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Kruger National Park

Kruger National Park

Kruger National Park’s groundbreaking work in preservation and conservation has continued since the park’s inception in 1898. Originally known as the Sabi Game Reserve, the park was expanded over the years to encompass 7,500 square miles. In 1926, it was renamed Kruger National Park, after its early champion, South African President Paul Kruger. The park has become one of the largest game reserves in Africa and is recognized worldwide for its involvement in ecotourism and plant and animal conservation.

Kruger National Park claims 147 species of large mammals, more than any other African game reserve. Webcams are set up to catch sight of the “big five”: elephant, lion, leopard, buffalo, and black and white rhino. Besides supporting the packs of endangered African wild dog, the park is home to many other exciting animals including zebra, cheetah, giraffe, hippo, wildebeest, impala, and spotted hyena. Over 500 bird species have been spotted in the park, and indigenous reptiles include the black mamba and crocodile.

The region’s sixteen different ecosystems offer not only an abundance of wildlife but also almost two thousand different plant species. Botanical highlights include thorn tree, red bush-willow, knobthorn tree, marula tree, mopane tree, red grass, and buffalo grass.

Nine entrances welcome guests to the park, and accommodation options are varied. Twenty-one rest camps and fifteen designated private safari lodges operate within the camp. Also available are two private lodge concessions, which are parcels of land operated by private companies in partnership with communities, who then outsource the lodge operation.

Kruger National Park’s location in the Limpopo and Mpumalanga provinces in northeastern South Africa makes it accessible to many travelers. The park’s boundaries are defined by rivers on two sides, the Limpopo River to the north, bordering Zimbabwe, and the Crocodile River to the south. The Lebombo Mountains form the eastern boundary of the park, separating it from Mozambique, and the western border runs parallel to the mountains some forty miles away. Many more rivers crisscross the park, providing the area with much-needed water. Most of Kruger National Park is grasslands, known locally as bushveld. Woodlands and rocky hills also dot the landscape, the highest point in the park being a hill called Khandzalive.

A memorable visit to Kruger National park might include walking the wilderness trails, making game drives in Land Rovers, and exploring archeological ruins.

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