The Kruger National Park is the primary destination in South Africa for many international tourists. Each year more than a million visitors are registered.
The Kruger National Park was opened in 1898 at the instigation of then-president Paul Kruger. After hunters had considerably decimated the originally rich game stock, all the land between the Sabie and the Crocodile Rivers was put under the protection of Nature Conservation to ensure the survival of the remaining animals. Only as recently as 1961 was the extended Kruger Park fenced in.
The park stretches from the Crocodile River in the south up to the Limpopo River, which is the international border in the north. Altogether it is 360 km long, 65 km wide and comprises an area of about 20,000 sq km or 2 Million hectare. A web of roads of 1863 kilometres leads through the National Park, 697 kms of them being tarred. For the visitor there are numerous differently equipped restcamps, most of them scenically positioned, as well as a number of up-market 5-Star Lodges. Within the park boundaries, travel is only allowed between sunrise and sunset. After dark one has to stay in one of the fenced restcamps.
A guided Kruger National Park tour, accompanied by a knowledgeable tour guide or a self-drive tour can be booked via Touraco Travel Services. Examples of tour proposals appear to the right on this Internet site. Itineraries can be adapted to suit personal needs. In all cases it is recommended to book in advance. The Kruger Park lies approximately half a day’s drive from Johannesburg/Pretoria.
The Park offers good opportunities for game viewing throughout the year, although generally the best time for observing the animals is the dry winter season. Then the grass is low and bushes and trees don’t have leaves, so that one can have an unobstructed view. Because it virtually doesn’t rain in winter, the animals come to the waterholes to drink in the mornings and evenings and can easily be watched from the car. The game stock in the Kruger National Park is globally unique. 114 different species of reptiles, 507 bird and 147 mammal species are represented here. About 3000 hippos and just as many crocodiles live in the rivers which have water all year long. On land, the Impala antelopes are the most numerous animals, with more than 170,000 specimens. Some 30,000 zebras and 15,000 buffaloes also bustle about in the vast Savannah, and 5,000 giraffes and 20,000 elephants keep them company. Despite being severely threatened by poaching, a considerable number of rhinoceros are represent. However, the number of predatory cats is considerable: 2,000 lions, 900 leopards and 300 cheetahs are part of this magnificent eco-system.
The vegetation in the Kruger Park consists mainly of Bushveld, a combination of grassland, various shrubs and trees. In the northern parts of the park the vegetation is, due to the higher rainfalls, more dense than in the south. There is also the characteristic African Baobab Tree
Kruger National Park Tours