Kruger Park, in north eastern South Africa, is one of Africa’s largest game reserves. Its high density of wild animals includes the Big 5: lions, leopards, rhinos, elephants and buffalos. Hundreds of other mammals make their home here, as do diverse bird species such as vultures, eagles and storks. Mountains, bush plains and tropical forests are all part of the landscape.
To the west and south of the Kruger National Park are the two South African provinces of Limpopo and Mpumalanga. In the north is Zimbabwe, and to the east is Mozambique. It is now part of the Great Limpopo Transfronteir Park, a peace park that links Kruger National Park with the Gonarezhou National Park in Zimbabwe, and with the Limpopo National Park in Mozambique.
Kruger Park Climate
Kruger Park is undoubtedly one of Africa’s top 7 tourist destinations owing to its vastness and diversity of wildlife. With a great subtropical climate, which experiences hot and wet summers with temperatures going as high as over 40 degrees and dry winters that are not on the extremes, the park is perhaps a preference for many who want the experience of a lifetime everyday of the year.
Let’s discuss this a little further:
Kruger Park Summer
Summer in the Kruger Park is usually between October and April with very high temperatures (up to 40 degrees) and short heavy rains that the water dries out very quickly. January is the hottest month with temperatures averaging 27 degrees and going as high as 40 degrees!
Since there is rain during the summer, there are many water holes spread around the park, which means animals don’t really need to go to specific water points. As such, seeing animals during the summer is harder. Moreover, the risk of contracting malaria is also high due to the humid conditions which encourage mosquitoes. That is why it is advisable that during this period, if you happen to be in the park then you should take malaria prophylaxis or stay 700metres above sea level to reduce chances of contracting the disease. Midsummer maximum temperatures average 30 degrees while in the evening the temperatures average 19 degrees. If you would love to experience the breathtaking beauty of Africa when it rains, then visiting the park during the summer is definitely a good option.
Kruger Park Winter
Winter in the Kruger Park is normally between May and October when the park is very dry and the rain is rare. The plants in the park depend on the dew in the morning and hence the grass is normally short and also mist is very common in the morning. The days are normally sunny but at night, the temperatures become very low as low as 4-7 degrees. Maximum temperatures in mid winter average 23 degrees and the minimum 4 degrees.
June is the coldest month with temperatures averaging 16 degrees.
The dry winter season is the ideal time to visit the park because there is less chances of getting malaria, days are milder and the vegetation is more sparse making it easy to view animals every morning and evening especially when they go to different waterholes, as the many small ones are already dry during the winter.
Kruger Park Fauna and Flora
What can you expect from over 19000 square kilometers of pure, raw and untamed African game that the Kruger Park offers? One word describes it all; breathtaking. With a vast blend of fauna and flora to see in the over 5million acres of raw African bush, you can be assured that a visit to the park will help you to discover and appreciate beauty in ways you’ve never done before.
Let’s discuss this in detail:
The Kruger Park is internationally known for its vast indigenous plant life and the sheer number of animals and animal species. This is evident from the fact that it is home to over 145 mammal species, 507 species of birds, 49 species of fish, 114 species of reptiles and 34 species of amphibians making it a world top game viewing destination. The park boasts of approximately 1000 leopards, 5000 rhinos, 2500 buffaloes and 1500 lions which make up the big 5 with other plenty old classics such as warthogs, zebras, hippopotamus, crocodiles, giraffes and many antelope species. The park also has vast fish species including the rare lungfish, which can be spotted in the 7 rivers found in the park. Moreover, the park also has also camps for watching birds such as the storks, eagles and vultures.
The Kruger Park has remained to be one of the few places where the true essence of the African savannah and forests is fully experienced and appreciated. With over 300 tree species, you can bet that your options will be endless as far as the vegetation is concerned; from Natal mahogany, cluster fig, baobab to monkey orange, knobthorn, coral tree, raisin bush, fever tree to leadwood, sausage tree, lala palm, to mopane and jackal berry, you can bet that the park has lots of vegetation to support the vast animal population. That is why the South African National Parks (SAN parks) authority have seen it best to make it a safe haven for endangered plant species including the riverine plant life which is thriving.
Mountains, tropical forests and bush plains are also part of the landscape sceneries. The park has a tremendous botanic diversity that it can be divided into 16 macro ecozones. The northern half of the Kruger Park is majorly Mopane veld while towards the south are the thornveld.
Animals found in the Kruger Park
Spanning over 200,000 hectares or roughly 5 million acres and 19,485 square kilometers, of pure, raw natural beauty of untamed bush, the Kruger Park is undoubtedly the one park you don’t want to miss in your visit to South Africa. Proudly considered one of Africa’s top game reserves, the park is home to an unrivalled diversity of wildlife making it one of the world’s elite game-watching destinations with 145 mammal species and over 500 bird species residing in the park. As such, a visit to the park will undoubtedly be one you will see more animal species than you’ve ever seen! Let’s put this into perspective:
As I stated, there are approximately 145 mammal species in the park including the elephant, the black and white rhino, the giraffe, the hippopotamus, the buffalo, the zebra, the warthog and lots of antelope species. In particular, Kruger Park is home to the big 5, with 12,000 elephants, 1,500 lions, 1,000 leopards, 2,500 buffaloes and 5,000 rhinos. That’s not all:
Kruger Park provides habitat for 114 reptile species, 34 amphibian species, 49 fish species, 507 bird species and 148 mammal species. This is an incredible amount of animal species, with thousands upon thousands of animals co-existing and finding a balance of survival in Kruger Park. One thing sets Kruger Park apart from the rest; there is no other reserve, park or even place in the African continent that can boast of a higher number of leopard, cheetah, giraffe and zebra encounters!
Kruger Park is home to a large number of large carnivores. You already know of the lion, cheetah and leopard, as I mentioned those earlier. Besides these, Kruger Park is also home to the heavy spotted hyena and the ever elusive wild dog, a breed that is not too common on the African continent.
While you definitely have a lot to see during your visit to the park, looking out for specific animals will perhaps end up becoming more fulfilling. Some of the top animals you should look out for include the following:
With up to 1500 lion in the park, you can bet that there will be many opportunities to see or hear the king of the jungle. Notably, the lion is most common in the grasslands where there are large numbers of Zebra and wildebeest.
The leopards in Kruger Park are shy animals, and the only surefire way of seeing them is looking for them at night. This is because they hunt at night and hide in their lairs when daytime comes and the sun climbs. Even when they venture in the open ground during the day, it is incredibly difficult to catch sight of the tawny-yellow body that’s dotted with black rosette spots, as it perfectly blends into the surroundings.
The cheetah is easier to observe. With cheetahs, they have to compete for food with larger predators, like the lion and the heavier leopard, so they prefer open grasslands where they can use their speed to run down prey. Cheetahs are not growing at the best of rates in Kruger Park, as a result.
Elephants stroll everywhere in the park, and can be seen in groups of up to 30. Buffalo can move in herds of up to 200.
Crocodiles and hippos
Crocodiles and hippos are many in Kruger Park. There are also many antelope species in the park, with the impala being the main fixture here. There are about 120,000 impalas.
The waterbuck, reedbuck, sable, eland, hyena and Tsessebe are also present, as well as many other mammals.
As I already stated, the park has over 500 bird species some of which cannot be found in any other part of South Africa. With such a huge number of bird species, you can bet that the sightings will be countless. In particular, you should look out for the Bateleur, as well as the martial eagle (The martial eagle likes mountainous areas).
Kruger Park: A magnificent place for game viewing
The surest way to experience the magnificence of the park is to visit and experience it in person. It is one thing to see the animal species listed separately and a completely different thing to see them coexist nonchalantly among themselves.
Kruger National Park History
The Kruger National Park is an absolute gem of a place. Home to incredible vegetation and game, it is the sort of place that makes you want to visit over and over again. What is its history though? What were the events that shaped this most unique of national parks? Let’s take a journey down the history lane of the Kruger National Park:
When did it start?
The 1st area of what was to later become Kruger National Park was protected officially by President Kruger in 1898, when he established Sabie River Game Reserve. This consisted of what is today Kruger’s southern sector; that area between the Sabi and the Crocodile rivers. The San and the Baphaloborwa tribes were the early inhabitants, who had minimal impact on the wildlife of the region but who did a lot to leave their mark throughout the area, in the form of cave paintings. It became South Africa’s first national park in 1926.
Why Was The Game Reserve Established?
The purpose for its establishment was to protect wildlife from the credible threat that “biltong hunters” posed. These hunters had made a habit of visiting the Lowveld during the dry season, and their numbers were getting larger in a worrying fashion as the years passed. These hunters had already killed and slaughtered great-sized herds all over South Africa, and the establishment of the Kruger Park was an early attempt to preserve the wilderness in the purest state possible. A single police sergeant, at Komatipoort, was given the daunting job of protecting the whole area from these hunters.
In 1903, the British re-proclaimed it, expanding the park size by adding the Shingwedzi Game Reserve; that particular area between the Luvuvhu and Letaba rivers and the 5,000 square kilometers of raw ranchland between the Letaba and Sabi rivers. This new protection area covered roughly the same area as Kruger Park does today.
Things haven’t been smooth since its creation though; the park has faced threats some of which we will discuss next.
Numerous factions threatened the park’s survival. For instance, the hunters wanted access to the park; soldiers who were coming back from the 1st world war expected land for their sheep farming activities; prospectors who were looking for coal, copper and gold were keen on getting mining rights and South African vets were engaged in a campaign to slaughter wildlife in large numbers so as to slow down the spread of tsetse fly. These were real threats that the park has had to deal with over the years.
However, it emerged victorious after all these threats and now sits on 200,000 hectares or roughly 5 million acres covering 19,485 square kilometers. So what made the park to survive the threats?
Kruger Park’s Unlikely Savior
The seeds of developing a self-financing park open to visitors were sown, unwittingly, by South African Railways, when they decided to open a new tour that ran from Pretoria to Lorenco Marques (known today as Maputo). It stopped right in the reserve, for game rangers to take the visitors into the bush. The first batch of tourists arrived in 1923, and the visits quickly developed into such a popular feature that the railways started using park visits as publicity vehicles.
By 1946, there were around 38,000 tourists a year. In 1947, Princess Elizabeth & Princess Margaret visited the Kruger National Park on their South African royal tour. The publicity that the visit generated propelled Kruger Park to the next level, ensuring that since then, a visit to the park became a fixture on every tourist’s South African trip. By 1955, over 100,000 tourists visited the park every year and today, the park attracts over 1.3 million visitors a year.
Kruger Park regions
Kruger Park, spanning over 19,485 square kilometers and covering roughly 5 million acres with a vast number of attractions, a visit to the park, especially if you don’t have a clear plan can feel overwhelmingly tiring and frustrating. This vast landscape of raw African bush is one of the largest game reserves in Africa and spans across 2 provinces i.e. Limpopo and Mpumalanga in north eastern South Africa. To make your visit less stressful, you need to appreciate that the park is divided into different regions with different gates located in different parts for ease of access. Each region has a large population of certain vegetation, mammals, amphibians, reptiles, topography and other attractions. To make it easy for you to see what you might be interested in, this article will discuss the different regions that the park is divided into, as well as what you can expect to see in each region:
This region in the park ranges southward from Capricorn to the Olifants River. To the east, it is bounded by the Lebombo Mountains. The area is covered with indigenous ever present Mopane trees in the east mixed with taller trees such as Nyala trees, Leaf Jackal berry and Leadwood towards the west. The region provides excellent game viewing opportunities for Buffaloes, zebras and elephants as well as ostrich and Tsessebe which are common. It is also possible to get a glimpse of some predators like lions due to the predator-prey relationship. Moreover, the isolated and sparse hills to the west are rich in pre-historic artifacts.
Far North region
The region extends south from River Limpopo to the Capricorn. It is arid, flat and is dominated by Mopane trees especially around Punda Maria. To the north of Punda Maria, the fascinating vista is divided by giant baobab trees and sandstone hills. It is the best game viewing region for rare Nyala, Roan, Sable and Eland buck. Elephants and buffaloes are also abundant with Lions and Cheetah fairly and regularly seen.
The central region is by far the most game rich of the four regions bounded by River Sabi in the south and the Olifants River in the north. The region is abundant in zebra, wildebeest and giraffe with usual predators like Cheetahs and lions. The extreme south-west is home to Eland, Buffalo, Sable, Wild Dog and Rhino.
The region extends between Sabi and Crocodile River. It is densely vegetated with Acacia trees, Marula and Lead wood although Sycamore and Jackal berries dominate the river sides. This is Lion country and also has the greatest Rhino population.
Kruger Park Safaris
If your African Safari has taken you to Kruger National Park or are considering visiting Kruger National Park, you are in for an experience of a lifetime.
At 200,000 hectares or roughly 5 million acres, South Africa’s Kruger National Park is only describable as ‘massive’. To get some clear perspective on just how vast the park is, it is larger than the entire country of Israel, just a tad smaller than Belgium and almost one-third the size of Ireland.
The “massive” tag extends beyond land area. The amount of animal and plant species it boasts of is incredible; Kruger Park is home to 34 amphibian species, 49 fish species, 336 tree species, 507 bird species, 114 reptile species and 148 mammal species (including The Big Five). To put it simply; there is no other park, reserve or even place in Africa that can boast of more cheetah, leopard, giraffe and zebra encounters. While giraffe and zebra encounters may not be much to write home about, cheetah and leopard sightings are quite impressive. You don’t want to miss one of these. Kruger Park, even more impressively, is home to a lot of endangered animal species, with the white rhino being a stark example.
Wild animals and plants do not tell the whole story of Kruger Park. There are also 254 known sites of cultural heritage in Kruger Park for you to explore, with the inclusion of approximately 125 rock art sites; for the rock junkie, Kruger Park is some sort of mini-heaven. There are vital archaeological ruins in place too, at Masorini and Thulamela, and lots of examples of San Rock Art too. Upon visiting Kruger Park, there is massive evidence for you that prehistoric man (Homo erectus) lived in the area between 600,000 and 100,000 years ago. All of this evidence is in display, including caveman art and fossil evidence, making for a superb lesson in history.
As far as your stay is concerned, you need not worry as the park has many luxury lodges that dot the different parts, which ensures you get as close as possible to fully experience the abundance of wealth that the park offers.
Kruger Park Luxury Lodges
Kruger National Park is full of options for all manner of travelers especially with regards to dining and accommodation. Whether you are a backpacker looking for a tent to sleep on or have a big budget to spend during your visit to the park, you will find something to fit your needs. More precisely, if you are the kind of visitor with a budget that allows, the park has private lodges that range from old-colonial tradition to ultra modern each with a sense of indulgence, refinement and individual authenticity. Let’s briefly discuss some of these:
Imbali Safari Lodge
This premier lodge with excellent five star cuisines is an ideal place to find accommodation. The lodge has a Nomadic bush spa, elegant butler services, your own private Jacuzzi and offers the Big Five safari experience making it one of the luxurious lodges in the park. Basically, it provides you with everything needed to make you feel special.
Hoyo Hoyo Safari Lodge
This is a specially designed lodge for families who want to feel the Big Five experience from an open safari vehicle. The lodge is culturally themed, styled after the abodes of the local Tsonga people. The cultural theme of the lodge gives you a chance to engage in cultural experience giving you a fun filled day.
Lukimbi Safari Lodge
Lukimbi lodge is an ideal place for honey moons or lovers vacation because of its romantic touch with a five star pampering and artistic glamour. The lodge offers culinary delights, estate wines, spa treatments and open vehicle safaris to give you an unforgettable experience.
Jock Safari Lodge
This has been a favorite to many due to its colonial style and the good service provided. The lodge also has a soothing spa treatment and general pampering. There is also a possibility of viewing the Big Five for a fun filled experience.
Kruger Park Main Rest Camps
Kruger National Park is vast; over 5 million acres or 200,000 acres is no mean feat for someone looking to tour the park adequately. In fact, if you visit without being adequately prepared psychologically, it is very easy to be frustrated by sheer vastness of the park. One of the things you ought to know and perhaps plan for (especially if you are planning to tour the park adequately over several days) is where you will be resting after your daily adventures so that you can pick up from where you stopped the day after.
So what are your options as far as rest camps are concerned?
Well, Kruger National Park has about 12 main rest camps which are owned and managed by South African National Parks (SANParks) with their head office in Tshwane (Pretoria). Let’s briefly highlight some of these rest camps so you know what to expect and prepare accordingly.
Skukuza Rest camp
Located on the southern banks of the Sabie River, Skukuza camp is really Kruger National Park’s capital. It is so large that it is equivalent to the size of a small town. The camp has a very large capacity of about 1000 visitors all in bungalows. The rest camp has facilities such as restaurants, cafeteria shop, ATM, garage, swimming pools, auditorium and an internet café among many others. It offers a variety of accommodation options such as family cottages, safari tents, large guest houses, economy bungalows and camping- sites for caravans. Moreover, there are several attractions such as a museum hut and a 9-hole golf course not to forget a children entertainment program, which is held seasonally. When you visit the camp, look out for the Big Five (the lion is very common here), fruit bat, warthog, thick-tailed bush baby, purple-crested Lourie and spotted hyena. Here is a map of everything within the camp.
This is the third biggest camp in the park and can accommodate approximately 400 visitors with much of the accommodation facilities being set up in a series of circles. It offers various accommodation options such as 2 bungalows for the physically disabled, family cottages and camp sites with power point. It is one of the best places in the world to view leopards, cheetahs and lions hence the name “cat camp”. That’s not all; given that it is very wooded, this makes it a haven for bird life. And when night comes, the calls from nightjars, and owls all add to the perfect symphony, which is often beautifully adlibbed by whoops from hyenas, the roars from lions and screeches from jackals; it is just heavenly! You can expect to see giraffes, lion, blue wildebeest, red-billed buffalo weaver and boney badger. The camp also has a restaurant, open air theatre and a fuel station. Here is a link to the location of the camp.
Located on the banks of River Timbavati on the western boundary of the Kruger National Park, Tamboti is one of the most popular Kruger Park rest camps due to its central location in the park. It has various lodging options such as riverside tents, all accommodation units are serviced daily and they are also self- catering. The tents each have a small fridge, nice lighting and electrical plug point. The site is favorable for viewing black rhinos, porcupines, blue wildebeest, natal mahogany, black backed jackal and a wide array of Tamboti trees. The park is great for bird enthusiasts.
Berg-en-Dal rest camp
This is the only camp that is located in a rugged mountainous environment. This five star camp is situation in the southern part of the park with children entertainments and so much to see in wildlife. The camp has camping sites for caravans, family cottages and bungalows. It is one of the newest camps in the park and therefore offers excellent lodging facilities. Facilities at the camp include a gas station, conference venue, swimming pool and a Laundromat. You can expect to see heuglin’s robin, scarlet-chested sunbird, leopard, klipspringer and wild dog.
This is a bird watchers haven and is also the most ideal part of the park for viewing the shy Nyala Antelope. The camp has tents with 2 beds each, bungalows, family cottages and camping sites with a swimming pool. The camp is specifically recognized for its rich heritage and history not for the game. You can see the location of the map here.
Kruger Park Location and Geography
Kruger National Park is without doubt a MUST visit destination for anyone looking for a wild African safari in South Africa guaranteed to leave lasting memories. Stretching 350 kilometers (217 miles) long from North to South and 60 kilometers (37.2 miles) wide from East to West, the park covers a massive 19,455km2 or 200,000 hectares or roughly 5 million acres making it one of Africa’s largest national parks.
The park is at an altitude between 840 meters in the South West and 200 meters in the East. The highest point of the park is Khandiwe near Malelane, which is 839m above sea level while the lowest point is the Sabie Gorge. The coordinates of Kruger National Park are 24◦0′41″S 31◦29′7″E. Its location makes it a treasure that is accessible from multiple Southern African countries like Zimbabwe and Mozambique although it is located in South Africa. The park is located in the Northeastern parts of South Africa and spreads across two provinces, Limpopo and Mpumalanga provinces. The northern border is formed by River Limpopo and the border of Zimbabwe and South Africa while the eastern boundary of the park is located at the boundary between South Africa and Mozambique. To the north of the park is Zimbabwe; to the east are the Lebombo Mountains which separate it from Mozambique, to the south Mpumalanga and to the west Limpopo.
The park is part of the Kruger to Canyons Biosphere, a UNESCO (United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization) a designated area. That’s not all; the park now forms part of the Limpopo Transfrontier Park, a peace park, which connects Kruger Park with the game parks in Zimbabwe (Gonarezhou National Park) and Mozambique (Limpopo National Park).
The area majorly consists of plains, which are broken by the Lebombo mountain ranges along the Mozambique border traversed by nearly 5000 miles of paved and gravel roads. Its landscape is also punctuated by some of Africa’s biggest rivers including Limpopo, Sabie and Letaba rivers.
The area is just not bare land; it is laced with all manner of rich flora including dense bush, which includes some of Africa’s indigenous trees like baobab trees, Mopane, acacia, knob thorns, fever trees and marula.
Skukuza rest camp Kruger Park
During your visit to the Kruger Park, there is no better way to start your game drives every morning or access the park than to make Skukuza Rest Camp your base camp. Think about it; Skukuza rest camp is the largest rest camp in Kruger National Park and is perfectly located at the heart of the Big 5 territory within Sabie River’s southern banks.
That’s not all, given that Skukuza rest camp is Kruger Park’s administrative headquarters and is essentially the size of a small town, you can bet that there is a lot you can do when you are not out touring the park.
That’s not all, due to its size and accessibility by road or air along with the various facilities available such as restaurants, banks, ATMs, swimming pools, golf courses, library, conference facilities, camping sites, hotels (from standard to luxury), auditorium, car wash, filling station, Laundromat, internet café, cellphone reception, basic first aid facilities, and much more, you can bet that your stay at the camp will be free from any hitches, as you can literally live here without having to travel to another area for certain services. Keep in mind that Skukuza rest camp is the only camp where you can see a doctor if need arises. This is especially great if you have children considering that the camp has lots of child friendly attractions that can keep the kids entertained. But keep in mind that the park has child policies like not allowing children under a certain age to go into the park at certain times. For instance, children under 6 years are not allowed to go for game drives while those under 12 years are not allowed into the park for morning game walks. However, the camp offers occasional Kids Educational Programme so make sure to ask about that if you are visiting with children.
Berg-en Dal Rest Camp Kruger Park
Of all the rest camps in Kruger National Park, the Berg-en-Dal Rest Camp is unique in that it is undoubtedly the easiest of them all to access. Located at the south western part of the park in a rugged mountainous region on the Matjulu Spruit bank, the 5 star camp is perhaps one of the most luxurious camps as well.
It is not only large but also ultra modern with beautiful lodging facilities, set within natural bush, which include 72 camping sites, 23 family cottages, 2 guest houses and 69 bungalows with kitchenette and shower. Each caravan or tent has a power point and braai (barbecue) stand, which allows for open air cooking. That’s not all, the camp as such facilities as a gas station, café, picnic facilities, cafeteria, conference facilities, swimming pool and a Laundromat making it ideal for families wanting to spend several days on the southern part of the park.
The park also has other attractions, which include a large swimming pool with water cascading into it, traditional dance groups from various neighboring cultural communities and San (bushman) paintings, which are the only remnants of the traditional Bushmen (the San people) who lived and hunted within the area at one point in history.
The park offers memorable game drives and bush walks, which offer great opportunities for seeing wild dogs, leopards, giraffes, rhinos (white and black), crocodiles, hippos, lions, scarlet-chested sunbird, klipspringer and heuglin’s robin just to mention but a few. You can book for an early morning or evening bush walk or a full day game drive to make your stay in the camp as memorable as possible.
Pretoriuskop Rest Camp Kruger Park
The park is named Pretoriuskop after Voortrekker Willem Pretorius, a member of Carl Trichardt’s 1848 expedition to Delagoa Bay who is buried in the nearby Kopje (hill). The Voortrekker were a group of Dutch-speaking colonists that ran from the cape colony during the 1830s.
Located just 5 miles from the Numbi Gate, 31 miles from the Skukuza Rest Camp and 37 miles from the Paul Kruger Gate, Pretoriuskop Rest Camp is unique in that it is the oldest rest camp found in the southwestern part of Kruger National Park and is home to the highest population of white rhinos. A visit to the camp will be a great opportunity to see one of the first rest camps i.e. The Wolhuter hut, which dates back to as early as 1930!
Although the camp has been around for ages, it has still maintained its original feel making visitors to feel taken back in time whenever they visit. And that’s not all there is to experience; the park offers guided bush walks in the morning and evenings, Napi Wilderness trail (an overnight activity, which you have to pre-book), game drives (full day or half day drives with trained tour guides), bush breakfast along with bush barbecue (braai), which includes a game drive to the venue along with the famous Madlabantu 4×4 adventure trail. And as if that’s not enough, you can also ask about the Sable trail camp walk. During these drives, you can expect to see rhinos (black and white), brown headed parrot, kudu, sable antelope and Lichtensteins hartebeest among many others.
And as far as accommodation and extra facilities within the camp are concerned, the camp has a filling station, a natural rock swimming pool, Laundromat, shop, cafeteria, restaurant, communal kitchens, communal ablutions, basic first aid assistance, cutlery and plates hampers (ask from the reception), cellphone reception and DSTV in the guesthouses.
The accommodation at Pretoriuskop rest camp is grouped into 3 circles, which actually center around a pretty compact administrative block laced with some lush green lawns in between. The accommodation options range from fully equipped guest houses to basic bungalows with only two beds. And if you are looking for luxury in accommodation, then look no further than Pretoriuskop Rest Camp’s Doherty Bryant and Pierre Joubert guesthouses.
This is what makes a Kruger Park Safari special
The Kruger National Park is 19 485 square kilometres large, and it’s difficult to imagine that in such an enormous space you can still have close encounters with a number of wild animals. Your chances of seeing various species of antelope, the Big 5, and a vast array of other animals, are surprisingly fair. However, if you choose to go on a Kruger Park Safari, you will have a much greater opportunity to come across the rarest creatures in the reserve.
The Kruger Park tour guides are incredibly knowledgeable about where different animals choose to hide, what their behaviour and daily routines are, where they are most likely to be at specific times of day, as well as having contact with other guides to find out where the action is (such as a kill in progress). They are also highly experienced trackers, and will be able to detect the movements of different animals and ensure you view as many as possible.
Your Kruger Park tour can depart the camp well before sunrise. This is so that you can spot nocturnal animals such as leopards and hyenas. You will also visit watering holes at the time when most animals are expected to come for a drink or a swim. There will be opportunities for evening safaris too, where you will not only see the night life, but also the vast expanse of sky and stars you would never observe in the city.
Kruger Park safaris can be tailor-made for group tours, such as arranging for an entirely different experience if you are a keen group of photographers. You may also choose to go off the beaten track on foot, to track animals you would never pass in the road. It is completely safe, with armed guards who have years of experience and a keen eye for spotting animals from far away, as well as being experts in animal behaviour.
Going on an African safari is a once-in-a-lifetime bucket list item that few people have the privilege of experiencing. There are vast distances to explore, and a number of different terrains, ranging from dense green bush to open, sandy flats. Each of these environments are home to different types of animals and you will have the opportunity to get close to many of them.
Your guide will be able to tell you about the animals you come across, as well as the different plants along the way. Bring your camera, some sunscreen, and binoculars. Remember to look up too – there are 517 species of birds to look out for. With so much to see and experience, a Kruger Park safari promises to be an unforgettable holiday.
Embark on a Kruger Park Tour
When you visit South Africa’s largest nature reserve, which has 7373 kilometres of road, you might wonder where you should start. There is so much to see in a short space of time. The Kruger Park has 21 rest camps, as well as 15 designated private safari lodges. You can choose to sleep in a tent and experience a true bush experience, or stay in a self-catering cottage in one of the camps. To really get the most of your daytime excursions, however, you won’t find a better option than going on a Kruger Park tour.
Your dedicated guide and nature expert will lead you on an adventurous excursion to discover some of the 500 bird species, 147 mammals, 110 reptiles, and a vast array of insects. In addition, your Kruger Park safari guide will share details about the various trees, grasses and plants, as well as their medicinal uses and evolutionary tales.
There are nine different trails that you can take on foot in the Kruger Park. There are no designated signposts or clear routes, however. You will follow the paths made by animals and perhaps even make your own through the bush. This is a true African experience and you couldn’t get closer to nature.
If you prefer to hop into a 4×4, you can head out at sunrise to greet the early morning animals. You could also opt for a picnic with panoramic views, or perhaps a sundowner at sunset followed by a night-time safari to view the nocturnal animals such as leopards and aardvark.
In addition to the numerous animals, birds, insects and plant life, there are over 255 archaeological sites and ruins through the Kruger Park. Some of these date back to the Stone and Iron Age, and research has shown that prehistoric man lived in the area around 500 000 years ago. These are just a few of the facts that your guide will share with you, and there are so many more.
There are 125 San Rock Art sites, with cultural artifacts and other archeological treasures from 100 000 to 30 000 years ago. The Masorini ruins have been reconstructed so that visitors can visualise what it once looked like in the 1800’s. You will be given a full tour of these ruins, and will have the opportunity to ask questions and take photos.
No matter where your personal interest lies, whether it’s in botany, zoology, archeology, photography, or simply an unforgettable holiday, a Kruger Park tour will meet all of your expectations. There is much to learn and experience, and it’s the kind of getaway you could never plan by yourself. This once-in-a-lifetime holiday is an African adventure you will treasure forever.
The Kruger Park as a premier wildlife destination
The Kruger Park is one of the largest game reserves in the world and is a sought after location, for locals and international tourists alike. It attracts over one million visitors each year and is nearly the same size as the country of Israel. No matter which season you choose to visit, you can be sure that you will have the experience of a lifetime.
In addition to the numerous animals, birds, insects and plant life, there are over 255 archaeological sites and ruins through the Kruger Park. The most significant ruins can be found at Thulamela and Masorini. These date back to the Stone and Iron Age, and research has shown that prehistoric man (Homo Erectus) lived in the area around 500 000 years ago.
There are 125 San Rock Art sites, with cultural artifacts and other archeological treasures from 100 000 to 30 000 years ago. The Masorini ruins have been reconstructed so that visitors can visualise what it once looked like in the 1800’s. This is when it was inhabited by the BaPhalaborwa people in the late iron age.
If you choose to go on a Kruger Park tour or safari, you will have the opportunity of seeing over 500 species of birds, 147 mammals and 110 reptile species. There are, of course, thousands of insects to encounter as well, and many of them are far more beautiful than scary!
Your guide will be able to share vast knowledge of the animals, including their behaviour, how to track them, what they eat, as well as how likely you are to find them. For example, in the entire 19 485 square kilometres that makes up the Kruger Park, there are only 150 individual wild dogs, and the same number of cheetah.
Your tour guide will also share his/her incredible insight into the various trees, grasses and plants in the Kruger Park. This will include telling you about which animals eat the different types of foliage, as well as their medicinal uses, and where different species grow in the various environments in the reserve.
The rich biodiversity is one that can’t be matched, and the Kruger National Park is truly one of South Africa’s jewels. You can choose to have a basic, yet authentic, African experience by camping in a tent, or go all-out with a luxurious private lodge. You might want to fry your own eggs and bacon in the morning on your gas weber, or perhaps you prefer to have your breakfast made for you by an African chef. Either way, you can be sure that this premier location will reveal to you why it’s so highly esteemed.
A Kruger Park Safari is great for your honeymoon
Whether you choose to fly, or take a road trip listening to Johnny Clegg, heading to the Kruger National Park is a very romantic choice for a honeymoon. In the evenings you can have a tasty braai under the stars, and at some camps you can even sit alongside a waterhole with a glass of wine, watching the animals come and go.
During the day you can hope in a 4×4 safari vehicle and head into the bush with your experienced guide. He/she will have in-depth knowledge of the region, as well as a number of stories to share. The shared experience of viewing wildlife in the wild bush is something a couple will be able to talk about for years to come. It sure beats lying on the beach!
There are hundreds of different types of animals, birds, insects and plants to take in. It is certainly a treat you will want to share with the person you love most in the world. Having close encounters with the largest land animal (the African elephant), or a rare cat like the cheetah, is an exhilarating experience. You can put your arms around your new spouse and take it all in together.
Celebrating your marriage will certainly be a memorable one if you spend it in the Kruger Park. Imagine the photographs you could take together at sunrise and sunset at the Olifants River, or perhaps on a relaxing picnic on one of your game drives or Kruger Park tours.
Late afternoon is a particularly romantic time of day to go exploring, just before sunset. It is exceptionally good for game viewing as most animals come out in the cooler weather to stretch their legs and have a long drink of water. As the stars start appearing, nocturnal animals start becoming active too, and you can whisper to one another as you spend time in the close vicinity of a leopard. You will also be able to spot other rare, shy and elusive creatures that only come out at night. At this point, you may choose to simply hold hands in the silence and take in the smells and sounds of the African bush.
Once you reach your camp at the end of a long, romantic day, you can share your stories and experience around a cosy fire while you listen to the sounds of the African night. Roaring lions and cackling hyenas are fairly common if you listen really carefully.
Of course, when you’re on honeymoon, one of the things you look most forward to is the food. There are a number of uniquely African restaurants throughout the Kruger Park, as well as secluded picnic areas where you can unpack your basket of snacks. Just be sure to keep them hidden from the baboons!
This special getaway is the perfect opportunity to spend quality time together, away from the hustle and bustle of the city. Leave your cell phones in the camp area, and enjoy the dedicated company of your beloved partner. Very few things in the world are more romantic and life-changing as an African bush experience.
A Kruger Park Tour is ideal for your family holiday
There are few things that excite children more than going on holiday to see wild animals. They often come with sticker books filled with elephants and lions, checklists to tick off each different creature they spot, and of course their cameras (usually on their cell phone these days – so you can be sure they will be sending them to their friends to show off).
Visiting the Kruger Park is also a unique way of bringing the family closer together. You can have competitions on who can spot animals first, have delicious snack stops along the way when you reach different camps or picnic spots, chat for hours in the car as you drive slowly through the park, and then sit in shared silence at waterholes as you wait patiently for different animals to pass through.
When you return to your camp in the evenings, you can share stories around the campfire and have a special African braai under the stars. Even behind closed gates you will be able to search for critters with your torch and teach your children about different animals and their behaviour. It’s a fun biology lesson outside of the classroom and they won’t even be aware that they are learning.
In the year 1927, only three cars of visitors where allowed to enter the park. Now it is the privilege of thousands of families, but still a rare one for most. This is a unique opportunity to offer your children, which is far more adventurous and thrilling than the average seaside holiday. There are a number of different activities to choose from, in addition to driving in your own car. You may choose to experience the diverse bird life from secret hideaways, go on a Kruger Park tour, or head out in a 4×4 for a true Kruger Park safari experience.
Your children will enjoy sharing their stories when they return to school, and the photographs make for ideal project material. In addition, they will have speeches planned for the entire year. There is so much to learn and research when on holiday, in addition to the well-deserved relaxation and downtime.