Southern Kruger Park 2
THE SOUTHERN KRUGER PARK
Sitting right at the top of things to do in South Africa is the Kruger Park, a spectacular game reserve nestled comfortably in the north-eastern corner of the country. At just under 2 million acres (19 000 square kilometres), this stretch of land is larger than the country of Israel, and as such is home to a wide range of eco-zones, and an almost unsurpassable selection of animals. Just a few days in the park offers you the chance to witness some truly unique sightings, and with nearly 2000 plant species, 517 bird species, 114 reptiles, and an impressive 147 mammals (including the Big 5), it's almost impossible to leave disappointed.
There are six entrance gates to the Kruger Park in Mpumulanga, starting with the
- Kruger Gate in the West - 40 km from Hazyview,
- Phabeni Gate near Hazyview,
- Numbu Gate near White River,
- Malelane Gate near Nelspruit and Crocodile Bridge Gate in the East at Komatipoort on the border with Mozambique,
- Crocodile Bridge Gate, almost at the border between South Africa and Mozambique, a few kilometers from the town of Komatipoort,
- Orpen Gate north of Hazyview near Acornhoek. on the border between Limpopo and Mpumulanga.
There are dozens of accommodation and safari options available in the reserve - you can find everything from rustic campsites to 5 star luxury lodges dotted throughout, each of which offer a unique experience. There are a number of activities available from each of the rest camps within the reserve, including guided walking trails, day drives, and the always-popular night drives.
One of the main draw-cards of the Kruger Park is that it's still highly cost-effective. Whereas the exclusive private parks found in and around the area offer high-end safari experiences at a significant premium, the Kruger Park allows you to do things your own way. It's largely self-catering, with a small selection of strategically placed restaurants when you don't feel like cooking, and you're free to experience the park at your own pace, rather than at that of a pre-organised safari.There is excllent self catering accommodation in the Kruger Part, such as that in Talamati (left) and in Wells Cottage in Satara (right)
There's no bad time to visit the Kruger Park, and each season offers you a unique take on the reserve.
The summer months (December - February) can be particularly hot and and are often crowded due to school holidays. However, the intense green landscapes, the wonderful sunsets, and the myriad of fascinating insect noises just have to be experienced as part of the whole Kruger Park vibe - its about relaxation in a pristine environment, forgetting about the trials and tribulations of suburban life, and (of course) having an unrivalled game viewing experience.
The beautiful green vegetation of the Kruger Park in the summer months, in the light of an approaching storm
Your chances of seeing game around watering holes and through the thinning vegetation are better during the winter months, but perhaps one of the most rewarding times to go, however, is early spring, when the animal babies can be seen amongst fresh new vegetation.
Returning to the camp at the end of a glorious summer's day of game viewing
Route to the Southern Kruger Park Areas
View Joburg to Kruger in a larger map