The Big Five Game Reserve known as the Kruger National Park is South Africa's largest and second oldest safari park, spanning over 19 455 square kilometres across both the Limpopo and the Mpumalanga provinces. The Kruger National Park spans across two of South Africa's 9 provinces, the Limpopo and the Mpumalanga provinces and covers over 19 455 km2 and is 350 kilometres (217 miles) long from north to south and 60 kilometres (37.2 miles) wide from east to west. The entire eastern boundary of the reserve is located on the border of Mozambique while its northern border is formed by the Limpopo River and the border of South Africa and Zimbabwe.Several major rivers cut through the safari park, including the Letaba, Limpopo, Sabie and Umgwenya (Crocodile) Rivers. The landscape is most plains which are occasionally broken up by the Lebombo mountain range that runs along the Mozambican border from north to south. Most of the park lies between 260 to 440 metres above sea level with the lowest point being found at the Sabie Gorge and the highest point of 839m being at Khandiwe near Malelane, both towards the south of the safari park.
History and Geography of Kruger National Park
Pre-HistoryThe area making up the safari park has been occupied by humans for many years and there is evidence of people living in the reserve in the Earlier, Middle and Later Stone Age periods, however; most of the evidence is found along river or flood plains which indicates the habitation was only seasonal.
Rock paintings in the over hangs of caves provided evidence of the San people living in the area from about 20 000 years to 150 years. The most popular historical site in the reserve is the Thulamela site, in the north near Punda Maria. Visitors can take guided tours to the location to view the extensive stone walls on the hill top as well as the evidence of iron and gold-smelting.