10 Ways to get the lion’s share of Kruger
One of the world’s greatest game reserves, the Kruger National Park, is a favourite destination for many overseas visitors. South Africans are fortunate to have this large wildlife reserve relatively nearby and your visit is guaranteed to be the experience of a lifetime.
As a regular visitor with family and friends, I’ve been able to compile a list of 10 ways to get the best out of Kruger:
SPOTTED It really is worth tumbling out of bed at the crack of dawn to be one of the first vehicles on the road. You might just spot a leopard napping on a branch PHOTO: KATE TURKINGTON
- If you have young children or teenagers, choose one of the main camps that has a pool, a restaurant, evening wildlife movies and a well-stocked shop with everything from beer to boerewors, clothing and curios. Your family can run or walk around the camp in freedom and perfect safety while the lions roar outside.
- If you have no kids, choose a bushveld camp. Although they are a bit pricier than the main camps and you won’t find a shop or pool, you’ll be rewarded with exclusivity and privacy in areas that are off limits to general visitors.
- Arm yourself with a good pair of light binoculars (heavy ones will make your arms ache), coupled with bird and mammal field guides. Now you're set to find that lilac-breasted roller or herd of elephants.
- Stay at least three nights and drive different routes. Check the notice boards at reception for the latest sightings as well as this useful App.
Count your blessings – you are in one of the world’s most sought-after destinations. But be warned, Kruger is addictive. PHOTO: KATE TURKINGTON
- It really is worth tumbling out of bed at the crack of dawn to be one of the first vehicles on the road. You may well spot that lion kill, hyenas, or wild dogs hunting. And Kruger dawns are spectacular.
- Enjoy a sundowner by a river or at a waterhole. Take cold beers, wine or cool drinks; and sit, wait and watch.
- Drive river roads at dusk for potential predator sightings, although be sure to be back in camp before closing time.
- Braai every evening. Camp shops have good supplies of food and drink, and every accommodation has its own braai.
Check sanparks.org for availability and information. PHOTO: KATE TURKINGTON
- Sleep safely even if lions, hippos and hyenas are calling all around you. All the camps are fenced and secure.
- Count your blessings – you are in one of the world’s most sought-after destinations. But be warned, Kruger is addictive.
Article and photography: Kate Turkington