This enormous and magnificent park is one of the most popular public-entry game parks in the world.
Its density of permanent game is unrivalled with hundreds of different species; 507 birds, 336 trees, 147 mammals, 114 reptiles, 49 fish and 34 amphibians!Sighting the “Big Five” has become something of a quest for many people when on safari, and Kruger National Park has more than its fare share of these, with an estimated 1,800 lion, 9,125 elephant, 25,000 buffalo, unknown number of leopards and 2,300 black and white rhino.
These animals became the ‘Big Five’ because they are the five most dangerous animals to hunt – when injured they attack!
It should certainly not be a pre-requisite of a safari to see these or even a priority, as there are plenty of other fascinating animals and birds in the African bush.
With approximately 500 bird species, some of them unique to this area, there is enough on the ground and in the air to keep anybody’s binoculars busy.
Some of the biggest and most impressive birds to be seen here are the ground hornbill, martial eagle, lappet-faced vulture, kori bustard and saddle-billed stork.
With greater ecological co-operation across African borders, several countries bordering South Africa have agreed to take down some fences, and those between Kruger and Mozambique’s Limpopo National Park and Zimbabwe’s Gonarezhou, have been demolished to create the Greater Limpopo Transfronteir Park. This unique political innovation is creating a colossal wilderness area extending 15,000 miles (24,000km).
Along Kruger National Park’s western border are numerous small private game reserves, all containing safari lodges whose styles range from ethnic rustic to exquisite luxury, with a variety of chalets, cottages, suites and top class tented accommodation sometimes on raised stilts.
The one thing they have in common, is that your game drives are guided by a trained ranger, who works closely with a local tracker to find you the animals you want to see. All you have to do is sit back and be amazed! The tariffs are normally fully inclusive of meals, game drives, walks, laundry and sometimes wine and beer.
The subtropical climate has hot rainy summers starting in October and ending around March. The summer rains transform the arid park into a lush flowering paradise, but the increased foliage does make animals harder to see.
The winter months from April to September are extremely pleasant with warm dry days and cold nights. Traditionally, the best game viewing is in winter as the vegetation becomes sparse and water is restricted to rivers and artificial waterholes.