On safari in the Kruger Park of South Africa

The Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park, also known as the Kruger Park, is the largest nature reserve in South Africa. There is a high density of animals, such as elephants, rhinos, lions and leopards. And because of the different areas in the park there is also a variety of birds. That is why thousands of people visit the Kruger Park every year.

Brief history

At the end of the 19th century, an area between the Sabie River and the Crocodile River was declared a ‘prohibited hunting area’ by the then president. This area was called the Sabie Wild Garden. The park has been expanded over the years and has become increasingly popular among day tourists. Ultimately it was named after its first founder, then-president Paul Kruger. In the early 21st century, the border countries of South Africa, Mozambique and Zimbabwe decided to develop a cross-border park to provide migration routes for animals and the local economy. The Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park is approximately the size of the Netherlands.

The wildlife of the Kruger Park

The most famous animal species of the Kruger Park will probably be the ‘Big 5’. These are the African elephant, Cape buffalo, white and black rhino, African lion and African leopard. The origin of this group comes from hunting wildlife, where these species are the most dangerous animals for hunters. Because they are also very beautiful animals to see, they have become extremely popular among tourists.
In addition to the Big 5, many other animal species occur in the Kruger Park. There have been sightings of cheetahs, hyenas, wild dogs and many antelope species such as giraffes, wildebeest, zebras and impalas. Bird watchers can also indulge themselves. The Kruger Park is home to eagles such as the mighty martial eagle, endangered birds such as the southern ground rhinoceros and several colorful birds such as storks, kingfishers and bee-eaters.
In the park there are viewpoints and bird huts, where tourists can get out of the car. The huts are furnished in such a way that you can hide away and watch the birds in silence with binoculars.

Your own safari

The Kruger Park is ideal for visiting as a tourist. There are organized safaris and trips, but it is not mandatory to participate. The park has several entrances, where you can buy an entrance ticket. The car will be searched (weapons and alcohol are prohibited), after which you will drive straight into the park. There are various routes to drive and on those routes there are (picnic) spots where you can get out of the car and rest for a while. In addition, there are approximately 10 camps where tourists can spend the night, both in houses and on the camping site. These camps have a gas station, a shop for basic groceries and a restaurant.
If you drive through the park yourself, you must adhere to the maximum speed of 40 kilometers per hour on paved roads and 20 kilometers per hour on unpaved roads. In addition, in South Africa they drive on the left side of the road and animals can cross the road, so you have to pay close attention. You can stop anywhere on the road and therefore you will sometimes find that there are traffic jams when something interesting is seen like a pride of lions along the road or a herd of buffalo crossing the road.
The camps are strict on their opening hours. Depending on the season, you have to be back at a certain time at the end of the day, otherwise the gates close and you have to spend the night in the bush, which is prohibited. Early in the morning the gates open just before sunrise and many people are already waiting in front of the gate with their cars until they are allowed to drive. So if you want to experience the bush in the dark, be there early.

Experience

It is quite an experience to experience nature in all its splendor. Because tourists can spend their own time, the park provides the freedom that many other parks lack. The sounds of animals, the colors of nature and the most beautiful views will ensure an unforgettable time.
For more information, visit the Kruger Park website.

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