Nearly 20000 square km stretching from north to south along the border of Mozambique, Kruger National Park is the largest wildlife reserve in South Africa. The striking landscape with unmatched diversity of wildlife and vegetation combined with the legendary and archaeological sites makes the park a marvellous game reserve in South Africa.
The Kruger National Park is named after the former president of the South African Republic in 1926, following a twelve year movement to conserve the wildlife. The endless wilderness that spreads in the in Lowveld, the Kruger national is truly a wildlife paradise of South Africa.
The park is situated at the north east of South Africa. To the east the park is separated from Mozambique by Lebombo Mountains while rivers Limpopo and Crocodile act as natural boundaries in north and south respectively. The park varies in altitude ranging from 200m to the highest point of 840m at Khandzalive.
The thick and vast woodland savannah of the park can be divided into four regions.
Kruger Central Region – The abundant expanse of the sweet grasses and browsing trees found in the central region supports the large group of herbivorous animals found the in region. Covering about 30% of the park, the central region is home to the large predators that preys on the abundant herbivorous that sustains in the region.
Kruger Far North Region – The secluded region known for the sightings of colourful birdlife is composed of the sand formed by river flood plains and tropical condition as part of the region lies in a rain shadow and along the banks of the Luvuvhi River is a series of riverine forest makes an attractive sight to the spectators.
Northern Kruger Park Region – The semi-arid region to north of Orange River that sees a very less rainfall is comprised of unvarying shrub mopane, which thrives in hot, low-lying valleys. Five rivers that converge in the region paves way to the narrow channels whose banks grow trees distinctly different from the mopane – the nyala, the sycamore fig, the tamboti and the tall apple leaf.
Southern Kruger Park Region – Stretching between the Crocodile River in the south and the Sabie River in the north, the southern region is rugged plane with the highest point of the park, Khandzalive in the southwest region of the park.
There are a few incredible wilderness trails in the Kruger National Park, some in areas virtually untouched by humans, with names like Metsi-Metsi, Bushmans Wilderness Trail, Nyalaland, Napi Wilderness Trail, Wolhuter and the Sweni Wilderness.
Kruger National Park is home to one of Africa’s rich wildlife with the all the big five (Elephant, Rhino, Lion, Buffalo and leopard) and other big cats. While the Impala, greater kudu and waterbuck are very common, the abundant vegetation that is found in the region supports wildlife like antelope, giraffe, buffalo, zebra and wildebeest. The endangered wild dogs and white rhino are rarely spotted in the park. Rivers that flow across the park comprises hippos and a large variety of birdlife like hornbill, kori bustard, lappet-faced vulture, martial eagle, pel’s fishing owl and saddle-bill stork.
The dry season that follows from May to October sees very scant rainfall throughout the season. As the season progress days become hotter and hotter with cooler morning and nights where temperature go as low as 12°C/54°F. On any dry hot day during the season, the temperature rises to 29°C/84°F.
With the seldom rainfall that showers during the wet season, the days are usually hot and humid. The wet season that starts from November follows up to the March where the temperature peaks as high as 40°C/104°F.
Best time to visit
The hot dry season is characterized by sparse water availability around the waterholes which means concentration of wildlife around it. Hence the dry season makes up a good time for the wildlife viewing around the narrow water channels and waterholes in the backdrop of clear sky and dusty terrain. However, the wet season is formed by lush vegetation with abundant birdlife and green scenery.
Touted as the South Africa’s largest game reserve, Kruger National Park offers a vast safari with abundant wildlife and vegetation offering unique experience of safaris, landscapes and wild trails that makes up an incredible worldliness.