Wildlife in the park
Among the 147 species of mammals in the Kruger, are:
Lions, leopards, Cape Buffalo, Black Rhino, White Rhino, elephant, antelope, Springhare, Spotted Hyena, civets, zebra.
Lions are found in varying habitats in the Kruger, including Skukuza, Lower Sabie, Crocodile Bridge. Cape Buffalo are found in the Kruger and should not be confused with the domesticated Water Buffalo of Northern Africa. The Black Rhino is common in thorny and dense bush along the southern Kruger whereas White Rhino meander between the Crocodile and Sabie Rivers. More than 60% of the Kruger’s elephant population is found along the Olifant’s River. Baboons and monkeys and other small primates are common inhabitants. They live in trees and mountains and their biggest threat is the Leopard. The impressive antelope population, including the larger Sable antelope, is found around Pretoriuskop and near Phalaborwaa. The Springhare is in fact not a hare, but a rodent, and confuses many a visitor with its kangaroo-like hop. The Spotted Hyena is an eerie hunter, long thought to be solely a scavenger. The beautifully marked, secretive, nocturnal Civet has a bushy black and white coat. The two species of Zebra found in Southern Africa are the Plains Zebra and the Mountain Zebra. Both of which are found in the Kruger.
Among the 507 species of birds in the Kruger, are:
African Fish Eagle, Croaking Cisticola, Fan-tailed Flycatcher (Grey Tit-flycatcher), Orange-winged (Golden-backed) Pytilia, Pennant-winged Nightjar, Acacia Pied Barbet, Pel’s Fishing-Owl, Red-winged Starlings, Rufous-bellied Heron, Trumpeter Hornbills, White-backed night heron, White-crowned Lapwing (Plover), White-fronted Plover, Woodward’s Batis
The best time to bird in the Kruger is late summer, when there is poor wildlife visibility. The Kruger has a vast and diverse population of interesting birds to investigate. Guided wilderness walks are the best way to get the most out of your Kruger birding experience.
A good pair of binoculars is essential to make the most of waterfowl and bush bird sightings.
Among the 114 species of reptile in the Kruger, are:
Leopard tortoise, Cape terrapin, Nile Crocodile, Transvaal flat gecko, Turner’s thick toed gecko, Flap necked chameleon, shortfooted burrowing skink, giant plated lizard, Barberton girdled lizard, Rock leguaan, Common African python, Cape wolf snake, Eastern tiger snake, black mamba, common pufadder.
Snakes mostly attack humans when they are caught by surprise. It is crucial to be cautious of these reptiles as many are poisonous. If you happen upon a snake in the Kruger alert camp staff immediately.
There are many thousands of crocodiles in the Kruger, found in all the Park’s major rivers that can be seen sunbathing along river banks and water holes.
Among the 49 species of fish in the Kruger, are:
Common barbell (Clarias gariepinus), mudfish (Labeo), yellowfish (Barbus marequensis), tigerfish (Hydrocynus vittatus), freshwater eel (Anguilla)
49 fish species are found in the Kruger’s seven rivers, including the extremely rare lungfish and the mosquito-eating killifish.
Among the 34 species of reptile in the Kruger, are:
Common platanna (Xenopus laevis laevis), Flat-Backed Toad (Bufo maculates), Bushveld rain frog (Breviceps adspersus adspersus), Striped stream frog (Strongylopus fasciatus), Sharp-nosed grass frog (Ptychadena oxyrhynchus), Shovel-footed squeaker (Arthroleptis stenodactylus).
Amphibians are the evolutionary link between reptiles and fish and emerged from the oceans about 400 million years ago. Many interesting amphibians can be found in the Kruger – from frogs to exquisite salamanders.