The Kruger National Park at a glanceKruger National Park is Africa's oldest established wildlife park (1898) and offers one of the best safari experiences in Africa. It's situated north of Johannesburg (South Africa) and takes about 5 hours to get to by car, or a quick 30 minute flight (see page 2). Kruger National Park boasts the highest variety of wildlife in Africa which includes the "Big Five", hippos, crocodiles, giraffe, cheetah and much more.
The Lay of the Land
The Kruger National Park in all its guises, is one heck of a place. The core park is around two million hectares big. Add to that nearly half as much again that forms the Greater Kruger Park including the unfenced private game reserves such as the Sabi Sands, by far the largest and best known, with 18 private lodges; Timbavati, Manyeleti, and Thornybush; along its western boundary.
Got all that? Then double it to include the adjoining Limpopo and Gonarhezou national parks in Mozambique and Zimbabwe respectively, and you have the Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park, a visionary conservation initiative that casts the mold for future conservation efforts in Africa. The organization Peace Parks an off-shoot of the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), is the muscle behind the peace - or transfrontier - parks initiative in Africa.
The Circus, The Zoo and the Wilderness
For convenience, the park has long been divided (in jest) into "the circus" (the southern section, from the Crocodile River to around Satara rest camp), "the zoo" (central section, roughly Satara to Shingwedzi) and "the wilderness" (Shingwedzi to Punda Maria in the north). Take a look at the map on the SANParks website.
Did you know?
- The park was named after President Paul Kruger of the Transvaal Republic, whose forces fought the British in the Anglo-Boer (1898-1901). Originally Kruger did not support the park; the name was adopted after his death to drum up support among ultra-conservative Afrikaner Nationalists.
- Kruger was the first national park in Africa, and the second in the world, having been modeled on Yellowstone.
- Crooks Corner in the far north-eastern corner of the park, where South Africa, Zimbabwe and Mozambique meet, was so named because poachers, smugglers and other assorted fugitives could beat the law by jumping borders; albeit crocodile infested ones.