Kruger National Park

Kruger National Park in South Africa is one of the oldest parks in the world and it is absolutely golden. Famed for its incredibly impressive wildlife display of the most beautiful animals roaming the planet, including elephants, lions, leopards and hundreds more mammals, it is safe to say Kruger is an essential part of any visit to the rainbow nation. Sloping granite hills line the southern part of the park and the Lebombo Mountains brood in the east, providing one of the most stunning South African scenes.

  • Best Time To Go


  • Average Safari Cost

    From $150 to $700 pp/day (Park fee: $30 for adults; $15 for children)

  • Highlights

    Big Five present, 137 other mammals alongside them, fantastic birding opportunities with over 500 bird species, most popular park in South Africa and one of the largest national parks in the world.

Why Visit Kruger National Park?

Spanning across almost 20,000 square kilometres of land, the Kruger National Park in South Africa is one of the best conservation sites on the African continent. It is home to over 500 species of bird, 147 species of mammal, 336 species of tree and 16 distinctly different habitats, making for very impressive statistics which give other parks a run for their money – quite literally.

If you want a wide-ranging and varied South African safari, the Kruger National Park is the perfect place for you, with some of the world’s most iconic animals – lions, leopards, elephants and the Cape buffalos too. Staying over at Kruger is also an experience in itself. You can choose how luxurious you want to be, with fantastic options for all budgets – whether you’re a self-driver or on a guided tour – which is just another shining bonus of spending time at Kruger.

Pros And Cons

  • One of the best and largest parks for wildlife in the world
  • Alongside the Big Five, 137 other mammals
  • High quality roads
  • Fantastic variety of birds - 500 species
  • Iconic African safari destination
  • South Sector of the park gets very busy in high season
  • The Northern Sector of the park is quite remote

Best Time To Go

We recommend visiting Kruger National Park in the months of June through to September in order to maximise wildlife viewing. At this time of year, animals gather around waterholes, making it easier to spot them in specific places. The vegetation also thins out at this time, so the smaller wildlife can be observed much easier than at other times of the year, especially in the warm sun of June to September.

You could head to Kruger in the months of November through to May when the weather is not at its best and rain is prevalent. The scenery is fresh, though, and newborn animals steal the show like you’ve never known. At this time, birding is in its prime and the migratory birds have also dropped in to the park. You could also head to the Elephant Hall Museum at this time of the year to see their history in Kruger and also even head on the exciting River Canyon tour.

Start your African Adventure

Wildlife And Birds

Kruger NP has one of the most varied and rich wildlife population in all of South Africa. It’s packed with iconic characters who you get to spend your time with and have great fun trying to spot all through the park.
List Of Animals
  • Lion
  • Elephant
  • Cheetah
  • Leopard
  • Hippo
  • Buffalo
  • Hyena
  • Giraffe
  • Black Rhino

Rare Animals

  • Black rhino
  • Leopard
  • Wild dog
  • Cheetah

Frequently Seen Animals

  • Elephant
  • Giraffe
  • Hippo
  • Buffalo
  • Zebra
  • Wildebeest
  • White rhino
  • Lion
  • Hyena


Over 500 species of bird reside at Kruger, accounting for more than half of all the birds recorded in South Africa itself. Migrant birds are present from November through to April and the spectacular birds of prey, Kruger’s speciality, are present all year round.

Endangered Birds

    Pacific golden plover

  • Ruppell’s vulture
  • Wilson’s phalarope
  • Western marsh-hamier
  • Green sandpiper

Endemic Birds

  • Bateleur
  • Lilac-breasted roller
  • Saddle-billed stork
  • Swainson’s spurfowl
  • White-fronted bee-eater

Best Routes

Unlike at other national parks, seeing as Kruger is so big, there are different routes to explore the park. Both have their own strengths, so it is up to personal preference and ease to make your choice.

Northern Sector

The north of Kruger National Park is really where you’ll feel as though you’re in the wilderness at the heart of Africa. Dry plains create a vast expanse, sandstone hills sweep and cut through rivers and there is a strong countryside impression formed by the openness of this sector. This part of Kruger is the more remote part, being such a long drive away from Phalaborwa airport and between tightly regulated speed limits within the park. Isolated though it may be, the Northern Sector of Kruger National Park is rewarding.

Southern Sector

The most popular part of the park is in the south where large numbers of visitors flock to in the high season. It makes for the best wildlife viewing in the whole of Kruger and also features to Sabie River, a feature-defining part of the area where the leopard residents usually prowl. It is much easier to get to than the north and has the best wildlife viewing, but does get quite busy.

Getting There And Safety

We recommend flying into O.R. Tambo Airport (JNB) in Johannesburg and getting a connecting flight to Nelspruit Airport (MQP) if you’re heading for the Southern Sector. For the central and Northern Sectors, fly to Hoedspruit; for the Northern Sector, fly to Phalaborwa.

You can choose to arrive at Johannesburg or Cape Town Airports from most major international hubs like London, Frankfurt, New York, Amsterdam and others.

If you are based in the UK and Europe, check out these flights to South Africa

If you are based in the USA and Canada, check out these flights to South Africa

For more details see South African Safari - Complete Travel Guide.


For details about visas see our South African Safari - Complete Travel Guide.


Although South Africa is mostly free of malaria, Kruger National Park and Mpumalanga area pose a moderate risk. Months between October and May pose some-what higher risk.

To see your local medical authority for advice on required vaccinations, please see our South African Safari - Complete Travel Guide.

Drinking Water

According to AfricaCheck, "South Africa is relatively poorly endowed with water resources and is considered a “water-stressed” country.

"However, according to the Department of Environmental Affairs, South Africa’s drinking water supplies are of international standard and in compliance with World Health Organisation requirements".

Travel Insurance

Going on a safari in Africa comes with obvious risks. We recommend you get travel insurance for all safaris in South Africa. Make sure your insurance has full medical coverage, emergency air evacuation, repatriation and the standard travel insurance for cancellations, delays and luggage cover.

Check the World Nomads’ travel insurance calculator to see the cost of the safari trip cover.

What To Pack

You should pack clothes suitable for both hot and cold weather as days can be very hot followed by very cold nights. Your clothes should be in neutral tones, not bright colours. Other items to pack include: insect repellent, camera, torch, binoculars, sunglasses and sun block.

For more details on what to pack see our Safari Packing List.