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Kruger National Park

Not only is the Kruger National Park the most famous game reserve in all of Africa, it is probably one of the world's greatest wildlife watching destinations, and justly so. There are over 137 mammals (featuring all of Africa’s iconic safari specials: buffalo, cheetah, elephant, giraffe, hippo, leopard, lion, rhino and zebra) and over 500 bird species, making this park the wilderness adventure of your dreams.

The park is vast, at 19,485 square kilometres it covers an area roughly the size of Wales. With a wide network of well-connected roads, one can meander through a whole range of ecosystems, from wild plains and sandstone hills to tropical forests and scrubland, in search of the much sought-after wildlife, whether it be by bush walks, horseback or open 4x4 jeep game drives. But don't think that being in the bush means you need to compromise on luxury; Kruger is home to some of the most sumptuous and romantic lodgings in the world. Think extensive wine cellars, personal butler service, freestanding alfresco bath tubs, private plunge pools and Michelin-style cuisine served on silver platters. But even these luxury dwellings won't detract from the raw intensity of life in the wild, and like that first unforgettable throaty lion roar, be prepared for spine-tingling encounters that will remain ever embedded in your memory.

The Park is renowned for its conservation efforts where rangers and park officials work tirelessly to preserve the natural habitat of the flora and fauna within the reserve, as well as protecting rare wildlife such as white lion, African wild dog, cheetah, and both the black and white rhino, whose numbers are thriving. The nearby world-famous Panorama Route is, as the name suggests, home to some of the most dramatic landscapes. There are a few highlights and iconic sites to stop off at along the route, such as the Blyde River Canyon, the third largest canyon in the world, God’s Window a 900-metre view point offering spectacular views of lush forest and riverine below, and The Bourke’s Luck Potholes, South Africa’s most remarkable geological phenomena. 

The park’s easy accessibility does mean that it can sometimes be crowded, however, there are private reserves that surround the national park, which are worth considering. Among them is Sabi Sands Private Game Reserve, one of Africa’s finest.

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G. K. Chesterton

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