What is so special about Kruger National Park? And why is Kruger National Park so popular that it is almost synonymous with South Africa? It is an incomparable sanctuary that truly lets you experience the genuine essence of Africa.
Kruger National Park is one of the largest national parks in the world. It covers two million land hectares and stretches over twenty thousand kilometers along the border of Mozambique. It is the crown jewel of South Africa, chief among its various game reserves and ranks among the best in Africa. Kruger is a leader in environmental preservation. It boasts of 1,982 species of plants, 336 species of trees, 517 species of birds, 52 species of fish, 35 species of amphibians, 120 species of reptiles and 147 species of mammals. The park was created initially for the purpose of protecting its diminishing wildlife. Kruger’s history began in 1898 and was then known as a Government Wildlife Park. It was later renamed to Sabi Game Reserve, evolving into what is known today as the Kruger National Park. It is named after Paul Stephanus Johannes Paulus Kruger, the president of South Africa who spearheaded the movement to preserve South Africa’s wildlife from the destruction that poachers have brought into it. Aside from its wildlife which is amazing, KNP also possesses over one hundred rock paintings left by bush men who used to search the area for game thousands of years ago.
Regions of Kruger National Park
Different types of animals populate the Kruger. The central area of the park is mostly populated by lions, hyenas, leopards and cheetahs. There is a large quantity of grasses in this area as well as trees that attract giraffes, antelopes, buffalos, zebras and wildebeest. The central region only spans 30% of total land area of Kruger park but it is home to more than 50% of its lions. The far north region of the park is dominated by Mopane trees. Though mostly dry and flat, areas within the region with higher levels of rainfall supports the growth of dense Mopane groves. Lions, cheetahs and leopards are seen here but elephants and buffalos are more abundant. This area is considered best for sighting Nyala, Sable, Roan and Eland bucks. The northern region though still populated with Mopane trees are mixed with Leadwood, Apple Leaf, Jackalberry and Nyala trees. There are elephants, zebras and buffalos together with ostrich and tsessebe. The southern region occupies one fifth of the park’s total land area. There is dense vegetation and has the biggest population of rhinoceros. A KNP map can be found showing the areas and regions of the park that are the best to visit.
A Kruger National Park Safari is made up of several activities, foremost of which are game drives. These game drives last for approximately three hours, taking place at the early morning hours, mid morning or at sunset. These are usually the highlights of the trip. Bushwalks are another way to experience the wilds up close. You track rhinos, elephants and lions but you also get to appreciate the smaller inhabitants of the park such as birds, termites and monkeys. Foot safaris let you experience the wilds intimately. Going on wilderness trails require some level of fitness for most people as you are required to walk around twenty kilometers per day though at a leisurely pace.
Kruger National Park Accommodation
Kruger Park has 21 rest camps, 2 private concession lodges and 15 private safari lodges.
Kruger National Park Weather
The rainy season at The Kruger starts from September and ends up in May. Summer is very hot with temperatures as high as 38 degrees Celsius. The best time to visit the park is during the dry winter season. This is because of several reasons. At this time, there is a decreased probability of contracting malaria in the park, the days are milder and there are more chances of viewing wildlife because they usually drink from waterholes in the morning and at night.
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