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African Journey Month | The Kruger National Park

Perhaps one of the most famous wildlife reserves in the world, The Kruger National Park and its surrounding private reserves, offer a fascinating insight into the fauna and flora of the region.

Elephant in the Kruger National Park

The Kruger National Park is truly the flagship of the South African National Parks with its nearly two million hectares making it one of the largest public access nature reserves in the world.

Map of the Kruger National Park

The park is located on the eastern border of South African with Mozambique. Key fly-in access points are Kruger-Mpumalanga International Airport (near the town of Mbombela, formerly Nelspruit) and Hoedspruit in the North.

Visitors can choose to self-drive through the park or join an escorted tour. Most accommodation within the park is self-catering so the majority of international visitors choose to stay at one of the hotels on the park's border or visit one of the private reserves, especially in the Sabi-Sand region near Hoedspruit. It is here where famous private reserves such as Londolozi and Mala Mala are located.

Map of the Sabi Sand Game Reserve

So what are the key differences between staying at one of the private reserves or visiting the Kruger National Park? Generally the quality of your safari experience at one of the private reserves will be better, however, this does come at a price. If you are self-driving in the Kruger National Park, remember that you are generally restricted to what you can see from your vehicle, cannot get out of the car and cannot leave the demarcated roadways. At a private reserve, game drives are generally conducted in an open game vehicle accompanied by a registered guide and tracker. Many of the private reserves, such as the Sabi Sand, are open to the Kruger National Park allowing the game to move freely. Rangers are in constant radio contact with each other regarding animal sightings, often leading to exciting off-road bush adventures. You also have the opportunity to experience a game walk and, ending off your day, with sundowners in the bush is a treat to experience.

That is not going to say that you will not enjoy a self-drive Kruger experience, we have, on a number of trips, been fortunate to see all the Big Five from the comfort of our own vehicle and guided excursions with rangers are available to book from most of the major rest camps throughout the park.

Private Safari in South Africa

While accommodation in the National Parks Chalets may be simple, they are comfortable and evoke many happy memories for generations of South African's. When it comes to the private lodges, luxury is only limited by your budget. Picture outdoor showers, plunge pools overlooking riverbeds, African Boma's around raging log fires and the sounds of the night all around you.

Thornybush Private Game Reserve

A safari is an incredible experience for children too, although, depending upon age, you may need to book a private vehicle. It certainly is one for the bucket list.

If you are thinking of an African Safari, get in touch with Cyprus' No. 1 African Safari Specialists to start a conversation! Call us on +357 26221634, email us on or visit our flagship store in the heart of the Old Town in Paphos.

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