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HomeTravel news and articlesKruger National Park in South Africa

Kruger National Park in South Africa

04 October, 2019
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zebra

Situated in the north-eastern part of South Africa, at the border with Mozambique and Zimbabwe, is the world-renowned Kruger National Park.

Fantastic safari experiences await you here at one of Africa’s largest national parks.

Dream of visiting Kruger? Find out what you can experience at the national park below.

South Africa’s largest national park

Kruger National Park is South Africa’s oldest national park and at the top of Africa’s list of safari destinations.

The park extends approximately 350 km from north to south and 65 km from east to west. Covering an area of around 20,000 km², Kruger is also South Africa’s largest national park.

Kruger’s history dates back to 1898, when part of the park was designated as a game reserve. The park was previously used as a hunting area. In 1926, the two areas, Shingwedzi Game Reserve and Sabie Game Reserve were merged to create Kruger National Park. The park was opened to visitors in 1927, and today, Kruger is visited by around one million people a year.

The nature of Kruger National Park

nature

In Kruger, you will find fantastic African nature.

The landscape of the park is extremely varied, so many different types of animals thrive here.

Kruger also has several permanent rivers and waterholes, which herds of elephants and many other animals make their way to every day to drink water. Two of the main rivers are the Crocodile River and the Sabie River. In Kruger, you will also find woodland inhabited by greater kudus – a large species of antelope recognisable by its spiral horns.

The park boasts very diverse flora. Everything grows here, from palm trees to cacti. On the savannah, you will, for example, see umbrella trees, which, as the name suggests, have an umbrella-shaped crown.

One of the most characteristic trees in the park is the huge baobab tree, which can live for up to 1,000 years. The baobab tree has a thick trunk, which can store a lot of water, and a sparse crown. Due to the size of its crown, the tree almost looks as if it is planted upside-down, with its roots in the air.

The wildlife of Kruger National Park

Kruger National Park

Kruger National Park offers amazing and varied wildlife. Around 150 species of mammals live in the park, plus more than 500 species of birds and 114 reptile species.

So, on Kruger’s savannah, you are in with a very good chance of seeing all the iconic safari animals, such as Africa’s big five, hippos, kudus, antelopes, warthogs, hyenas, waterbucks and herds of zebras, impalas, buffaloes and many, many more besides. You may also be lucky enough to see some of Africa’s more endangered animal species, such as the black rhino, the leopard and wild dogs.

Predators

leopard

It’s always a wonderful experience to see Africa’s predators at such close range. And you get to do just that in Kruger National Park.

The predators thrive here as the park is home to so much prey.

Around 1,000 leopards live in the park, making it one of the best places in Africa to spot the big cat. The leopard is nocturnal, which means that it hunts at night and early in the morning. It is therefore rare to see the cat in hunting during the day. The leopard is also extremely shy, but if you’re lucky, you might see it sleeping in the top of a tree during the day.

The cheetah is a somewhat rarer experience. There are fewer than 1,000 cheetahs remaining in South Africa, around 120 of which live in Kruger. The national park is a great place to catch a glimpse of the speedy animal. The cheetah is found in more open areas, where it hunts.

The lion is the predator most often associated with safari, and it is also the predator spotted most often, as Kruger’s lion population is relatively large. Some 1,600 lions live in the park. The lions like to hang out in the shade as it’s too hot in the sun, as well as in dense woodland or scrub, where they can hide and get as close to their prey as possible. The lion is a gregarious animal, so you will most likely see several lions at once during your safari.

Birds

Birds

Home to more than 500 different bird species, Kruger National Park is a paradise for bird enthusiasts.

The summer period, between December and February, is peak season for birds here, as this is when the migrating birds from Europe and other parts of the world arrive in Kruger. But beautiful birds can be seen in the park all year round, such as the rhinoceros hornbill, the lilac-breasted roller, the marabou stork and many more exotic bird species.

One of the common birds in the park is the beautiful glossy starling, which resides in the tree tops and which is recognisable by its dark plumage with a turquoise-green sheen.

And it goes without saying that Kruger also offers lots of birds of prey, which glide above the savannah in search of small animals. There are, in fact, 58 different birds of prey here, including eagles, falcons and vultures.

Want to experience Kruger’s amazing wildlife?

Kruger National Park offers wonderful experiences – right up close.

If you have any questions about going on safari in Kruger National Park, please feel free to contact our travel specialists. You can also read more about the best time to visit Kruger National Park here.

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