Kruger National Park is one of the largest, most famous and most-visited parks in all of Africa. Located in the northeastern corner of South Africa, it forms the border between South Africa and Mozambique. It is 19,485 km² (7523 mi²) in size, making it the seventh largest national park in Africa, and was established in 1926. Kruger offers superb wildlife viewing opportunities and it is possible to see the big five here. The big five are: buffalo, elephant, leopard, lion and rhino. The big five are only the icing on the safari cake, though, as Kruger is home to a stunning array of flora and fauna and boasts over 500 species of birds and nearly 2000 species of plants.
Kruger is also one of the most developed national parks in terms of tourism infrastructure, and it offers the full gamut of lodging options, from very basic accommodation up to luxury levels that rival the top seven star hotels of the world.
Like many game parks in Africa, Kruger generally has two seasons: a wet and a dry season.
The wet season occurs during the southern hemisphere summer, roughly between the months of October and March. During the summer months, the daytime temperatures tend to be higher and the humidity levels rise. It is not uncommon for a daily thundershower. The Kruger landscape at this time of year is green and lush, and towards the end of November and into early December is the calving season for many of the herbivores. Due to the surplus of water and the dense foliage at this time of year, animal viewing may be more difficult than in the dry season. The animals have ample selection for their water and may be even less active during the day due to the warmer and stickier conditions. That said, some people prefer to travel at this time of year to see the lush foliage and newborn animals that the winter months bring.
The dry season occurs during the winter months of the southern hemisphere – roughly April through mid October. During this time of year the daytime temperatures are slightly lower than those of the summer months and the humidity levels are lower. The precipitation levels drop substantially from those of the summer months and many of the waterholes dry up during this time of year. The lack of accessible water makes for better game viewing as the animals must gather round what remains. The game viewing is also easier to see without the dense foliage of the summer months. The winter months are very popular with visitors from the northern hemisphere as they coincide with school holidays. The months of July and August see a large number of visitors to Kruger.
Kruger is highly recommended for any level of safari visitor. It offers a wide range of safari options, from standard driving and walking safaris to safari options not often seen in the more northern countries such as elephant back safaris, open-sided safari vehicles and self-drive safaris.