Kruger National Park safarisSouth Africa's largest and finest game reserve
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Extending over a similar area to Wales, this 20,000 square-kilometre national park supports more than 160 mammal and 500 bird species, including substantial populations of all the Big Five.
The Kruger Park is an important stronghold for several of Africa's most iconic large mammals. It supports more than half the world's remaining white rhinos, along with substantial populations of buffaloes, elephants, black rhinos, leopards, cheetahs, African wild dogs and giraffes, and one of the few viable lion populations in southern Africa. Birding is excellent too, particularly in the summer months. Other wildlife includes baboons, warthogs, hyenas, many small predators, and around a dozen antelope species.
A self-drive safari through the Kruger is a highlight of any visit to South Africa, and there is something truly exciting about exploring this vast tract of bush unguided. Time permitting, a south–north traverse over 10 to 14 days is a wonderful way to immerse yourself in the primal bush atmosphere.
Popular Kruger National Park safaris
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More on Kruger National Park safaris
Serviced by good tar roads and several inexpensive rest camps, Kruger is better suited to affordable self-drive exploration than any other African safari destination.
Facilities are concentrated in the south, which is the most accessible section of the park for visitors coming from Johannesburg. The south hosts the highest wildlife densities, and so tends to be overrun with tourists during peak periods. By contrast, northern Kruger is serviced by a handful of small camps and, while game viewing can be erratic, it boasts a genuine wilderness ambience. The central Kruger (north of the Sabi and south of the Letaba river) offers the best of the both worlds, carrying less tourist traffic than the south, but offering more reliable wildlife viewing than the north.
A recent development has been the allocation of several private concessions within the park. Though they lie within Kruger, these operate in much the same way much as the private reserves along the park's unfenced western border, but are less well known and thus tend to be a little cheaper. The camps within the concession are mostly small and stylish, and guests are generally offered an all-inclusive safari experience in open 4x4s manned by driver/guides who know the concession intimately.
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