The Kruger National Park
The Kruger National Park is the flagship of the South African National Parks and probably of the African Parks as well. It is not just one of the most known National Parks it is definitely also one of the most popular and best maintained parks in the world.
Kruger National Park has roughly the same size as The Netherlands, Israel or Wales and is home to 147 mammals (including the Big 5), 517 different bird species, 114 reptiles, 34 amphibians, 49 fish and 336 trees. This diversity makes the Kruger of the “must sees” in Southern Africa.
The Kruger National Park is the world leader in advanced environmental management techniques and policies. But this is not the reason for it’s popularity. The Kruger Park is probably so well-known, because it is the best National Park in Southern Africa. The size of the Park and the diversity of animals, vegetation and landscape are making the park outstandingly good.
It is totally up to the traveller - you can either join an organised tour starting in Johannesburg, Pretoria or Nelspruit or you can rent a car and explore the Park on your own (route description to Nelspruit). TravelComments.com recommends organised tours in to the park for several reasons. The most obvious one is that qualified tour guides simply know the park way better than a first time visitor. They know where the animals are, they know why they are in certain habitats etc.. To us reason enough to join an organised tour to the world famous Kruger National Park and not to do it on your own.
Where to stay?
Travellers joining organised tours don't have to look around for accommodation in the park itself. If you are planning to stay somewhere close to the park for a couple of more days, you will easily find accommodation in eg Nelspruit, Hazyview, Graskop (Mpumalanga) and Phalaborwa, Tzaneen and Polokwane (Limpopo). All kinds of accommodation establishments can be found - backpackers, B&Bs, campsites, hotels, lodges etc. If you you want to visit Kruger on your own, it is advised to book your accommodation in the park in advance.
If you want to book your safari in the Kruger National Park in Nelspruit or your safari is starting there and transport from Joburg/Pretoria is not included, you've got the following options:
When to go?
Winter (June to August)
The best time of the year for game viewing. During this season, the grass is low, the bushes and trees don't have leaves. Rain is scarce and the environment is quite dry, so the animal are coming to the waterholes mostly in the mornings and evenings.
Summer (December to February:
The summer is the rainy season in the Park, so the rivers and waterholes are filled with water and the bushveld looks lush. Game viewing is pretty difficult, because the vegetation is pretty dense.
Towards the end of November and early December, Kruger National Park is filled with newborns.