History of the Kruger National Park

© Rock art in Kruger © B. Hilton-Barber
An extraordinary and colourful history of the Kruger National Park 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. Learn more about the fascinating history of Kruger National Park.

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. Learn more about the Ancient Kruger Park History.

History and Geography

Kruger National Park is South Africa's largest and second oldest safari park, spanning over 19 455 square kilometres. Find out more about the History and Geography of Kruger Park.

Historical Landmarks

History enthusiasts are spoilt for choice with a number of monuments, memorials and gravesites throughout the park that dates back to the 19th century. Explore Kruger Park Historical Landmarks.

Forefathers of Kruger Park

Explore this overview of some of the early Forefathers of Kruger Park including Paul Kruger who first proclaimed the National Park while he was president and James Stevenson Hamilton, the park's first warden.

Vintage Ranger Journals

After the majestic Big 5, the Vintage Kruger Park Ranger Journals are the true treasures of the Kruger National Park. Read more about Vintage Kruger National Park Ranger Journals.

African Culture

Southern Africa is a land of old tales and vibrant history. Kruger Park visitors can learn about local people who made their home in South Africa. Find out all you need to know about African Culture.

Kruger National Park - South African Safari