One of the biggest game parks in Africa, Kruger is home to the Big 5 and thousands of other species. With bountiful and diverse flora and fauna, the 2 million hectare park is full of interesting historical and archeological sights.
One of the biggest game reserves in Africa, and the one of the most popular safari destinations in the world, Kruger National Park is known for its unbeatable number of resident species; 507 birds, 336 trees, 147 mammals, 114 reptiles, 49 fish and 34 amphibians. Kruger National Park attracts as many tourists as almost every other game reserve, put together.
What to look for:
The Big Five – Buffalo, Elephant, Leopard, Lion and Rhino
The Little Five – Buffalo Weaver, Elephant Shrew, Leopard Tortoise, Ant Lion and Rhino Beetle
Birding Big Six – Ground Hornbill, Kori Bustard, Lappet- faced Vulture, Martial Eagle, Pel’s Fishing Owl and Saddle-bill Stork
Five Trees – Baobab, Fever Tree, Knob Thorn, Marula, Mopane.
Letaba Elephant Museum - Showcasing the ivory of eight of Kruger's greatest tuskers and covering the elephant evolution, biology, behaviour, ecology and research; this museum is an eye opener. Jock of the Bushveld Route - It is a circular day-walk which has a historical importance. Sir Percy Fitzpatrick, then a lowly ox-wagon transport-rider, rode and hiked along this route in the 1880s, as he and his Staffordshire terrier Jock delivered supplies to the Pilgrim's Rest goldfields from Maputo in Mozambique before he was knighted. Albasini Ruins - Joao Albasini, on his first trip to the newly established Boer (Afrikaans) town, Ohrigstad, bought some land from the Kutswe chief Magashula for 22 head of cattle. He set this place as the trading post.
Masorini Ruins - Ruins of the site inhabited by the Sotho speaking BaPhalaborwa during 1800’s, who developed an advanced and sophisticated industry of mining, smelting iron ore and trading in these iron products.
Stevenson Hamilton Memorial Library - The shades of history under one umbrella, opened on 14 October 1961, houses a fine collection of ecologically orientated books, paintings and memorabilia.
Thulamela - Thulamela is a stone-walled late Iron Age site and is situated in the Far North region of the Kruger Park and dates back to approximately 450 – 500 years ago.
The summer months (October to April) are hot but with a good breeze. Winters are warm and mild during the day.
Visitors going on night-drives in winter will require warm clothing.
Kruger is home to diversity in all aspects, including different tribes such as The Zulu, Shangaan Tsonga, Pedi, San, Xhosa, Venda and Ndebele.
The Zulu - "The people of the Heavens" are the largest ethnic group of South Africa, with an estimated 10 million Zulu residents in KwaZulu-Natal. Drums are an essential part of Zulu celebrations, and always accompanied by dancing and chanting.
Shangaan Tsonga - A diverse lot including the Shangaan, Thonga, Tonga, and several smaller ethnic groups, Shangaan-Tsonga had a population of about 1.5 million people in South Africa in the mid-1990s. In the Shangaan-Tsonga tradition, the storyteller is the grandmother or elder woman of the family who is the respected narrator of the old stories.
Pedi - The second largest African language group in South Africa with a population of 7 million, Sothos can be divided into 3 groups and Pedi is one of them. The Pedi huts called rondawels are made out of clay mixed with "boloko" (cow dung) to strengthen it.
San - Oldest inhabitants of Southern Africa, the San are often referred to as Bushmen. They are not related to the Bantu tribes but are the descendants of Early Stone Age ancestors. San rock paintings are found in rocky areas of the KwaZulu-Natal, Eastern Cape and the Western Cape provinces. Xhosa - Often called the "Red Blanket People", red and orange of ochre are the traditional colours of the Xhosa. With a deep sense of community, Xhosa would extend a helping hand to anyone in need.
Venda - Venda have incorporated a variety of East African, Central African, Nguni, and Sotho features and come from the Great lakes of Central Africa. Drums are important in Venda culture, with legends and symbols linked to them. They are kept in the homes of chiefs and headmen.
Ndebele - Identified as one of the Nguni tribes. Ndebele art has always been a significant characteristic of the Ndebele.
Dry Season – May to September (Winter)
There is almost no rainfall during the entire winter and the humidity is very low. Animals are attracted to permanent water sources as water becomes scarce in the bush, making them much easier to spot. May – A transitional month, marking the end of the wet season. Temperatures cool down to 12°C/54°F in the morning and 27°C/81°F in the afternoon. June, July & August – The average morning temperature is 9°C/48°F. Afternoons are pleasant with temperatures around 26°C/79°F and cloudless skies. September – The heat gradually builds to about 29°C/84°F in the afternoons. Mornings are less cold with temperatures around 14°C/57°F.
Wet Season – October to April (Summer)
Peak temperatures generally reach well over 40°C/104°F, although average daytime temperatures reach 32°C/90°F with high humidity. Mornings are often clear, with wild afternoon storms. October & November – It gets warmer and starts to rain more often, mostly in the afternoons. Temperatures are between 18°C/64°F in the morning and 31°C/88°F in the afternoon. December, January & February – Characterized by torrential downpours in the afternoon and high humidity. Afternoon temperatures are usually around 32°C/90°F but can soar up to an unbearable 40°C/104°F. These are the wettest and hottest months. March & April – Rainfall decreases and it slowly gets colder. April has lovely, clear weather and few clouds. The nights get a bit colder but are still pleasant at about 16°C/61°F. Daytime temperatures are around 30°C/86°F and the humidity drops.
By Air There are daily flights to the Kruger Park from the following airports located between Nelspruit and White River.: Skukuza Airport Phalaborwa Airport Hoedspruit Airport Kruger/Mpumalanga International Airport (KMIA)
Daily flights also operate to Skukuza from Cape Town. KMIA also receives daily flights from Durban, Johannesberg and Cape Town, and there is also a flight from Cape Town to Hoedspruit.
There are nine entrance gates to Kruger: Pafuri Punda Maria Phalaborwa Orpen Paul Kruger Phabeni Numbi Malelane, and Crocodile Bridge