Hey guys, I hope you are enjoying a beautiful day wherever you may be!
In all of my worldwide travels, one of the coolest experiences I’ve ever enjoyed was going on safari in Kruger National Park, South Africa! Kruger is the ideal spot for experiencing safari in comfort while still seeing the ‘Big Five’ all in one day!
Before I travelled to Kruger, I thought the ‘Big Five’ must be the most iconic animals in the wild including zebras, giraffes and hippos, but I was wrong. The Big Five originally referred to the hardest five animals to track and hunt on foot. Each of the Big Five are deadly animals that are quick and dangerous. The ‘Five’ include the African Elephant, the Black Rhinoceros, the Cape Buffalo, the African Lion and the African Leopard.
Looks like a traffic jam at the Zebra Crossing!
Kruger National Park offers all of these animals as well as countless giraffes, antelope, baboons, monkeys, hippopotami, meerkats, vultures and many other species. Kruger seems to be where Noah opened the doors to the Ark!
There are several countries in sub-Saharan Africa that offer safaris but Kruger National Park is probably the easiest to reach because of its proximity to Johannesburg’s O. R. Tambo International Airport. JNB is the busiest airport in Africa and has ample non-stop flights and connections to the entire world. You can arrive in Johannesburg at pretty much anytime and then take an easy motor-coach or private car to the park in 4-5 hours.
There are many comfortable hotels around and even inside the park, but I’d recommend staying in some of the ultra-comfortable lodges that surround the park entrances. The local tribes have invested in luxury lodges that are very nice spacious homes complete with large bedrooms, luxury viewing towers, and excellently equipped kitchens. There is nothing rough about living in these villas for the several days that you might be in the area. The villas are also a great value because you can cook your own tasty food or have chefs visit and help.
Antelope are Kruger “Fast Food”
I especially like Kruger Park at night! On cloudless nights, the dark skies offer awe-inspiring vistas. You can often see the stars of the Milky Way flowing like a sparkling river across the sky and the stars of the Southern Hemisphere offer rarely seen constellations. More excitingly, many animals are active at night and you can hear their calling, roaring and grunting as they hunt or are hunted. Sleeping after a good dinner is wonderful in Kruger!
Either a baboon or Justin Bieber!
The best time of the year to visit is July or August during the dry season – which also works well for vacationing families from the Northern Hemisphere but this time is also winter so the night times and early mornings are chilly (6C – 23C). My favourite time to visit is just after Christmas. Even though it is the rainy season, the days are warmer (lows about 17C and highs about 33C) and the animals are very active.
The best time to visit the park is in the early morning, which means waking before sunrise. The animals are most active at this time of the day but it can be cool at that time. So, wear layers that you can remove as the day warms and ensure your little angels are properly clothed. Don’t forget sunscreen, a hat and sunglasses! Your guides will bring water and other drinks but remember to stay hydrated as the sun becomes higher in the sky.
This Giraffe is having a difficult time hiding behind that tree!
King of the Road!
Kruger is a great adventure for the entire family. Your children will learn a lot by viewing the animals in their natural habitat and even adults will be excited to see these beautiful creatures. If you have a chance to visit Kruger National Park, you’ll have a great time. I’m not lion!