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Kruger National Park Introduction

Nothing compares to Kruger National Park in terms of biological diversity. Its nearly 2 million hectares of wildland serve as home to 147 species of large mammals, including Africa's Big Five game animals – the lion, leopard, rhinoceros, elephant and Cape buffalo. Joining these mammals are around 500 species of birds. Kruger NP has more animal species than any other game reserve in the world. Not only that, Kruger NP has plant and tree species endemic to Africa, some found nowhere else. These include knob thorns, fever trees, baobabs and mopanes.

Hotels in Kruger National Park

The available accommodation in Kruger National Park is mostly made up of safari lodges. These lodges vary in terms of comfort and luxury. There are no-frills options that let you live in the rough, without electricity or modern conveniences. There are guesthouses and cottages that do offer standard amenities, such as clean and private bathrooms with running water. You will also find some luxurious lodges that offer fabulous amenities like plunge pools and hot tubs. You'll be able to find more accommodation if you venture to the cities and towns right outside Kruger NP. Most of these options are guesthouses, B&Bs, boutique hotels and self-catered apartments.

Where to stay

Nelspruit is one of the cities just outside Kruger National Park. This town is the financial and commercial heart of Mpumalanga Province. Though primarily an agricultural town, Nelspruit has a collection of holiday homes and guesthouses for budget and luxury travellers alike. White River is another farming community located outside Kruger National Park. It's largely known for its handicrafts industry. There's plenty of accommodation here where you can rest and replenish your supplies for your trip to Kruger NP. Hazyview is the town closest to Kruger NP's Paul Kruger Gate. You can shop for supplies here before going into the park.

Things to see

Kruger National Park's central region is home to its lion prides and populations of cheetahs, hyenas and leopards. This central region is also a rich grazing field full of trees and sweet grass. The grazing attracts plant-eating safari animals such as giraffes, zebra, wildebeest and antelopes. It's the most popular area of the park. Kruger NP's northern region is made up of river valleys and flood plains. Here you will find numerous species of birds, warm-water fish, monkeys and packs of wild dogs. The Orange River area of Kruger NP is semi-arid but boasts of plant life that thrives in dry heat. Examples of such flora are mopanes and sycamore figs. Among the animals here are Kruger's herds of elephants, hippos and bush pigs. The southernmost area of Kruger NP is its highest region. This is where you will find unique trees and possibly sight the rare white rhino.

How to get to Kruger National Park

Flying is one way you can get to Kruger National Park. Kruger NP is served by Skukuza Airport, Hoedspruit Airport, Phalaborwa Airport, and Kruger/Mpumalanga International Airport. These airports handle daily flights from Cape Town, Durban and Johannesburg. From these airports, you can hire a car and drive to Kruger NP. You can use your rented car to move around Kruger NP. Most major towns around Kruger NP have car rental offices. Skukuza Camp right inside Kruger NP also has a car rental kiosk. If you're coming from Kruger/Mpumalanga International Airport, you can ride the shuttle service to Kruger NP.