18/04/2024

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Kruger Park Africa – The Big Game Guide in South Kruger Park

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Kruger Park Africa – The Big Game Guide in South Kruger Park

As you plan your trip to South Africa, undoubtedly, you will be taking time to tour Kruger Park. Your mind will not be able to comprehend the vastness, variety, and beauty as you drive around the park searching for the exotic wildlife and big game that are so abundant there.

Tours to Kruger Park are becoming more popular because you simply can’t drive through without seeing the wildlife. There has been a dramatic increase in the wildlife population in South Africa due to many projects, such as building dams, to increase the water supply to the animals. Your chance of seeing big game is a thousand times more likely than when in Yellowstone National Park.

It would be well worth your time to do a little homework if you have your heart set upon seeing certain types of animals within Kruger Park. Some regions and camps of the park tend to be home to specific game, increasing the likelihood that you will spot those creatures.

This article is intended to be a condensed overview of what animals are typically seen at the different main camps in the southern area of Kruger Park (private lodges are not included). Some camps offer great amenities such as lodging, dining, fuel, and gift shops. You can schedule bush walks, night drives, and game drives with a trained guide. As you drive through Kruger Park on your own, plan your route to stop by the areas you most desire to see.

Let’s start with entering at the Paul Kruger Gate on the west side near the south end. As you drive east, you will first pass Skukuza Restcamp, which happens to be the capital of Kruger Park, sporting all the facilities and amenities that a small town can offer. If you want to feel like you are camping in the bush, you might want to travel further into the park to achieve that sensation. However, if you are short on time and want to see the Big 5 (cape buffalo, elephant, rhino, lion, leopard), you will have the best chance to do so here.

Traveling southeast through Kruger Park, the Lower Sabie Restcamp is located on the Sabie River, an excellent place to see large herds of wildlife. Be sure to take note of the different trees in the area, as they provide homes and food to a wide variety of animals. You can expect to see hundreds of buffalo, warthog, rhino, hippo, cheetah, lion, and elephant. Be sure to visit the animal’s watering hole at different times throughout the day, including night, which ensures your chance to see Africa’s nocturnal creatures.

Continuing on south and slightly west, Crocodile Bridge Restcamp, near Crocodile Bridge Gate, also purports to be a great place to see the Big 5. It has a high percentage of Kruger Park’s total rhino population and several prides of lion reside in this area. You can also find San paintings here as well.

Traveling west from Crocodile Bridge, Biyamiti Bushveld Camp holds a wide variety of animals including the cheetah. You can expect to see giraffe, kudu, duiker, impala, steenbok, elephant, black and white rhino, buffalo, hippopotamus, lion, leopard, wild dog, and hyena. There is also the chance of seeing the elusive Cheetah, or a pack of Wild Dog.

Malelane Private Camp is less popular because it accommodates less than 20 people. It is mentioned here because it is near the Malelane Gate if you need to exit Kruger Park south to return to Johannesburg (Jo’burg). Visitors are not allowed in the camp allowing guests staying the night a little more privacy. A trained and armed field guide can take you into the bush to help you learn more about the wildlife you are observing, including zebra and rhino.

The Berg-en-dal camp, northwest from the Malelane Gate, is nestled into rocky hillsides. You can take a hike and see the San rock paintings nearby. You will most likely see white (mistranslation of “wide”) rhino, kudu, impala, giraffe, reedbuck, klipspringer, grey rhebok, and warthog. You might be able to see some elephant. This area is a favorite for bird watchers to observe a wide variety of different species of birds found in Africa.

To complete the loop of your tour of the south end of Kruger Park, you may also stop by Pretoriuskop Restcamp, near the southwest Numbi Gate. This is one of the oldest camps in Kruger Park with much historical significance surrounding the camp. This is a great area to see the white rhino.

The southern end of Kruger Park is a popular place to visit since most visitors travel from and return to Jo’burg, South Africa. Though I’ve listed the rest camps and gates in the southern end of Kruger Park, starting from Paul Kruger Gate, looping around, and ending at the Numbi Gate, visitors from Jo’burg can easily enter at any of the gates in the southern end and loop around to exit another gate, ensuring that they see as much wildlife and nature as possible and as their time permits.

You will need to stay at least one night in exotic Africa at any of the many camps or bushvelds in order to make the trip worth your while and provide you with enough time to get even a small taste of Kruger Park.

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