Kruger National Park
You meet your ranger at first light and venture into the wilderness. You spot not just one elephant, but a dozen – from a playful baby to a two-story bull – and a regal gemsbok, with its slender, scimitar-like horns that may have inspired tales of the fabled unicorn. The thunderous roar of a lion, just yards away, leaves you nearly breathless.
This is Kruger National Park, a world-renowned animal kingdom where wildebeest graze, cheetah cubs learn to hunt and where every day is a fight for survival. Home to the Big 5 (lion, elephant, buffalo, leopard and rhinoceros), the park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site established 100 years ago to protect the diversity of wildlife in South Africa.
This remarkable sanctuary is located in the heart of the Lowveld, stretching for 352 kilometers from north to south along the Mozambique border. It lies across two provinces, Limpopo and Mpumalanga. The park is one of the world’s largest game reserves, and home to nearly every species of game in Southern Africa. Hippos and crocs thrive in its rivers, and hundreds of species of birds - including
Kruger hosts more than one million visitors a year, including a large percentage of locals. Its density of resident game year-round is unrivaled - making it an extraordinary experience any time of year. If you choose to drive yourself, be sure to pick up a map and guide in order to optimize your time. Otherwise, take a private or group safari – skilled trackers know where the animals are most likely to make their appearances, depending on the time of day and season of the year. For overnight stays, there are numerous public rest camps, as well as a handful of private luxury lodges with optional sleep-outs under the stars.