Highlights of the Kruger National Park
Located just 10 minutes from Perry’s Bridge Hollow Hotel, Kruger National Park is one of the most popular destinations in South Africa for both local and international visitors. Not only is Kruger home to all of the Big 5, but it offers a wonderful escape from the stress and fast pace of everyday life. A self-drive safari is a great option as it gives you the freedom to explore Kruger National Park at your own pace. It also gives the ability to choose more affordable accommodation outside of the park. Once the entrance are open you can self-drive throughout the park on designated routes and roads – all of which are either tarred or gravel. Take a look at some of the highlights of Kruger National Park below.
Game viewing at waterholes and hides
One of the best tips we can offer first time safari-goers is head for the waterholes. Especially in the winter months when water is scarce, wildlife congregate at permanent water sources – taking all the hard work out of searching for game. The best times to stop at a waterhole are early in the morning and late in the evening. The south east of Kruger National Park (near Hazyview and Phabeni Gate) offers some of the best Big 5 game viewing in the whole park.
The wildlife traffic jams
Believe it or not, this kind of traffic jam is one to look forward to. There is nothing quite like bumbling along through the bush in search of wildlife, when all of a sudden the road ahead is blocked by animals crossing your path. The best thing to do is switch off your engine and soak in the slow pace of the bush – whether it be giraffe, elephant, guinea fowl or impala in the way.
The bird watching
Not only is Kruger an excellent game viewing destination, but also home to a wonderful array of bird species. Make sure to look out for splashes of colour in the bush when you spot lilac-breasted and purple rollers, as well as sunbirds, doves and the iconic grey Loerie aka the ‘Go-Away-Bird’. The Park’s birding fundis – aware that birders will always be a checklist ticker – have come up with the avian equivalent of the Big 5 to spot in Kruger: the Big 6, listed below:
- Lappet-faced Vulture.
- Martial Eagle.
- Kori Bustard.
- Saddle-billed Stork.
- Pel’s Fishing-Owl.
- Southern Ground-Hornbill.
The bush between Skukuza and Lower Sabie within Kruger National Park has one of the highest concentrations of leopard in the world. Undoubtedly a bucket-list item for most keen wildlife enthusiasts, these big cats are not easy to see because they hunt mostly by night and spend the day lying low. If you’re not confident to drive the park on your own, our professional, knowledgeable and experienced guides are available to ensure that your visit to the Park is memorable. Enquire here.
How to get there
Most people fly to O.R. Tambo International Airport and drive the rest of the way to Kruger. The other option is to fly to Nelspruit or Hoedspruit, which is closer to Kruger, but this can become very expensive. Perry’s Bridge Hollow is roughly 390 km from Johannesburg and an approximate 10 minute drive from Kruger National Park (Phabeni Gate). We can help to arrange your transfers and tours.
When to go
The dry winter months between May and October are considered the best time of year to visit Kruger. The vegetation is sparse and animals are easier to spot and follow. The permanent water sources that remain in the dry season act as magnets for wildlife, making game viewing highly rewarding. For birding, the best time to visit is during the rainy season.
Where to stay
There is always the option to stay within the park or at a safari lodge in a private concession. If you prefer to opt for the less expensive self-drive experience, Perry’s Bridge – located in Hazyview, 10 minutes from the park entrance – is an affordable and family-friendly option.
What to bring
Remember to pack a cooler box with plenty of cool drinks and water if you are not staying within the park. It’s also a good idea to pack binoculars, sunblock and your bird or wildlife book to help identify birds and game along the way.
Important to know:
You cannot drive off designated roads to get closer to wildlife
You can only enter and exit the park within certain times.
You may not exit your vehicle at any time while inside the park.
In an emergency, call the Kruger Emergency call centre on 013-7354325. If you do not have a cell phone, wait for another car.
For more information on Kruger National Park visit their website.
If you are interested in booking accommodation near Kruger National Park, don’t hesitate to contact our friendly reservations team at Perry’s Bridge Hollow Hotel. We are located a short drive from the Phabeni Entrance to the park and offer family-friendly facilities, as well as an on-site restaurant and swimming pool. Get in touch today.
Field Guide, Neil Coetzer