KRUGER NATIONAL PARK
Probably South Africa’s most well-known destination, the ‘Kruger’ is larger than Tanzania’s Serengeti. A huge game reserve in the northeast of the country runs 360km along the Mozambican border and is about 65km wide, bordering Zimbabwe in the north.
The park of over 2 million ha is home to the Big Five and some 140 other mammal species. These are best seen around water sources in the drier months of May to October. Ornithologists will love the wetter (but hot) months of November to April when bird spotting of over 500 species is best. San rock paintings and important archaeological sites add to the cultural attractions of the Kruger.
Inside the park are over 20 rest camps (managed by SANParks) and some private (more luxurious) camps. Accommodation options range from basic campsites to luxury chalets facing waterholes or rivers. Most rest camps have shops and/or a restaurant. Fresh produce, basic supplies and curios are available from these shops while fuel and ATM facilities are only found in certain rest camps. There are nine entrance gates usually open between 05:30 and 18:30 (January, summer time) and 06:00 and 17:30 (June, winter time).
By road from Johannesburg – 4 to 7 hours depending on which entrance gate you use. Fly-in safaris land at Eastgate Airport, Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport (KMIA), Skukuza Airport or Kruger Park Gateway Airport near Phalaborwa.
Classic Big Five safaris, bird watching and self-drive game drives.
Overland safari – the high vehicle allows for an excellent game viewing platform. Stay for at least two nights – one full day game viewing.
Self-drive game drives, guided night drives, game walks, multi-day hikes, mountain biking (Olifants Camp only), 4×4 and eco-trails and golf (Skukuza only).
The Kruger lies in a malaria area. You should consult a medical practitioner for advice.
During school holidays the central and southern camps can be busy.
The speed limit is 50km/h. Allow enough time to travel from entrance gate to rest camp as late arrival fines may be enforced.