Covering an area of almost 20,000 km2, National Kruger Park is the largest and most well-known game reserve in the continent of Africa. Situated in the North-Eastern part of South Africa, this park attracts a lot of tourists who come to experience the thrill of safaris and watching wildlife.
About the park
This park was established in the year 1898 as the Sabie Game Reserve by Paul Kruger, then president of the Transvaal Republic. Later, in 1926, under the National Parks Act, it was merged with Shingwedzi Game Reserve to give birth to the National Kruger Park.
The South African provinces of Limpopo and Mpumalanga lie to the West and South of the park respectively. In the North lies Zimbabwe and Mozambique borders the East.
Currently, UNESCO has declared this park to be an “International Man and Biosphere Reserve”.
Park flora and fauna
The big size and the diversity of ecosystems in the park mean that it is home to a wide variety of species of animals, birds, and vegetation.
The park hosts ecosystems like the Savannah, Woodlands, and Thorn veld. This has resulted in the presence of about 150 mammal species including elephant, rhino, lion, leopard, and buffalo.
In addition to mammals, there are 114 species of reptiles and more than 500 avian species in the National Kruger Park.
As for the park flora, there is a huge range of exotic plants and shrubs like the red bushwillow, marula trees, knob-thorn plants, etc. However, the most famous of the vegetation at the park is undoubtedly the baobab trees.
The park provides a host of activities for the visitors. Some of the most attractive ones are as follows-
- – About 49% of the National Kruger Park is classified as wilderness and opting for the wilderness trail will let you experience the park in all its glory. These trails are three nights & two days long and are perfect for people looking for a real adventure.
- – Safaris, also called game drives, are the most famous activities at the park. You will have a wide range to choose from like the classic safari, the fully guided safari, the premier safari, the romantic safari, etc.
- – These are perfect for people who love to explore the area on foot. Remember to wear comfortable shoes and carry water with you when going on these walks.
- – If you are looking to take your game one step further then there is mountain biking for you. The beautiful lush green trails are the perfect place to combine exploration with a bit of exercise.
- Not everyone is into adventure activities and that’s why the park offers a great golf course for the lovers of the game. Indulge yourself in a game or two at the Skukuza golf course, while soaking in the surrounding beauty.
- – The large variety of birds make the park a great place for birding. Some of the birds that you can view here are hornbills, vultures, starlings, bee-eaters, various types of hawks and eagles, etc.
For more details on the activities to partake in at the National Kruger Park, you can check out the site- https://www.sanparks.org/parks/kruger/tourism/activities
Several options for accommodation are available at the park. Your choice ranges from rustic tents, caravans to furnished cottages, guest houses and luxury lodges.
You can visit the official website ( http://www.krugerpark.co.za) for more details on staying options.
For people planning to drive down, the park is easily accessible by tarred roads. Oversees visitors can take a flight to Johannesburg and then fly down to one of the four airports in the vicinity of the park. Of these 4 airports, the Skukuza airport is actually located within the park.
The others- Phalaborwa Airport, Hoedspruit Airport and the Kruger/Mpumalanga International Airport (KMIA) are very near and connected to the park by roads.
Thus, if you are someone who has an adventurous streak of mind and loves to be out in nature, then the National Kruger Park can be the perfect holiday destination for you. And with its range of activities, this park also makes a good family vacation destination.