle’s capacity shouldn’t be exceeded by the number of passengers per vehicle.
26. Where in Kruger National Park can you view the most wildlife?
The park’s southern section (South of Olifants) is notable for having more animals. The locations near Satara Camp and the S100 road are the ideal places to spot large cats.
27. Where in Kruger are there the most lions?
The Skukuza-Satara tar road (H1-2, H1-3), which ascends out of the Sabie River valley into the central grasslands, offers the finest opportunity to spot lions in Kruger Park. Elephants are frequently observed in the local water holes and mixed forests near the N’watindlopfu River bridge.
28. Best time to visit Kruger
Kruger National Park is a one-year safari destination but there are certain times of the year that are considered better than others.
The dry winter season (June – August) is the most favorable time of year for a safari in Kruger National Park. In winter, the plants are thin and the animals are generally seen to gather in residual water sources.
It offers travelers incredible wildlife views and often the best hunting activity. It is very unlikely that you will leave Kruger without seeing the Big Five.
In the spring of September and October, there is very little rainfall which means that the animals are still gathered around the reservoir, making them easy to touch.
The first migratory bird is also from the north, which is a great time to enjoy some bird watching.
You can probably see Kruger’s large flocks of elephants as they can drink up to 200 liters of water a day K Kruger National Park is a very popular southern region on summer school holidays (December / January) where access is more convenient.
Although the days are incredibly hot and humid, the thunderstorms in the afternoon bring great comfort to them and are a sight to behold from a safe distance.
During this time of the year, Kruger frostbites, migratory birds, and newborn animals make their appearance.
29. Which problems are the most pressing at Kruger National Park?
The Kruger National Park is a very well-liked tourism destination for visitors from all over the world. Sadly, certain human activities are having a negative influence on the park. Poaching, development, and pollution are a few of the things that people do to Kruger National Park that are the most detrimental.
30. What does Kruger National Park mean?
One of the biggest wildlife reserves in Africa is the Kruger National Park, a national park in South Africa. It was once known as The Sabi Game Reserve before being designated as a game reserve in 1898. In 1926, the park was given the name Kruger National Park in honor of Paul Kruger.
If you plan to travel during this period you are advised to book in advance and if you are looking for a less crowded experience then the northern parts of the park should be considered.
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