Kruger National Park is known to be one of the largest game reserves in Africa and after it became the site of the famous eyewitness viral video Battle at Kruger’ it gained amazing popularity, becoming most talked about subject of the town. The national park extends over an area of 18,989 sq km, runs 350 km from north to south and 60 km from east to west.
The park is also part of the Kruger to Canyons Biosphere, an area specifically designated by UNESCO as an International Man and Biosphere Reserve.
Where it is located
Kruger Park has Limpopo in its west and Mpumalanga to the south, the two South African provinces. Zimbabwe is in the north while to its east lies Mozambique. The park is also part of the Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park, a peace park that links Kruger National with the Gonarezhou National Park on Zimbabwe, and with the Limpopo National Park in Mozambique.
From the Pages of Past
Thousands of years ago nomadic hunter-gatherers occupied the region. Europeans entered the region in early eighteenth century. Jakob Louis van Wyk is credited with introducing in Volksraad of the South Africa Republic, the motion to set up a game reserve, later R. K. Loveday got into motion, in September of 1895 by majority of just 1 vote, Paul Kruger president of the Transvaal Republic, accepted to build a “Government Wildlife Park”. The park was later called Sabi Game Reserve and in 1926 it got transformed into Kruger National Park.
Park was created with the intention of controlling the hunting activities and preserve the diminishing animals.
James Stevenson Hamilton was the first warden of reserve in the year 1902 and then reserve was just southern one-third of the modern park. In 1903, Shingwedzi Reserve was proclaimed which is now part of the Kruger National Park.
Kruger National Park opened for public visitors in 1927.
Flora and Fauna
There are 6 eco-systems in the Kruger National Park namely: Baobab sandveld, Mopane scrub, Lebombo Knobthorn-marula bushveld, mixed acacia thicket, Combretum-silver clusterleaf woodland on granite and riverine forest. Almost 1,982 species of plants can be found here.
At Kruger about 517 species of birds are seen, 253 resident, 117 non-breeding migrant and 147 nomad.
The Kruger National Park is privileged to have all the big five game animals and with 147 species of mammals it stands out among all the game reserves in Africa. Webcams have been placed at various places to observe wildlife of the park.
According to 2009 census the park has African Buffalo -27000, African Hunting Dogs-350, Black Rhinoceros-350, Burchell’s Zebras-17197, Bushbucks- 500, Cheetahs- 200.
Common Eland- 300, Giraffes- 5114, Greater Kudus- 5798, Hippopotamus- 3000, Lions- 1500, Leopards- 1500, Spotted Hyenas- 2000, Elephants- 11672, Waterbuck- 5000, Blue Wildebeest- 9612 and Impalas-90000.
Kruger National Park is instrumental in preserving endangered African Wild Dog, which is said to just around 400 in number in whole of South Africa.
Kruger is home 114 species of reptiles and there are about 3000 crocodiles.
Where you can stay
There are various rest camps to choose from:
- Bateleur Bushveld Camp
- Berg-en-Dal Camp
- Biyamiti Bushveld Camp
- Boulders Bush Lodge
- Bulula Private Camp
- Crocodile Bridge Camp
- Letaba Camp
- Lower Sabie Camp
- Malelane Provate Camp
- Maroela Private Camp
- Mopani Camp
- Olifants camp
- Orpen Camp
- Pretoriuskop Camp
- Punda Maria Camp
- Roodewal Bush Lodge
- Satara Camp
- Shimuwini Bushveld Camp
- Shingwedzi Camp
- Sirheni Bushveld Camp
- Talamati Bushveld Camp
- Tamboti Tent Camp
- Tsendze Rustic Camp
When you should visit Kruger National Park
The climate in the region is subtropical, summers are really hot and temperature often rises above 38 degree. The dry winter season is the best time to visit the park, the days are mild and you won’t contradict infamous malaria of Africa. Animal watching would be easier as the vegetation would be sparse and animals come down to waterholes to drink water every morning and evening.
How you can reach the park
Johannesburg International Airport is the closest international airport and Skukuza
Airport is the nearest domestic Airport. Coach services can be availed from Mpumalanga and you also travel by car using Mpumalanga Highway to reach the park.