History of the Kruger National Park

© Rock art in Kruger © B. Hilton-Barber
An extraordinary and colourful history including the San people, Voortrekkers and various gold prospectors.The first explorer to set foot in the region was the Dutchman François de Cuiper who led a Dutch East India Company expedition to explore. However, the expedition was attacked and driven by local tribes-people near Gomondwane. Only around 1838 Voortrekker expeditions led by Lous Trichardt and Hans van Rensburg were able to successfully establish forward outposts.Hundreds of Europeans and farmers came to the Lowveld lured by rumours of gold and the great quantity of valuable commodities such as ivory and skins. This caused the number of game to dramatically decrease due to hunting and trading of animal skins and horns.President Paul Kruger was told about the rapid destruction of wildlife in the area by hunters, after which he succeeded to persuade the Transvaal parliament to establish a protected area for wildlife in the Lowveld region.The very first ranger in the reserve was Paul Bester who made his residence in a rustic rondavel (hut) which is now the site of the headquarters camp, Skukuza. Documents concerning the History of the Kruger National Park can be viewed at the Skukuza Library.Half a million years ago, the first stone age hunters roamed the plains in search of game. Later the plains were inhabited by modern day bush men who have left fascinating rock paintings all over the Republic of South Africa. The Kruger National Park contains over one hundred sites of these paintings.The Kruger National Park is a living memorial to President Paul Kruger and those who have upheld his vision of a protected wilderness reserve which will forever remind us of that which we are so dangerously close to losing.

Ancient Kruger Park History

Kruger National Park embodies not only the spirit of wild Africa, but is a window into the world that gave birth to humanity itself. Kruger Park History...more

History and Geography of Kruger National Park

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 km2across both...more

Kruger National Park Historical Landmarks

Visit the Kruger National Park Historical Landmarks. History enthusiasts are spoilt for choice with a number of monuments, memorials, gravesites, and objects of importance on display throughout the park...more

Kruger Park History - Forefathers of Kruger

An overview of some of Kruger National Park's forefathers including Paul Kruger who first proclaimed the National Park while he was president and James Stevenson Hamilton, the park's first warden....more

The African Culture

Southern Africa is a land of old tales, vibrant history and mystery. Kruger Park visitors can learning about local people and tribes who made their home...more

Vintage Kruger Park Ranger Journals

After the majestic Big 5, the Vintage Kruger Park Ranger Journals are the true treasures of the Kruger National Park. Dating back to the mid-1900s, the journals transport curious historians back in time....more
Kruger National Park - South African Safari
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