Where almost 2 million hectares of unrivaled diversity of life forms merge with historical and archaeological sites – this is the real Africa.
The world-famous Kruger National Park offers a real safari experience, which is considered one of the best in Africa. Established in 1898 to protect the wildlife of the South African savannah, this national park has an amazing diversity of life forms and is a world leader in advanced methods and techniques for solving environmental problems.
Truly the flagship of South African national parks, the Kruger is home to an impressive number of species: 336 trees, 49 fish, 34 amphibians, 114 reptiles, 517 birds and 147 mammals. In the Kruger National Park, human interaction with the savannah environment is absolutely evident, which has continued for many centuries – from Bushmen cave paintings to majestic archaeological sites such as Masorini and Tulamela. These treasures reflect the culture, people and events that played an important role in the history of the national park, and they are protected here along with the natural heritage of the park.
The Kruger National Park is one of the largest game reserves in Africa. It covers an area of 19485 sq. km (7523 sq. miles) in the provinces of Limpopo and Mpumalanga in the north-eastern part of the Republic of South Africa, and also stretches for 360 km (220 miles) from north to south and 65 km (40 miles) from east to west. Phalaborwa in Limpopo Province is the only city in South Africa that borders the Kruger Park. The administrative head office and main camp of the national park is located in Skukuz. Separate areas of the park were first protected by the South African government in 1898, and in 1926 Kruger became the first national park in South Africa.
To the west and south of the Kruger National Park are two South African provinces, Limpopo and Mpumalanga. To the north is Zimbabwe and to the east is Mozambique. The park is now part of the Greater Limpopo Transboundary Park, a natural park that links Kruger National Park with Gonarejo National Park in Zimbabwe and Limpopo National Park in Mozambique.
The park is also part of the Kruger to the Canyons Biosphere Reserve, an area designated by UNESCO as a Man and the Biosphere Reserve.
The park has nine main entrance gates allowing entry to different camps.
Kruger Park is served by three airports:
- North Kruger: Phalaborwa Airport
- Kruger Central: Hoedspruit Eastgate Airport
- South Kruger Airport Kruger Mpumalanga International (KMI)
Kruger Park can be visited all year round, each season has its own charm here. Whatever time you decide to come here – you will not be disappointed!
The best time for animal watching is during the dry winter months, but the wet summer season fills the waters, greens the savannah, and brings many newborn animals and returning migratory birds.
In the Kruger National Park, the climate is hot, subtropical, most of the year it is hot during the day (above 25 ° C).
Animal world of the park
Of the 517 bird species found in the Kruger, 253 are permanent residents, 117 are non-breeding migrants and 147 are nomads. Some of the larger birds require a large territory or are sensitive to habitat degradation. Six of these species were assigned to a group with the bizarre name “Birds of the Big Six” (similar to the “Big Five”). These are the African long-eared vulture, the martial eagle, the saddle-billed yabiru, the African great bustard, the horned raven and the aloof barred fish owl, which is very localized and rarely seen. There are about 25-30 breeding pairs of saddle-billed yabiru and a small group of non-breeders in the park. In 2012, 178 horned crow family groups roamed the park and 78 nests were known, of which only 50% were active.
All of the Big Five and other large mammals can be found in the Kruger, with the Kruger having more species than any other African reserve (147 species). The park has webcams that allow you to watch wildlife.
The park stopped elephant culling in 1994 and tried to relocate them, but by 2004 their population had increased to 11,679 elephants, by 2006 to about 13,500, by 2009 to 11,672, and by 2012 to 16,900. Park conditions can only support 8,000 elephants. In 1995, the park began using annual contraception, but then stopped due to problems with the delivery of contraceptives and disruption of the herd structure.
Kruger maintains packs of the endangered wild dog (it is believed that there are about 400 of them left in all of South Africa).
|Wildlife Population 2009|
|African buffalo||27,000||hyena dog||150|
|black rhinoceros||350||white rhino||7,000–12,000|
The Kruger is home to 114 species of reptiles, including the black mamba and 3,000 crocodiles.
Amphibians and fish
There are 34 species of amphibians in the park, as well as 49 species of fish. In July 1950, at the confluence of the Limpopo and Levubu rivers, a blunt-nosed shark, also known as the gray bull shark, or bull shark, was caught. Such sharks are able to live in fresh water and can travel far along rivers, as in Limpopo.