The game stock in the Kruger National Park is globally unique. 114 different species of reptiles, 507 bird and 147 mammal species are represented here. About 3000 hippos and just as many crocodiles live in the rivers which have water all year long. On land, the Impala antelopes are the most numerous animals, with more than 90,000 specimens. Some 30,000 zebras and 15,000 buffaloes also bustle about in the vast savannah, and 5,000 giraffes and 8,000 elephants keep them company. Only the rhinoceros seems to be a bit under-represented with a population of only 300. However, the number of predatory cats is considerable: 1,500 lions, 900 leopards and 300 cheetahs are part of this magnificent eco-system.
The vegetation in the Kruger Park consists mainly of Bushveld, a combination of grassland, various shrubs and trees. In the northern parts of the park the vegetation is, due to the higher rainfalls, more dense than in the south. There is also the characteristic African baobab tree.
Top right: Baobab tree. Centre: Impala antelope. Bottom right: The Oliphants River.
Detailed visitor information for the Kruger National Park including accommodation in the various restcamps you can find on the Restcamps page within the "Travel Destinations" menu. Booking details and further hints are on the Tourist Information page.
Kruger National Park
The Kruger National Park is the primary destination in South Africa for many international tourists. Each year more than half a million visitors are registered.
The National Park was opened in 1898 at the instigation of then-president Paul Kruger. After hunters had considerably decimated the originally rich game stock, all the land between the Sabie and the Crocodile Rivers was put under the protection of Nature Conservation to ensure the survival of the remaining animals. Only as recently as 1961 was the extended Kruger Park fenced in.
The park stretches from the Crocodile River in the south up to the Limpopo River, which is the international border in the north. Altogether it is 350 km long, 65 km wide and comprises an area of about 20,000 sq km.
A web of roads of 1863 kilometres leads through the National Park, 697 kms of them being tarred. For the visitor there are numerous differently equipped restcamps, most of them scenically positioned. Within the park boundaries, travel is only allowed between sunrise and sunset. After dark one has to stay in one of the fenced restcamps.
The best time for observing the animals is the dry winter season. Then the grass is low and bushes and trees don't have leaves, so that one can have an unobstructed view. Because it virtually doesn't rain in winter, the animals come to the waterholes to drink in the mornings and evenings and can easily be watched from the car.