The Kruger National Park is the largest game reserve in South Africa covering an area the size of Wales, extending 350km from north to south, and 60km from east to west.
Evidence of early humans in the region dates as early as 1,500,000BC and for thousands of years, nomadic hunter-gatherers such as The San People occupied the land.
The arrival of European settlers in the 1830’s saw a dramatic decline of wildlife in the region. To counter this in 1898 the president of the Transvaal Republic, Paul Kruger, founded the Sabi Game Reserve which in 1926 was enlarged and renamed The Kruger National Park.
The reserve has eight main gates and a four-day safari allows you to sleep at various campsites within the park. The reserve’s uninhibited environment is the source of great natural beauty that allows you to encounter African wildlife on its own terms.
Top of many visitors wish list is an encounter with the big five: The Lion, Leopard, Rhino, Elephant and Water Buffalo. Contrary to popular belief, this term does not describe the five most difficult animals to see whilst on safari, rather it harks back to hunting days when these animals were considered the most dangerous to hunt on foot. Best view
The Guest House Deck at Olifants Camp Restaurant. Drive into the heart of the Kruger and stop for a break at Olifants Camp Restaurant. The viewing deck towers over the Olifants River allowing you to watch Lions, Hippopotamus, Elephants and Nile Crocodiles cool off in the in the shallow water. Best thing to do for free
Photography. Having paid for the park entrance, take the opportunity to sharpen up your photography skills. Not a second goes by without the parks inhabitants presenting a glorious photo opportunity. Night time hangout
The camp site. With nothing but a wire fence between you and the rest of the park wait for total darkness and listen to visiting hyenas, giraffes and lions lurking just feet from your tent
Artwork from local roadside markets outside the park gates.Leave there
Ivory or animal tooth bracelets and necklaces.Time for love
Choose the honeymoon suit at one of the many game lodges and sink into a bubble bath in a rose petal topped jet spa whilst enjoying sparkling wine and chocolates.Best-kept secret
You don’t need to book on an expensive safari to experience the Kruger. For R132 (£10) per person you can drive in yourself. Without the help of a guide however, it is difficult to spot the wildlife.The thing to eat
The South African Braai (BBQ) with native game meat such as Impala, Kudu, and Warthog.Green space
Everywhere.Keep the kids happy
Various cafés and lodges have playing areas in between long drives. The novel to read
Southern African Wildlife. (Bradt Wildlife Guides)
This enthusiastic book explains Kruger Park’s wildlife in the detail that a ranger may provide. From breeding habits to animal tracks to survival tips, this book is a perfect companion to a Safari. Where to eat (budget)
Nhuthwa Restaurant at Satara
Although there are no specifically cheap places to eat in the park, Nhuthwa Restaurant offers a varied buffet and a quick service menu that may charge around R60 per head. Where to eat (moderate)
Imvubu Restaurant at Mopani
Mopani is situated in the northern part of the Park overlooking the Pioneer Dam where you can view water birds, crocodiles and hippos whilst eating. This restaurant has a variety of fresh dishes costing around R80 per head.Where to eat (posh)
Selati Train Restaurant
The most interesting restaurant inside of Kruger National Park is in the old train station that used to service the park. A two course meal with wine may cost around R150 per head.Where to stay (budget)
Balule Private Camp
Camping spots with gas stoves, toilet access and a communal kitchen costs around R130 per person.Where to stay (moderate)
Activities such as bush walks, day and night game drives and swimming pool access are available for guest entertainment. A well stocked grocery shop, laundry service, internet access and a petrol station are available on site. A bungalow with three beds and a kitchen is available for R640.Where to stay (posh)
Tinga Private Game Lodge
With a private bar, river deck and swimming pool looking over the Sabie River guests can relax on their safari. There is a wellness centre, a well-stocked wine cellar and friendly staff to cater for your every need. Game drives and bush walks are provided daily.Get there from the airport
The southern section of the Park is serviced by the Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport (KMIA), the central section by Hoedspruit Airport, and the northern section by Phalaborwa Airport. Airlines flying to these airports are SAAirlink and Nationwide Airlines. Flights depart from Johannesburg to Phalaborwa Airport, Hoedspruit Airport and KMI Airport on a daily basis.Car hire
For those hiring a car the roads leading to the Park are in good condition. Petrol stations are littered along the way and easy to follow road maps are readily available.
Car hire is available at KMIA, Hoedspruit and Phalaborwa Airports, at the Skukuza Camp, or from all major towns in South Africa. Distances
Johannesburg - 420 km
Durban - approx. 752 km
Cape Town - approx. 1 842 km With a Safari company
All safari companies will arrange a pickup from Johannesburg