Don't grumble over Kruger revamp

24 May 2007

For people who love the peace and solitude of the bush, there is no better place than South Africa for a holiday where there are literally dozens of hideaways in the wild. None, however, are better than South Africa`s national parks scattered across the country, writes Winnie Graham

One of the world's best loved travel guides, Lonely Planet, describes the Kruger National Park as "one of the biggest, oldest and quite simply one of the best wildlife parks in the world," adding appropriately: "A visit here is likely to be the highlight of your trip to South Africa."

And that, in a nutshell, is exactly what Kruger is, a tourist facility South Africans love, but invariably take for granted, grumbling when the conservation fees go up or the accommodation and camping rates rise.

Southern Africa is blessed with vast game reserves, many state-run, others privately owned. Yet Kruger has something few can emulate. Can there be anything more exciting than driving your own vehicle through a park where you can encounter a range of creatures at the side of the road?

Through the years I have had some incredible experiences in the Kruger Park. I have watched a python gobble up some poor creature, a cluster of about 60 striped rodents nibble at an unidentified treat on the edge of the road, lions revel in falling rain, a leopard prowl along a river bank at dawn, carmine bee-eaters bedeck a tree in full blossom, a pregnant lioness wallow in a river....each experience has been memorable and, frankly, one that was never again to be repeated.

The Kruger Park is well over 100 years old and has changed considerably through the years, with possibly the innovative establishment of the concession areas the most dramatic.

The new upmarket lodges within the boundaries of Kruger have added an extra dimension to the wildlife experience, with some lodges adding nights in the open under the stars, morning walks in the bush and even dinner under huge old trees in unprotected areas. It's heady stuff indeed.

Now many of the old camps in Kruger are being upgraded. Many of the units will be refurbished, some to a higher standard.

Apparently the units most in need of maintenance (new tiles, coat of paint and so on) will be targeted first. Some of the larger family cottages are to be virtually rebuilt.

Details of the upgrades - that is the dates and camps involved - will be communicated via the SANParks website (www.sanparks.org) during the next few months.

The Star Verve - 15 May 2007Winnie Graham

26 July 2018Joining forces to develop Banhine National Park

On the heels of a second partnership agreement signed between Peace Parks Foundation and Mozambique’s National Administration for Conservation Areas (ANAC) to further develop Maputo Special Reserve

 read more

23 July 2018De Beers Group partners with Peace Parks Foundation on one of the largest elephant translocations in South Africa’s history

De Beers Group has begun to transport 200 elephants across 1,500km from its Venetia Limpopo Nature Reserve (VLNR) in South Africa to Mozambique. The operation, one of the largest elephant translocatio

 read more

6 July 2018Elephants with a purpose

Why did 53 elephants travel more than 1 250 km across three different countries this month? Here’s why.

 read more

29 November 2017New ranger base for Limpopo National Park's 16th Anniversary

This week, Limpopo National Park (LNP) celebrated its 16th anniversary. Mozambique proclaimed the Park on 27 November 2001 and requested Peace Parks Foundation’s assistance in overseeing the park’

 read more

8 November 2017Unlocking the potential of Zinave National Park

Having been declared a protected area in 1972, only to then be ravaged by sixteen years of civil war from 1977-1992, the sun now rises over a different Zinave National Park in Mozambique. The implemen

 read more

25 August 2017Charles and Lumpy lead the way to Zinave

This week saw the first two of 54 elephants safely released in Zinave National Park, Mozambique. The two elephant bulls, Charles and Lumpy, were translocated from Dinokeng Game Reserve in Gauteng –

 read more

6 July 2017Lions poisoned for bone trade

[Maputo, 5 July 2017] On 3 July 2017 the tracks of three poachers were detected in the Intensive Protection Zone of Limpopo National Park, Mozambique. These were followed and it became clear that the

 read more

28 June 2017Dynamic alliance established to bolster rhino anti-poaching efforts

On the western boundary of Kruger National Park (KNP), private and community-owned game reserves - represented as the Greater Kruger Environmental Protection Foundation (GKEPF) - have joined forces wi

 read more

21 June 2017Rewilding Zinave National Park

This week saw the start of one of the largest wildlife translocation projects that Africa has ever seen, whereby 7 500 animals will find a new home in the 4 000 km² Zinave National Park in Mozambique

 read more

2 May 2017250 Bicycles Donated to Learners from Makuleke Community

On 26 April, Children in the Wilderness (CITW) and Qhubeka donated 250 bicycles to underprivileged learners at N’wanati High School in Limpopo’s Makuleke Community as part of Qhubeka’s innovativ

 read more