Mpumalanga, Limpopo, South Africa
GPS: -23.987729583939, 31.55564427239
Visiting Kruger National Park: Larger in size than neighbouring Swaziland (almost 20,000 km² compared to 17,363 km²), the Kruger National Park is a vast protected area that stretches along the border with Mozambique for over 300 kilometres. It is divided into two large sections (north and south) by the Olifants River in Limpopo and Mpumalanga provinces. Its landscapes abound with many different ecosystems and habitats, resulting in a wide variety of flora and fauna. The Kruger National Park is one of the best safari destinations in Southern Africa for viewing the Big Five – African Elephant, Cape Buffalo, Leopard, Lion, and Rhinoceros.
Long threatened by armed conflict, the gold rush and poaching, the Kruger National Reserve overlaps with the ancestral lands of the San people (or Bushmen over 100 000 years ago). It was conquered by the Nguni tribes from the 3rd century onwards before being annexed by the Arabs in search of slaves in the 9th century. The Europeans then moved into this fertile area to satisfy their passion for hunting wild animals. The Kruger National Park was founded in 1896 in the former Transvaal region to protect certain species threatened with extinction. It is named after the 5th President of the South African Republic, Paul Kruger. In the second half of the 19th century, this Afrikaner distinguished himself as an army commander and later as a mediator against the occupation of the United Kingdom.
The Kruger National Park was recently merged with Gonarezhou National Park (Zimbabwe) and Limpopo National Park (Mozambique) to facilitate the free movement of animals. This ambitious project, known as the Greater Limpopo Transfrontier Park, forms a wildlife reserve that is larger than ever (40,000 km²). Often praised for its environmental policy, the Kruger National Park owes its worldwide reputation to its abundance of wildlife. To increase your chances of seeing wildlife away from tourist groups, you have the option of exploring one of the park’s private reserves, which are restricted to residents of camps and lodges in the area. You will have the best chance of spotting the wildlife of the Kruger National Park by using the services of the rangers, whose presence helps to combat the threat of poachers. You can join them on a safe bush walk or organise a game drive and benefit from their advice, explanations and field experience.