Kruger National Park

WILDLIFE IN THE KRUGER NATIONAL PARK

The Kruger National Park covers almost 2 million hectares of beautiful, unspoilt terrain and boasts the world’s greatest concentration and diversity of species. An impressive 147 mammal species inhabit this remarkable reserve. In addition it boasts 517 bird species, 49 fish, 34 amphibian, 114 reptile and 336 tree species.

Scattered through the Park are ancient archaeological sites and bushman paintings, and there are numerous activities on offer.

Before the Kruger Park was declared a national reserve in 1884 by President Paul Kruger, the game had almost been completely wiped out by hunters.

Today the fascinating and varied Kruger Park wildlife includes everything from Aardvark to Zebra and includes intriguing unrelated species such as baboons and baboon spiders.

WILDERNESS CONCESSION

Rhino Post Safari Lodge and Plains Camp (home of Rhino Walking Safaris) is situated in a wilderness concession. Zoned wilderness areas are very few and far between. The most important factor is that they are not developed with road networks and have no off road driving – making them completely wild and unspoilt – a pristine wilderness area may not even have an aircraft fly over it; we are, however, a primitive wilderness area which allows for only very well managed and supervised recreational use and very strict conservation ethics. The animals in these areas are not habituated and there is no damage to nature. These areas are zoned in such a way either because they are fragile environments, contain rare species or simply because they are good grazing areas for game and so are the obvious choice to protect biodiversity for future generations. In our case it’s all three. It’s an excellent game grazing area, has sodic patches which make it fragile in terms of erosion, and have all of the following rare species seen intermittently:

  • Black Rhino
  • Sable Antelope (one of the biggest remaining herds in Kruger – if not the biggest, is seen drinking from time to time at our Sleep Outs waterhole)
  • Pangolin
  • Aardvark – rarely seen, but living on the eastern edge of our concession.
  • Ground Hornbill nesting site
  • Yellow Billed Ox Pecker – we are used as a research site for this bird which is very rarely found in the southern part of the Kruger Park (they were originally considered extinct in 1920) – a real gem for birders.
FAUNA AND FLORA

The Kruger National Park boasts the world’s greatest concentration and diversity of species.

At Rhino Post Safari Lodge and Plains Camp (home of Rhino Walking Safaris) guests have the opportunity to experience all the classic African big game including the Big Five: buffalo, elephant, leopard, lion and black and white rhino. In addition there are also hippopotamus, giraffe, zebra, cheetah, warthog and many antelope species.

MAMMALS

Below is a checklist of the most visual species:

Rare sightings **

  • Aardvark **
  • Aardwolf
  • Antelope Roan
  • Antelope Sable
  • Baboon Chacma
  • Badger Honey
  • Bat Epauletted, Peter’s
  • Bat Epauletted, Wahlberg’s
  • Bat Free-tailed, Angolan
  • Bat Free-tailed, Little
  • Bat Tomb, Mauritian
  • Buffalo
  • Bushbaby Lesser
  • Bushbaby Thick-tailed
  • Bushbuck
  • Bushpig
  • Cane-rat Greater
  • Caracal
  • Cat Wild, African
  • Cheetah
  • Civet
  • Dassie Rock
  • Dassie Rock Yellow-spotted
  • Dog Wild
  • Duiker Common
  • Duiker Red
  • Eland **
  • Elephant African
  • Fox Bat-eared **
  • Genet Large-spotted
  • Genet Small-spotted
  • Giraffe
  • Grysbok Sharpe’s
  • Hare Cape
  • Hare Scrub
  • Hare Red, Natal
  • Hartebeest Lichtenstein’s
  • Hyena Spotted
  • Hippopotamus
  • Jackal Black-backed
  • Impala
  • Klipspringer
  • Jackal Side-striped
  • Leopard
  • Kudu
  • Mongoose Banded
  • Lion
  • Mongoose Grey, Large
  • Mongoose Dwarf
  • Mongoose Selous’s
  • Mongoose Meller’s
  • Mongoose Water
  • Mongoose Slender
  • Monkey Samango
  • Mongoose White-tailed
  • Mouse Multimammate, Natal
  • Monkey Vervet
  • Oribi
  • Nyala
  • Pangolin **
  • Otter Clawless **
  • Porcupine
  • Polecat Striped
  • Reedbuck Mountain
  • Reedbuck Common
  • Rhinoceros Black
  • Rhebok Grey
  • Serval
  • Rhinoceros White
  • Squirrel Tree
  • Springhare
  • Suni **
  • Steenbok
  • Warthog
  • Tsessebe **
  • Wildebeest Blue
  • Waterbuck
  • Zebra Burchell’s

The number of different animals varies from year to year depending on climatic conditions.

The following is an estimate based on the latest census:

** Due to rhino poaching we regret we are unable to disclose rhino figures

  • Black rhino                            **
  • Blue wildebeest                   14 000 – 16 000
  • Buffalo                                   34 000
  • Burchell’s zebra                   32 000 – 35 000
  • Cheetah                                200 – 250
  • 200 – 250                              600
  • Elephant                                15 870
  • Giraffe                                    5 000 – 7 000
  • Hippo                                     2 963
  • Hyaena                                  2 300 – 2 600
  • Impala                                   120 000 – 130 000
  • Kudu                                      4 500 – 6 000
  • Leopard                                 1500
  • Lion                                        2 400 – 2 700
  • Roan antelope                     60
  • Sable antelope                    500
  • Tsessebe                             400
  • Waterbuck                             2 000
  • White rhino                           **
  • Wild dog                                ± 260
BIRDS

Kruger has a list of more than 500 birds, some of which are not found anywhere else in South Africa. Tailor-made birding safaris are available from both Rhino Post Safari Lodge and Plains Camp (home of Rhino Walking Safaris). Birders can look forward to pursuing the Big Six: Ground Hornbill, Kori Bustard, Lappet-faced Vulture, Martial Eagle, Pel’s Fishing Owl and the Saddle-bill Stork.

In addition, Hornbills, Starlings, Vultures, Rollers, Bee-eaters and Shrikes make this a prime birdwatching area. Raptor viewing is extremely rewarding with Bateleur, Martial, Black-breasted Snake Eagle, Brown Snake Eagle, African Hawk Eagle, African Fish Eagle and Tawny Eagles seen regularly. In summer birders can spot the Wahlberg, Steppe and Lesser Spotted Eagles

VEGETATION

The Kruger National Park boasts 16 macro ecozones and, due to its vastness, it naturally has a tremendous botanic diversity. The northern half of the park, north of the Olifants River is predominantly mopane veld, while south of the Olifants, the ecozones are thornveld.

Rhino Post Safari Lodge, located slightly north of Skukuza , is a mixture of Bushwillow and Acacia veld with numerous riverbeds running through it. An interesting feature of this area is the sodic open plains. These open areas with short grass attract high concentrations of wildlife. They are caused by sodium leaching out of the soil and accumulating in these areas.

Enthusiastic ecotourists can identify a variety of plant species in the park. Varying climatic conditions impact on the type of vegetation within an ecosystem and this, in turn, affects the distribution and population densities of various animals. The park has over 1,986 plant species, of which 336 are trees, including the Big Five: Baobab, Fever Tree, Knobthorn, Marula, and Mopane.

  • Baobab
  • Red Bushwillow
  • Common Cluster Fig
  • Common Coral Tree
  • Delagoa Thorn
  • Fever Tree
  • Lowveld Fig
  • Jackalberry
  • Knob Thorn
  • Leadwood
  • Natal Mahogany
  • Marula
  • Monkey Orange
  • Mopane
  • Transvaal Mustard Tree
  • Lala Palm
  • Raisin Bush
  • Sausage Tree
  • Tamboti
  • Round-leafed Teak
Scroll Up