Kruger is one of the world’s greatest wildlife-watching destinations. All of Africa’s iconic safari species – elephant, lion, leopard, cheetah, rhino, buffalo, giraffe, hippo and zebra – share the bushveld with a supporting cast of 137 other mammals and over 500 varieties of bird. Beautiful granite kopjes (hills) pepper the south, the Lebombo Mountains rise from the savannah in the east, and tropical forests cover the north of the 19,485-sq-km park.
Yes, Kruger can sometimes become crowded. And yes, you may have to wait in line to see those lions. But that’s because the vast network of roads makes Kruger one of Africa’s most accessible parks (explore on your own or take one of the plentiful guided wildlife activities) and accommodation is both plentiful and great value. If you think the crowds may overwhelm, consider the private reserves that surround the national park. Among these is Sabi Sand, one of Africa’s finest.