Is The Kruger National Park Open
Great news for wildlife and nature enthusiasts – the Kruger National Park is open to both day and overnight visitors.
About the Kruger National Park
The world-renowned Kruger National Park is regarded as the flagship of the country’s national parks, offering visitors a wildlife experience that ranks among the best in Africa, if not the world. Home to nearly 2.2 million hectares of unspoiled African bushveld, the Kruger National Park is one of the largest game reserves in Africa and the third largest National Park in the world. It is spread across the provinces of Mpumalanga and Limpopo in the north of South Africa, just south of Zimbabwe and west of Mozambique. The Kruger National Park also forms part of the exceptional collection of parks managed by South African National Parks (SANParks).
Lying in the heart of the Lowveld, the Kruger National Park boasts a remarkable diversity of wildlife, birdlife, vegetation, and landscapes. Attracting thousands of local and international visitors each year, all looking to experience the ultimate African safari and wildlife destination first-hand, a visit to the Kruger National Park should be one every nature and wildlife enthusiast’s bucket-list.
Here is everything you need to know about the Kruger National Park.
Best Time to visit:
May – September
April – May & September – October
June- August & December – February
Average Summer Weather
+/- 16 – 35°C
Average Winter Weather
+/- 9 – 28°C
Daily Conservation & Entry Fees
|Daily Conservation fees for 1 November 2020 to 31 October 2021|
|South African Citizens and Residents (with ID)||R105 per adult, per day
R52 per child, per day
|SADC Nationals (with passport)||R210 per adult, per day
R105 per child, per day
|Standard Conservation Fee||R424 per adult, per day
R212 per child, per day
Kruger National Park Gate Hours
|Entrance Gates Open||05:30||05:30||5:30||06:00||06:00||06:00||06:00||06:00||06:00||05:30||05:30||05:30|
|Camp Gates Open||04:30||05:30||05:30||06:00||06:00||06:00||06:00||06:00||06:00||05:30||04:30||04:30|
|All Gates Close||18:30||18:30||18:00||18:00||17:30||17:30||17:30||18:00||18:00||18:00||18:30||18:30|
Wildlife, Birdlife, Vegetation & Ecosystems
517 Bird species
Through careful wildlife management and conservation initiatives, the Kruger National Park has become one of the top National Parks in both Africa and the world to witness wildlife and birdlife in their natural habitat.
The Kruger National Park is home to a remarkable diversity of wildlife, birdlife, and various other species. In addition to its iconic African Big 5 (lion, leopard, elephant, rhino, and buffalo), the Kruger Park is home to approximately 148 of Southern Africa’s 350 mammal species, 18 of which are listed in the Red Data Book, 517 bird species, 114 species of reptiles, 34 amphibians, and 50 indigenous freshwater fish species. The Kruger Park is further known for its spectacular sightings of endangered or ‘rarely seen’ animals, such as the African wild dog, cheetah, sable, and roan antelope.
As the Kruger National Park covers over 2.2 million hectares and spans a total of almost 20 000 square kilometres, it boasts a widely diverse ecology as well as six different ecosystems. The changing landscape of the Kruger means that there are more than 2 000 plant species present in the park, approximately 336 different species of trees, and six major rivers flowing through it, supporting a rich and diverse habitat. The Kruger National Park is largely characterised by a combination of savannah, thornveld and woodland eco-zones.
Here are some of the Kruger National Park’s wildlife, birdlife, and vegetation highlights:
- The Big Five: Buffalo, Elephant, Leopard, Lion and Rhino.
- The Little Five: Buffalo Weaver, Elephant Shrew, Leopard Tortoise, Ant Lion and Rhino Beetle.
- Birding Big Six: Ground Hornbill, Kori Bustard, Lappet- faced Vulture, Martial Eagle, Pel’s Fishing Owl and Saddle-bill Stork. As the Kruger Park boasts more than 517 bird species, some of which are not found anywhere else in South Africa, it is regarded as the ultimate bird watching destination by avid birding enthusiasts. Birding is best during the Kruger National Park’s wet summer season (October – March) as it marks the time when the summer migrant birds arrive.
- Five Trees: Baobab, Fever Tree, Knob Thorn, Marula, Mopane.
- Natural/Cultural Features: Letaba Elephant Museum, Jock of the Bushveld Route, Albasini Ruins, Masorini Ruins, Stevenson Hamilton Memorial Library, Thulamela.
Activities & Experiences
The Kruger National Park offers an exciting assortment of amazing and thrilling activities and experiences to suite every traveler. Some of the Kruger Parks available activities include:
- Wilderness trails
- Guided bushwalks
- Game drives/Safaris & Self-drives
- 4×4 Off-roading drives
- Mountain biking
- Backpacking trails
Kruger National Park Climate
Summer: October – March
- High day-time temperatures
- High levels of humidity
- High levels of rainfall
Winter: May – Spetember
- Low humidity
- Lovely mild day-time temperatures
- Virtually no rainfall
The time of year you choose to visit the Kruger Park will have a big impact on your overall experience. While it is an all-year-round destination, the Kruger National Park has two distinct seasons. Namely the dry season (winter) and wet season (summer). With each season offering a uniquely different experience in terms of game viewing opportunities, temperatures, park conditions, surrounding scenery and birdlife and wildlife sightings. However, the dry winter season is considered the best time to visit the Kruger National Park.
TOP REASONS TO VISIT THE KRUGER NATIONAL PARK DURING THE DRY WINTER SEASON
Prime time for game viewing
Optimal visibility due to sparse vegetation
Mild temperatures & minimal rain
Best time to visit / Low season
TOP REASONS TO VISIT THE KRUGER NATIONAL PARK DURING THE WET SUMMER SEASON
Lush greenery due to high rainfall
Park is filled with newborn wildlife
Great birdlife sightings
Excellent photography opportunities
COVID-19 Guidelines & Regulations
As the Kruger National Park forms part of the South African National Parks (SANParks) the following COVID-19 regulations, guidelines and measures have been put in place to ensure the health and safety of all visitors and guests.
**NOTE: All the below COVID-19 Health & Safety Measures & Guidelines were directly provided/outlined by SANParks. To access to full document, click here.
COVID-19 Awareness Training:
- All staff have been trained to understand the origins, cause, symptoms and how the COVID-19 virus spreads.
- Employees who have symptoms of acute respiratory illness are recommended/required to stay home and not come to work.
- The awareness training also covers infection prevention, avoiding exposure and emergency response and protocols to be followed if a guest or staff member develops symptoms to minimise risk to the other guests and staff in our parks.
Park Reservations & Entry:
- Guests are encouraged to utilise Central Reservations and the online booking portal to book and pay for their overnight and day visit reservations, in advance. Such bookings can be made online through SANParks websiteor through the traditional means of making bookings, e.g. email, telephonic (012 428 9111) or through one of the reservation offices.
- For quota management during busy days, guests are also encouraged to book their preferred entry slots in advance, online or at Central Reservations.
- Guests are further encouraged to purchase or renew their Wild Cards online, prior to arrival at the national park.
- All visitors and guests are requested to complete the Gate Registration Form(inclusive of COVID-19 questions) before arrival. This form can be found online and will make things run smoother if they are printed and filled out ahead of time and handed to the gate official upon arrival. Visitors will also be required to complete a SANParks Gate Client Declaration and Contact Tracing Upon Exit – This form can also be found online.
- Ensure that you take acceptable means of identification along when visiting the Kruger National Park. This does not only apply to the drivers of vehicles but could be requested of all adults that enter or visit the park.
- Temperature screening and answering of a health questionnaire is mandatory at entry and exit to the national parks.
- These guest records will be kept indefinitely to facilitate contact tracing by health authorities where necessary.
- Anyone displaying a temperature of 37.4° Celsius or above will not be allowed entry but will instead be directed to a side location for re-screening and assistance. Those in their party will not be allowed entry either.
- Before visiting the Kruger National Park it is essential to ensure that you have had no exposure with a suspect or confirmed case of COVID-19. Make sure to check body temperature and any clinical symptoms (cough, fever, dry throat, difficulty breathing) of everyone in your travel group. Anyone with a temperature above 37.4 °C or experiencing any clinical symptoms should remain at home. This is not only vital for your own health and safety, but for the health and safety of others.
- It is mandatory for all guests visiting national parks to wear a face mask.
- Please bring your own face mask to wear at all times in public places.
- All face masks whether disposable or reusable, must fully cover the nose and mouth.
- The use of face masks is not a substitute for maintaining social distancing.
- Strict social distancing of at least two metres (2m) must be maintained in all permitted public areas inside the park.
- Frontline Service Staff have been trained to attend and service guests at a social distance of 1.5 metres or more.
- Ground markings have been installed in public areas to help guests navigate queues in common areas while practicing social distancing.
- Cleaning procedures have been enhanced throughout the national parks. Extra attention is given to high-touch traffic areas, including gate and camp reception areas, guest ablution facilities, picnic and day visitor areas, tables, benches, game drive vehicles and more.
- All guest accommodation is cleaned and sanitized before occupation, following prescribed strict cleaning protocols.
- Hand sanitizers are placed at all the key points in the camp/hotel reception and public areas.
- Adequate soap will be made available inside guest accommodation and at all guest ablution facilities to promote handwashing.
- All staff have been trained to maintain personal hygiene and to follow strict cleaning and sanitizing protocols when attending to frequently touched areas.
- It is recommended that guests use cashless payment options where possible, including debit cards, credit cards and to opt to use contactless tap when using card machines.
- On check in (in the case of overnight stay), guests will be asked if they prefer to have their rooms serviced less frequently than normal. Frequency of service with be outlined by the manager on duty.
- Guests staying at self-catering facilities are requested to wash their own dishes.
Park Activities Safety Standards:
- To maintain social distancing, participants in some park activities will be reduced to maintain social distancing.
- It will be mandatory for all participants to wear face masks and to maintain social distancing whilst partaking in the activity.
- All equipment used during the activity will be cleaned and sanitised before and after every use.
Health & Safety Gear:
- National parks staff have been trained on how to perform effective hand hygiene and on the proper use of Personal Protective Equipment to ensure the health and safety of both guests and employees.
- Transparent Perspex screens have been erected at reception counters or staff will be issued with face shields for protection.
Food Safety Standards:
- Food and beverage service staff have been trained on enhanced health and safety protocols. These include regular cleaning and disinfecting of objects and surfaces used to prepare and serve guest meals.
- Kitchen equipment used in restaurants including guest crockery and cutlery is washed on high temperature wash cycles for complete disinfection.
- Staff practice strict capacity control in our dining areas to maintain social distancing.
General Guidelines When Visiting Kruger National Park
- Please always stay in your vehicle when exploring the Park. As the Kruger National Park is home to a glorious diversity of wildlife, some of which may pose a potential threat to humans as you enter their natural habitat, visitors are only allowed to get out of their vehicles in safe designated areas. Additionally no part of your body may protrude from a window or sunroof while driving and doors should always remain closed.
- Please take careful note of the maximum speed limits applicable in the various areas of the Kruger Park. Note that not all roads are accessible to vehicles exceeding a certain mass, type, or size.
- Safety while driving should always remain top priority. General rules of the road apply within the Kruger National Park. It is an offence to drive on South African roads without a recognized driver’s license or under the influence of alcohol. Driving or operating any vehicle in a reckless or negligent manner or in a deliberate disregard for the safety of a person, animal or property is a serious offence and can result in a summons being issued as per official SANParks regulations.
- Vehicles must always remain on the designated roads and off-road driving or driving on closed or no-entry roads is a serious offence.
- Feeding of wildlife inside the park is strictly prohibited! The feeding or intentional disturbance of wildlife is a serious offence.
- No plant, animal, wildlife or any natural or cultural items may be removed from the Kruger Park without permission. To cut, damage, destroy or be in possession of any plant or part thereof, including dry wood or firewood is a serious offence. Importing of any specimen of an alien or listed invasive species into a national park is strictly prohibited.
- No firearms may be brought into the Park.
- No pets (dogs, cats, birds or any other) may be brought into a Kruger Park. Transgressors will be dealt with firmly, issued with a summons and serious action will be taken. Guide dogs for visually impaired guests are the only exception, but only if the proper procedures are followed in consultation with park management and if the owner has the necessary inoculations and permits as ordained by the state veterinary department.
- The Kruger National Park has a NO TOLERANCE POLICY with regards to poaching, killing, or injuring of animals.
- Starting or causing of any fire, whether it be intentional or unintentional other than in a fireplace or container purposely made available is strictly prohibited and will result in a summons being issued.
- Behaving in an offensive, improper, indecent, or disorderly manner will simply NOT be tolerated. Playing of any radio, compact disc player, music system, musical system or instrument that may cause any noise that results in the disturbance of any species, specimen, or wildlife as well as other individuals visiting the park is strictly prohibited and will be fined if not adhered to.
- The hindering, intimidating, or obstructing of an authorized Kruger National Park official in the execution if his/her duties or the performance of his/her functions will not be tolerated and is subject to a penalty. Violation, refusal, or failure to obey or comply with any prohibition, request or instruction imposed by these regulations or by the management authority or authorized official will result in prosecution.
- Beware of Malaria – The Kruger National Park and Mapungubwe National Parks fall within a malaria zone. A 24hour malaria hotline is available on 0822341800 and where relevant, please consult your medical practitioner.
- Kindly familiarize yourself with the general conditions prevalent in the park you are going to visit by visiting the website at sanparks.org and link onto Parks A-Z as there may be vital information contained therein to assist with your visit.
Kruger Park Accommodation Options
Main Rest Camps:
- Berg-en-Dal (with satellite Malelane)
- Crocodile Bridge Rest Camp
- Letaba Rest Camp
- Lower Sabie Rest Camp
- Mopani (with satellite Tsendze) Rest Camp
- Olifants (with satellite Balule) Rest Camp
- Orpen (with satellites Maroela and Tamboti)
- Pretoriuskop Rest Camp
- Punda Maria Rest Camp
- Satara Rest Camp
- Shingwedzi Rest Camp
- Skukuza Rest Camp
- Tamboti Satellite Camp
- Balule Satellite Camp
- Malelane Satellite Camp
- Maroela Satellite Camp
- Tsendze Camp Site
Accessible Activities & Facilities:
- Most destinations offer good general access and people with mobility challenges do make frequent use of the park.
- There are also 10 accessible unisex communal ablutions among the various campsite ablutions throughout the park.
- There are a variety of accessible boardwalks, trails, hides, museums, picnic sites and other visitor destinations throughout the park and readers are encouraged to view the individual rest camp profiles or the summary of gates, hides and picnic sites to get an idea of what destinations are suitable.
- View https://www.sanparks.org/groups/disabilities/transport.php for details of tour operators who offer accessible safaris with transport provided to Kruger, as well as details of accessible car hire options.
Kruger Park Entrance Gates Contact Details
|Entrance Gate||Telephone Number|
|Crocodile Bridge Gate||+27 (0)13 735 6012|
|Kruger Gate||+27 (0)13 735 5107|
|Malelane Gate||+27 (0)13 735 6152|
|Numbi Gate||+27 (0)13 735 5133|
|Orpen Gate||+27 (0)13 735 0237/0238|
|Pafuri Gate||+27 (0)13 735 5574|
|Phabeni Gate||+27 (0)13 735 5890|
|Phalaborwa Gate||+27 (0)13 735 3547|
|Punda Maria Gate||+27 (0)13 735 6870|
Contact Details & Information
- Contact Details: Customer Support: 021 424 1037 | Kruger National Park Admin Offices: 013 735 4000
- See each camp’s general page for Contact Information or Camp Telephone and Fax Numbers
- Business Hours: Monday – Friday, 8am – 5pm | Saturday, 8am – 12pm
- Instagram: @sanparks
- Facebook: @South.African.National.Parks
- Twitter: @SANParksKNP
- YouTube: SANParks
- Website: krugerpark.co.za