If Africa is renowned for one thing, it’s an abundance of national parks and vast, open planes.
One of the most famous of these is Kruger Park, which also happens to be one of the most popular resorts of its type in the world. In total, a staggering 1,659,793 guests passed through the gates of the Kruger National Park in 2015, with this number up considerably on the previous year.
The number of day and overnight guests increased noticeably during this time, and there’s no doubt that this park offers a number of benefits to visitors. So, here’s our brief guide to Kruger National Park as we try to determine whether or not it’s right for you.
Why Should you Visit Kruger Park?
In terms of fame and repute, Kruger Park stands on a par with Tanzania’s Serengeti and Botswana’s Okavango Delta.
This is why is stands out as one of the most popular safari holidays in Africa, and one that is particularly popular among tourists from Europe and the U.S.. Some will argue that this represents the pay-off when visiting the destination, as the sheer volume of visitors makes it exceptionally crowded and difficult to navigate during busy seasons
The reason for this site’s popularity is simple; as the Kruger National Park stands out as South Africa’s finest game reserve. Make no mistake; there’s some truly outstanding wildlife viewing on offer here, along with plenty of big five species including leopard, rhinoceros, elephant, Cape buffalo and the iconic lion.
There are quieter areas for those who do not like the crowds, however, with the Sabi Sands in particular offering the ideal balance between exceptional game viewing and a more tranquil holidaying experience.
Like most parts of the Kruger National Park, it’s also fair to surmise that the Sabi Sands offer truly world class accommodation. In fact, some of South Africa’s most luxurious safari lodges are located within the park, offering a host of amenities and suites that allow for self-catering if required.
Of course, there are also some fine dining establishments and eateries in the grounds of the park, which means you can enjoy an incredible range of cuisines and some high quality dishes during your stay.
Are There Any Potential Downsides to Visiting Kruger National Park?
Despite its obvious appeal and popularity, it’s fair to say that Kruger National Park divides opinion among visitors and purists.
Quite aside from the fact that easy access from Johannesburg leads to the parks’ large crowds and heavy footfall, the location has also been heavily tarmacked and is fenced off in parts.
While the tarmacking was required to help cope with the high volumes of visitors, this network of pathways can impede viewing. This also takes away from the natural beauty and wilderness that makes Africa such a popular location, as Kruger Park can resemble a European safari venue from some angles.
There’s also a large number of fences on show, which can restrict viewing and also takes away from the experience from a purists perspective.
Still, there’s no doubt that Kruger Park is an enduringly popular safari destination for big game enthusiasts, while its accessibility and high class accommodation should certainly appeal to the vast majority of visitors to South Africa.