There is a still a place for Kruger National Park

Johan van Zyl All Authors, Johan 2 Comments

A lot of people I have spoken to over the past few months, have said how they don’t like the Kruger anymore, that its becoming too busy etc etc.  And to be honest some parts of that is true, plus the videos streaming on social media is not helping the cause…


With me being based in Nelspruit (one of the major towns about 30km from the Kruger National Park) we decided to offer photographic day trips into the park in an open game vehicle.  A week or so ago I went in with family friends and tried to put myself in a tourist’s shoes.  Yes the Kruger is by no means a Mana Pools, a South Luangwa or the Okavango Delta, BUT it has it’s place.  Not many people can afford going to these destinations these days, and although it is worth every cent you pay, some of us (talking especially South African here) just simply can’t afford it.


I was amazed how smooth the day trip in the Kruger actually went.  The sightings were pretty quiet vehicle wise and we were able to get some decent images.  By the time we stopped for lunch at one of the Restaurants, we had seen 4 out of the big 5, with Leopard the only one missing.

After a delicious lunch, we slowly drove along the Sabi River, hoping that we might get lucky with a Leoaprd coming down to the water.  By the time 16:30 came I started having my doubts as we made our way back to Crocodile Bridge gate where we entered that morning.  Less that 3 km from the gate, we finally found our Leopard and the beauty of it, we were only a couple of vehicles there to enjoy a Male Leopard cross over the road before he decided to rest in a tree not far from the road.  Mission accomplished!

People that say you CAN’T get good images in the Kruger are either not patient enough, or they don’t know what to look for, the opportunities are there.


I’ve found the open vehicles that we use very comfortable, spacious and nicely elevated, giving you better viewing that you would have had in your own private vehicle.  Another added bonus is the guides are in radio contact, so if something amazing has been spotted, they’ll let each other know.


There are also amazing hides situated in the Kruger for those more interested in bird photography, or to just simply sit back, relax and enjoy some peace and quiet.



Yes I agree, we’ve been spoilt by some of the untouched parts of Africa, but for what you pay, Kruger offers a great day out in the bush and a wonderful opportunity to enhance your photographic skills.


About the Author

Johan van Zyl


The opportunity of visiting some of the wildest, undisturbed areas and sharing my passion for wildlife, conservation and photography with like minded people is a privilege that I am forever grateful.

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Comments 2

  1. Yvette Baxter

    Hello Johan,

    Interesting reading your entry as this is exactly my concern with the Kruger. I am a South African expat having lived in Australia for the past 15 years. I grew up in Zululand with the Mkuze and Hluhluwe/Umfolozi Game Reserves as our back yards! Whenever we return, a week in either of these reserves is always a mandaotry part of our visit. We are planning a return visit to South Africa in January 2018 and thought a change to Kruger would be interesting (never been there!) and you are almost guaranteed of seeing so much! HOWEVER, I am very concerned about it being too busy and touristy which is something you touched on in your piece.

    What is your honest opinion about visiting Kruger vs staying with the Zululand reserves?

    Look forward to hearing from you.

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