At a Glance
Undoubtedly South Africa’s most iconic game-viewing destination and Africa’s second-largest park, the Kruger National Park is spread across an impressive 2 million hectares of land in the far north-eastern corner of the country. As the oldest, largest, and most well-established park, Kruger is home to the highest population-density of the Big 5 in South Africa and offers an array of accommodation options from luxury tented camps to luxury lodges.
As you can see, if national parks were animals, Kruger National Park would be the elephant Grande Dame - the matriarch that all the herds across the land look up to. From the point of view of its size, stature, age, and conservation efforts, Kruger National Park has few rivals. It’s also unique in the range of experiences and offerings it encapsulates as it harbours many of the most renowned game reserves in the country.
Wildlife in the Kruger National Park
Here, the Big 5 roam free, with a pride of lion slumbering beneath anthills, sleek leopards secreted in Marula trees, and stocky rhinos grazing in the grasslands. Birds delight birders in every corner, with 58 of the 83 southern African raptor species living within the park’s boundaries, along with a number of rare and endangered species. It’s Africa at her most beautiful and most diverse.
The park’s landscape is home to a number of rivers (notably the Limpopo, Sabie and Olifants) as well as nine wilderness trails where visitors can camp overnight and observe the night sky with only the wildlife as company. For thrill-seekers, head to Kruger’s surrounds where you’ll find a number of 4x4 adventure trails. Avid golfers are in for a treat at the 72-hole Skukuza Golf Course, where the fairways are often dotted with passing game.
There must be a catch, right? Of course, there is. The problem will not be a lack of choice in Kruger – it will be an over-abundance of it thanks to the myriad private concessions within, and private reserves adjacent, to the park. Luckily, we know the Kruger National Park like a zebra knows its stripes — inside out and back to front!
Enjoy extraordinary encounters with the elusive leopards of the Sabi Sand Region, admire the ghostly presence of Timbavati Game Reserve’s rare white lions, recognise the brassy bushveld of Thornybush Game Reserve where many a wildlife documentary has been filmed, or tread gently through the river-rich lushness of Singita’s wondrous woodlands. Snake along the banks of the Sabie River in Lion Sands, marvel at the distant Drakensberg while in Kapama Private Game Reserve, gaze up while staying in Manyeleti — the place of the stars — or simply spend day in and day out on safari in Sabi Sabi Private Game Reserve.
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