During a trip to the Kruger Park I was parked at a waterhole watching some impalas drinking, and also taking in the behaviour of the people that came and went , and the realisation dawned on me that there was no other place in Africa where people had such freedom of access while at the same time having the opportunity to experience the best of what the African wilderness has to offer.
The Kruger Park will always have its detractors who say that the experience has been sterilised, what with tarmac roads and restaurants, but in reality the other parks that are deemed to be true reflections of wilderness are all but closed to most people except for the wealthy and privileged.
Sedan cars and four wheel drive
The majority of parks and wilderness areas across Africa require off road vehicles to access, something that is not a reality for most who want to experience the wilderness. Kruger, however, offers the opportunity for travellers to enjoy one of the greatest wildlife sanctuaries in a sedan vehicle.
Kruger Park is also well mapped and marked, allowing even the most directionally challenged to enjoy the wonders of the park.
Roughing it in six star luxury
Kruger Park has many positives but it is in the choices of accommodations where it surpasses any other wildlife reserve. There is no other place where the choices range from the basic form of camping to the ultimate luxury of multi-award winning lodges.
The public rest camps provide amenities for campers who want to be self-sufficient, or who want to camp but still have the small luxury of eating in restaurants. There are also smaller camps that provide for the adventurers seeking nothing but the sky above their heads.
Kruger also provides the opposite extreme of six star luxury in the private safari lodges set up on private concessions. These lodges spare no expense, and are feted around the world for their innovation and service.
Kruger Park – like nowhere else
The Kruger National Park has been the subject of many debates around developing natural areas, and whether it can be deemed a true reflection of wilderness, but what many detractors selfishly overlook is that it is the one place where all can share in the abundance of nature, something that is not practised in old-style ideals. Kruger Park is truly a park for all.
By Leigh Kemp