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Kruger National Park - all you need to know

 
 

The Kruger National Park is an untamed African wilderness, where an unrivalled diversity of wildlife roams over nearly 2 million hectares.

 It is the premier Big 5 (lion, leopard, buffalo, rhino & elephant) Game Reserve of South Africa.
 

 

Facts

  • Divided into 4 regions
  • Roamed by herds of big game
  • Excellent Game Viewing
  • Wide Variety of Camps
  • Picnic Sites with food & drinks 

Facilities

 

Activities

 

 

Overview

 

  • It is managed by the South African National Parks (SANParks) board and offers an attractive and low cost alternative to the private luxury safari lodges available throughout South Africa.
  • The ability to self-drive offers a personal itinerary, freedom to explore your own path and experience truly exciting, close-up encounters with wild life.
  • It has a number of rivers flowing through it, with small waterholes, picnic sites and viewing hides offering a wide range of game viewing experiences.

Accommodation

Self Catering 
  • A selection of 27 SANParks camps set within picturesque bushland.
  • Affordable rates from R200.00 (USD22.50) per couple per night at a campsite.
  • Flush toilets, showers and kitchen facilities available at all camps.
  • 2 Sleepover hides with chemical toilet and no running water.
  • Some have restaurants, fuel stations, shops, Air-con and even an Internet cafe.
  • Others are more secluded with solar power, fans, hides and tents.
  • All are fenced except Boulders Bush Lodge, which is elevated.

 

Read more...

 

Fully Catered

 Private Lodges within Kruger National Park

  • All found within a small private game reserve with exclusive access.
  • Luxury facilities and inclusions are standard.
  • Choose from tented luxury to secluded suites.
  • Inclusive of all meals, 2 game drives per day & a guided walk.
  • Personal guide & tracker team with open-roof Land Rovers.
  • Fine dining.
  • Transfers to and from airports.

 

Read more...

 

Wildlife Highlights

  • It has excellent game viewing with a large concentration of wildlife.
  • Predators, elephant, black & white rhino, giraffe, herds of buffalo and zebra, hippos, crocodile, antelope.
  • A wide variety of bird life within different habitats. 

Location

  • North Eastern Lowveld of South Africa near border with Zimbabwe and Mozambique.

When to Go

There is no perfect time to go. 

The Park can be a very different experience in different seasons. 

You decide...

Summer. December - February
  • Hot and humid so you may spend more time in your air-conditioned room or car.
  • The bush is lush with more of a jungle feel.
  • Rainy days where you will have great sightings on the road after a shower.
  • Warm mornings so easier to get up.
  • Earlier gate openings so you may feel more tired during the day.
  • Birthing season so lots of baby animals.
  • High Malaria season and lots of bugs.
  • Busy around Christmas/New Year.
Autumn. March - May
  • Still warm but with cooler nights.
  • Less busy after Easter season.
  • Less rainfall.
  • Pleasant evenings by the campfire in May.
  • Tall grasses so can be hard to spot animals, particularly near Pretoriuskop Camp. 
Winter. June - August
  • Cold mornings and mild days.
  • Later gate opening time so can sleep in!
  • Warm clothing needed for mornings and game drives.
  • Bushland dry and sparse - less of a jungle feel.
  • Fires lit to maintain sustainability - so areas can look blackened.
  • Low Malaria season, less bugs.
  • More opportunity to enjoy camp life and evenings around a campfire.
  • Predators can be hard to spot when lying down - they are the same colour as the dry grass.
Spring. September to November
  • September - can be deceptively warm & dry.
  • Dusty, windy days before the rains.
  • Game congregates around waterholes.
  • Few bugs before the rains.
  • Magnificent thunderstorms in late October.
  • November can be cool and pleasant.
  • Migrating birds come with the rains.

More...

Getting There

Airports
  • There are 3 airports near Kruger Park Gates.
  • Hire cars facilities at each airport.
  • Private airstrips are used for some private lodges.
Self Drive
  • Located from 5 -7 hrs from Johannesburg on tarred roads.
  • Car hire available from 0.R.Tambo International airport (Johannesburg).

 More...  - Best route to take, GPS Coordinates for camps

Gate Open & Close Times

  • Late entry to the park(gate) is generally not permitted.
  • Late entry to the camps will incur a warning or fine.
Month Camp Open Camp Close Gate Open Gate Close
Jan 04:30 18:30 05:30 18:30
Feb 05:30 18:30 05:30 18:30
Mar 05:30 18:00 05:30 18:00
Apr 06:00 18:00 06:00 18:00
May-Jul 06:00 17:30 06:00 17:30
Aug-Sept 06:00 18:00 06:00 18:00
Oct 05:30 18:00 05:30 18:00
Nov-Dec 04:30 18:30 05:30 18:30
  • Caravans, trailers, coaches and buses are restricted to tar roads.
  • Open vehicles only allowed with a permit.

Entrance Gates

  • There are nine entrance gates to Kruger.
  • From North to South:
Gate Closest Camp Dist to Camp (Km's) Time to Camp
Pafuri Punda Maria 76 1:55
Punda Maria Punda Maria 9 00:14
Phalaborwa Letaba 52 1:20
Orpen Orpen 1 0:02
Paul Kruger Skukuza 12 0:18
Phabeni Pretoriuskop 18 00:27
Numbi Pretoriuskop 9 0:14
Malelane Berg-en-Dal 10 0:15
Crocodile Bridge Crocodile Bridge 0 0:00

Times are based on travelling at approx 40km/h, without stopping to view game.

Conservation

  • In October 2001, 3 countries got together to form one of the largest free-roaming conservation areas on the planet.
  • The Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park includes:
  1. Park Kruger National Park (South Africa)
  2. Parque Nacional do Limpopo (Mozambique) 
  3. Gonarezhou National Park (Zimbabwe)
  • This is a park without boundaries that covers a total of 3.3 million hectares.
  • It is one of the largest wilderness conservation areas in the world.

Daily Conservation Fee & Wildcard

What to go for?

  • If you are only staying a few days in any of S.A's National Parks - Daily Conservation Fee.
  • If more than 5 days - Wildcard (for use in all SANParks).

Daily Conservation Fees:

  • South African Citizens and Residents (with ID): R50 per adult per day; R25 per child per day.
  • SADC Nationals (with passport): R102 per person, per day; R51 per child, per day.
  • Standard Conservation Fee (Foreign Visitors): R204 per adult, per day ; R102 per child, per day.

Wildcard Fees:

Warnings & Dangers

In the park

  • Keep inside the vehicle at all times.
  • Wear sandals in daylight and closed shoes at night in camp - snakes, scorpions & creepy crawlies about.
  • Kruger is a Malaria zone.
  • Use mosquito repellent, mosquito nets & cover up after dark.
  • Take malaria prophylaxis if prescribed.
  • Animals are unpredictable - keep your distance.
  • An animal that seems too friendly may have rabies.
  • Do not get out of the car unless given permission to do so ( at lookouts, picnic areas, camps etc).
  • Don't feed the animals - they become aggressive when you stop feeding them.

Outside the park

  • Close windows - especially at stop streets.
  • Ignore street vendors.
  • Lock all doors.
  • Don't stop for hitchhikers.
  • Stay on main routes and avoid isolated places - carry a map.
  • Look out for potholes.
  • Don't speed.
  • Peel fruit before eating.
  • Drink bottled water.
  • Take precautions against AIDS and HIV.
  • Conceal valuables - on view in the car.
  • Avoid carrying expensive cameras and videos in cities.
  • Avoid carrying large sums of money in public places.
  • Avoid wearing expensive jewelry.
  • Don't let your credit card out of sight when paying at restaurants.
  • Refuse help at ATM's.

 


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