The various regions that make up the Kruger National Park are key to understanding the distribution of its wild inhabitants.
The Far Northern region in the Kruger Park extends south from the River Limpopo (which is the International boundary between Zimbabwe and South Africa), and the Tropic of Capricorn. It is dominated by Mopane trees. This vast area is mostly arid and flat - however zones with higher localised rainfall give rise to the formation of dense Mopane groves, especially around Punda Maria. To the north of Punda Maria the impressive vista is broken by craggy sandstone hills and the plentiful, giant Baobab trees.
The game viewing is most advantageous
along the river systems of this region - especially in the Mphongolo / Shingewedzi complex and the Luvuvhu / Limpopo complex.
The Northern Region in the Kruger Park is the area ranging southward from Capricorn to the Olifants River, bounded in the east by the Lebombo Mountains. The indigenous ever present Mopane tree as stunted scrub in the east, becomes more mixed with taller trees such as Leadwood, Apple Leaf, Jackalberry and Nyala Trees toward the west. The sparse, isolated hills in the west are rich in pre-historic artefacts.
Best viewing for rare Nyala, Sable, Roan and Eland buck
. Buffalo and Elephant are abundant while predators like Lion, Cheetah and Leopard are fairly regularly seen.
The Central Region in the Kruger Park is by far the most game rich of the four regions with some of the best scenery. Bounded by the River Sabi in the south and the Olifants River in the north it is essentially grassland plain stretching west to the Lebombo Mountains
which form the boundary with Mozambique.
Excellent game viewing opportunities for Elephant, Zebra and Buffalo are fairly common. As with all predator-prey relationships, Tsessebe and Ostrich abound in the open scrub land and while the predators are not as common, it is still possible to get glimpses of them. The predators after all are trying not to be seen.
Being abundant in Zebra, Giraffe and Wildebeest
, the area is also alive with the usual predators Lion, Cheetah and Leopard competing for their dinner. The extreme south-west of this region provides habitat Rhino, Sable, Buffalo, Eland and Wild Dog packs.
The Southern Region of the Kruger Park extends between the Sabi and Crocodile Rivers, taking up a fifth of the Parks total area. This is Lion country. It also has the greatest Rhino population.
The region is densely vegetated with Marula, Leadwood and Acacia trees, while river sides are dominated by Sycamore and Jackalberries.
The best game viewing drives are between Satara and Nwanetsi
and from Satara to the Olifants River.
Although the high density of vegetation
makes game viewing difficult, this is the best chances of seeing Black or White Rhino.