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The Kruger National Park was established in 1898 for the purpose of protecting wildlife. The park boasts nearly 2 million hectares. Internationally acclaimed, the Park is home to a staggering biodiversity that includes over 507 birds species, 147 species of mammal, 337 trees, 49 fish species, 34 amphibians and over 114 reptiles.
The Kruger National Park is renowned as one of Africa's premier game viewing destinations and is comparable to the Masai Mara and famed Serengeti. This spectacular game reserve is home to Africa's famous "Big 5". The "Big 5" gained infamy through the first explorers and big game hunters on the continent. These animals were categorised as the five most dangerous animals to hunt on foot in Africa and accounted for many a fatal hunting encounter and shattered nerves. The "Big 5"are: Elephant, Rhino, Buffalo, Lion and Leopard. The Kruger National Park has some of the largest concentrations of big African wildlife.
Visit www.krugerpark.co.za for more information.
Hans Merensky Nature Reserve is situated close to Tzaneen and is popular for those wanting to get closer to the wildlife, most visitors enjoy exploring this reserve on foot. West of the Reserve is the internationally known Kruger National Park. The Great Letaba River is home to a healthy population of hippos and crocodiles, this water source attracts a diverse range of bird life year round. For the hiking enthusiasts there is the 1km Mopane Interpretive Trail and the Letaba Trail, which is great for bird viewing and Giraffe sightings, this trail is approximately 32km.
Visitors to the Hans Merensky Nature Reserve can also take a self-drive where sightings of zebra, wildebeest, giraffe and warthog are possible. During evening drives, if one is lucky, you may catch a glimpse of hyena, jackal and leopard.
For the less adventurous, there are guided tours during the mornings and at sunset as well as horseback trails led by a professional guide. For those who enjoy the laid-back facets of nature, the many picnic spots offer panoramic views of the Reserve.