Kruger National Park, South Africa
Areas in Kruger National Park
When to go
Game viewing is at its best during the dry winter months (from May to September), when days are mild and clear night skies make evenings chilly. But, the balmy summer months (October to April) bring their own attractions: lush vegetation, full waterholes, newborn wildlife and the arrival of migrating birds. For a peaceful stay, avoid mid-December to January, when South Africans evacuate their cities and Europeans and North Americans flock here for some winter sun.
PlanesTouch down in Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport near Nelspruit (www.mceglobal.net). Flights from Johannesburg take one hour; Durban’s an hour and a half away and Cape Town’s just over two hours from Kruger. Several domestic carriers fly here, the main ones being South African Airlines (www.flysaa.com) and British Airways–owned Comair Limited (www.comair.co.za).
AutomobilesThe drive to Kruger from Johannesburg takes between seven and eight hours. Once you arrive, there are a range of well-documented self-drive routes through the park. Local car rental options include branches of Avis in Skukuza, Nelspruit and Phalaborwa (www.avis.co.za).
TaxisWho needs a taxi when you have a safari driver standing by?
A wild and wonderful sprawl of savannah and grasslands, Kruger is punctuated not just by cute critters, but by luxury lodges and exclusive camps. Get a different perspective on the park with guided safari tours on foot, or organised mountain-bike trips or horseback treks. After dark, make like an astronomer thanks to some of the clearest stargazing on Earth.