The Kruger National Park is the largest in South Africa and it is one of the largest National Parks on the African continent. Located in the North eastern part of South Africa, it covers two of the most popular provinces in the country that is the Limpopo and the Mpumalanga provinces. It is a home to quite a large number of wildlife and although the number keeps on either increasing or reducing every year, below is an estimate of the number of wildlife that is found in the Park. Besides the wildlife, it is also a home to some rock art that is believed to have been done by the San Bush men who were the first inhabitants of the country.
First established in the year 1898 by the then president of the Transvaal Paul Kruger, it was at first called the Sabie Game Reserve. During the colonial era in South Africa the wild animals in the Lowveld area had no protection from the poachers and the first warden for the Park was a colonialist in the names of James Stevenson-Hamilton. By then it was still called the Sabie but after the merging of the Sabie Game reserve and the Shinwedzi game reserve in the year 1927, the named was changed to Kruger National Park.
Most of the things that talk about the history connected to the Kruger National Park can easily be found in the Stevenson-Hamilton library and in here you will find articles, books and monuments that show how far the Park has come to date. The Kruger National Pak covers about 19633 square kilometers today and it is a home to quite a large number of mammals that can be viewed all throughout the year. Accommodation within the Park is determined by your budget and preference.
Kruger National Park fees
The National fees normally vary but we have listed below an estimate of what you should expect to pay when you get to the National park. The fees that you are expected to pay at the gate include the following although they might change depending on the management.
Price per day for adults
Price per day for children
27 US dollars
14 US dollars
South African residents and citizens
7 US dollars
4 US dollars
Southern African development community nationals that have passports
14 US dollars
7 US dollars
A safari cost within the Kruger National Park is determined by a lot of things that is transport, food, park fees, the number of days that you expect to spend while in Kruger and accommodation facilities that you might want to choose while in the National Park. That is why it is better that you book your trip in advance and pay for all these at a go to avoid extra costs.
When it comes to safaris within the Kruger National Park, they are categorized into two that is the budget safari and luxury Kruger safari. These categories depend on the accommodation facility that you choose but whichever you decide to go with, you will have a great time while on a trip to the Kruger National Park.
A budget friendly safari to the Kruger National Park
The budget friendly safari to the Kruger National Park is very affordable for the tourists, with basic accommodation facilities and other affordable services for the tourist which are comfortable. Your budget safari here will include the following:
- Game drives with a professional tour guide.
- Meals depending on your itinerary
- Transportation from the airport, within the National Park, to the accommodation facility and then back to the airport.
- Note that the budget safari does not really have specific days for you to explore the Park but it can run from two to six days depending on your budget.
- The maximum cost of a budget friendly safari can go for 400 US dollars although it is not a permanent fee.
A luxury safari to the Kruger National Park
Known to go for more than 7900 US dollars or less depending on the season, a luxury safari to Kruger although expensive is one that every tourist should try out for as long as they can afford it. A luxury safari can include the following:
- You get to choose the number of days that you want to spend that is 4 to 7 days.
- Accommodation in some of the best luxury hotels around.
- Transportation throughout your stay in the country
- Tour guides throughout your exploration of the Kruger National Park.
A safari to the Kruger National Park will have you participating in the different activities that are organized with your tour operator. The activities carried out within the National Park are friendly to all tourists and some of these include:
Birding in Kruger
The Kruger National Park has over 500 bird species which have almost half of the bird population in the country. It is the right place for one to go see the largest population of prey birds and among the 500 bird species, 50 of them are migratory birds. The best time to go for birding in Kruger Park is from November to April during the wet season because this is the right time that migratory birds fly into the Park to join the endemic ones. Some of the bird species that you should look out for when you get to the Kruger National Park include:
- The Tawny eagle
- The Pel’s fishing owl
- The Lilac breasted roller
- Yellow billed oxpecker
- The Bateleur
- The saddle billed stork
- The thrush nightingale
- The Kori Bustard
- Martial eagle
- The Swainson’s spurfowl
- The brown headed parrot
- The white headed vulture
- The Lappet-faced vulture
- The southern ground hornbill
- African finfoot
- Greater blue eared starling
- The bearded scrub robin
- The thick billed cuckoo among other species.
Game drives in Kruger National Park
The Kruger National Park has a wide range of wild animals found in the different parts and these are best seen with a game drive. The best time to go for game drives through the national Park is during the dry season which is experienced within the months of June to September. During this period, many of the animals can easily be seen at the different waterholes around the Park due to scarcity of water and food.
- The common duiker
- Wild dogs which are endangered species
- The Black rhinos although they are rarely seen
- The white rhinos
- The African civet
The games drives that are done within the Park come in different categories that is night drives, day game drives both in the presence of a tour guide and self-drives that are done without a tour guide although you will need a map for the self-drives.
Enjoy a golf game in the Kruger
This is a relaxing game that you should try out while on a trip to the Kruger National Park. There are four golf courses that are found in the Park and these are:
- The Skukuza golf course
- The Sabie River golf course
- The Hans Merensky golf course
- The Leopard creek golf course.
All the golf courses found within the National Park have 18 holes and while here you will have a chance to see some of the animals up close as they walk past the golf courses.
Nature walks in Kruger National Park
Nature walks within the Kruger National park are done during the dry season mostly when the routes are not muddy and with the help of a tour guide, you will be able to see many of the hidden treasures of Kruger. Some of the main routes that are used for the walks include:
- The Pafuri cross-Border Trail
The Pafuri cross-Border trail is found in the northern part of the National Park. This route is littered with over 500 tree species making the walking experience unforgettable. The trees act as homes to both animals and birds and as you go deep into the trees, you are bound to end up in a different country which is Zimbabwe.
Getting to see the Kruger bush come live with animals small enough to be missed while driving through the national Park and you also get a chance to get closer to nature. There are eight routes within Kruger that can be used for bush walks and below is a sample of these routes.
- The Olifants wilderness trail
The Olifants wilderness trail is one of the trails that are found within the Kruger National Park and it will take you three days to complete it. You will be able to see many animals while on this trail however most of them will go into hiding once they realize there are people who are walking nearby and therefore you need to be extremely quiet.
- Crocodile River trail
This takes on the southern part of the Kruger National Pak and while on this trail you will be able to see some of the Big five and other wildlife that habitates within the Park. It is a very clear route with less bushes as compared to the other walking trails.
When to visit the Kruger National Park according to months
The Kruger National Park can be visited can be visited all throughout the year but the best time as to when one can visit normally depends on the activities that they want to engage in while in the National Park. There are two seasons that are experienced in the Park that is the wet and dry season and both also determine the best time for visiting the Kruger National Park.
Visiting the Park between October and April
The wet season is experienced between October to April and this is the right time for all tourists who are interested in birding. The roads are terrible during this period and below are some of the highlights that you should expect during this period.
- This is the time to see many baby animals as it is a breeding season.
- Bird species can easily be seen including the migratory birds.
- The vegetation is fresh and good for those that love bush walks.
- It is humid during the day but it is advisable that you take antimalarial drugs to avoid getting malaria while on your trip.
- It is an extremely busy season and the prices on everything is high.
Visiting the Park between May and September
This is the dry season and the best time for one to see most of the animals that habitate within the Kruger National Park. Some of the highlights that you should expect during the dry season include the following:
- There is a lot of heat during the day so you should dress up appropriately.
- You will hardly see any rain during these months.
- When going for morning drives, make sure that you put on warm clothes because it tends to be cold.
- A view of most of the animals because during this time there is scarcity of water and pasture and they are seen gathered around the waterholes that are littered around the National Park.
How To Get There Kruger National Park
There are several airports that are found near the Kruger national park and although the rest of the journey is mainly made by car, these airports and the organized flights will get you into the country and a little bit closer to the National Park. Below are some flights that you can use to get you to the National Park on time.
A flight from Cape Town to The Skukuza Airport
The Skukuza Airport is found within the Kruger National Park and the best to use for tourists who want to fly directly into the park without passing through the hustle of getting a van and also for those that are always in a hurry. There are three flights from Cape Town and they each cost an estimate of about 750 US dollars although it might change according to seasons.
A flight from Johannesburg to Kruger
A drive from Johannesburg to the Kruger National Park will take you almost five hours and that is why most tourist opt to fly to there. There are several flights that are fly to the Park every day and depending on the seasons, the fee for the flights keeps on changing. However it might cost you between 200 and 300 US dollars.