The Kruger National Park is South Africa's flagship game reserve. Stretching across 20 000 square kilometres of pristine bushveld (an area about the size of Israel), the reserve is home to a massive diversity of wildlife and is one of South Africa's most popular tourist destinations.
Established in 1898 to protect the Lowveld's diminishing animal species, the Kruger Park is now managed by South African National Parks (SANParks) and is a conservation and tourism triumph.
Stretching along the Mozambique border, straddling the provinces of Limpopo and Mpumalanga, the Kruger Park is one of the largest of the South African National Parks. It is geologically diverse and is comprised of a number of unique ecosystems that are home at an unrivalled array of flora and fauna. For a Big Five holiday, the Kruger National Park simply can't be beat!
What to do in the Kruger Park
The Kruger National Park is primarily a self-drive game reserve, with travellers from near and far heading out in their vehicles in search of an elusive leopard or a pride of lions on the prowl.
Most of the Kruger Park camps offer guided drives as well if you are keen to sit back, relax and soak in the surrounding bushveld from the vantage point of an open air safari vehicle.
A guided night drive is highly recommended as it gives visitors a chance to check out some of the Kruger National Park's more mysterious nocturnal creatures (a privilege which is only available on a guided safari drive as the camp gates close at sunset).
In addition to discovering the Kruger Park by car, take some time to explore the reserve on foot with one of SANPark's experienced guides leading the way, or take in a round of golf at Skukuza rest camp.
The Kruger Park also offers 4x4 trails (either day drives or overnight trails) and rustic 3-night wilderness trails through the game reserve's really wild zones.
Where to Stay in the Kruger Park
Visitors are spoilt for choice when it comes to accommodation options in the Kruger National Park. The SANPark's managed rest camps offer everything from camping to family bungalows, whilst the privately run lodges scattered around the outskirts of the game reserve give visitors a truly luxurious experience. The main rest camps within the Kruger Park include:
1. Berg en Dal Rest Camp
2. Letaba Rest Camp
3. Crocodile Bridge Rest Camp
4. Lower Sabie Rest Camp
5. Mopani Rest Camp
6. Olifants Rest Camp
7. Orpen Rest Camp
8. Pretoriuskop Rest Camp
9. Punda Maria Rest Camp
10. Satara Rest Camp
11. Shingwedzi Rest Camp
12. Skukuza Rest Camp
13. Tsendze Rustic Rest Camp
Source: South African National Parks (SANParks)
How to Get to the Kruger National Park
Depending on where you intend to enter the Kruger Park, you can either fly to Phalaborwa Airport, Hoedspruit or the Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport in Nelspruit . Phalaborwa Airport and Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport offer car rental pick-up depots. Hoedspruit Airport, however, doesn't offer one the chance to pick up their car hire.