Luxury Safari Lodges in the Kruger National Park
The world-renowned Kruger National Park offers a wildlife experience that ranks with the best in Africa. Established in 1898 to protect the wildlife of the South African Lowveld, this national park of nearly 2 million hectares, SANParks – Kruger National Park is unrivalled in the diversity of its life forms and a world leader in advanced environmental management techniques and policies.
Truly the flagship of the South African national parks, Kruger is home to an impressive number of species: 336 trees, 49 fish, 34 amphibians, 114 reptiles, 507 birds and 147 mammals. Man’s interaction with the Lowveld environment over many centuries – from bushman rock paintings to majestic archaeological sites like Masorini and Thulamela – is very evident. These treasures represent the cultures, persons and events that played a role in the history of the Park and are conserved along with the park’s natural assets.
The park lies in the north-east of South Africa, in the eastern parts of Limpopo and Mpumalanga provinces. Phalaborwa, Limpopo is the only town in South Africa that borders the Kruger. It is one of the largest national parks in the world, with an area of 19,485 square kilometres (7,523 sq mi) The park is approximately 360 kilometres (220 mi) long, and has an average width of 65 kilometres (40 mi). At its widest point, the park is 90 kilometres (56 mi) wide from east to west.
The Kruger Park lies between two rivers to the north and south, the Limpopo and the Crocodile respectively, and are its natural boundaries. To the east the Lebombo Mountains separate it from Mozambique. Its western boundary runs parallel with this range, roughly 65 km distant. The park varies in altitude between 200 m in the east and 840 m in the south-west near Berg-en-Dal. The highest point in the park is here, a hill called Khandzalive. Several rivers run through the park from west to east, including the Sabie, Olifants, Crocodile, Letaba, Luvuvhu and Limpopo rivers.
The climate in Kruger Park is subtropical. Summer days are humid and hot with temperatures often soaring to above 38 °C (100 °F). The rainy season is from September until May. The dry winter season is the ideal time to visit this region for various reasons. There is less chance of contracting malaria and the days are milder. Viewing wildlife is more rewarding as the vegetation is more sparse and animals are drawn to the waterholes to drink every morning and evening.
A Kruger Park Safari offers one of the few opportunities in Africa to see Africa’s Big 5; the Leopard, Lion, Rhino, Buffalo and Elephant. Sightings of all 5 in one day are rare, which is why a stay of at least two or three days is recommended. However, there are few days when you won’t be able to see at least 3 of the 5.
The Big 5 are by no means all that Kruger has to offer. With over 336 species of trees, 49 species of fish, 114 different kinds of reptiles, 507 varieties of birds and 147 mammal species, the Park has something for everyone.