Kruger National Park is the largest game reserve in South Africa. It covers an area of 19,485 km2 in the provinces of Limpopo and Mpumalanga in northeastern South Africa and extends 360 km from north to south and 65 km from east to west. The park is part of the Kruger to Canyons Biosphere an area designated by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) as an International Man and Biosphere Reserve. To the west and south of the Kruger National Park are the two South African provinces of Limpopo and Mpumalanga. In the north is Zimbabwe, and to the east is Mozambique. The Kruger National Park is the flagship of the country’s national parks and is known for its ultimate safari experience. The Kruger Park is a remarkable reserve offering an incredible experience of Africa.

The Wildlife

Africa’s Big 5 – lions, leopards, rhinos, elephants, and buffalos are frequently sighted. The African wild dogs, antelope, Springhare, Spotted Hyena, civets, zebra, baboons, and monkeys can also be found in Kruger. Some of the vast and diverse population of interesting birds which are found in the Kruger National Park are African Fish Eagle, Pel’s Fishing-Owl, Pennant-winged Nightjar and Croaking Cisticola. In fact, Kruger is home to a number of species including 147 mammals, 114 reptiles, 507 Bird Species and 34 Amphibians. The Kruger National Park is not only known for its natural beauty, it is also known for its diverse and flourishing wildlife.

Kruger National Park Regions

The Kruger National Park has four regions to make it easier for visitors to select the type of African safari experience: Central Region, Southern Region, Northern Region and Far Northern Region.

elephants at kruger

Central Region

The Central Region is acclaimed to be the most game-rich area. It encompasses about 30% of the Kruger National Park’s land area stretching from the Sabie River north towards the Olifants River. It supports nearly half the park’s lion population as well as numbers of leopard , hyena, and cheetah. The central region also has a number of camps making it a popular region among tourists.

Southern Region

The Southern region covers the lower fifth of the Kruger Park, from the Sabie River down to the Crocodile River right in the south. This is the region where you’re almost sure of seeing a white rhino. The combretum woodlands of the Southern region also attract reasonable herds of kudu, impala, giraffe , buffalo , zebra , white rhino and elephant. There are only a few lions in this region which makes way for the cheetah and wild dogs.

Northern Region

The Northern region is a semi-arid region covering 7 000 km2 that sees very little rain. It extends from the Olifants River to the Tropic of Capricorn and is mostly dominated by mopane trees. Elephant sightings are common in this region of the Kruger Park, as well as buffalo and zebra.

Far North Region

The Far Northern region extends from the Tropic of Capricorn right up to the Limpopo River. The area is mainly arid and flat, apart from around Punda Maria, where localized rainfall allows tall mopane trees to flourish in abundance. Visitors can get to see the sand frogs, a collection of bats, the nocturnal bushpig and the rare Sharpe’s grysbok. There are also samango monkeys, packs of endangered wild dog , and the major water pans across the Jambiya sandveld are a good place to sight tropical warm-water fish. Game viewing in this region is best along the river systems, and this is a great area to see nyala, elephant, buffalo, cheetah, and leopard.

Things To Do In Kruger National park

Game Drives

game drives at kruger national park

For those who want to experience wildlife encounters, the private game lodges offer game drives. Games drives can be morning drives, sunset drives, night drives and usually include a coffee break, breakfast or sundowners in the bush as part of the game drive experience. A game drive is a highlight of any day as guests venture out on the back of an off-road vehicle to the bush in hot pursuit of an up-close encounter with the animals. These game drives are conducted by experienced rangers who will impart to you their knowledge about the animals and the wild.

Bush Walks

Guests can also explore the Kruger National Park on foot. During bush walks, guests get to experience the excitement of tracking a rhino or elephant or lion on foot through the heat of the bush.  Guided bush walks are designed to enable the guests to take a much closer look at the ecosystem. It allows guests to see smaller details which cannot be seen during game drives. Bush walks can last up to four hours and mostly conducted by the camps during morning or afternoon.

Wilderness Trails

Guests will experience the wildness, remoteness, tranquility, and peace in the wilderness trails. Some of the most incredible wilderness trails in Kruger National Park are Metsi-Metsi, Napi Wilderness Trail, Bushmans Wilderness Trail, Sweni Wilderness, Nyalaland, and Wolhuter. The wilderness is perfect for small groups. It requires a certain level of fitness and stamina to survive days in the trails. Staying in a rustic, primitive camp and experiencing the African bush on foot for a few days is definitely an authentic wilderness experience.

sabi sands

If your goal is to indulge in nature, experience a true African safari with incredible accommodation and create memories that last forever, the Sabi Sands Game Reserve is for you.

The Sabi Sands Game Reserve is a 65,000-hectare reserve adjacent to the renowned Kruger National Park. Sabi Sands offers unparalleled viewing possibilities and ultimate photographic safari. It is claiming to be the best place in the world for a safari and offers a safari experience found nowhere else in the world, including up close and personal experience with the big five and other wildlife animals.

Sabi Sands Game Reserve

Brief History

Sabi Sands Game Reserve used to be an agricultural land. The original Sabie Reserve was already proclaimed in 1898 which turned out to be the forerunner of the massive Kruger National Park. When the National Parks Act was passed in 1926, many of the original landowners were excised from the area. They, in turn, created the Sabi Private Game Reserve next to Kruger National Park in 1934. The landowners formally formed what now is the Sabi Sands Reserve in 1948. Up to date, Sabi Sands is under the ownership of six families which are now third and fourth generation owners.

Sabi Sands Wildlife

Sabi Sands is renowned for the up close experience with the Big Five —Lion, Leopard, Elephant, Buffalo and Rhino. In particular, it is well known for its extraordinary close encounters and prolific sightings of the elusive leopard which is frequently spotted when going on a game drive in the reserve. On night drives, the reserve’s famous leopard, mongoose and civet cat are frequently encountered.

There is a 50-kilometer unfenced boundary between the Sabi Sands and Kruger National Park, so wildlife roams freely in a huge natural environment. Aside from the big 5, there are about 145 other mammal species, more than 500 bird species, approximately 30 amphibian species, about 110 reptile species and 45 fish species which can be found in the Sabi Sands. The number of different species proves to show the incredible diversity of wildlife in the reserve. Some of the mammals which can be seen in the reserve include Aardvark, African Wild Cat, Bushbuck, Cheetah, Honey Badger, Hippo, Jackals, Vervet Monkey Warthog and the Wild Dogs. There are also more than 330 kinds of trees growing in the reserve. In addition, the Sabi and the Sand Rivers run through the reserve and add a further dimension to the bio-diversity of this area. With a high density of wildlife, guests are guaranteed to encounter most, if not all, of the Big Five, as well as a variety of other species.

sabi sands

An Exclusive Safari Destination

Sabi Sands Game Reserve is a private game reserve which means that it is not accessible for day visitors. The guests must book at one of the Sabi Sands lodges upon entering the reserve. Self-catering, camping, or picnic facilities are not available in the reserve. However, it is home to many different lodges that all have something unique and incredible accommodations to offer. These lodges range from quite affordable to ultra-luxurious ones. Meals and safari activities are also included in the rate. The guests are not allowed to drive around the reserve alone for safety purposes. Nevertheless, guests are guided by highly trained guides who explain everything you need to know about the reserve and the animals. One of the highlighted advantages of Sabi Sands is that rangers are allowed to drive off the road when on safari. So when there is leopard sighting, the ranger is allowed to follow it in the bush.

It is said that Sabi Sands possibly makes the best South African safari destination for wildlife enthusiasts, photographers and bird watchers alike. So plan your next trip and visit the Sabi Sands Game Reserve.