Kruger National Park

Elephant herds drinking by the Sabi, campfires under the starry, African sky, and towering giraffe lumbering by are the norm at Africa’s Kruger National Park. Driving through Malelane Gate, the original gateway at the foot of the Malelane Mountain Bushveld, gives gameviews of giraffe, kudu and duiker in the dense bush. Traveling north, towards the Berg-en-dal loop, the bush slims into lush regions attracting rhino, impalas and small herds of elephant. Drive east to Crocodile Bridge, home to a high concentration of game like rhinos but keep an eye out for predators like spotted hyena, cheetah, and wild dog. Head on to Skukuza, the park’s largest camp and best chance of seeing a lion or leopard.

Take the Satara routes for a glimpse of hyena and lion due to the open grasslands. Drive to Olifants for endless river views and turn south following the water to Letaba for abundant bird life and tame bushbuck. Take the route to Mopani passing water buffalo and stay in thatched bungalows. Tour along the Shingwedzi for panoramic views of the floodplains before passing ostrich and elephant in Punda Maria before leaving Africa forever entranced by its wild beauty.

Getting there

Most visitors to Kruger fly into O.R. Tambo International Airport near Johannesburg, South Africa. From there, a connecting flight goes to Nelspruit Airport/Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport in Mpumalanga, Kruger Park’s southern gateway. Another option is taking a flight from Cape Town to one of Kruger National Park’s airstrips. You can take a flight to South Africa from other Canadian, African, Middle Eastern countries or any other part of the world via South African Airways, Air Canada, Porter Airlines, American Airlines, Alaska Airlines, and other popular airlines. Many major rental car companies are available at both major airports if you plan to drive through the park. Leasing a sturdy, 4 x 4 vehicle is a good choice for navigating Kruger’s terrain.