24 May 2007
One of the world's best loved travel guides, Lonely Planet, describes the Kruger National Park as "one of the biggest, oldest and quite simply one of the best wildlife parks in the world," adding appropriately: "A visit here is likely to be the highlight of your trip to South Africa."
And that, in a nutshell, is exactly what Kruger is, a tourist facility South Africans love, but invariably take for granted, grumbling when the conservation fees go up or the accommodation and camping rates rise.
Southern Africa is blessed with vast game reserves, many state-run, others privately owned. Yet Kruger has something few can emulate. Can there be anything more exciting than driving your own vehicle through a park where you can encounter a range of creatures at the side of the road?
Through the years I have had some incredible experiences in the Kruger Park. I have watched a python gobble up some poor creature, a cluster of about 60 striped rodents nibble at an unidentified treat on the edge of the road, lions revel in falling rain, a leopard prowl along a river bank at dawn, carmine bee-eaters bedeck a tree in full blossom, a pregnant lioness wallow in a river....each experience has been memorable and, frankly, one that was never again to be repeated.
The Kruger Park is well over 100 years old and has changed considerably through the years, with possibly the innovative establishment of the concession areas the most dramatic.
The new upmarket lodges within the boundaries of Kruger have added an extra dimension to the wildlife experience, with some lodges adding nights in the open under the stars, morning walks in the bush and even dinner under huge old trees in unprotected areas. It's heady stuff indeed.
Now many of the old camps in Kruger are being upgraded. Many of the units will be refurbished, some to a higher standard.
Apparently the units most in need of maintenance (new tiles, coat of paint and so on) will be targeted first. Some of the larger family cottages are to be virtually rebuilt.
Details of the upgrades - that is the dates and camps involved - will be communicated via the SANParks website (www.sanparks.org) during the next few months.
The Star Verve - 15 May 2007Winnie Graham
10 October 2016Creating Young Conservation Ambassadors
Young learners from various communities living in and adjacent to Limpopo National Park, the Mozambican component of Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park, recently participated in a pioneering and innovatread more
3 October 2016First elephant translocated to Zinave National Park, Mozambique
In a very exciting move towards developing Zinave National Park, seven elephant arrived safely, following their 1 500 km journey from the Maremani Nature Reserve near Mussina in South Africa. The elepread more
29 September 2016Scholar Mobility Programme to empower 250 learners from Makuleke Community
Children in the Wilderness (CITW) is proud to announce its partnership with Qhubeka‚Äôs Scholar Mobility Programme to ensure the donation and delivery of 250 bicycles to underprivileged learners at N‚read more
15 September 2016College trains anti-poaching dogs
A key factor that has added to the success in arrests of poachers in the area west of the Kruger National Park has been the use of trained dogs. The Southern African Wildlife College now has a canineread more
11 August 2016Livelihoods strategy for Great Limpopo on the map
In 2015, the joint management board of the Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park (GLTP) and the larger Great Limpopo Transfrontier Conservation Area ( GLTFCA) initiated a process of developing an integratread more
5 August 2016New plane and boat for Limpopo National Park
Limpopo National Park is now using its new aeroplane, a Savannah S, as replacement of its Bantam, which served the park from 2005 until 2015. The Savannah was donated by the Rhino Protection Programmeread more
7 July 2016Limpopo National Park receives BIOFUND support
Limpopo National Park recently hosted a delegation from BIOFUND for an inaugural meeting, as the first recipient of funding support for critical operations. Beneficiaries will include local communitieread more
13 June 2016This is predator country
Gonarezhou National Park is turning into prime predator country, with lion, cheetah and spotted hyena populations reported to be doing well, while the wild dogs are flourishing.read more
5 May 2016Development of Zinave under way
The development of Zinave National Park as an integral component of Great Limpopo Transfrontier Conservation Area (TFCA), the larger area surrounding the core transfrontier park, got under way in Januread more
15 April 2016Gonarezhou National Park meets threat head-on
Though Gonarezhou‚Äôs elephant population is still doing well, management is tackling the potential threat of wildlife crime head-on. The budding ranger corps is increasing, and rising to the challengread more