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Krugerpark

sanThe park lies in the north-east of South Africa, in the eastern parts of Limpopo and Mpumalanga

provinces. Phalaborwa, Limpopo is the only town in South Africa that borders the Kruger

National Park. It is one of the largest national parks in the world, with an area of 19,485 square

kilometres (7,523 sq mi) The park is approximately 360 kilometres (220 mi) long, and has an

average width of 65 kilometres (40 mi). At its widest point, the park is 90 kilometres (56 mi) wide

from east to west.

 

The administrative headquarters are in Skukuza. Areas of the park were first protected by the government of the

South African Republic in 1898, and it became South Africa's first national park in 1926.

 

To the north and south of the park two rivers, the Limpopo and the Crocodile respectively, act as its natural

boundaries. To the east the Lebombo Mountains separate it from Mozambique. Its western boundary runs parallel

with this range, roughly 65 km distant. The park varies in altitude between 200 m in the east and 840 m in the

south-west near Berg-en-Dal. The highest point in the park is here, a hill called Khandzalive. Several rivers run

through the park from west to east, including the Sabie, Olifants, Crocodile, Letaba, Luvuvhu and Limpopo

Rivers.

 

parkIn 1895, Jakob Louis van Wyk introduced in the Volksraad of the old South

African Republic, a motion to create the game reserve which would become the

Kruger National Park. That motion, introduced together with another Volksraad

member by the name of R. K. Loveday, and accepted for discussion in

September 1895 by a majority of one vote, resulted in the proclamation by Paul

Kruger president of the Transvaal Republic, on 26 March 1898, of a

"Government Wildlife Park." This park would later be known as the Sabi Game

Reserve and was expanded into the Kruger National Park in 1926. The park was

initially created to control hunting and protect the diminished number of animals

in the park.

 

James Stevenson Hamilton became the first warden of the reserve in 1902. The reserve was located in the

southern one-third of the modern park. Shingwedzi Reserve, named after the Shingwedzi River and now in

northern Kruger National Park, was proclaimed in 1903. In 1926, Sabie Game Reserve, the adjacent Shingwedzi

Game Reserve, and farms were combined to create Kruger National Park. After the proclamation of the Kruger

National Park in 1926, the first three tourist cars entered the park in 1927,jumping to 180 cars in 1928 and 850 cars

in 1929.Warden James Stevenson-Hamilton retired on 30 April 1946, after 44 years as warden of the Kruger Park

and its predecessor, the Sabi Game Reserve.

 

parkHe was replaced by Colonel J. A. B. Sandenbergh of the South African Air

Force. During 1959, work commenced to completely fence the park boundaries.

Work started on the southern boundary along the Crocodile River and in 1960

the western and northern boundaries were fenced, followed by the eastern

boundary with Mozambique. The purpose of the fence was to curb the spread

of diseases, facilitate border patrolling and inhibit the movement of poachers.

 

The Makuleke area in the northern part of the park was forcibly taken from the

Makuleke people by the government in 1969 and about 1500 of them were relocated

to land to the South so that their original tribal areas could be integrated into the

greater Kruger National Park.

 

It is now part of the Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park, a peace park that links Kruger National Park with the

Gonarezhou National Park in Zimbabwe, and with the Limpopo National Park in Mozambique. The park has 9 main

gates that allow entrance to the different camps.

 

Out of the 517 species of birds found at Kruger, 253 are residents, 117 non-breeding migrants, and 147 nomads.

Some of the larger birds require large territories or are sensitive to habitat degradation. Six of these species,

which are by and large restricted to Kruger and other extensive conservation areas, have been assigned to a

fanciful grouping called the 'Big Six Birds'. They are the Lappet-faced Vulture, Martial Eagle, Saddle-billed Stork,

Kori Bustard, Ground Hornbill and the reclusive Pel's Fishing Owl, which is localized and seldom seen.

 

There are between 25 and 30 breeding pairs of Saddle-billed Storks in the park, besides a handful of non-breeding

individuals. In 2012 178 family groups of Ground Hornbills roamed the park and 78 nests were known, of which

50% were active. All the Big Five game animals are found at Kruger National Park, which has more species of

large mammals than any other African Game Reserve (at 147 species). There are webcams set up to observe the

wildlife.

 

parkThe park stopped culling elephants in 1994 and tried translocating them, but by

2004 the population had increased to 11,670 elephants, by 2006 to

approximately 13,500 and by 2009 to 11,672. The park's habitats can only

sustain about 8,000 elephants. The park started using annual contraception in

1995, but has stopped that due to problems with delivering the contraceptives

and upsetting the herds. Kruger supports packs of the endangered African

Wild Dog, of which there are thought to be only about 400 in the

whole of South Africa. Kruger houses 114 species of reptile, including black

mamba and 3000 crocodiles.

 

Thirty-three species of amphibians are found in the Park, as well as 50 fish species. A Zambesi shark,

Carcharhinus leucas, also known as the bull shark, was caught at the confluence of the Limpopo and Luvuvhu

Rivers in July 1950. Zambezi sharks tolerate fresh water and can travel far up rivers like the Limpopo.

 

The Kruger National Park has 21 rest camps, as well as 2 private lodge concessions, and 15 designated private

safari lodges. The concessions are parcels of land operated by private companies in partnership with

communities, who outsource the operation of private lodges. Camping in the park has become popular with

tourists and backpackers because it is much less expensive, and open to anyone, requiring no special

permission to partake.

 

For more information about the Kruger National Park check the official website: www.sanparks.org

 

Wildcard:

 

cardIt is possible to buy a wildcard for The South African  National Parks. This card allows

you an entrance of nearly all the official nature parks of South Africa. These parks can

be found at the site of Sanparks (website mentioned above). 

 

This wildcard is a good alternative in case you visit the nature parks regularly. The

wildcard price for two persons (adults) is approx. euro 180,00 (January 2014). After

5 visits with your wildcard the next visits are free.

 

There is also a wildcard for 2 adults and 5 children (under the age of 18). Price of this wildcard is approx. euro

215,00 (January 2014).  The wildcard is valid for one year only.

 

We advise you to buy the wildcard at least two months before your visit to South Africa as it normally takes a

while to receive the wildcard. After you have ordered the wildcard you will receive an email with the confirmation.

In case you have not received your wildcard in time, no panic, please print the email confirmation and take it with

you. The park will accept this confirmation at the gate and you are allowed to enter the park with the email

confirmation only.

 

For more information about the wildcard check the official website: www.wildcard.co.za

 

 
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