History of the park
The Kruger National park was first set up in 1898 by the President of the Transvaal, Paul Kruger. Paul Kruger loved the Lowveld with its abundance of wildlife. Because of his love of wildlife, and as a result thereof, he realized that the animals certainly needed to be protected. It was then that he, therefore, set aside the area between the Sabie and the Crocodile Rivers and therefore restricted hunting in 1844. In 1898 he consequently established the Sabie Game Reserve. The park eventually became “The Kruger National Park”.
James Stevenson-Hamilton became the first Warden of the park in 1902. The Sabie Game Reserve merged withe the Shingwedzi Game Reserve In 1927. This was after the proclamation of the national parks act and therefore becoming the Kruger Nation Park.
In those days it cost only 1 pound per car to enter the park. A collection of ecologically orientated books, memorabilia and paintings are therefore found in the Stevenson-Hamilton Memorial Library which is situated at Skukuza. Showcasing what the early days of the park were like. The Library is definitely worth a visit. Any traveler interested in the incredible history of the park should definitely make a visit.
The surface area of the park is 19,633 square kilometers. Moreover, there are more than 753 species of animal and 1982 species of plants in the park. 254 known cultural sites are in the park, including 130 rock art sites.
Homo erectus (meaning ‘upright man’) is a species of archaic humans that lived throughout most of the Pleistocene geological epoch. Its earliest fossil evidence dates to 1.8 million years ago. In addition, they roamed the area about 500 000 years ago and cultural artifacts from 100 000 to 30 000 years ago have been found and confirmed.
There are over 300 archaeological sites, where evidence of Stone Age humans have been found. As a result, this makes the Kruger National Park a place of immense history. Significant archaeological ruins can be found at Thulamela (A stone-walled site situated far North of the Park) and Masorini (Located 12km from Phalaborwa Gate) and are well worth seeing. Most noteworthy, are the examples of the San Rock Art. As a result, their art is scattered throughout the park. Taking a visit to any of them is well worth the time to anyone.
The San (Bushmen) and Iron Age peoples lived in the area about 1500 years ago making way for the Nguni people of further North and the European explorers and settlers who arrived in the 19th century.
The first Wilderness Trails were established in 1957. These were created by Ian Player with the help of his friend and mentor, Magquba Ntombela. Ian was the brother of one of the greatest South African Golf legends Gary Player. Ian was a Natal Parks Board Game Ranger. Dr. Ian Player, a globally recognized conservation legend, was a pioneer, a visionary and an activist who has profoundly influenced conservation and changed the lives of countless people as well as countless animals.
Thanks to his and countless visionaries and conservationists efforts, we can now certainly enjoy the Kruger National park today.
About the Kruger National Park
As a result of countless efforts, the Kruger National Park is world-renowned for its abundant wildlife. Likewise, it also has amazing historical and archaeological sights. It is nearly 2 million hectares in size of unrivaled diversity.
The park is an absolutely amazing place to visit and is a total gem. There is so much to do and see and there are various accommodations inside the park. From camping to 5-star accommodation, depending on your budget.
Stay for 5 days or 3 months and you will never be disappointed. With Heart of the Wild Tours & Safaris, you can customize your safari with us to the Kruger. Contact us today and speak to us about your dream safari or visit our bookings page.