Brian Jackman, an award winning journalist and author with an insatiable passion for travel and wildlife, had this to say, “Everything in Africa bites, but the safari bug is worst of all”. There are so many quotes about Africa that resonate for us, as they will resonate with you, if you have experienced the authenticity of an African safari.
African Sunset (Image Courtesy: RCWS Photo)
One such place with a legendary reputation is the Kruger National Park. It’s been dubbed the quintessential wildlife experience and with over 2 million hectares of land that stretches 352 kilometres from north to south along the Mozambique border, its’ not hard to understand why.
Up Close and Personal Encounters (Image Courtesy: Wetu)
The Kruger National Park lies across the provinces of Mpumalanga and Limpopo in the north of South Africa and is a land that travellers find themselves completely immersed in. It’s like taking a step back in time, when the natural world and not technology ruled.
the residents of the Kruger Park steal the show exerting their raw power in their journey of survival. Home to the famous Big Five, a term coined by bygone era hunters, includes the wildest animals: lion, leopard, elephant, buffalo and rhino. There are many travellers that consider their trip incomplete until they have spotted or photographed each one of these majestic beasts.
The Big 5 (Image Courtesy: Bazbus)
The African wild and its untamed spirit is perfectly melded with luxurious accommodation at the Kruger Park and the choices are as vast as the land itself. All the accommodation within the Kruger Park is run by the South African National Parks board but the limelight undoubtedly falls on the privately run game lodges.
Flanking the western boundary of the Kruger National Park are a number of private game reserves that even though they don’t fall within the parks boundaries, still form part of the heart of South Africa’s big game country. Some of the most famous private lodges and the best wildlife viewing takes place there. The reason for this, is the free movement of the animals between the private reserves and the Kruger Park itself. The renowned Sabi Sands Game Reserve is one of these private reserves and is well known for its close leopard encounters.
Lion Sands River Lodge-Sabi Sands Game Reserve (Image courtesy: 5 True Star)
The ultimate highlight of a visit to the Kruger National Park are the game drives. Nothing quite compares to the feeling of venturing out on the back of an off-road vehicle, binoculars prepped and ready, in hot pursuit of a pride of lions. Included on adventures in the African bush are bush walks or foot safaris.
Tracking rhino, elephant and lion on foot and learning more about the fragility of the ecosystem is as thrilling. The Kruger Park is, in fact, divided into no fewer than six ecosystems, baobab sandveld, Lebombo knobthorn-marual bushveld, mixed acacia thicket, combretun-silver clusterleaf, woodland on granite and Riverine forest. The intricate details of the land are best explored on foot. Africa beckons and the Kruger National Park accommodates, it’s time for a unforgettable safari experience, wouldn’t you agree?
A walking safari in the Kruger National Park (Image Courtesy: African Safari Travel)