Flora and Fauna
The Kruger National Park is internationally known as a haven for nature lovers. Indigenous plant life abounds and the sheer number of animals is enough to make anyone jump on a plane and head for the Park.
The Kruger has a wealth of animal species that eager visitors may be lucky enough to see. There are 147 species of mammals, 507 species of birds, 114 species of reptiles, 49 species of fish and 34 species of amphibians. For this reason, the Kruger National Park is the world’s premier game viewing destination.
Among the hundreds of species listed above, the most popular remain the age old classics – rhino, elephant, hippopotamus, lions, cheetahs, warthog, zebra, crocodiles, giraffe and many antelope species. Bird watching is popular at some of the camps and some very interesting fish species, including the extremely rare lungfish, can be spotted in the Park’s 7 rivers.
The ‘Big Five’ is always top on an explorer’s list and the Kruger boasts approximately 1500 lions, 12000 elephants, 2500 buffalo, 1000 leopards and 5000 rhino.
Unfortunately due to poaching the rhino numbers are dwindling fast. For more information on rhino conservation in the park, see the Conservation page (link).
The Kruger National Park has been one of the few places, for a number of years, where the true essence of the African savannah and forests can be fully experienced and appreciated. The South African National Parks (SANParks) authority has seen to it that many endangered plant species have found shelter here, and they are thriving, including, amongst many other, riverine plant life.
The common and seemingly endless problem of alien vegetation has not left the Kruger unscathed. Common invaders include Barbados gooseberry, Dutchman’s pipe, jacaranda (a serious threat to the dry bushveld), camphor trees, Queensland umbrella trees, sword ferns and red sesbania. There are ongoing programmes to rid the park of these aliens, who threaten the water supply and growing space of inhabitant South African plant life. Great strides are being made by all those involved and it should soon be somewhat under control – although it might be optimistic to think that the problem will ever go away completely.
The multitude of animal and plant species in the Kruger is what makes it an internationally loved wildlife getaway. It cannot be adequately describes – the magnificence has to be experienced first hand.