Kruger National Park

Kruger National Park is one of the largest game reserves in Africa. It covers an area of 19,485 km2 (7,523 sq mi) in the provinces of Limpopo and Mpumalanga in northeastern South Africa, and extends 360 km (220 mi) from north to south and 65 km (40 mi) from east to west. The administrative headquarters are in Skukuza. Areas of the park were first protected by the government of the South African Republic in 1898, and it became South Africa's first national park in 1926.

To the west and south of the Kruger National Park are the two South African provinces of Limpopo and Mpumalanga. In the north is Zimbabwe, and to the east is Mozambique. It is now part of the Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park, a peace park that links Kruger National Park with the Gonarezhou National Park in Zimbabwe, and with the Limpopo National Park in Mozambique.

The park is part of the Kruger to Canyons Biosphere an area designated by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) as an International Man and Biosphere Reserve (the "Biosphere").[6]

The park has nine main gates allowing entrance to the different camps.

Kruger National Park
Kruger Zebra
Burchell's zebra in a Kruger landscape
Kruger National Park locator map
Location of the park (red area) in South Africa
LocationLimpopo and Mpumalanga provinces, South Africa
Nearest cityMbombela (southern)
Phalaborwa (central)
Coordinates24°0′41″S 31°29′7″E / 24.01139°S 31.48528°ECoordinates: 24°0′41″S 31°29′7″E / 24.01139°S 31.48528°E
Area19,485 km2 (7,523 sq mi)[1][2][3]
Established31 May 1926[4][5](1898)
Visitors1,336,981 (in 2004)
Governing bodySouth African National Parks
www.sanparks.org/parks/kruger/

History

Pre-Reserve (–1898)

Over 300 recorded archaeological sites in Kruger Park attest to its occupation before modern times. Most sites however had relatively short occupation periods, as the presence of predators and the tsetse fly limited cattle husbandry. At Masorini hill, beside the H9 route, iron smelting was practiced up to the Mfecane era. The reconstructed Thulamela on a hilltop south of the Levuvhu River was occupied from the 13th to 16th centuries, and had links with traders from the African east coast.

Before the Second Anglo-Boer War the area now covered by the park was a remote section of the eastern Transvaal's last wild frontier. Paul Kruger, President of the South African Republic at the time, proclaimed the area, which was inhabited by the Tsonga people, a sanctuary for the protection of its wildlife. James Stevenson Hamilton noted many kraals along the Sabi River and also further north beyond the Letaba River[7] although the north was sparsely populated compared to the south. Many of the local natives were employed by railway companies for construction of rail connections, notably that between Pretoria and Lorenço Marques during the end of the 19th century. Abel Chapman, one of the hunters who noted that the area was over-hunted by the end of the 19th century, brought this fact to wider attention.

Sabi Game Reserve (1898–1926)

In 1895, Jakob Louis van Wyk introduced in the Volksraad of the old South African Republic a motion to create the game reserve. The area proposed extended from the Crocodile River to the Sabi River in the north. That motion, introduced together with another Volksraad member by the name of R. K. Loveday, and accepted for discussion in September 1895 by a majority of one vote, resulted in the proclamation by Paul Kruger, president of the Transvaal Republic (South African Republic), on 26 March 1898, of a "Government Wildlife Park." This park would later be known as the Sabi Game Reserve.

The park was initially created to control hunting[8] and to protect the diminished number of animals in the park.

James Stevenson-Hamilton became the first warden of the reserve in 1902.[8] The reserve was located in the southern one-third of the modern park.[9] Singwitsi Reserve, named after the Shingwedzi River and now in northern Kruger National Park, was proclaimed in 1903.[10] During the following decades all the native tribes were removed from the reserve and during the 1960s the last were removed at Makuleke in the Pafuri triangle. In 1926, Sabie Game Reserve, the adjacent Shingwedzi Game Reserve, and farms were combined to create Kruger National Park.[11]

During 1923, the first large groups of tourists started visiting the Sabie Game Reserve, but only as part of the South African Railways' popular "Round in Nine" tours. The tourist trains used the Selati railway line between Komatipoort on the Mozambican border and Tzaneen in Limpopo Province. The tour included an overnight stop at Sabie Bridge (now Skukuza) and a short walk, escorted by armed rangers, into the bush. It soon became a highlight of the tour and it gave valuable support for the campaign to proclaim the Sabie Game Reserve as a national park.[12][13]

Kruger National Park (1926–1946)

After the proclamation of the Kruger National Park in 1926, the first three tourist cars entered the park in 1927, jumping to 180 cars in 1928 and 850 cars in 1929.[5]
Warden James Stevenson-Hamilton retired on 30 April 1946, after 44 years as warden of the Kruger Park and its predecessor, the Sabi Sabi Game Reserve. A number of Bush camps like Kruger Bush Camp provide great accommodation facilities for travelers to Kruger National Park now a days.

1946–1994

Memorial Kruger Park
Plaque in the park. Now and then people do get killed, however, this is extremely rare.

Stevenson-Hamilton was replaced by Colonel J. A. B. Sandenbergh of the South African Air Force.[12] During 1959, work commenced to completely fence the park boundaries. Work started on the southern boundary along the Crocodile River and in 1960 the western and northern boundaries were fenced, followed by the eastern boundary with Mozambique. The purpose of the fence was to curb the spread of diseases, facilitate border patrolling and inhibit the movement of poachers.[12]

The Makuleke area in the northern part of the park was forcibly taken from the Makuleke people by the government in 1969 and about 1500 of them were relocated to land to the south so that their original tribal areas could be integrated into the greater Kruger National Park.[14][15]

1994–present

Pride of lions Kruger
Pride of lions on a tourist road

In 1996 the Makuleke tribe submitted a land claim for 19,842 hectares (198.42 km2), namely the Pafuri or Makuleke region in the northernmost part of the park.[16] The land was given back to the Makuleke people, however, they chose not to resettle on the land but to engage with the private sector to invest in tourism. This resulted in the building of several game lodges from which they earn royalties.[17][18]

In the late 1990s, the fences between the Kruger Park and Klaserie Game Reserve, Olifants Game Reserve and Balule Game Reserve were dropped and incorporated into the Greater Kruger Park with 400,000 hectares added to the Reserve. In 2002, Kruger National Park, Gonarezhou National Park in Zimbabwe, and Limpopo National Park in Mozambique were incorporated into a peace park, the Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park.[11]

In 2009, SANParks envisaged a four-star hotel northeast of Malelane on the bank of the Crocodile River, as part of a survival strategy to make the park less dependent on state subsidies.[19] Eventually Radisson Blu was mandated to operate a 104 room safari resort starting 2019,[20][21] which promises a smaller ecological footprint than that of prior, existing camps. The three-star, 128-room Skukuza Safari Lodge, to be completed by late 2018,[22] was necessitated by the adjacent Nombolo Mdhluli conference center, opened in 2011, which draws guests arriving by charter flights or in tour busses.[22] Former head of the park Salomon Joubert warned that these developments threaten the character, ethos and original objectives of the park,[19] but minister of environmental affairs, Edna Molewa, deemed development of 0.3% of the park as acceptable.[22]

Location and geography

Kruger panorama3
Luvuvhu and Limpopo rivers at Crookes Corner in Pafuri triangle

The park lies in the north-east of South Africa,[9] in the eastern parts of Limpopo and Mpumalanga provinces. Phalaborwa, Limpopo is the only town in South Africa that borders the Kruger National Park. It is one of the largest national parks in the world, with an area of 19,485 square kilometres (7,523 sq mi). The park is approximately 360 kilometres (220 mi) long,[9] and has an average width of 65 kilometres (40 mi).[11] At its widest point, the park is 90 kilometres (56 mi) wide from east to west.[9]

To the north and south of the park two rivers, the Limpopo and the Crocodile respectively, act as its natural boundaries. To the east the Lebombo Mountains separate it from Mozambique. Its western boundary runs parallel with this range, roughly 65 kilometres (40 mi) distant. The park varies in altitude between 200 metres (660 ft) in the east and 840 metres (2,760 ft) in the south-west near Berg-en-Dal. The highest point in the park is here, a hill called Khandzalive. Several rivers run through the park from west to east, including the Sabie, Olifants, Crocodile, Letaba, Luvuvhu and Limpopo Rivers.

Climate

Skukuza
Climate chart (explanation)
J
F
M
A
M
J
J
A
S
O
N
D
 
 
94
 
 
33
21
 
 
96
 
 
32
20
 
 
66
 
 
31
19
 
 
38
 
 
29
15
 
 
14
 
 
28
10
 
 
11
 
 
26
6
 
 
11
 
 
26
6
 
 
8
 
 
27
9
 
 
28
 
 
29
13
 
 
40
 
 
30
16
 
 
63
 
 
31
18
 
 
92
 
 
32
20
Average max. and min. temperatures in °C
Precipitation totals in mm
Source: SAWS[23]

The climate of the Kruger National Park and Lowveld is subtropical. Summer days are humid and hot. The rainy season is from September until May. The Kruger National Park website lists September and October as the driest periods, culminating in rains late in October.

Flora and fauna

Vegetation

Plants life in the park consists of four main areas:

KNP Landscape
Natural landscape for much of the Park

Thorn trees and red bush-willow veld

This area lies between the western boundary and roughly the centre of the park south of the Olifants River. Combretums, such as the red bush-willow (Combretum apiculatum), and Acacia species predominate while there are a great number of marula trees (Sclerocarya caffra). The Acacias are dominant along the rivers and streams, the very dense Nwatimhiri bush along the Sabie River between Skukuza and Lower Sabie being a very good example.

Knob-thorn and marula veld

South of the Olifants River in the eastern half of the park, this area provides the most important grazing-land. Species such as red grass (Themeda triandra) and buffalo grass (Panicum maximum) predominate while the knob-thorn (Acacia nigrescens), leadwood (Combretum imberbe) and marula (Sclerocarya caffra) are the main tree species.

Red bush-willow and mopane veld

This area lies in the western half of the park, north of the Olifants River. The two most prominent species here are the red bush-willow (Combretum apiculatum) and the mopane tree (Colophospermum mopane).

Shrub mopane veld

Shrub mopane covers almost the entire north-eastern part of the park.

There are a number of smaller areas in the park which carry distinctive vegetation such as Pretoriuskop where the sickle bush and the silver cluster-leaf (Terminalia sericea) are prominent. The sandveld communities near Punda Maria are equally definitive, with a wide variety of unique species.

Mammals

Lion (Panthera leo) (30941994012)
Male lion
Elephant side-view Kruger
Elephant crossing a road. A photoshopped version of this photo was used as an April Fool's prank in 2018.[24]

All the big five game animals are found at Kruger National Park, which has more species of large mammals than any other African game reserve (at 147 species). There are webcams set up to observe the wildlife.[25]

The park stopped culling elephants in 1994 and tried translocating them, but by 2004 the population had increased to 11,670 elephants, by 2006 to approximately 13,500, by 2009 to 11,672, and by 2012 to 16,900. The park's habitats may only be able to sustain about 8,000 elephants, though this is not entirely clear. Elephants do change plant growth and density in the park, and some species, such as wildebeests, clearly benefit from an increase in grasslands. The park started an attempt at using contraception in 1995, but has stopped that due to problems with delivering the contraceptives and upsetting the herds.

Kruger supports packs of the endangered African wild dog, of which there are thought to be only about 400 in the whole of South Africa.[26]

Wildlife Population As of 2010
Species Count (2009) Count (2010)[27]
Black rhinoceros 350 590-660
Blue wildebeest 9,612 11,500
Burchell's zebra 17,797 26,500
Bushbuck 500 500
Cape buffalo 27,000 37,500
Eland 300 460
Elephant 11,672 13,700
Giraffe 5,114 9,000
Greater kudu 5,798 9,500
Hippopotamus 3,000 3,100
Impala 150,000 120,000
Lichtenstein's hartebeest 50
Mountain reedbuck 150
Nyala 300
Roan antelope 90
Sable antelope 290
Warthog 3,500
Waterbuck 5,000 5,500
White rhinoceros 7,000 to 12,000[28] 10,500
African wild dog 240
Cheetah 120 120
Crocodile 4,420
Leopard 2,000 1,000
Lion 2,800 1,600
Spotted hyena 2,000 3,500

Birds

Out of the 517 species of birds found at Kruger, 253 are residents, 117 non-breeding migrants, and 147 nomads. Some of the larger birds require large territories or are sensitive to habitat degradation. Six of these species, which are by and large restricted to Kruger and other extensive conservation areas, have been assigned to a fanciful grouping called the "Big Six Birds".[29] They are the lappet-faced vulture, martial eagle, saddle-billed stork, kori bustard, ground hornbill and the reclusive Pel's fishing owl, which is localized and seldom seen. There are between 25 and 30 breeding pairs of saddle-billed storks in the park, besides a handful of non-breeding individuals.[29] In 2012 178 family groups of ground hornbills roamed the park and 78 nests were known, of which 50% were active.[30]

Other vertebrates

Kruger is inhabited by 114 species of reptile, including black mamba, african rock pythons, and 3,000 crocodiles. Thirty-three species of amphibians are found in the Park,[31] as well as 50 fish species. A Zambesi shark, Carcharhinus leucas, also known as the bull shark, was caught at the confluence of the Limpopo and Luvuvhu Rivers in July 1950. Zambezi sharks tolerate fresh water and can travel far up rivers like the Limpopo.[32]

Invertebrates

219 species of butterfly and skipper are native to the park.[33] The fastest and most robust of these belong to genus Charaxes,[34] of which 12 species have been recorded.[35] Genera Papilio and Acraea are also well-represented, with about 10 and 15 species respectively.[35] The total number of Lepidoptera species in the park is unknown, but could be in the order of 7,000, many of which range widely in African savanna. The mopane moth in the northern half of the park is one of the best known, and communities outside the park have at times been given permits to harvest their caterpillars.[36][37][38] The park has a high diversity of termites and 22 genera are known to occur, including the mound-building genera Macrotermes, Cubitermes, Amitermes, Odontotermes and Trinervitermes.[39] Many species of mosquito occur in the park, including the Culex, Aedes and Anopheles genera which target mammals. A. arabiensis is the most prevalent of the 9 or more Anopheles species in the park, and their females transmit malaria.[40] As of 2018, 350 species of arachnids, excluding ticks and mites, are known from Kruger.[41] These are mostly true spiders, including 7 species of baboon spider, but also 9 scorpion species, 7 pseudoscorpion species, and 18 solifugid species (sun and roman spiders), 2 species of harvestmen and 1 species of tailless whip scorpion.[42]

Threats

The park’s ecosystem is subject to several threats, including intensive poaching, urban development at its borders,[43] global warming and droughts,[44][45] animal overpopulation,[46] and mining projects.[47]

Anti-poaching measures

Kruger is not exempt from the threat of poaching that many other African countries have faced. Many poachers are in search of ivory from elephant tusks or rhino horns, which are similar in composition to human fingernails.[48] The park's anti-poaching unit consists of 650[49] SANParks game rangers, assisted by the SAPS and the SANDF (including the SAAF). As of 2013, the park is equipped with two drones borrowed from Denel and two Aérospatiale Gazelle helicopters, donated by the RAF to augment its air space presence.[50][51] Automated movement sensors relay intrusions along the Mozambique border to a control center,[52] and a specialist dog unit has been introduced.[53] Buffer zones have been established along the border with Mozambique,[54] from where many poachers have infiltrated the park, as an alternative to costly new fences.[55] The original 150 km long fences were dropped in 2002 to establish the Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park.[49][56] The national anti-poaching committee oversees all activities and coordinates interested parties.[57][58]

Poachers

Kruger's big game poachers operate with night vision instruments and large caliber rifles, fitted with suppressors and sophisticated telescopic sights.[59][60] They are mostly Mozambique citizens that initiate their carefully planned incursions from the border region of South Africa and Mozambique.[59][61][62] In 2012 some 200 poachers were apprehended,[63] while about 30 were killed in skirmishes.[64][65]

In July 2012, a Kruger game ranger and policeman were the first to die in an anti-poaching operation,[66] while other employees reported intimidation by poachers.[67][68][69][70] A Kruger personnel strike affected some anti-poaching operations,[71] and some employees have been directly implicated.[67][72][73][74][75][76] Rangers in and around the park have been pressured or blackmailed by poaching syndicates to provide intelligence on the whereabouts of rhinos and anti-poaching operations.[77]

In December 2012, Kruger started using a Seeker II drone against rhino poachers. The drone was loaned to the South African National Parks authority by its manufacturer Denel Dynamics, South Africa.[78][79]

In February 2018, the head of a suspected poacher was found in the Kruger Park near Hoedspruit, his body dragged off and eaten by lions, it is assumed. Officials suspected it to be the head of a park employee who went missing days before, but it became clear that the man was, in fact, a suspected poacher when the park employee was found alive. The head was found in an area frequented by lions, along with a loaded hunting rifle.

Rhino

Poachers make no distinction between white and black rhinos,[68][80] but losses of black rhinos are low due to their reclusive and aggressive nature.[81] Rhino horn fetches between $66,000 and $82,000 per kilogram,[62][69][81][82][83] and the CITES ban has proved largely ineffectual against the trade in rhino horn.[84][85] The second horn is sometimes also hacked from the skull to obtain about 100 ml of moisture that is sold locally as traditional medicine.[81]

Poaching rhino horn escalated in the 21st century, with 949 rhinos killed in Kruger in the first 12 years,[50] and more than 520 in 2013 alone.[86][87] A memorandum of agreement is seen as a necessary milestone in stemming the tide between South Africa and Vietnam, in addition to the one with China,[55][88][89] while negotiations have not yet started with Thailand.[90] The amount of rhino horn held in storage is not publicly known.[91] Since 2009, some Kruger rhinos have been fitted with invisible tracing devices in their bodies and horns which enable officials to locate their carcasses and to track the smuggled horns by satellite.[92] South Africa's 22,000 white and black rhinos represent some 93% of these species' world population, 12,000 of which are found in Kruger.[68][85]

Elephant

Kruger experienced significant elephant poaching in the 1980s,[92] which has since abated. It holds over 48 tons of ivory in storage. According to Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna (CITES), it is allowed to sell 30 tons.

Following approval by CITES, 47 metric tons of stockpiled ivory from Kruger was auctioned on 6 November 2008. The sale fetched approximately US$6.7 million which was allocated to increased anti-poaching measures. The average price for the 63 lots on auction was US$142/kg.

Other

It is foreseen that the placement of wire traps to procure meat would eventually become the most challenging form of poaching.[93] A scheme has been proposed to reward adjacent communities with the proceeds of game sales in return for their cooperation in game preservation.[93] The larger communities include Bosbokrand, Acornhoek, Hazyview, Hoedspruit, Komatipoort, Malelane, Marloth Park, Nelspruit and Phalaborwa.[85]

Gates to the Kruger Park

Pafuri Gate (North Entrance Kruger Park)
Pafuri Gate
(northernmost entrance to the park)
Crocodile Bridge (near the South gate Kruger National Park)
Crocodile Bridge
(a southern entrance to the park)
Signpost in Krugerpark
A signpost in the park

The Kruger Park has the following gates:

Name Road From Town Coordinates
Crocodile Bridge Gate on the extension of Rissikstreet from Komatipoort 25°21′30″S 31°53′37″E / 25.35833°S 31.89361°E
Malelane Gate on the R570 off the N4 near Malelane 25°27′43″S 31°31′59″E / 25.46194°S 31.53306°E
Numbi Gate on the R569 road from Hazyview 25°9′19″S 31°11′51″E / 25.15528°S 31.19750°E
Phabeni Gate on the road off the R536 from Hazyview 25°01′30″S 31°14′29″E / 25.02500°S 31.24139°E
Paul Kruger Gate on the R536 road from Hazyview 24°58′53″S 31°29′7″E / 24.98139°S 31.48528°E
Orpen Gate on the R531 road from Klaserie 24°28′33″S 31°23′27″E / 24.47583°S 31.39083°E
Phalaborwa Gate on the R71 road from Phalaborwa 23°56′44″S 31°9′54″E / 23.94556°S 31.16500°E
Punda Maria Gate on the R524 road from Thohoyandou 22°44′18″S 31°0′33″E / 22.73833°S 31.00917°E
Pafuri Gate on the R525 road from Musina 22°24′1″S 31°2′29″E / 22.40028°S 31.04139°E

Wilderness trails

Nine different trails are on offer in the Kruger National Park. Some are overnight and they last several days in areas of wilderness virtually untouched by humans. There are no set trails in the wilderness areas; a visitor walks along paths made by animals or seeks out new routes through the bush.

Gallery

Kruger Park Elephants

Elephant family at an artificial water hole

South African Giraffes, fighting

Male giraffes necking

Two lions having a break after an unsuccessful hunt in Kruger National Park

Two lionesses having a break after an unsuccessful hunt

Male greater kudu

A greater kudu bull

See also

References

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  2. ^ Merriam Webster's Collegiate Encyclopedia. Merriam-Webster. January 2001. p. 902. ISBN 978-0-87779-017-4.
  3. ^ "The Official SADC Trade, Industry and Investment Review 2006" (PDF). Southern African Development Community. 2006. p. 217. Retrieved 23 July 2011.
  4. ^ House of Assembly Debates, cols 4366-81, 31 May 1927.
  5. ^ a b Stevenson-Hamilton, James. (1937). South African Eden: The Kruger National Park 1902-1946. Struik Publishers, 1993.
  6. ^ UNESCO - Biosphere Reserve Information
  7. ^ Stevenson-Hamilton, James (1939). South African Eden. London.
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  10. ^ McNeely, Jeffrey A., International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources, 2001, The Great Reshuffling, IUCN, ISBN 2-8317-0602-5.
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  12. ^ a b c Bulpin, T.V., Treasury of Travel Series: Kruger National Park, Creda Press, 1974.
  13. ^ Pienaar, U. de V., Neem uit die Verlede, Sigma Pers, 1990.
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  41. ^ Dippenaar-Schoeman et al., 2018
  42. ^ New Baboon Spider Discovered In Survey Of Kruger
  43. ^ [1]
  44. ^ The Guardian[2]
  45. ^ [3]
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  47. ^ Corridor Gazette[5]
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External links

Agincourt, Mpumalanga

Agincourt or Matsavana is a town in Bushbuckridge Local Municipality in the Mpumalanga province of South Africa.

Agincourt lies 100km north of the border with Swaziland and 90 km east of the border with Mozambique.

To the west of Agincourt lies the Kruger National Park. The MRC/Wits Rural Public Health and Health Transitions Research Unit is based in Agincourt.

Air Force Base Hoedspruit

Air Force Base Hoedspruit (IATA: HDS, ICAO: FAHS) is an airbase of the South African Air Force. It is located adjacent to the Kruger National Park. In the late 1990s an unused portion of the base was converted into a civilian airport known as Eastgate Airport. It was also an emergency landing site for the Space Shuttle.

Battle at Kruger

Battle at Kruger is an eight-minute amateur wildlife video that depicts a confrontation between a herd of Cape buffalo, a small group of young lions from a pride, and one crocodile. The video was shot in September 2004 at the Transport Dam watering hole in Kruger National Park, South Africa, during a safari guided by Frank Watts. It was filmed by videographer David Budzinski and photographer Jason Schlosberg.

Since being posted on YouTube on 3 May 2007, Battle at Kruger has received 80 million views as of November 2018 and has become a viral video sensation. It was widely praised for its dramatic depiction of wildlife on the African savannah. It has since become one of YouTube's most popular nature videos, and has won the Best Eyewitness Video in the 2nd Annual YouTube Video Awards. The video was also the subject of an article in the 25 June 2007 issue of Time magazine, and was featured in the first episode of ABC News' i-Caught, which aired on 7 August 2007. A National Geographic documentary on the video debuted on the National Geographic Channel on 11 May 2008.

Bushveld

The Bushveld is a sub-tropical woodland ecoregion of Southern Africa named after the term veld. It encompasses most of Limpopo Province and a small part of the North West Province of South Africa, the Central and North-East Districts of Botswana and the Matabeleland South and part of the Matabeleland North provinces of Zimbabwe. Kruger National Park in South Africa has a number of 'Bushveld' camps.

Giyani

Giyani is a north-eastern city in the Limpopo province of South Africa and a former capital of the Gazankulu bantustan. Giyani is situated at the intersection between R578 road (South Africa) and R81. It is located in the heart of Limpopo Bushveld, on the northern bank of the Klein (Little) Letaba River west of Kruger National Park. Situated in the northern portion of former Gazankulu, Giyani was established in the 1960s as the administrative centre for the Tsonga people. Giyani is now the administrative capital of Mopani District Municipality. Giyani lies 470 km north east of Johannesburg by road, 104 km from Tzaneen, 105 km from the Phalaborwa Gate of the Kruger National Park and 35 km from Malamulele.

The 'Giyani Ward' at Elim Hospital was named after Giyani, the ward was opened in 1969 and since the first Gazankulu Legislative Assembly was convened at the same time (1969) when the new ward at Elim Hospital was being opened, the Gazankulu Government therefore named the ward at Elim Hospital 'Giyani Ward' in honour of the Gazankulu Capital city. Six years later in 1975, the Gazankulu Government named another newly built Ward at Elim Hospital 'Valdezia Ward' in honour of the first Swiss Mission Station in Valdezia, 10 km east of Waterval township. The Swiss Missionaries did mission work amongst the Tsonga people in the Hlanganani district of the former Gazankulu homeland. Later, the Swiss missionaries expanded its mission work to a large Tsonga settlement at Masana in Bushbuckridge and at Shiluvana settlement near Tzaneen.

Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park

Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park is a 35,000 km² peace park that is in the process of being formed. It will link the Limpopo National Park (formerly known as Coutada 16) in Mozambique, Kruger National Park in South Africa, Gonarezhou National Park, Manjinji Pan Sanctuary and Malipati Safari Area in Zimbabwe, as well as the area between Kruger and Gonarezhou, the Sengwe communal land in Zimbabwe and the Makuleke region in South Africa.

Greater Kruger National Park

Greater Kruger National Park, is joint venture between the Kruger National Park and the Associated Private Nature Reserves. Together they have an area of more than 20.000.000 Ha (or more than 20.000 km²), under their joint conservation.

Haenertsburg

Haenertsburg is a village situated on the edge of the Great Escarpment in the Limpopo Province of South Africa, on the R71 road between Polokwane (formerly: Pietersburg) and Tzaneen en route to the Kruger National Park.

Farming and tourism are the main economic activities on "The Mountain" as it is fondly called by the locals; Haenertsburg is in hilly terrain. The Iron Crown mountain is the highest point in Limpopo and is a well-known landmark.

Frequent mists and relatively high rainfall have created a lush vegetation with afromontane forest patches occupying the kloofs (gullies) which dot the rolling grasslands and surrounding mountains. However, large areas of rare, and botanically very diverse, grassland (Woodbush Granite Grassland) have been planted to timber (primarily timber for pulping). These monoculture plantations extract a great deal of water and the resulting water shortages downstream (in the Kruger National Park and Mozambique) are cause for concern. A local volunteer group, FROHG (Friends of the Haenertsburg Grasslands) helps to conserve the indigenous flora and fauna. Funds are raised to create educational materials, maintain a hiking trail, remove alien invasive plants and alert the authorities to illegal developments like bulldozing for pipelines, fencing and even squatting.

The scenic beauty of the Haenertsburg area attracts many tourists. It is a favoured spot for cycling, biking and fishing. Sailing and other watersport take place on nearby Ebenezer Dam. The 20th steepest mountain pass in South Africa, the Magoebaskloof pass, leads one down from the Highveld of the Haenertsburg area to the Lowveld adjoining the Kruger National Park, gaining/losing 446m altitude in 5.15 km.Haenertsburg is also famous for the annual Spring Fair where various crafts and flower displays are exhibited. July sees the advent of the Holistic Fair which displays the diverse creative talents of the Mountain folk. Every Friday and Saturday morning the Morning Market is run by the Duchess of Atholl.

The town was established in 1886 with the discovery of gold by Carl Ferdinand Haenert.

Hazyview

Hazyview is a lush, green sub-tropical farming town in Mpumalanga, South Africa and is renowned for its large banana and macadamia nuts industries, contributing about 20% of South Africa's bananas and 30% of macadamia output. Bordering the Kruger National Park, the town's name is derived from the shimmering haze that occurs during the heat of summer. Most of the province of Mpumalanga's private game reserves are found just east of Hazyview.

Kiepersol

Kiepersol is a village falling under Mbombela Local Municipality in the Mpumalanga, province of South Africa.

Located close to the town of Hazyview, Kiepersol is named after the indigenous cabbage tree Cussonia paniculata, also called the Kiepersol, which grows in abundance in the lowveld, although the surrounding cultivations are mostly banana plantations. Other fruit grown nearby include mangos, avocados and macadamias. The town is close to the Phabeni Gate of the Kruger National Park.

Kruger National Park Commando

Kruger National Park Commando was a light infantry regiment of the South African Army. It formed part of the South African Army Infantry Formation as well as the South African Territorial Reserve.

Makuleke

The Makuleke Contractual Park or Pafuri Triangle constitutes the northernmost section of the Kruger National Park, South Africa, and comprises approximately 240 square kilometres of land. The “triangle” is a wedge of land created by the confluence of the Limpopo and Luvuvhu Rivers at the tripoint Crook's Corner, which forms a border with Zimbabwe along the Limpopo River. It is a natural choke point for wildlife crossing from North to South and back, and forms a distinct ecological region.

Pafuri (Tsonga) is derived from Mphaphuli, the dynastic name of Venda chieftains who ruled locally, while the Luvuvhu River is named after a Combretum tree (Venda: muvuvhu, Tsonga Rivubye) growing on its banks.

Malalane

Malalane (formerly Malelane) is a farming town in Mpumalanga, South Africa situated on the N4 national highway. The farms in the region produce sugarcane, subtropical fruit and winter vegetables. The town was proclaimed in 1949 after which it was named. The origin of the name is disputed but was corrupted from the swazi. Either the expression "eMlalani" which means place of the palms, or the expression "lala" which means to sleep are accepted origins of the name. The town started as the first rest-stop between

Lourenço Marques and Pretoria. As of July 2007 the town was officially renamed from "Malelane" to "Malalane" as part of the governments renaming scheme by the South African Geographical Names Council.

Phalaborwa

Phalaborwa is a town in the Mopani District Municipality, Limpopo province, South Africa. It is located near the confluence of the Ga-Selati River and the Olifants, halfway up along the western border of the Kruger National Park in the Lowveld.

Sabi Sand Game Reserve

Sabi Sand Game Reserve is located adjacent to the Kruger National Park in the Lowveld of Mpumalanga, South Africa. Officially named Sabi Sand Wildtuin, the Sabi Sand Game Reserve consists of a group of private game reserves. The Newington Gate is at 24°52′9″S 31°24′16″E and west of the Kruger Gate and Skukuza camp of Kruger Park. Other entrances are Gowrie Gate in the far north and Shaws Gate in the south.

The park's name comes from the Sabie River on its southern boundary and the Sand River flowing through it. The area of the reserve is 62,308 hectares (623.08 km2) and it shares a non-fenced boundary of 50.0 km (31.1 mi) with the Kruger National Park to its east.

Skukuza

Skukuza (formerly Sabi Bridge), located 50 km east of Hazyview at the confluence of the N'waswitshaka and Sabie Rivers in Mpumalanga, is the administrative headquarters and the "Capital city" of the Kruger National Park, South Africa. It is also the largest rest camp of the park and the country. It is South Africa's number one game viewing destination and is the most popular game reserve in the country. It is popular with domestic and foreign tourists alike, as the big five game are in relative abundance when compared it to other game reserves in the country. A tourist in Skukuza may not have to go out looking for Africa's big five, as these animals could potentially be observed from the deck of the Cattle Baron restaurant. Lions, leopards and cheetahs regularly kill their prey on the green lawns of Skukuza's golf course or cricket club. The game reserve is situated in a medium rainfall area (770 mm of rainfall per year), on the well-wooded banks of the Sabie and N'waswitshaka rivers of Mpumalanga Province.

South African National Parks

South African National Parks (SANParks) is the body responsible for managing South Africa's national parks. SANParks was formed in 1926, and currently manages 21 parks consisting of 3,751,113 hectares (37,511.13 km2), over 3% of the total area of South Africa.The best known park is Kruger National Park, which is also the oldest (proclaimed in 1898), and the largest, at nearly 2,000,000 hectares (20,000 km2). Kruger National Park and Table Mountain National Park are two of South Africa's most visited tourist attractions.

Ulusaba Private Game Reserve

Ulusaba Private Game Reserve, owned by Sir Richard Branson as part of the Virgin Limited Edition luxury property portfolio, consists of about 13,500 ha of land set in the heart of the Sabi Sand Private Game Reserve. This private game reserve borders on the sprawling Kruger National Park in South Africa's Mpumalanga province and is home to an abundance of wildlife. Ulusaba means fearful in the local Tsonga Shangaan language and it was a name given to the Sabie River by the Shangaan people. The Sabie River was originally called Ulusaba (fearful river) by the Shangaan simply because there was once a large concentration of dangerous Nile crocodile in the river, hence Ulusaba. Before the establishment of the Kruger National Park, Ulusaba was once a home of Tsonga Shangaan people, the Shangaan were evicted from this land when the Kruger National Park was established and were relocated in nearby villages adjacent Ulusaba Private Game Reserve.

One of a handful of private game lodges in the Sabi Sand area, it benefits from the recent removal of fences between private reserves and the greater Kruger National Park. This creates a much larger contiguous body of land available to wildlife in the area.

In 2007, the Nxumalo community made a land restitution claim involving 700 km² of nature reserve land. The claimants hope to settle the claim with a joint venture between Virgin Limited Edition and the newly registered Nxumalo Conservation Trust.

Welverdiend, Ehlanzeni

Welverdiend is a village in Ehlanzeni District Municipality in the Mpumalanga province of South Africa. It is situated off the road from Acornhoek to Orpen rest camp in the Kruger National Park, adjacent to the Timbavati village.

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50
 
 
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84
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3.6
 
 
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