© ecoTravel Africa 2011
The Kruger National Park was established in 1898 to protect the wildlife of the South Africa Lowveld. Today, covering an area of nearly 20,000km² Kruger National Park is one of the largest game reserves in Africa and offers visitors a sensational opportunity to view wildlife in a diverse habitat.
The Kruger National Park is well known around the world as it has universal appeal. The flora and fauna found within the park are one of the biggest draws, with an estimated 336 tree, 147 mammal, 507 bird, 49 fish, 34 amphibian and 114 reptile species. Whilst the opportunity to see the ‘big 5’ is often the main draw, the park is also home to other interesting species such as the endangered African Wild Dog, Cheetah, Pel’s Fishing Owl and the Bateleur.
The park offers a variety of activities for the visitor, whether it’s driving, hiking, cycling or walking, they are all available in Kruger National Park. Self drive safaris are very popular and clearly marked tarmac roads and gravel trails make it an ideal location for those wanting to make their own way around the park. Guided drives are also available from all of the main camps, including night drives. Hides are dotted around the park and some of these offer visitors the opportunity to stay overnight. Despite it's popularity, the road and track network in the park means thatit is still possible to enjoy unique wildlife experiences in virtual solitude.
There are also a couple of mountain biking trails within the park that can be booked upon arrival which allow an up close to nature experience. For those that want to get off the beaten track, the park offers a range of guided walking and hiking trails – these range from morning bushwalks through to 5 day, 4 night backpacking trails. There are also 4x4 self drive trails for the experienced 4WD driver. And if that’s not enough there is even a golf course!
The park is managed by SANParks who are leaders in environmental management programmes and are continually undertaking research and development projects which include a yearly census to monitor biodiversity within the park, an invasive alien species research programme and a River/Savannah Boundaries programme to name but a few.
A diverse range of accommodation exists both within the park and around it's boundaries, from luxury private lodges and mid range tented camps to back to basics camping and everything in between.