The Kruger National Park is perhaps South Africa’s worst-kept secret. Travellers from across the world fly thousands of kilometres to embark on a South African safari. For locals, it’s right at our doorstep.
The Kruger National Park is managed by South African National Parks (SANParks) and is one of the largest game reserves in Africa. It is also South Africa’s first designated national park. Today, the park stretches into the Mpumalanga and Limpopo provinces. The Big Five and many other wildlife species and birdlife are spread out over two-million hectares of the African bush.
The park has nine main gates, so travellers are advised to check which gate is best for their itinerary or nearest to their accommodation.
The best time to visit the Kruger National Park for game viewing is in winter, on either side of the dry season between April and September. Some visitors prefer the lush vegetation of the summer months, which makes the Kruger a year-round destination depending on your preference. Temperatures during early-morning or evening game drives are always surprisingly chilly, no matter the time of year. Don’t be caught! Pack something warm regardless of the season and bring sunscreen.
The closest airports are Hoedspruit Airport and the Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport. Skukuza Airport operates within the park, serviced by flights from Cape Town and Johannesburg. Self-drives to get to the park are most popular, although some travellers will opt for a shuttle transfer. Visit SANparks for bookings and enquiries. Day visitors, as well as overnight visitors are welcome.
Apart from the famous Big Five and Little Five, lucky travellers can spot the highly endangered African Wild Dog, Ground Hornbill, Fish Eagle and the quirky Baobab and Marula trees. The park is home to 507 bird and 147 mammal species, plus many others.
SANparks also offers useful advice for the first-time visitor. The park is huge, so don’t try to cover great distances. Travel slowly and stop regularly for the most enjoyable trip.
What to do in the Kruger National Park
Apart from the magnificent wildlife and birdlife to witness at Kruger, visitors can also experience 4×4 adventures, mountain biking and even a few rounds of golf nearby.
Where to stay in the Kruger National Park
Where to eat in the Kruger National Park