Top reasons to visit South Africa’s Kruger National Park
With its incredible variety of animals and biospheres, the Kruger National Park is the jewel in the crown of African wildlife tourism. In conjunction with the Greater Kruger, the Park is one of the favorite tourist destinations in Africa – attracting almost 1 million visitors each year!
Where is the Kruger National Park located?
The Kruger National Park lies in the Mpumalanga and Limpopo provinces in northeastern South Africa. It covers an area of 7,576 square miles, extending 220 miles from south to north, and 40 miles from east to west.
It borders both Zimbabwe and Mozambique, and is also close to the landlocked country of Eswatini, formerly known as Swaziland.
Without further ado, here are our top reasons for visiting the amazing Kruger National Park!
It offers a rare chance to experience hectares of unspoiled African bush
The Kruger incorporates two million hectares of pristine African bush. This comprises nine distinct biomes, each with their own distinct flora and fauna. While providing people with the benefits of this rich natural world, the wilderness is preserved and maintained by the Kruger’s skilled, experienced, and dedicated staff.
Meet the Big Five!
The iconic ‘Big Five’ – lion, leopard, rhino, buffalo and elephant – are all found in the Kruger. Buffalo numbers stand at about 2,500 animals, with an estimated 1,600 lions and 1,000 leopards roaming the Kruger. Elephant numbers range around 20,000, and rhino numbers are between 7- 8,000 rhinos. About 5,000 rhinos are kept in intensively protected areas to mitigate the dreaded scourge of poaching.
However, you can also see the whimsically named ‘Little Five’ in the Kruger! These charming and interesting creatures include the antlion, the tiny Eastern rock elephant shrew, the lumbering leopard tortoise, the rowdy red-billed buffalo weaver, and the horned rhino beetle.
See a huge variety of creatures both great and small
With official figures stating that the Kruger has “49 species of fish, 34 amphibians, 114 reptiles, 507 birds and 147 mammals”, prepare to be amazed, delighted and gobsmacked by the variety of animals!
These might include honey badgers, the rare roan antelope, side-striped jackals and the enchanting bat-eared foxes. You might even see a magnificent wild-born white lion – there are known to be three in the Greater Kruger…
And don’t forget that there are more than 20,000 insect species found in the Park, which is enough to sustain a staggering 39 different species of insect-eating bats! Truly, the Kruger offers you natural riches beyond compare.
Be amazed by the birdlife
The Kruger is a paradise for birders! It’s home to a staggering 500+ bird species, both migrant and resident, including some species like the elegant Kori bustard, the magnificent martial eagle, as well as are the solemn-looking Southern ground hornbills. (And yes, try do fly despite their somewhat ponderous appearance.)
Enjoy great accommodation
The Kruger offers a wide variety of accommodation catering for all tastes, preferences and budgets. These range from affordable camping-style lodges, to more luxurious accommodation in lodges in the Kruger itself and on private adjoining properties. The Park itself has twelve main rest camps, five smaller satellite camps, as well as various bush camps and lodges.
If pressed for our absolute favorite, we’d have to single out Thornybush luxury Kruger National Park safari lodge. Apart from its superb and world-class accommodation, Thornybush will offer you spectacular sightings, expert guides, and superb care and service. Thornybush is run and managed by passionate people who are committed to community engagement and ensuring you have the holiday of a lifetime!
Revel in the Kruger’s fantastic climate
Coming from the freezing Northern winter, you will revel in the warm climate of the Kruger. No frozen toes here, so bring your coolest T-shirts, sandals, and light summer dresses. However, bear in mind that the evenings and mornings can be a little chilly, so it’s always a good idea to pack some warmer outer clothes too.
Choose your own adventure …
Activities offered by the Kruger include guided bush drives, day walks from most of the rest camps, guided walking safaris, eco trails, back-packing, 4×4 adventures, mountain biking, and great supervised activities for kids. Whatever your bush activity, rest assured that skilled and experienced professional armed guides will keep you safe while they inform you about the fascinating and stunning environment.
… or just relax in style!
If you’re not into all that high-energy stuff, just relax and enjoy the soothing balm of the bush. Low-key game drives, with delicious sundowners thrown in, are available, as is a spot of bird watching, a game of golf, or the ultimate in relaxation – a visit to a luxury spa to rejuvenate body and soul!
There is a myriad of compelling reasons why the Kruger is one of the premier holiday destinations for wildlife and nature enthusiasts. Why not come and experience it for yourself and tick it off your nature-lovers bucket list?