Situated in the northeastern part of South Africa, on the borders of South Africa with Mozambique and Zimbabwe, lies the biggest national reserve in South Africa, Kruger National Park. The 20,000 sq. kilometer piece of land, designated a national park in 1926, is said to be the largest in not only South Africa, but one of the biggest on the African continent. Kruger National Park is a tourist delight to anyone who enjoys trips to the wild and appreciates the biodiversity located in the southern African nation.
Kruger National Park is one of the few parks that will make up the Great Limpopo Transfrontier once the project is complete. The Transfrontier will cover South Africa, and parts of Mozambique and Zimbabwe. When completed, the boundaries between the countries will be removes to make one large international game reserve. This would make it the largest reserve in Africa, considering that Kruger National Park on its own is bigger than Israel.
What makes Kruger National Park, stretching from Limpopo to Mpumalanga, a holiday favorite for the safari crowd is not its size. It is not even that the park is home to some of the most beautiful sceneries you can ever find in the incredible vastness of the African wilderness. Kruger National Park is known for its rich biosphere, so much so that it is even recognized by the United Nations for it.
The Kruger National Park Biosphere, at a Glance
Stretching as far as the eye can see are a variety of trees. Those who know them would recognize them as baobabs, fever and marula trees. They would see the knob thorns and the other two thousand or so plant species found in the park. These are but a few of the species that make Kruger National Park a rich hub of wildlife.
Next to the trees, shrubs, and scrubs of the national reserve, you can find the Big Five – groups of lions, leopards, rhinos, elephants, and buffalos. And if you look carefully, you notice the Little Five, leopard tortoise, elephant shrew, buffalo weaver, ant lion and rhino beetle, going about their usual business. You will also have to watch out for the ever-present aerial predators and scavengers in the park, including the eagle, storks, and vultures.
What to do in Kruger National Park
Whether you are traveling alone or in a group, there will always be activities you can engage in at Kruger National Park. The activities are numerous but mainly focus on exploring and appreciating the rich biodiversity of the park, though you can find other activities, picnicking for one, that match your interests. Here are our picks of top activities you can undertake while on holiday in the Kruger National Park.
Game Drives: want to experience the wildlife of Kruger National Park up close and in person? Then you should consider a game drive into the park. Whether on a self-driven tour-guided expedition or a group excursion, game drives allow you to see and value the beauty of the African wild. Typically game drives through the park last for up to 3 hours. With self-driven tours, you can go on a game drive in the morning or evening whereas lodge endorsed tours happen regularly and in no set intervals.
Bush Walks and Foot Safaris: if you are a person who is not easily satisfied with admiring game from afar, then the bush walk and foot safaris option is the best for you. These trips allow you to spend hours under the sun tracking game and even smaller animals, with stops for rest and eating in between. Foot safaris such as the one offered by Mohlabetsi Lodge vary in length whereas bush walks last for about four hours.
Wilderness Trails: unlike the routes you take with bus walk and foot safaris, wilderness trails are not well defined because they are virtually untouched by people. Popular wilderness trails in Kruger National Park include the Napi, Wolhuter, Nyalaland and Olifants wilderness trails. Covering wilderness trails requires covering about 20km on foot over approximately five days.
Eco trail: the South African eco trail is a game drive that covers the edge of Kruger National Park, allowing participants to notice the change from mountain vegetation to bushes to tropical rainforests. To preserve the biosphere of the area, a maximum of five vehicles, each carrying only four people, can go on the trail at a time.
These are just a few of the activities you can take part in in the Kruger National Park. For a fuller experience, take a trip to the reserve today.