Kruger National ParkSouth Africa's flagship for National Parks in Southern Africa, the Kruger National Park is over 2 million hectares and is home to an astonishing number animals. Stay at one of the campsites and experience nature at its best.
The world-renowned Kruger National Park offers a wildlife experience that ranks with the best in Africa. Established in 1898 to protect the wildlife of the South African Lowveld, this national park of nearly 2 million hectares, SANParks - Kruger National Park is unrivalled in the diversity of its life forms and a world leader in advanced environmental management techniques and policies.
Truly the flagship of the South African national parks, Kruger is home to an impressive number of species: 336 trees, 49 fish, 34 amphibians, 114 reptiles, 507 birds and 147 mammals. Mans interaction with the Lowveld environment over many centuries - from bushman rock paintings to majestic archaeological sites like Masorini and Thulamela - is very evident in the Kruger National Park. These treasures represent the cultures, persons and events that played a role in the history of the Kruger National Park and are conserved along with the park's natural assets.
The Kruger National Park is best known for its Big 5, lion, rhino. elephant, leopard and buffalo. The park is also home to the world’s tallest animal, the Giraffe and the world’s fastest animal, the cheetah, as well as the Little 5, Buffalo Weaver, Elephant Shrew, Leopard Tortoise, Ant Lion and the Rhino Beetle.
What a wonderful emotion the Kruger National Park is. Whether it is your first experience or if you return again and again, the Kruger National Park is a tremendous adventure. I know of families who camp in the Kruger Park every year and say that they never tire of the camping sensation. There is always something exciting happening ensuring that the Kruger National Park remains a year round phenomena.
You can camp with your tent, caravan, off-road van, rooftop tent or motor home and everyone camps together in the various campsites throughout the Park. There are twelve campsites in the Kruger National Park, eleven are electrified and Balule Rest Camp near Olifants as the only non-electrified campsite in the Kruger.
You're in the Kruger National Park and the journey is about to begin. Now what! What do we do in the Kruger National Park? Naturally, we're there to look for Lions, Elephant, Rhino, Buffalo and Leopard! (The BIG five!) Anything else is a bonus. The secret to understanding the Kruger Park is to realize that time operates quite a lot differently from that of your local zoo. Everything flows around not only the seasons, but also the time of the day. The best game viewing times is early morning and late afternoon. So, if you want to catch the proverbial worm, you must get out early when the camp gates open, and let the action begin! Also, realize that the slower you drive, the more chance you have of spotting game, and a good pair of binoculars, preferably 10 x 50 is a must for good game viewing.
The best game viewing base campsites in the Kruger are: Skukuza, reputedly the best camp for first time visitors with a good chance of seeing lion near the confluence of the Sabie and Sand rivers. This is also very much leopard and rhino country, with elephant activity normally taking place in the early mornings. At Lower Sabie waterbuck are very prolific in this area, especially on the banks of the Sabie River. Herds of antelope and zebra are attracted to this area and large herds of buffalo and wildebeest are also often found here. Satara offers an excellent game-viewing base. Herds of buffalo, zebra, wildebeest, giraffe and elephant can be found in the area. This is also good lion country and sightings of lion in the early morning are nearly always likely. Elephant are more often found near Letaba and hippo are frequently found in the many water holes, and a good sighting of roan antelope will definitely make your day. If you do not see elephants at Shingwedzi then you are definitely in the wrong place or still in bed! Nyala, bushbuck and kudu are plentiful here, with leopard always a possibility.
For birding in the Kruger Park you will need a good pair of birding binoculars. 7 x 35 or 8 x 48 are a good bet. The best months are January and February, but good bird-watching opportunities are always possible throughout the year at the campsites and waterholes. There are over 520-recorded species of bird in the Kruger Park. Try to spot them all!
Most of the camps offer guided walks and wilderness trails, with the early morning walks offering the best opportunities to spot birds and view game such as rhino, reed buck and even elephant and lion.
Take advantage of the guided game drives, where the sensation of an early morning or late evening game drive cannot be matched. An experienced and very knowledgeable guide explains what is happening when and where and is also able to answer your questions.
The restaurants in the Kruger Park offer not only traditional meals and takeaways, but also specialist venison dishes so after watching animals during the day, you can always order your favorite one and eat it! The shops stock a wide range of merchandise, from basic essentials, souvenirs, curios, jewelry and gift items as well as a reasonable selection of wine, spirits and malt. Excellent maps and books on the Kruger animals and birds are available in all the shops at the campsites.
Golf is available at Skukuza with a 9-hole, 18-tee course that offers a wonderful experience. Animal sightings, bird spotting, and the closeness to nature is a golfing emotion not to be missed. All this while playing golf!
Malaria can be a risk especially in the summer rainy season. Precautions should always be taken prior to visiting the Kruger, irrespective of the season and insect repellent used while in the Park. Remember, every mosquito is a possible carrier of malaria.
The Kruger National Park is an astounding wildlife sanctuary; a journey through this fantastic heritage is priceless. Enjoy the Kruger National Park, I know we did!
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Kruger National Park Special
The Kruger National Park covers more than 20 000 km2 of some fo Africa’s most sought after wilderness. Visitors to the park are asked to ensure that Park regulations are adhered to for their own safety.
Camp and Gate entrances are closed after dark so please ensure that you have allowed sufficient travelling time to arrive at your rest camp before the stipulated closing time.
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The speed limit in the park is 50kph on tar and 40kph on gravel. Malaria treatment is essential prior to visiting the park. Do not litter, it is a hazard to the animals and is an offence. There are no television sets in the Park so that visitors can enjoy their surroundings, tourists that bring their own may not disturb other visitors to the park.
A Passport valid for six months after date of entry; contact your nearest travel agent or embassy for up-to-date information. Entry permits are issued on arrival to visitors from many British Commonwealth countries and are valid for 90 days.
The Rand is South Africa’s currency and is denoted by the R. 100 cents make up R1 (One Rand). Foreign currency can be exchanged at most banks and Bureaux de Changes. Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Diners Club are accepted.
Taxes and Refunds
All goods and services are priced to include value added tax of 14%. Visitors may reclaim VAT at their point of departure provided recepts are produced. Total value of purchases must be over R250.00 to reclaim VAT.
Summers need light cotton clothing and a light jersey for cool evenings. Winter needs warmer clothing with a sweater or jacket for cool mornings and evenings. Hats, sunglasses, insect repellant and rainwear for the rainy season are essential.
There are 11 official languages in South Africa. English is spoken throughout South Africa and most businesses and banks communicate in English.
There is a wide network of hospitals, both public and private, throughout the country offering excellent services.
International visitors should have health insurance to assist in paying for private hospital fees. If you are entering a Malaria area, medical precautions should be taken. Consult a pharmacist for more advice and insect repellant is essential. Tap water is safe and clean to drink.
Banks are open Monday to Friday from 09:00 to 15:30 and Saturdays from 09:00 to 11:00. Banks are closed on Sundays and Public Holidays.
Tourism and Safety Information Line - 083 123 2345, Police - 10111, Fire Brigade - 1022, Ambulance - 10222