South Africa’s flagship national park offers a chance to experience the vast untamed savannah, wild rivers, ancient cultures and the country’s most iconic wildlife.
Kruger National Park’s is a vast wilderness of 4.8 million acres (2 million hectares). From open savannah to dense forest, South Africa’s largest national park and game reserve is home to elephants, rhinos, lions, leopards and buffalo. Collectively these beasts are known as Africa’s “Big Five.”
Kruger is celebrated for the diversity of its wildlife. There are about 150 mammal species, 110 reptile species and 500 species of birds. All of the country’s large carnivores can be found within the park’s borders.
Take a self-guided drive through the reserve and experience grazing herds of giraffe, impala and zebra. Most of the roads are paved and suitable for ordinary cars. Designated rest stops allow you to get out from behind the wheel and fully experience the sounds, scents and colors of this timeless land. Download maps and suggested itineraries from the park’s website.
To get even closer to the wildlife, sign up for an open vehicle safari tour. A park ranger and tracker will take you to the places they know animals congregate. If you’re feeling energetic, explore the park on foot on a single or multi-day trek in the company of experienced armed guides.
Kruger National Park features hundreds of archeological sites. In the park’s central area, explore the late Iron Age site and reconstructed village at Masorini. Further north, view evidence of prehistoric habitation at Thulamela.
The Kruger National Park is a year-round destination with hot, subtropical temperatures in summer and cold nights in winter. The dry winter months can be the best for spotting wildlife, however, in summer, rains fill waterholes and transform the bushveld into a lush landscape filled with migratory birds and newborn wildlife.
If you are staying overnight, accommodation options include bungalows, luxury guest houses and camp sites. Wear long clothing in natural colors and use insect repellent to avoid mosquito bites, and be sure to pack a hat, sunscreen and other outdoor essentials.
The Kruger National Park is served by three airports: Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport, Hoedspruit Eastgate Airport and Phalaborwa Airport. Once you arrive, simply rent a car to begin your adventure.