The moment you think of safari hotspots, the Kruger National Park in South Africa is usually amongst the destinations that one automatically thinks of. Kruger can be found in the northeast corner of South Africa crossing over Mpumalanga and Limpopo provinces. The park covers a region about the size of Israel and delivers a wildlife encounter that is considered to be one of the most desirable in Africa. The Kruger National Park was set up in 1898 to help look after the wildlife who live in the ‘lowveld’. The diversity of species found here is exceptional with surrounding 330 types of trees, 500 bird species and nearly 150 animals.
The nearest airport to Kruger National Park is based upon which region of the park you choose to visit. Hoedspruit Airport provides access to the north of the park while Kruger/Mpumalanga International Airport serves the south. These international airports have good internal connections from Johannesburg, Durban and Cape Town. Alternatively, it is possible to drive up from Johannesburg in about six hours. For the southern gates, follow the N4 to Nelspruit/Mbombela and from there the park is sign posted. Extra time needs to be allowed for if you are driving to the northern gates of Kruger.
Day trips are to be had from regional towns such as Hazyview. Self-drive travellers and tourists are also welcome, but there is a limit on visitor numbers which means it is wise to book in advance or consider staying the park at one of the restcamps.
There are nine entrance gates to the Kruger National Park and ample travelling time needs to be allowed as the entrance gates and restcamp gates are shut after sunset. Entrance to the National Park will not be authorized after sunset and there are a few other park rules which visitors must comply with. There are several camps and facilities within Kruger including restcamps, bushveld camps, overnight hides, bush lodges and luxury lodges.
Kruger offers wonderful nature and wildlife viewing including the ‘Big Five’ (Buffalo, Elephant, Leopard, Lion and Rhino) as well as the renowned Baobab tree.