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Kruger National Park is one of South Africa’s icons and perhaps its greatest tourist attraction. The Park lies in the north-eastern corner of the country, at the foot of a great escarpment, in an area known as the Lowveld. It borders Mozambique in the east and Zimbabwe in the north and is home to a huge diversity of plant, bird and animal life – said to be more diverse than in any other conservation area in Africa. 

Here are 10 interesting facts:

1. It’s huge. Sprawled across some 20 000 square kilometres, it is larger than some countries.

2. The Park is 360km long and about 65km at its widest point.

3. It contains about 27 000 buffaloes, 12 000 elephants, 2 000 lions, 10 000 rhino and 2 000 leopards.

4. It has 21 tourist rest camps and 15 private safari lodges.

5. Established on 26 March 1898, the Park was originally called the Sabi Game Reserve. It was expanded over the years, finally achieving national status in 1926 when it was given its present name in honour of President Paul Kruger of the Transvaal Republic.

6. Colonel James Stevenson Hamilton was appointed as first warden of the reserve in 1902. A Scottish cavalry officer who had fought in the Anglo Boer War, his appointment proved to be an inspired choice. Over the next 44 years he toiled tirelessly in steering the Park towards the wildlife sanctuary it is today.

7. Of the 517 species of birds occurring in Kruger, 253 are residents, 117 are non-breeding residents and 147 are nomads.

8. It is home to 114 species of reptiles, including about 3 000 Nile crocodiles and various snakes of which the black mamba and puff adder are the most dangerous.

9. There is evidence of human occupation dating back 1.5 million years. South Africa’s original inhabitants, the Bushmen, lived in a number of the caves and rocky shelters found in the area and left behind a legacy of Stone Age tools and artefacts as well as numerous rock paintings.

10. The Thulamela Iron Age Site, near Pafuri in the far north, is a stone walled site built approximately 450 – 500 years ago. Various artefacts unearthed on site, provide proof that the community was part of a dynamic trade network controlled by Arab merchants off the east coast of Africa during this period. 

Kruger National Park Photos

  • Scenic view. Mbyamiti River. Southern Kruger National Park. Mpumalanga. South Africa.

  • African buffalo, also know as Cape Buffalo (Syncerus caffer) in Mbyamiti River. Southern Kruger National Park. Mpumalanga. South Africa.

  • Southern yellow-billed hornbill (Tockus leucomelas). Kruger National Park. Mpumalanga. South Africa.

  • Scenic view. Southern Kruger National Park. Mpumalanga. South Africa.

  • Leopard (Panthera pardus). Kruger National Park. Mpumalanga. South Africa.

  • African bush elephant (Loxodonta africana) in Muhlambamadvube River bed. Kruger National Park. Mpumalanga. South Africa.

  • Walkway along Sabi River. Skukuza. Kruger National Park. Mpumalanga. South Africa

  • Chacma Baboon yawning. Kruger National Park. Mpumalanga. South Africa

  • Skukuza Camp Reception Centre. Kruger National Park. Mpumalanga. South Africa. Skukuza is the main camp in the Kruger National Park. The name, adapted from Sikhukhuza (isiZulu), was a nickname for James Stevenson-Hamilton. It could be translated as 'a new broom', as Stevenson-Hamilton swept the area clean of poachers and outlaws. Skukuza is located in the southern part of Kruger and is the most popular and accessible camp, and one of the best for game viewing. In the vicinity of the camp all of the African Big Five can be found as well as other recognisable and exciting animals.

  • Huts, chalets or Bungalos at Skukuza Camp. Kruger National Park. Mpumalanga. South Africa. Skukuza is the main camp in the Kruger National Park. The name, adapted from Sikhukhuza (isiZulu), was a nickname for James Stevenson-Hamilton. It could be translated as 'a new broom', as Stevenson-Hamilton swept the area clean of poachers and outlaws. Skukuza is located in the southern part of Kruger and is the most popular and accessible camp, and one of the best for game viewing. In the vicinity of the camp all of the African Big Five can be found as well as other recognisable and exciting animals.

  • Huts, chalets or Bungalos at Skukuza Camp. Kruger National Park. Mpumalanga. South Africa. Skukuza is the main camp in the Kruger National Park. The name, adapted from Sikhukhuza (isiZulu), was a nickname for James Stevenson-Hamilton. It could be translated as 'a new broom', as Stevenson-Hamilton swept the area clean of poachers and outlaws. Skukuza is located in the southern part of Kruger and is the most popular and accessible camp, and one of the best for game viewing. In the vicinity of the camp all of the African Big Five can be found as well as other recognisable and exciting animals.

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