The Kruger National Park is the primary destination in South Africa for many local and international tourists. Each year more than half a million visitors are registered. The National Park was opened in 1898 at the instigation of then-president Paul Kruger. After hunters had considerably decimated the originally rich game stock, all the land between the Sabie and the Crocodile Rivers was put under the protection of Nature Conservation to ensure the survival of the remaining animals. Only as recently as 1961 was the extended Kruger Park fenced in.
The park stretches from the Crocodile River in the south up to the Limpopo River, which is the international border in the north. Altogether it is 350 km long, 65 km wide and comprises an area of about 20,000 sq km. Kruger is home to an impressive number of species: 336 trees, 49 fish, 34 amphibians, 114 reptiles, 507 birds and 147 mammal species habitat the nature reserve.
A network of roads of 1863 kilometres leads through the National Park, 697 km of them being tarred. For the visitor there are numerous differently equipped rest camps, most of them scenically positioned. Within the park boundaries, travel is only allowed between sunrise and sunset. After dark one has to stay in one of the fenced restcamps.
The best time for observing the animals is the dry winter season. Then the grass is low and bushes and trees don’t have leaves, so that one can have an unobstructed view. Because it virtually doesn’t rain in winter, the animals come to the waterholes to drink in the mornings and evenings and can easily be watched from the car.
The areas adjacent to The Park have become very popular, with many private game reserves, conservancies and conservation areas have been set up. It is here that many exclusive lodges are available for tourists on safari, offering luxury accommodation, superb service and world class game viewing. These are reserves mostly unfenced on their Kruger Park boundaries, allowing the game to move freely between them and the Kruger National Park.
The Sabi Sand is the most famous of these private reserves, being home to legendary lodges such as Singita, Sabi Sabi, MalaMala, Lion Sands and more. Other well known private reserves are the Timbavati, Thornybush, Manyeleti, Klaserie, Kapama and Makalali.
Lodges we recommend in and and around Kruger Park:
Sabi Sand: Singita, Sabi Sabi, Kirkman’s Camp, Lion Sands, Exeter Leadwood, Leopard Hills
Timbavati: Royal Malewane, Camp Jabulani, Ngala, King’s Camp, Motswari, Tanda Tula, Garonga, Thornybush
Kruger Concessions: Singita Lebombo, Singita Sweni, Hamilton’s, Imbali, Hoyo Hoyo, Rhino Post, Camp Shawu, Camp Shonga