Kruger National Park, South Africa (with Map & Photos)

Kruger National Park is the first, largest and most popular nature reserve in South Africa. There are 11 gates in the park - 3 in the northern part, 5 in the western and 2 in the southern. The main gate is the Kruger Gate, decorated with a large-headed statue of the founder of the park and the leader of the Boers.

Kruger National Park South Africa
Kruger National Park South Africa

General Information

Access to the park opens at 6.00 from April to September, and the rest of the months at 5.30. In April-February and November-December, access to the Kruger National Park ends at 18.30, in May-July at 17.30, and the rest of the time at 18.00. Camping gates are also locked at night, and open at about the same time as the entrance gates (in November-January 1 hour earlier). The eastern border of the park is also the border between South Africa and Mozambique, there is the only Giryondo Gate, which serves as a border checkpoint.

Kruger National Park South Africa
Kruger National Park South Africa

The Kruger lies on a plain known as the Lowveld (from the Dutch Veld - "field"). Its height does not exceed 600 m above sea level, but less than 100 km to the west lies the colossal 1000-meter Drakensberg Escarpment. Behind it begins the Highveld, on which Joburg and Pretoria are located. In the Kruger itself, the low Lebombo Mountains stretch along the eastern border. In the rest of the territory, you will not see anything except the classic savannah and a few bodies of water. The largest river in the park is the famous Limpopo, which forms its northern border. Administration is in Skukuza (Skukuza)in the southeastern part of the park - in the same place as the main park camp. The best time in Kruger is from October to March.

The attractiveness of the park is provided not by photogenic landscapes, but by fauna and flora - including 147 species of mammals, 507 species of birds, 148 species of reptiles and amphibians. Despite the dry climate, more than 300 species of trees alone grow here. Transport and large settlements gravitate towards the southern part of the park - surprisingly, there are more animals in the southern Kruger than in the sparsely populated northern part of the park. The chances of collecting the full Big Five (elephant, rhino, lion, leopard, and buffalo) are especially great in the triangle formed by the Pabeni, Numby and Kruger gates. The conservation of local nature has been going on without interruption for over a century, and tourism activities have been going on for almost 90 years (since 1923)... During this time, the animals have become very accustomed to the observers, so great pictures in the Kruger are guaranteed. Another "trick" is the richness of the cultural and historical heritage on its territory. More than 250 objects of the park are protected monuments of civilization, including more than 100 rock paintings made by the ancestors of today's Bushmen. In 2002, South Africa, Mozambique and Zimbabwe announced the creation of an international reserve, which, in addition to Kruger, will include the protected areas of its neighbors.

Kruger National Park South Africa
Kruger National Park South Africa

Nowhere else in protected Africa is there such a choice of overnight places and such opportunities to get acquainted with nature. You can stay in a “shelter” of several huts or tents (Hide), a small campsite without a restaurant, but with a kitchen (Bushveld Camp), a large campsite with a restaurant (Rest Camp) or a comfortable private camping (Bush Lodge). In large camps, there are different categories of accommodation - from a place for setting up your own tent (it gives you the right to use the infrastructure) to an expensive guesthouse with full rooms and bathrooms. All Kruger camps and lodges can be reserved at the South African National Park Service (in Pretoria + 27-012-4289111, 7.30-17.00 weekdays, 8.00-13.00 Sat; [email protected]).

Visitors using their own vehicles from Hazyview and Nelspruit can book a guided tour from the park staff at the gate:

  • Phalaborwa Gate (north, + 27-013-7356509) - walks along the bush 900-1000 rubles, morning walks from 380 rubles, morning safaris from 420 rubles, day safaris, morning game drive from 215 rubles, night safaris from 215 rubles, evening walks from 320 rubles, cycling 740 rubles. (own bicycle 530 rubles), trips on own. auto 190 p.
  • Orpen Gate (center, + 27-013-7356355) - morning and evening game drives 340 rubles, nighttime 202 rubles, morning walk 460 rubles, private trips. auto 190 r., bar-beku 60 r.
  • Kruger Gate (center-south, + 27-013-7355107) - morning and evening game drives 340 rubles. auto 95 p.
  • Numbi Gate (center-south, + 27-013-7355133) - evening game drive 340 r., Own. auto 190 rub., barbecue 60 rub.
  • PhabeniGate (center-south, + 27-013-7355812) - morning and evening game drives 340 r., Own. auto 190 p.
  • Malelane Gate (south, + 27-013-7356152) - morning walks for guests of nearby campsites 390 rubles, for other 460 rubles, morning and evening game drives 340 rubles, trips on our own. auto 190 rub., barbecue 60 rub.

Finally, the park service arranges Wilderness Trails - 7 routes for a group of 4-8 people. (from 12 years old) with a ranger. They include 3 nights in tents and start on Wednesdays and Sundays (starting at various campsites). Such entertainment is worth 3900 rubles. from each participant.

Kruger National Park South Africa
Kruger National Park South Africa

You can spend as much time in the Kruger as you have at your disposal. Even for 1 day you can manage to do a lot - especially when based in Skukuza, This is a nice place at the confluence of the Sabie (Sabie) and Nvasvichaka (Nwaswitshaka), where you can go from Hezivyu three roads through different gates - any promises to meet with game. Video footage of the battle of buffaloes with lions and crocodiles ("Battle of the Kruger"), considered a masterpiece of amateur reporting, was shot in 2007 on the way from Numbi's Gate to Skukuza. The campsite houses an information center, a park museum and the James Stevenson-Hamilton Memorial Library - this gentleman served as the park's chief ranger from 1902 to 1946! The monument to the veteran can still be seen next to the campsite along with the service dogs' cemetery, the old bridge (1912) and the railway station turned into the Selati Grillhouse restaurant (+ 27-013-7355658; from 7.30 am to 10.30 pm). Leaving Hazyview early, you can have time to see all this and get on a day walk along the bush (300 rubles). Especially for one-day tourists in the camp there is a Wooden Banana cafe (+ 27-013-7355992, from 7.00 to 21.00) and even a pool.

Many companies make short tours to Kruger, for example:

  • Kruger South Safaris (+ 27-0828870666; For those who are based in Nelspruit - a two-day program with an overnight stay in one of the park campsites, 3300 rub. in the combined group.
  • Kruger Flexi Tours (+ 27-013-7440993, + 27-0823401508; Daily trips to Kruger from Nelspruit from 1450 rub. per person

Most independent visitors use their own transport. Renting a car is easier in Nelspruit - there are plenty of offers both at Kruger-Mpumalanga Airport and in the city itself (Avis, + 27-013-7570-911, Depending on the class, the car costs an average of 300-400 rubles. in a day. The condition of the roads in the park is decent, there are enough signs, there is a road service (+ 27-082-3229733). Outside the park, avoid driving at night, and arrive at the gate early on weekends to avoid queues.

Kruger National Park South Africa
Kruger National Park South Africa

In Nelspruit itself there is a beautiful botanical garden (Lowveld Botanical Gardens, Riverside Park, + 27-013-7525531; Sep-March 8.00-18.00, Apr-Aug 8.00-17.00), where about 1000 species of plants characteristic of the Low Veld are collected... 15 km south of Nelspryuyta (road R40) is the only one in South Africa Chimp Eden sanctuary chimpanzees (Chimpanzee Eden Sanctuary, + 27-0797771-514;; walks daily 10.00, 12.00 and 14.00, 10.00-14.00 feeding monkeys, adults / children up to 12 years. 170/50 rubles), occupying about 1000 hectares of greenery on the territory of the Umholti Natural Reserve. No less popular is the Sabi Sand Private Game Reserve; + 27-021-4241037; the first private nature reserve in South Africa. It borders the Kruger and the entrance is 15 km north of Hazyview.

Most of Hazyview and Nelspruit hotels offer accommodation at an average price of 600 rubles.


Kruger National Park is one of the oldest, famous and largest African nature reserves. Locals call it wildtuin ("wild garden"). The park is large in size and divided into various ecological zones, so almost all types of African animals are present here. Moreover, in large numbers: more than 13,000 elephants, 5,000 giraffes, 86,000 antelopes and about 5,000 rhinos!

Kruger National Park Map