One of the top South African wildlife experiences available today has got to be the Kruger National Park in the north eastern provinces, which boasts both a massive layout of natural landscape and an impressive array of wild and unusual species, including reptiles, birds, amphibians, fish, mammals and vegetation. The park is also one of the leaders in advanced environmental management techniques today, and this is evident when one takes a look around its breathtaking, pristine landscape.
Established over one hundred years ago and comprising almost two million hectares of landscape within its realms, Kruger National Park clearly takes pride in the preservation of its landscape and natural heritage, some of which takes in archaeological settings and original rock paintings from African bushmen, and natural wilderness trails that can take several days to complete. The park is fed by six rivers in total which help to support over sixteen zones of lush and often unusual vegetation. This vegetation is less dense from around April to September which makes this a good time of year for viewing the wildlife. October to March is the humid and hot summertime, which also brings with it the rainy season, hence the lush, full greenery of the vegetation is most evident at this time when temperatures can be as high as almost forty degrees.
Some of the diverse wildlife on offer in the park (which hosts more species of mammals than any other African Game Reserve), includes zebras, lions, buffalos, monkeys, hippos, cheetahs, antelopes and porcupines to name but a few; also exotic wild birds such as eagles, vultures, owls and hornbills are evident, making this a must for any serious wildlife enthusiast. The fact that the park has nine main gates in total makes the viewing areas of the wildlife easily accessible.
Some people come here to experience the exotic African sunsets in relative comfort, whilst others are looking for a more ‘hands on’ experience out in the wilds; all-comers are easily catered for, however, as the park contains numerous private lodges as well as rest camps which accommodate all walks of life, depending on the kind of experience that tourists here are looking for.
To add to the already impressive attention to conservation and preservation issues that Kruger National Park has undertaken and continues to develop, it has also been designated by the United Nations Education and Scientific Organization (UNESCO) as part of the Kruger to Canyons Biosphere Project, an internationally recognized Biosphere Reserve.
So for all those looking for a either a breathtaking outdoor experience, an in-depth study of rare and exotic wildlife and vegetation in a well-managed and highly developed reserve, or simply wishing to experience nature up close and at its finest, then Kruger National Park is the place to be.
Budget for one week: €1,000
Taxes and gratuity: Tipping is recommended
Official languages: English/Afrikaans
Area: 7,523 sq mi
Annual visitors: 1,500,000
- Voltage: 220-240 Volts (U.S./Canada are 110-120 Volts)
- Primary Socket Type: South African
- Multi-voltage appliances (laptops, etc.): Plug adapter
- 110-120V electronics: Plug adapter + step-down transformer
- Hair dryers, curling irons, etc.: Plug adapter + voltage converter