There are eight main gates in the Kruger National Park, and the Park itself is home to six ecosystems, 517 different bird species and the world-renowned Big Five. A study conducted into 2009 revealed that the Park hosts up to 1 500 lions, 11 600 elephants, 27 000 buffalos, 1 000 leopards and 350 black rhinos. These and other animals such as the white rhino, cheetah, giraffe, hippo, hyena and the African hunting dog – to name nut a few – can be viewed during game drives through the park as a part of a South African safari.
In 2002, the Kruger National Park became part of the Greater Limpopo Transfontier Park, which links the Gonarezhou National Park in Zimbabwe and the Limpopo National Park in Mozambique with the Kruger, making it a unique and sacred safari highlight in southern Africa.
Many years ago the park was used by hunters and gathers that lived off the land and the game. In 1898 Paul Kruger (who was the president of the Transvaal Republic) created the ‘Sabie Game Reserve’. The Sabie Game Reserve was formed to protect the diminishing safari animal population; this area also has the Sabie River flowing through it… In 1902, Steverson Hamilton became the first warden for this area. The Northern part of the Kruger National park was proclaimed (in 1903) the Shingwedzi Reserve. In 1926 the Sabie Game Reserve and the Shingwedzi Game Reserve were combined to form the impressive and world renowned Kruger National Park!
With its subtropical climate, the Kruger National Park enjoys summers that are very hot and humid. The rainy season brings relief in September and lasts through until May, a period of time which makes for interesting safari viewing for nature lovers on a visit to South Africa.
The best time to visit the Kruger National Park is during the dry season when most of the Big Five animals gravitate towards the watering holes, and when the risk of malaria is lower.
No matter your motives for choosing to embark on a South African adventure safari, a stopover at the Kruger National Park is a necessity that’ll bring you up close and personal with many of the magnificent creatures that call the Park their home.
Have a look at our range of safari packages that provide a visit to the Kruger National Park, or read about other South African attractions that you may want to include on your South African safari.