travel guide Kruger National Park

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K r u g e r N at i o N a l Pa r K P R I V A T E W I L D L I F E R E S E R V E S K r u g e r N at i o N a l Pa r K G E T T I N G T h E R E & A R O U N D K r u g e r N at i o N a l Pa r K P R I V A T E W I L D L I F E R E S E R V E S AIR SAAirlink ( and South African Airways ( now team up to provide a direct daily flight to Skukuza Airport (Map p400; www.skukuzaairport. com/) in Kruger from both cape Town (from R3027, 2¼ hours) and Johannesburg (R1720, 50 minutes). The airlines provide more abundant options to Mpumalanga Kruger International Airport (MKIA; Map p388; www.kmiairport. near Nelspruit from Jo'burg (from R1240, 45 minutes), Durban (from R2220, one hour) and cape Town (from R2520, 2¼ hours). They also fly from Jo'burg to Hoedspruit's Eastgate Airport (Map p400; from R1506, one hour) for Orpen gate, and to Kruger Park Gateway Air- port (Map p400; from R2036, one hour), near Phalaborwa gate. CAR & 4WD Kruger's southern gates are all within 475km (five hours) of Jo'burg; Orpen and Phalaborwa gates are around 525km (six hours) away, and Punda Mara and Pafuri gates are over 600km (seven hours) away. Once in the park most visitors drive them- selves as it's very straightforward. Kruger's road system is excellent, with a network of great sealed routes and many well-maintained gravel side roads. however, keep an eye out for other vehicles stopping suddenly, distracted drivers and darting animals. You won't need a 4WD for most secondary gravel roads, though check with rangers if it has been raining heavily. There are petrol stations at all the rest camps. Avis (% 013-735 5651; has a rental branch at Skukuza Rest camp, and there are numerous agencies at MKIA (28km from Nel- spruit). Eastgate Airport (hoedspruit) and Kruger Gateway Airport (Phalaborwa) have more options. PRIVATE WILDLIFE RESERVES Spreading over a vast area just west of Kruger is a string of private reserves that offer some of Africa's most compelling sa- fari viewing. The Big Five-plus populations roaming these protected areas are no differ- ent from those in the park – in fact, there is no fence or physical boundary separating the main reserves – Sabi Sand, Manyeleti and Timbavati – from Kruger itself. Much like in the private concessions with- in Kruger, what makes the biggest difference to the wildlife-viewing experience is the level of guiding, the ability of safari vehicles to go off road, and the exclusivity of walking and driving activities. Animals don't deal with GREAT LIMPOPO TRANSFRONTIER PARK Together with Mozambique's Limpopo National Park (Parque Nacional do Limpopo; % 21-713000;; adult/vehicle Mtc400/400, payable in meticais or South African rand) and Zimbabwe's Gonarezhou National Park, Kruger forms part of the Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park, a va area that will ultimately encompass 35,000 sq km. Gonarezhou links continue to be a work in progress, but Kruger and Limpopo are linked via two border po s: Giriyondo and Pafuri (p600). However, for those intere ed in exploring the core of Limpopo, the only real option is Giriyondo, which is reached via the H15 gravel road that branches off the tarmac route 19km north of Letaba. You won't find concentrations of wildlife comparable to Kruger's, but the journey makes for a satisfyingly adventurous bush experience. Once you've finished with the border paperwork for your 4WD (p602), pass through immigration, where Mozambique visas are available (R884/Mtc2136/US$90). You'll also need to pay Limpopo park fees and show proof of overnight accommodation in Limpopo. There are three accommodation options: campgrounds and basic self-catering chalets at both Campismo Aguia Pesqueira (Map p388; camping Mtc20 (R80), 2-bed chalets Mtc1500 (R550)), near Massingir Dam, and Campismo Albufeira (Map p388; camping Mtc20 (R80), 2-/4-bed chalets Mtc1200/1500 (R450/550)), near Massingir gate, and the upmarket Machampane Wilderness Camp (; s/d all-inclusive R2860/4400). Machampane has five spacious, well-appointed safari tents in a tranquil setting di- rectly overlooking a section of the Machampane River, where you're likely to see hippos plus a variety of smaller wildlife and many birds. Morning and evening guided walks are included. Machampane is 20km from Giriyondo, and pick-ups can be arranged from Letaba (where you can leave your car). 3 9 9

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