Kruger national park is one of South Africa’s largest game reserve, with an area of 19,485 square kilometres or 7523 square miles. As a reference, Singapore is only 719.1 square kilometres big.
The main difference between Kruger and Phinda is that there are no fences in Kruger which means that animals are free to roam. While this means that you are more likely to see bigger herds, game watching is also very unpredictable. In Phinda, the rangers knew where most of the animals were because the animals can’t go beyond the fences. In Kruger, however, there are animals who have never seen people before. Our ranger in Kruger national park was telling us stories about how refugees fleeing from Mozambique were eaten by lions in Kruger. He also told us that he had been threatened by a group of lions that he had never seen before and never saw again.
On the last day, we saw a huge herd of buffalo who were very, very smelly.
What this means is that game viewing in Kruger is highly unpredictable. For example, on the first day we saw wild dogs, hyenas and herds of elephants. But on the second, we spent over 3 hours looking for a leopard and only saw its butt. What’s more, I didn’t even take a picture because our vehicle got stuck in a trench. Yay. This is also the reason why I don’t have as many photos of Kruger as compared to Phinda. Simply because, there were no opportunities for photos. I hardly think you’d be interested in me chronicling how we didn’t see a leopard for three hours.
We did see some impala foolishly fighting for a mate even though the herd of females have already left. In mating season, male Impala become easy prey for predators because they are so testosterone fueled that they don’t know what is happening around them. Like how you can easily get pick-pocked in ladies night at a club. Same thing.
To be honest, I much rather prefer game viewing in Phinda in Kruger, not only because our ranger in Phinda was AMAZING but also because of the landscape. Kruger didn’t have varied landscape unlike Phinda and was mostly Savannah. Meh.
What’s good about relative flatness of Kruger is that we can have wine out in the open whilst keeping a look out if anything’s amiss. In our 4 nights there, this ostrich was around for our sunset viewing most of the time.
Apparently he is the only ostrich in the area and his mate was eaten by lions or something like that and just disappeared. Poor guy.
Tips: 1, Kruger is for those of you #adventureseekers #offthebeatenpath kind of people. Its wild and untamed, maybe that’s what you’re looking for in a safari, maybe not. For me I quite liked seeing such huge herds of animals but having a full day of almost seeing nothing? Maybe not.