Kruger National Park

At 2 000 000 hectares Kruger National Park in South Africa can only be described as huge! It’s about the same size as the whole of

Chalets at Satara Camp. Kruger National Park. Mpumalanga. South Africa

Chalets at Satara Camp. Kruger National Park. Mpumalanga. South Africa

Israel, a little smaller than Belgium and about a third of the size of Ireland. The park is approximately 360 kilometres long, has an average width of 65 kilometres and, at its widest point, it is 90 kilometres from east to west. There is a network of some 1 800km of well maintained roads and the Reserve has 21 rest camps, 2 private lodge concessions, and 15 private safari lodges!

“Huge” extends beyond land area: It his home to 336 tree, 49 fish, 34 amphibian, 114 reptile, 507 bird and 147 mammal species. Kruger National Park is said to hold over 48 tons of ivory in storage and there are some 12 000 elephants in the park. The table below shows the approximate number of some of the other mammal species that occur there.

Species

Approximate Numbers

Species

Approximate Numbers

African Buffalo 27 000 African Wild Dog 350
Black Rhino 350 White Rhino 7 000 to 12 000
Burchell’s Zebra 18 000 Bushbuck 500
Cheetah 200 Common Eland 300
Giraffe 5 000 Greater Kudu 6 000
Hippo 3 000 Lion 1 500
Leopard 1 000 Spotted Hyenas 2 000
Elephant 12 000 Waterbuck 5 000
Blue Wildebeest 9 500 Impala 90 000

Some interesting facts about Kruger National Park:

  • The park was proclaimed in 1898 initially as the Sabie Game Reserve by Paul Kruger the then president of the Transvaal Republic He first proposed the need to protect the animals of the Lowveld in 1884, but it took another 12 years to be proclaimed when the area between the Sabie and Crocodile Rivers was set aside for restricted hunting.
  • James Stevenson-Hamilton was the park’s first warden and was appointed on 1 July 1902.
  • The National Parks Act was proclaimed on 31 May 1926 and with it the combining of the Sabie and Shingwedzi Game Reserves the Kruger National Park was born.
  • The first motorists entered the park in 1927. The cost? One pound.
  • Stevenson-Hamilton’s books, housed in the Memorial Library in Skukuza, make fascinating reading.

    Hippopotamus or Hippo (Hippopotamus amphibius). Near Olifants Camp. Kruger National Park. Mpumalanga. South Africa

    Hippopotamus or Hippo (Hippopotamus amphibius). Near Olifants Camp. Kruger National Park. Mpumalanga. South Africa

  • There are some 254 known cultural heritage sites in the Kruger National Park, including about 125 recorded rock art sites.
  • There is ample evidence that Homo erectus (prehistoric man) lived in the area between 500 000 and 100 000 years ago.
  • Cultural artefacts from between 100 000 to 30 000 years ago are evidence that Stone Age man also roamed these parts.
  • More than 300 archaeological Stone Age sites been found.
  • Bushman (San) and Iron Age people from about 1500 years ago were also present here.
  • There are important archaeological ruins at Thulamela and Masorini.
  • There are numerous examples of San Rock Art in the Park.

We will continue writing about Kruger National Park while we are travelling through it. Keep an eye on this space. Please share this on your Facebook page:

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One Response to Kruger National Park

  1. Chris Hamilton says:

    Hi Roger nice pics look forward to hearing more about your trip

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