Kruger National park is like no other national park on the planet. At a colossal size of 7523 square miles, it spans 220 miles from north to south and 41 miles east to west.
Home to not only the ‘Big 5’ – African elephant, Cape buffalo, African leopard, African lion and the rhino, but a grand total of 147 mammal species, which is more than any other african national park. As well as mammals, Kruger is home to hundreds of reptiles, birds and aquatic species including crocodile, brown eagles, spoonbills and the famous African ground hornbill. It is no wonder that around 950,000 people visit every year.
So why should you visit Kruger National Park at least once in your lifetime?
1 – To see animals in the wild – this is one of the greatest experiences you can have, and Kruger has such a diverse population you will be in awe for hours
2 – Specifically, to see wild African elephants – there is nothing that says ‘I’m in Africa’ more than seeing these formidable giants in the wild. Word of warning, do not get between a herd, you are asking for trouble and more than likely, will be charged at. If an elephant starts flapping its ears and walking towards you then this is a warning, back off! Give them their space and observe from a distance. It is not uncommon to see solitary males, but they often travel together in bachelor herds, with the females and young forming a larger separate herd.
3 – Because the views are spectacular – I’m talking sunrise and sunsets with silhouettes of animals emerging from the bush, and elephants framed by the landscape, with the horizon peering over their shoulder.
4 – To be surprised – I lost count of how many times we would be driving along thinking there was nothing going on and then suddenly something magical would happen, like 2 white rhino running out in front of us! Or a baby hyaena emerging from a den that wasn’t even visible from the track.
5 – To remember why it is so important that we look after these animals – I think it’s really easy to forget about how vital conservation is for the survival of these amazing animals on our small planet. They face poaching, habitat destruction and abuse, and are at the mercy of human beings everyday. Seeing them in the wild, face to face, reminds you in essence that they are real, they exist, and they need us to continue fighting for their right to live in the wild, and cohabit this planet harmoniously with human beings.