Kruger National Park

Kruger National Park is known as the world’s greatest game park and is 4 million hectors large. For a total of 3 days  days we took our Avis rental car ($19 a day to rent and about $45 for a whole tank of gas) into the park and conducted our own safari.

Each person and car needs to pay an admission price per day, which works out to to be $52 for the car and two people. The alternative will be paying for a guided all day safari at $193 each. The gates are open from 5:30am and close at 6pm daily, there are huge penalties if you are in the Park after hours. We had to pay attention to the map we purchased in the gift store to make sure we allotted enough time to get to the exit in time.

The experience is a lot like visiting the wild animal park in San Diego, where you stay inside the car and drive on the roads, however since this is the wild the animals are more spread out. There is also a lot more plant life, so the animals are a lot more hidden by the wildlife. We are visiting during their spring season, so a lot of green trees and tall grasses that hide the animals, however on the plus side there are babies.

Everyday we just drive around on a combination of well kept asphalt 50km/hr and dirt road 40km/hr. There was one day where we were speeding on the dirt road trying to make the closing time and ended up fish tailing on the loose gravel. It’s surprising how fast 10 hours goes when you’re trying to spot wild animals!

 

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This is what we saw day 1, from Paul Kruger Gate driving north to Orpen Gate:

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  • Red billed hornbill
  • Kudu
  • Charcma baboon
  • Crocodile
  • Impala
  • Waterbuck
  • Hippo
  • Lion
  • Elephant
  • Hinged terrapin turtle
  • Oribi
  • Hyena
  • Steenbok
  • Giraffe
  • Duiker
  • Impala

 

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What we saw day 2, entering and exiting through the Phalaborwa Gate:

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  • Impala
  • Duiker
  • Blacksmith lapwing
  • Black stork
  • Helmeted guineafowl
  • Warthog
  • Giraffe
  • Nyala
  • Hippo
  • Elephant
  • Chacma baboon
  • Side striped jackal
  • Agama
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What we saw Day 3, entering and exiting through the Orpen gate.

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  • Warthog
  • Blue wildebeast
  • Impala
  • Elephants (about 50)
  • Zebra
  • Ostrich
  • Chacma baboon
  • Millipede
  • Pin-tailed whydah
  • Giraffe
  • Lion
  • Turtle
  • Emu
  • Leopard vulture
  • white headed vulture
  • Steppe buzzard
  • Vervet monkey
  • Lappet faced Vulture