Kruger National Park is one of South Africa’s most valuable treasures and is renowned throughout the world. Loved by both locals and international travellers alike. This slice of safari heaven spans 19 624 square kilometres and hosts an abundance of wildlife, hundreds of species of birds and insects, ancient trees, winding rivers and of course—adventure. For years, Kruger’s unspoilt wilderness has allowed its many visitors to escape the increasing pressures of modern urban life.
Experience the full beauty of the bush while visiting Kruger National Park, with our guide to the TOP must-see animals, from The Big 5 to The 3 Rarest!
(But be warned—a single visit to this wonder-filled wilderness can easily turn into a lifelong love affair with the park.)
The Big 5 – Witnessing any of the incredible and magnificent Big 5 will truly remain embedded for years to come:
The African lion – Known as the “King of the Jungle” and is the second largest cat in the world. Lions can be found in the grassy, open savannahs. You are likely to spot lions together, in social groups called ‘prides’ of up to 30 lions.
The African leopard – The most elusive of the Big 5 animals, a sighting of an African leopard is considered to be very special. Leopards prefer rocky landscapes with dense brush and forest environments. However, they are known to be very adaptive and can be spotted elsewhere.
The African elephant – The largest animal on this list as well as the largest land animal on earth, these creatures can live up to 70 years in the wild! Elephants occupy a wide range of habitats including savannas, grasslands, and forests.
The Cape buffalo – Usually considered the most dangerous of the five due to their unpredictable behaviour. The Cape buffalo has few predators and will fiercely defend itself if threatened. Buffalos will often travel through water to avoid lions (who don’t like to get wet). The buffalo can be found in virtually all types of grassland environments near water.
The rhinoceros – The African rhinoceros is divided into two species; the Black Rhino and the White Rhino. Rhinos can be found in grasslands and also open savannahs. They are incredibly strong and surprisingly fast, they can reach speeds of up to 40 km/h!
The Rare 3 – While The Big 5 may be the celebrities’ African bush, you will have to be incredibly lucky to see one of these rare beautiful creatures:
Cape Pangolin – A stranger creature, one would certainly struggle to find. The very mysterious, solitary, mostly nocturnal and hardly ever seen, pangolins. They are amongst the most sought-after sightings in the Kruger National Park. They live in holes in the ground or termite mounds and can be found in various environments. These elusive creatures roll into a ball when they feel threatened.
Honey Badger – These elusive, nocturnal little creatures have earned a reputation as one of Africa’s most ferocious animals. Honey Badgers have been known to attack Lions and Buffalo when threatened. The African Honey Badger is rarely seen in the Kruger but occurs throughout.
Wild Dogs – Wild dogs are notoriously social and live in packs, they are well known as Africa’s most effective hunters due to their smart tactics, constant communication and pack sizes. These creatures are nomadic and known to traverse up to 50km in one day! Resulting in large territories that are anywhere between 400 and 1,500 square kilometres. Wild dogs can mainly be found in grasslands, savannas, and arid zones.
The Priceless Horn of Africa
Rhinos and Elephants are disappearing rapidly, due to the black market demand for horns. In this ever-expanding digital age, it’s vital for visitors of the park to be vigilant when it comes to sharing information. So if there’s one thing to remember at your next rhino or elephant sighting in Kruger Park, it’s to not give away any location information and to ensure that geo-tagging is disabled on your phone.
If you are planning a wild escape and looking for accommodation perfect for exploring the African landscape, Premier Hotel The Winkler’s centralised location makes it easy to visit Kruger The majestic Kruger National Park. The hotel is just 20 min to Numbi Gate, 40min to Phabeni Gate, 1hr to Kruger Gate and 1hr 30min to Malenlane Gate. Book today and experience the majesty of mother Africa!