Introducing Kruger National Park
Try to imagine a national park the size of Israel, with huge tracts of acacia, sycamore figs and bushwillow interrupted by open savannah, rushing rivers and the occasional rocky bluff. Now fill it with lions, leopards, elephants, Cape buffaloes and black rhinos (the Big Five), plus cheetahs, giraffes, hippos and many species of smaller animals, and you’ll start to have some notion of what it’s like to visit Kruger National Park.
The park has an extensive network of sealed roads and comfortable camps, but if you prefer to keep it rough, there are also 4WD tracks, and mountain bike and hiking trails. Even when you stick to the tarmac, the sounds and scents of the bush are never more than a few metres away.
Additionally, as long as you avoid weekends and school holidays, or stick to areas north of Phalaborwa Gate and along gravel roads, it’s easy to travel for an hour or more without seeing another vehicle.
Southern Kruger is the most popular section of the park, with the highest animal concentrations and the easiest access. Kruger is at its best in the far north. Here, although animal concentrations are somewhat lower, the bush setting and wilderness atmosphere are all-enveloping.
Beyond the Big Five: insider tips from a safari guide
One minute the zebra is giving itself a dust bath, enjoying a newfound freedom from parasites, and the next minute, 'Boom! A lioness pounces out of nowhere and kills it.' Sean Savage saw this when he was 14, and other scenes like it when he was growing up in South Africa.
Need to know
Kruger National Park destination guides
Vic Falls to Kruger
This short but exciting trip combines three of southern Africa's most phenomenal sites: The Chobe and Kruger National Parks and the breathtaking Victoria Falls. Look out for the Big Five plus a host of other astounding wild animals.
Kruger, Coast and Cape
A quality accommodated tour through South Africa, visiting Swaziland, Zululand, Drakensberg Mountains and the Garden Route