Kruger Park South Africa
Kruger Park South Africa tourist information, accommodation, tours and safaris, game lodges
The Kruger Park, South Africa is without doubt one of the world's greatest game reserves and a top safari destination. Truly the flagship of South African national parks, the Kruger National Park is home to an unrivalled variety of wildlife - from Africa's largest and most dangerous land mammals down to the thousands of species of insects, not to mention over 500 species of birds. The Kruger Park boasts 147 species of mammals, 336 different trees, 49 fish, 34 amphibians and 114 reptiles. At over 2 million hectares in size, the world-renowned Kruger National Park is South Africa's top tourist destination and one of the best managed wildlife reserves of this size in the world. It has played a pivotal role in conservation and the growth of sustainable eco-tourism in South Africa.
Adjacent to the Kruger Park are huge private game reserves like the famous Sabi Sands and Timbavati Game Reserves. These share unfenced borders with the Kruger Park and the whole area is known as the greater Kruger conservation area. It is here that you will find some of the most luxurious private game lodges, offering off-road game viewing in 4x4 safari vehicles, guided bush walks and night drives. The bush and animals are the same as in the rest of the Kruger Park, but the accommodation is different. In the public area of the Kruger Park, most of the accommodation consists of bungalows or "rondavels" in the various rest camps. Camping is also an option. You can drive yourself around or use a tour guide, but the vehicles are not allowed to go off-road in search of wildlife.
Kruger National Park Travel Guide
FIFA World Cup 2010 Safaris
African Safari with Wild Wings Safaris.
Kruger National Park Guided Safaris
Kruger Park Game Lodges
Viewing wildlife in the Kruger Park
History of the Kruger Park South Africa
Before the Kruger Park existed and even long before Europeans arrived there, that region of South Africa was inhabited by African tribes and bushmen that left a rich legacy of rock paintings and archeological sites. There is evidence that these early inhabitants lived in close harmony with nature without exploiting it. The bush and its wildlife sustained them, and they had respect for nature.
The first Europeans and merchants were attracted not by the wildlife, but by the prospect of finding gold, and so an era began of exploitation and obliteration of the natural environment. President Paul Kruger was concerned about the rapid depletion of wildlife in the region due to hunting, and established a reserve called the Sabie game reserve in 1898. Colonel James Stevenson-Hamilton was appointed as first warden of the Sabie Reserve, and it is said that he only spotted his first impala on the 5th day after his arrival! Current visitors to the Kruger Park in South Africa will know that impalas can today be seen in abundance in the park. Stevenson-Hamilton was a mover and a shaker, and reportedly quite a difficult man, and earned himself the nickname 'Skukuza' among the local population - 'he who turns everything upside down'. One of his first controversial conservation policies was to cull down the lion population, and in one month over two thousand lions were shot by his rangers! This allowed the herbivore population to recover, and slowly but steadily the natural ecosystem balance was restored.
The initial Sabie Reserve only encompassed the area between the Sabie and Crocodile Rivers in the South of the park. Later this was joined with the Shingwedzi reserve further North, to form the huge conservation area that the Kruger Park is today.
The first tourists visited the park in 1927, and a total of 3 vehicles entered the Kruger Park that year! The park was remote and inaccessible at first, but the network of roads and rest camps grew over the years to make the Kruger Park the best-developed big game reserve in Africa with an excellent infrastructure of tourism facilities. In 2004, 1.3 million people visited the Kruger National Park in South Africa.