If you have got more than a week to spend in South Africa, I really recommend that you visit Kruger National Park. Kruger is one of the largest game reserves on the continent, and one of the most famous parks in the world. The park covers an area of 19,485 square kilometers (7,523 sq. mi.), sharing borders with Mozambique and Zimbabwe. You’ll never realize how big it is, until you experience it for yourself. It takes about 4 hours to reach by car from Johannesburg, however we took a tour and it’ ended up taking several! We spent 4 nights on safari in the Kruger area, but only one full day in Kruger National Park.
The Lion King is my favorite movie, it has always made me want to go to Africa. Well let me assure you, it didn’t disappoint. In fact, it was everything I had dreamed it would be. Animals to my left, to my right, and in front of me. I sat and watched as elephants, giraffes and zebras walked out in front of me. I was even lucky enough to see a hyena enjoying a refreshing drink of water from the waterhole. The whole place was so overwhelming, it was difficult to take it all in. There were just so many unusual species of animals around me, some of them I wasn’t even aware that they existed.
We spent a good 10 hours in the park, driving around in an open jeep on the lookout for animals. At times it was like looking for a needle in a hay stack. Then suddenly, a heard of elephants would just walk out in front of you. As the day ended the sky started to cloud over, suddenly everything just went grey. A thunderstorm was on the horizon, impala’s fled across the open plains looking for shelter. Just as we left the park the heavens opened, it rained like it had never rained before. Little did i know, I was about to be stuck in one of Africa’s biggest storms.
There’s just something so magical about being in Africa. The only way to show you that majesty is through pictures, as they do more justice to the park than my words ever could.
A heard of elephants crossing the road
The Impala is on the look out
A mother protecting her young
A dung beetle rolling poop
A elephant up close, isn’t he beautiful?
A zebra looking into the horizon
A male wilder beast
A heard of elephants crossing the road.
The dry plains of Africa
A bamboo looking for food
Isn’t she beautiful?
On the search for crisp packets
Mother and son
Did he spot us?
Look at the beautiful colors
A male buffalo hiding in the grass
A baby elephant rolling in the mud
This guy was crossing the road
A female ostrich
Zebras, zebras everywhere
A gazelle… isn’t she beautiful?
A blackbuck which is very rare to see
A blue kingfisher
A ground horn bill
A lilac breasted roller
A vulture on the look out
A little blue bird
And take off
Getting to Kruger National Park
Kruger National Park is about 4 hours away from Johannesburg, so I would advise flying into OR Tambo International Airport. It’s easy to visit if you have a car. However, I wouldn’t advise doing a self-drive through the park, although you easily can. I think driving would take away a majority of the experience, having a guide to spot animals and explain the ecosystem of the park made the experience a lot richer – plus these guys have eagle eyes! It was nice to hear some history about the park and learn about the bush, how the animals interact with each other and all about poaching and how they are trying to combat it.
I visited Kruger in December, South Africa’s hottest month and the bush was very dry, so it was like a needle in a hay stack at times. If you’re going to Kruger, the end of the dry season (August–November) is the best time to visit, because the lack of watering holes means animals have fewer places to congregate around, making them easier to see.
I would highly recommend booking your safari with Safari With Us. Andre really put a lot of effort into planning my dream trip to the Kruger National Park. You can find my South Africa itinerary here.