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Kruger National Park

Description

The Kruger National Park, which measures a whopping two million hectares, is approximately the size of the whole of Wales. Although there are still fences between parts of the Kruger National Park and Mozambique and Zimbabwe, so the planned Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park is not quite yet a reality. When it is, it will be spectacular. Actually, Kruger already is.

Most of the park is situated in the Lowveld. Restricted to broad valleys below 1000m above sea level, the Lowveld is what many people consider to be the 'real' Africa. In this low-lying subtropical climate, broad-leaved trees and thorn trees co-exist happily in relatively open woodland, interspersed with long grass – and, of course, game. Wildlife abounds.

In the far north, it gets hotter and the vegetation changes to mopane woodland and, right in the northern part of the country, huge baobab trees dominate the landscape. The rivers here tend to be broad and slow moving and may consist of no more than a few unconnected pools at the end of the dry season but that's when the game congregates around the few known water sources – so it all evens out.

You may have heard the cynical remark that Kruger is 'too developed' with loads of town-like camps and other infrastructure. Well, yes. The park does have a number of good accommodation options – more than 20 SANParks camps and a few private luxury lodges as well. That may sound like a lot – but remember that Kruger is the size of Wales – and in all that space there is one town – the main camp, Skukuza, is virtually a small town – about a dozen tiny hamlets with less than a hundred families and a few out of the way camps that would probably relate to a small farmstead. That leaves an awful lot of real wilderness.

Kruger lions

You can do Kruger as a self-drive or as a guided tour. Other exciting options include walking safaris, mountain bike trails and a self-drive 4x4 trail. The nearest airport to the park is the Kruger-Mpumalanga International Airport, just outside Nelspruit.

The southern, more popular, part of Kruger is about four hour's drive from Johannesburg, and a little less from Pretoria. The drive to the more remote, far less utilised, northern part, takes a few hours longer, but it's not on the same route. You could do a great circular tour if you had ten days or so to spare. Fly in to KMIA and enter the park in the south, drive very slowly to the north, spending a day or two at different camps en route, and then drive back to Johannesburg. (Or the other way round, of course.)

Kruger zebra

Malaria:

If you are planning to travel to the Kruger National Park or Lowveld please be aware that this is a malaria region. Consult your doctor or travel clinic for advice and refer to our article on malaria.

Battle in Kruger National Park:

Check out this amazing video of a battle between buffalo, lions and another predator:

In and Around

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Accommodation near Kruger National Park

*Distances are shown as the crow flies and not necessarily the actual travelling distance.

from $1078
1 night, 2 adults

Ezulwini Billy's Lodge

Sleeps 24 Balule Nature Reserve Safari in Balule Nature Reserve

Ezulwini Billy's Lodge is a place where Africa remains unspoilt. Here, the emphasis is on friendline...

from $509
1 night, 2 adults

Umlani Bush Camp Timbavati Game Reserve

Sleeps 21 Timbavati Reserve Bed and Breakfast in Timbavati Reserve

Umlani Bush Camp is an exclusive rustic lodge accommodating only 16 guests in en suite reed and that...

from $968
1 night, 2 adults

Nkorho Bush Lodge

Sleeps 18 Sabi Sand Reserve Safari in Sabi Sand Reserve

An African jewel with a diverse abundance of wildlife, situated in the Sabi Sands Game Reserve. Set...

from $276
1 night, 2 adults

Jackalberry Lodge

Sleeps 8 Thornybush Game Reserve Safari in Thornybush Game Reserve

Experience the comfort of chalet style rooms offering understated luxury, sumptuous en suite bathroo...

from $464
1 night, 2 adults

Masodini Private Game Lodge

Sleeps 14 Balule Nature Reserve Safari in Balule Nature Reserve

Masodini Private Game Lodge is ideally located in the 40 000-hectare Balule Nature Reserve. It is a ...

from $620
1 night, 2 adults

Mohlabetsi Safari Lodge

Sleeps 32 Balule Nature Reserve Safari in Balule Nature Reserve

Tony, Alma and their colleagues warmly welcome guests to their relaxing and friendly oasis in the bu...

from $1078
1 night, 2 adults

Ezulwini River Lodge

Sleeps 32 Balule Nature Reserve Safari in Balule Nature Reserve

Ezulwini River Lodge is located in the centre of the Greater Kruger National Park, in the Balule Nat...

from $640
1 night, 2 adults

Thornybush Game Lodge

Sleeps 44 Thornybush Game Reserve Lodge in Thornybush Game Reserve

Adjacent to the Greater Kruger National Park, within the famous Thornybush Nature Reserve, is our la...

from $768
1 night, 2 adults

Simbambili Game Lodge

Sleeps 16 Thornybush Game Reserve Safari in Thornybush Game Reserve

Offering unparalleled luxury in an unspoilt environment, Simbambili Game Lodge is situated among den...

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