Kruger National Park is the largest game reserve in South Africa, and possibly the best park in Africa for the ultimate South Africa safari experience. It also has great Kruger Park hotel and transportation options, making the area easy to explore.
Krugar is home to the Big Five: buffalo, elephant, leopard, lion and rhino. The Little Five can also be found: weaver, shrew, tortoise, ant and beetle. Additionally for birders, there is the Big Six: pel's fishing owl, ground hornbill, lappet-faced vulture, kori bustard, martial eagle and saddle-bill stork. In fact, the Kruger is said to have the widest variety of mammals compared to any other African game reserve. This is also the land of fever, marula and mopane trees, and baobabs and knob thorns.
To give you an idea of its size, in terms of area, the park is larger than Israel! Spread over two million hectares that stretch 352 kilometres (20000 square kilometres) along the Mozambique border, north to south, the park offers an indescribable wildlife experience.
Amongst all the splendour and the wonderful things to see and do in Kruger, the park has a charm that is entirely its own. Geologists believe that about 2,000 years ago, the Phalaborwa area witnessed a spectacular volcanic eruption. It resulted in the formation of a huge volcanic pipe, richly loaded with minerals and metals such as iron, copper, gold mica, zirconium, vermiculite and phosphate. Hundreds of years ago, the Sotho tribes settled in the area bounded by the Letaba and Olifants rivers. But they quickly realized that they were in an unfavourable territory and relocated back to this fertile valley. They called the area Phalaborwa. Evidence of mining activities still abounds in the area.
Phalaborwa literally means ‘better than the south'. In 2005, this pretty town was crowned the ‘cleanest town' in South Africa. While Phalaborwa was earlier known as the gateway to the world-famous Kruger National Park, it is now called the gateway to the Mozambique due to the highway that links South Africa and Mozambique. Phalaborwa is also affectionately called the ‘Town of Two Summers' as it experiences only a mild winter. Summers are very hot, but made bearable by swimming pools, air-conditioners and fans.
Phalaborwa has several Krugar accommodation options, and offers a range of Kruger Park tours and possibilities to view wildlife ‘up close and personal'. The walking trails, safaris and river safaris down the Olifants River are all structured to give tourists a memorable holiday experience.
Close to the Paul Kruger gate of the Kruger National Park, is a charming little town called Hazyview. It gets its name from the haze that envelopes the low bush land during the summers. Just 40 kilometres from Nelspruit, this small South African town has become the gateway to the Kruger Park. You can take a flight into KMIA or drive in from Johannesburg. Anyone who wants to self-drive through the Kruger Park will want to spend a night or two in a Hazyview hotel.
From Hazyview, the closest gate to Kruger is Phabeni Gate, only ten kilometres away. The most popular gate, Paul Kruger Gate, is about 45 kilometres away. Tourists can enjoy several adventure and tours in Hazyview, including abseiling, hot-air ballooning, river rafting and quad-biking. There are a variety of Kruger Park hotel options available in and around Hazyview, from good budget options to five-star luxury Kruger hotels.
You can use our Kruger Park map to choose your hotel in Kruger based on its location. Whether you stay in Phalaborwa, Hazyview, or opt for a private camping or lodge experience, there is bound to be many Kruger accommodations to suit your taste and budget. Feel free to contact us for more information on travel to Africa and how to make your dream Kruger holiday become a reality!