The Kruger National Park should be on everyone's bucket list.
Unless you've been up at dawn, driving out of camp as the morning sun illuminates thousands of glittering spider webs among the bushes, cruising slowly along the roads hoping for that overnight lion kill or a leopard draped casually over the branch of a big tree, you've missed one of the world's greatest wildlife experiences.
Sharing the park with you are over 100,000 impalas, 10,000 blue wildebeest, 9,000 kudus, 5,000 warthog (everyone's favourite ugly duckling), 25,000 zebras, 180 cheetahs, over 1,000 leopards and 1,500 lions ... and that's just the start. You can now begin to understand the natural super-abundance of one of the world's best-loved game parks.
By road from Johannesburg it's approximately a five-hour drive (depending where you enter the park). You can also travel by plane to Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport in Nelspruit and drive from there.
It’s best to hire your own vehicle – preferably a mini-van because you’ll sit high up and have a better chance to spot game.
A guided sunset tour. You get a glorious view of a spectacular African sunset, see game coming to drink, and then have the excitement of a spotlit night drive.
South African National Parks Central Reservations
UK TOUR OPERATORS
There’s accommodation to suit all budgets, from basic campsites and cottages to spacious family lodges. Book well in advance. Here are some suggestions:
Sabi Sabi Luxury Safari Lodges
MalaMala Game Reserve
If you’re not self-catering, all the bigger camps have restaurants.
The camp shops offer a great selection of wildlife books, DVDs, bush clothing and African curious.
At least three nights, much more if possible as there is plenty to see and do. Some regular visitors spend up to a month in the park at a time.
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. The National Park gets over 1.4-million visitors a year, but because it's so big – 352km from north to south, and covering over 1.9-million hectares – you will be amazed at how often you are alone watching game on a 2 500km network of tar and dirt roads.
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