The Kruger National Park was established in 1898 to protect the wildlife of the Lowveld in Mpumalanga and in 1926 it became the first national park of South Africa. It covers an area of almost 2 million hectares and is approximately 360 km long (north to south) and 65 km wide (east to west), making it one of the largest national parks in the world. The Kruger National Park borders Mozambique to the east and Zimbabwe to the north and forms part of the provinces of Limpopo and Mpumalanga. The Limpopo River forms the northern boundary, the Crocodile River forms the southern boundary and to the east, the Lebombo Mountains form a further natural boundary.

Elephant in the Kruger Park near the Phabeni Gate

The Kruger National Park varies in altitude between 200 m in the eastern regions and 840 m in the south western region. Several large rivers run through the KNP from west to east such at the Sabie, Olifants, Letaba, Levuvu and the previously mentioned Limpopo and Crocodile Rivers.

In addition to the Big Five game animals, the Kruger National Park is home to 147 species of mammal (more than any other African park), 517 species of birds can be found in the KNP of which 253 are residents, 117 are non-breeding migrants and 147 are nomads. Furthermore, there are 336 different trees, 49 type of fish, 34 amphibians and 114 reptiles in the KNP.

Cheetah walking near Lower Sabie

There are 9 gates providing access into the Kruger National Park, 3 of which are easily accessible from the Kruger Park Lodge in Hazyview. The Phabeni gate is a mere 11 km away, the Numbi gate approximately 17 km while the Kruger Gate is about a 45 km drive. The gate opening and closing times of the gates and camps are indicated in the table below.

Gate Times    Jan        Feb        Mar       Apr        May       Jun        Jul         Aug       Sep        Oct         Nov       Dec
Entrance        05:30    05:30    05:30    06:00    06:00    06:00    06:00    06:00    05:30    05:30    05:30    05:30
Close               18:30     18:30    18:00    18:00     17:30    17:30    17:30     18:00    18:00    18:00     18:30    18:30

During the peak holiday times and over long weekends, we suggest that day visitors make pre-bookings into the Kruger National Park. Each gate has a quota of day visitors that are allowed to enter the KNP, once this is reached no additional visitors are allowed to enter, unless a pre-booking was made. Pre-bookings are charged a non-refundable premium of R28 for adults and R14 for children and are only valid until 13h00, after which it will lapse. The normal entrance fees and process apply on arrival. Please call SANParks Central Reservations on (012) 428-9111 to arrange your pre-bookings into the KNP.

Giraffe eating leaves of an acacia tree
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