South Africa: Animals of the Kruger National Park

From Swaziland, we drove 180 km to the Kruger National Park. We entered the park at the Crocodile Bridge Gate. There you have to pay the first day entry fee and with every day to come you can pay further fees either way directly in the camp you are staying or when leaving the park. The first thing we did when entering the park was, refuel our car, buy some water and a map. Only to give you a reference point, the park is as big as the state of Saxony in Germany.

Having a map is nice because all camps are marked and waterholes and the likely hood of seeing animals in certain places. I can only recommend buying a map, even that the park is well-marked you can get lost in all the forks. Important is also to keep in mind that the average speed in the park is 10 to 40 km/h and you have to be back in the camp one hour before the sun goes down. 

General rule for the Kruger National Park, be patient, expect nothing, be surprised by animals encounters. Drive slowly, drive loops to waterholes and just enjoy.

Pictures were taken over the time of 4 days in the Kruger National Park. 3 full days and one half day of self driving. It is completely possible to drive everywhere in the park with a rented car, it is not particularity necessary to book any tour.  The only limitation is that with a rented car you are not allowed to drive at night. If you want to go on night safaris or night walks then you need to book a tour, which easily can be done in the camps.

In order to be able explore the different regions of the park, choose to stay in different camps which were pre-booked. Lower Sabie, Skukuza Camp and Olifant Camp, which are the biggest in the park.

We started to drive every day around 7:30 or 8:00 am…

…and been back at the camps around 4:00 or 4:30 pm.

Personal opinion: The park is amazing. There are so many animals to spot, so many real life animal situations to see. Totally recommendable. And it was not as tourist I thought it would be. Even that in the camps you see many people, in the park itself you will rarely see any other car. We only had one situation when we saw the leopard, where it got a bit crazy with all the cars that stopped and wanted to have a look as well.

Regarding infrastructure: the streets are good, every bigger camp as a petrol station, restaurants, supermarket, etc. Everything is in place in order to stay there for a couple of days. 

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