Kruger National Park – Information resources

Our Kruger National Park "library"

Our Kruger National Park “library”

There is an overwhelming amount of information about the Kruger National Park – both online and in books. I don’t think it is necessary to consult a lot of material before you go to Kruger, but it is useful to read some of what is available in order to plan your trip.

The resources I have mentioned below are just those that we have used and can recommend.

ONLINE SITES

The most useful and interesting sites I have found online are the following:

Official South African National Parks Kruger (SANParks) site (click on link)

This site has all the basic information you require to travel and stay in Kruger, and you can also book Kruger accommodation online via this site. They have a number of e-brochures (PDF format) available here [Scroll down for the Kruger e-brochures] and also a travel map here.

The site layout and navigation is a little confusing, but worth exploring. There are also forums which visitors to any of the SANParks reserves can use to exchange information and post photographs.

Siyabona Africa site (click on link)

Siyabona Africa is a very user-friendly site geared mostly to those who want to stay in the privately-owned game reserves which border on Kruger, and the luxury private game lodges within Kruger. It is also a good resource for those who want their safari experience planned and tailored for them or want to go on a guided safari. This is useful for foreign tourists who have a limited time to visit Kruger and want to get the most out of their visit.

The site has a variety of excellent detailed Kruger maps which are free to download here.

DeWets Wild Blog (click on link)

This is a personal blog written by a couple who love spending time in the wilds of South Africa and writing about their experiences. It is a labour of love and has excellent photographs taken all over Kruger. It is definitely worth reading before your Kruger trip, to pick up tips on where to see what.

KRUGER MAPS

When we entered the Kruger National Park, we bought the Kruger National Park – Official Guide (987-1-4314-0910-5)which is compiled by the South African National Parks. This is an A4-sized booklet which contains detailed road maps, facilities & distances as well as basic species identification and camp maps. This map book together with the Globetrotter Travel Guide (see below) are the basics I would recommend to have a successful Kruger trip. The Official Guide was available at the Malelane Kruger Gate, but I am sure it is available at the other gates and in the Kruger Parks shops.

While we were in Kruger, we also bought the Kruger National Park Map which is published by Honeyguide Publications. Our official Kruger guide was looking a bit battered  – and why have one map book when you can have two?! 😉 It has a similar format to the Official Guide – you can have a peak at the content here and also order it there. This map book was also available in the Kruger Park shops.

KRUGER BOOKS

The Globetrotter Travel Guide to the Kruger National Park (7th Edition) by Dr L.E.O. Braak (revised by Keri Harvey) [ISBN: 987-1-78009-633-9]

This was our first Kruger book and the only guide book we bought before our trip. It is on its 7th edition, so is obviously a popular book. Written by Dr Braak, who spent his childhood in Kruger, it contains a lot of “inside” information. It is a small book (with tiny printing so remember to pack your reading glasses if you need them!), so is very handy to travel with. Our copy came with a Kruger map – the fold-out variety, which I find difficult to work while you are in your vehicle.

The guide is practical and informative with lots of information about the Kruger camps, major places of interest, the best game drives and as the cover says “suggestions on where to tour, stay, eat, shop and relax“. There is also info on where to find the different species and on every page an information block with some interesting piece of information relating to the main text.

If you only want to buy one Kruger book, I can definitely recommend this one.

Exploring Kruger (2nd revision edition 2015) by Brett Hilton-Barber and Professor Lee R. Berger [ISBN: 978-0-620-39228-0]

We found this book in one of the Kruger Park shops, but I also saw it in our local bookshop. It is packed with information, detailed maps and beautiful photographs of the Kruger animals. To me this is the kind of book that is not only useful as a travel guide, but is for me a souvenir of our trip. Something I will pick up and read whenever I want to get a “dose of Kruger”. It is a bigger book – I think the kind that is referred to as a trade paperback (?) – the size of a hardcover book but with a cardboard cover.

It is a step-up from the previous book in content, with additional information including (text below in italics was from the book description on the cover):

  • Animals and their behaviour
  • Where to see game
  • Ranger tales
  • Spotting tips 
  • Origins of Kruger place names
  • Kruger by night
  • African bush-lore
  • Ancient Kruger

Prof. Lee Burger the one co-author is “an American-born South African paleoanthropologist and National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence. He is best known for his discovery of the Australopithecus sediba type site, Malapa; his leadership of Rising Star Expedition in the excavation of Homo naledi at Rising Star Cave; and the Taung Bird of Prey Hypothesis. [Wikipedia]“.  This means the information on Ancient Kruger comes from somebody with a lot of knowledge about the topic.

Shaping Kruger by Mitch Reardon [ISBN: 987-1-43170-245-9]

In a previous career, I worked as an ecologist so this book appealed to my interests in nature and the environment. I would recommend this book to anyone who wants to have a greater understanding of the delicate balance of wild animal populations. It is again a book I will be reading for a long time to come.

From the book cover (because it says it so well! 🙂 )

Shaping Kruger – Animal behaviour, ecology and management in Africa’s premier game park.

A fascinating insight into the lives, habits and behaviour of the Park’s larger mammals. This book examines changing wildlife management practices and how they impact on the animals and the environment in Kruger.

Mitch Reardon worked as a ranger in South Africa and Namibia before becoming a wildlife photographer and writer.

 

This post is part of a series of Kruger National Park posts I will be publishing. It is also part of my daily posts for October 2016 – otherwise known as The October Dash

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Categories: Lifestyle/Travel, Nature/Environment, Random

Author:lisa@notesfromafrica

I live on the Southern coast of South Africa, and write about the things that interest, amuse or inspire me. You can find me at https://notesfromafrica.wordpress.com and http://southerncape.wordpress.com (my photoblog)

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9 Comments on “Kruger National Park – Information resources”

  1. Eha
    October 11, 2016 at 2:29 am #

    What a useful list if one or one’s friends are planning to head that way! Worth some study even if one is not . . .thanks!

    Just so you know: no post in my box this morning – came looking 🙂 !

    • October 11, 2016 at 8:03 am #

      Eha, the second and third books I mentioned are really interesting to read even if you don’t have plans to go to Kruger.

      Yesterday, when I pushed the “Publish” button on the post there was an error. I think that’s why you didn’t get a notification as usual.

  2. October 11, 2016 at 3:00 am #

    Thank you so much for the link to de Wets Wild, and the generously kind comments as well, Lisa!

    • October 11, 2016 at 8:01 am #

      You’re welcome! 🙂 Although I don’t often comment on your site, it is one of my favourites. Any praise is well deserved!

      • October 11, 2016 at 12:04 pm #

        Thanks very much, again, Lisa!

  3. October 11, 2016 at 8:45 am #

    One of the few remaining destinations in the world that could tempt me into travel again !

    • October 11, 2016 at 3:49 pm #

      I find travelling very difficult (because of health issues) but will do what it takes to go on our annual “safari” trips.

  4. October 11, 2016 at 9:52 am #

    I enjoyed identifying many of the animals/birds in the park when we spotted them. A good bird and a mammal guide were in high demand!

    The only suggestion I have for those planning a trip to Kruger is to plan and book well in advance. South Africans, in particular, love going there (which is very understandable!) and most camps are fully booked many months in advance.

    • October 11, 2016 at 3:52 pm #

      I agree – having a bird and mammal guide along is essential when you’re on a trip.

      We booked for Kruger eleven months before – the day that the bookings opened! You can get space closer to the time, when people have cancelled bookings, but then you basically have to take what you can get. Not that anything in Kruger would be bad! 🙂

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