On safari in the Kruger Park

The Kruger Park is one of South Africa’s biggest tourist attractions. It is a dream of many animal lovers to experience a safari. However, everything comes with a price tag and it’s no secret that a trip to South Africa can cost a pretty penny. So it is good to realize what you are venturing into. What do you need to know about a safari in the Kruger Park?

When is the best time to go on safari?

You can visit the Kruger Park all year round. What you first have to decide for yourself is whether you go in summer or winter. Since South Africa is in the Southern Hemisphere, their seasons do not coincide with ours. It is important to know that it is winter in Africa during our summer holiday. This may sound like a setback to many, but it is not at all. Winter in South Africa is a very pleasant season by Dutch standards. Daytime temperatures hover around twenty degrees and the chance of long periods of rain is negligible. In the African summer, temperatures quickly rise above thirty degrees and the chance of rain is considerably higher than in winter. Another major disadvantage of summer in Africa is the occurrence of malaria mosquitoes. A problem that does not bother you in winter. These reasons alone should be enough to choose winter over summer. With a view to spotting game, another asset can be added to the list of the African winter. In winter, the safari parks are much less dense, so you notice animals outside your immediate surroundings much more quickly. Our summer holidays are therefore the ideal time to book your flight to the far south.

What are you taking with you?

Binoculars! Make sure you have at least one decent pair of binoculars. It is fantastic to be able to view in detail the animals that are not clearly visible with the naked eye. Are you traveling with several people? Then collect as many binoculars as possible and ask family and friends if they can spare one. Everyone has their own copy is the perfect scenario. A good camera is also nice on safari, although there is a danger that you will focus on taking a National Geographic- worthy photo rather than on viewing the animal itself.

Day and night safari

The Kruger Park is enormous, with an area equal to half the size of the Netherlands. So prepare yourself mentally to spend a lot of time in the car. The places where you can get off are very limited, but often worth it. You have the option to go on safari during the day or at night. During the day you can drive around the Kruger Park yourself, but when it gets dark you have to take a guided ride. It is best to explore the park during the day with your own car, which offers you more freedom, no extra costs and you see at least as much as on a guided tour. However, a night safari is completely different from daytime. It would be a shame if you went all the way to Kurgerpark and didn’t take a ride in the dark. Apart from the completely different atmosphere that prevails on the savannah at night, you also have the chance to spot nocturnal animals. On top of that, you will receive very interesting additional information from your guide. For example, did you know that hyenas eat bones and therefore produce white feces?

Which animals do you see on such a safari?

Probably the most important thing for animal lovers: which animals do you see on a safari? Well, that depends on how long you can focus on intensive animal spotting. Often finding a particular animal is pure luck. However, you can also follow one of the sighting signs where a member of the Big Five was recently spotted in the park. Drive to the indicated spot and then look for a group of stationary cars. Most of the animals in the Kruger Park like to laze around in the same place, so you’ll have plenty of time to admire them. Below are listed the animals that you can find relatively easily.

Lots of chance of a chance meeting

  • African elephant
  • Giraffe
  • Zebra
  • Buffalo
  • Wildebeest
  • Warthog
  • Spotted hyena
  • Ostrich
  • Vulture
  • Nile crocodile
  • Hippopotamus
  • Baboon
  • Vervet (monkey)
  • Impala and other antelopes such as the kudu

 

Can be found using sightings signs

  • Lion
  • White rhino
  • Leopard
  • African wild dog

In addition to these animals, there are many other animals to see, but you have to have a lot of luck for that. Consider, for example, the honey badger, theaardvark or the pangolin. You can of course also spot a large number of colorful bird species during your safari. You hardly see snakes in winter, they are mainly active in the summer months.