The safari destination that can't be missedKruger National Park

knp-mapWhen you think of South Africa and iconic the Kruger National Park most certainly comes to mind. Not only can you catch a glimpse of the famous Big Five here but you will find yourself surrounded by hundreds of species of birds, ancient trees, winding rivers and so much more. Basically, it’s your one-stop shop for all of your wildlife dreams.

Imagine rising with the South African sun. Driving out of your camp, filled with anticipation as you keep your eyes peeled for an overnight lion kill, a leopard casually draped over the branch of a big tree or a herd of elephants taking a morning stroll. Then ask yourself, is there anywhere else in the world you’d rather be?

The Kruger National Park is home to thousands of animals. From giraffes browsing for Acacia leaves to chew on and a herd of buffalo crossing the road right in front of you, to elusive big cats enjoying a spot of shade and fish eagles letting out their distinctive call – it’s the Lion King in live action.

It’s hard to believe your eyes when you see the herds of hundreds of antelope or crocodiles basking in the afternoon sun while the hippos keep cool under water. Not to mention the things you’ll hear, they are just as unbelievable – hyenas cackling the night away as male lions roar for dominance, and if you’re lucky, the almost silent footsteps of a pack of wild dogs on the prowl.

This is just a small taste of all the things you can see, hear and do in one of the world’s most-loved game parks.

The Kruger National Park enjoys a great year-round sunny climate and offers all kinds of activities, from guided game drives and bush walks with an armed ranger to three-night walking trails in deep wilderness areas.

With so much to see and do, it’s hardly surprising that the Kruger National Park gets over 1.4 million visitors a year. However, because it’s so big – 352km from north to south, and covering over 1.9 million hectares with 2500km of tar and dirt roads – you will be amazed at how often you find yourself being treated to a private sighting. Don’t be fooled though, with so many expertly-camouflaged animals calling the park home, you’re never really alone.

The closest entrance gate (Orpen Gate) is only 60 km (a 40 minutes drive) from the Zandspruit Estate. The Park all year open, only the game times are subject to change (gate times can been find in the downloadable map below). Entrance tickets can be purchased at each gate.

As Villa Kudu is so close to the Kruger National Park, you can easily plan a “day visit”.

Fauna of the Kruger National Park

All the Big Five game animals (lion, leopard, elephant, rhino and buffalo) are found at Kruger National Park, which has more species of large mammals than any other African game reserve (at 147 species).

Many people think that the term “Big Five” describes the five most difficult animals to see when on safari. In fact the term relates back to hunting days when these animals were considered the most dangerous animals to hunt on foot. This is why the leopard is on the list and the enormous hippopotamus (noted for lazing around in pools and rivers all day) is absent. The Big 5 are among the most dangerous animals in the world.

Due to the decline in Black Rhino populations and the fact that they favour thicker bush over open planes, it has become very rare for people to spot these magnificent animals in the wild.

Kruger supports packs of the endangered African wild dog, of which there are thought to be only about 300 in the whole of South Africa.

Kruger houses 114 species of reptile, including black mamba, african rock pythons, and 3000 crocodiles.

Did you know ?

The Kruger National Park was proclaimed in 1894 by President Paul Kruger.

What to pack ?

Comfortable lightweight clothes, plus a warm jacket for winter evenings. Plenty of sunscreen and a hat, no matter what the season.

Best time to visit

Winter is the best time for game-spotting. The grass is low and animals are dependent on waterholes. Summer is hot, but scenically very beautiful, and there are lots of baby animals to see.

Some estimates Wildlife population

lion
2800Lions
leopard
2000Leopards
elephants
12000Elephants
White Rhino
7000White Rhinoceros
black-rhinoceros
350Black Rhinoceros
buffalo
27000Buffalos
cheetah
120Cheetahs
wild-dog
150Wild dogs
hyena
2000Spotted hyenas
zebra
18000Burchell’s zebras
hippo
3000Hippopotamus
giraffe
5000Giraffes
male-greater-kudu
5800Greater Kudus
crocodile
3000Crocodiles