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Kruger National Park and its adjacently located private reserves are South Africa’s most visited wildlife destinations. It’s easy to understand why: the 7523 mi² (19,485 km²) park contains more species of wildlife than any other game sanctuary in Africa – 130 mammals, 114 reptiles, 48 fish, 33 amphibians, and 468 birds. Wildlife is generally distributed throughout the park, though they tend to prefer inhabiting one of three regions: Northern, Central/Southeastern, and Southwestern.
The Northern Region’s landscape is primarily composed of mopane trees, while the frequency of baobabs increases as one goes farther north. This region is best for spotting elephant, sable and roan antelope, and tsessebe. The Central/Southeastern Region contains a mixture of grassy plains, scattered knobthorn, leadwood and marula trees. Lion, cheetah, black-backed jackal and wild dogs are prolific, for zebra and wildebeest are concentrated in this area. The Southwestern Region is more densely forested than the other too. Black and white rhino prefer this region. The best game viewing in the national park overall is from May to October.
Though the best time for bird-watching is from October to March, bird-watching in Kruger is generally good year-round.Commonly encountered birds of prey include tawny eagle, bateleur, brown snake eagle, martial eagle, Wahlberg’s eagle, white-backed vulture, lappet-faced vulture, white-headed vulture, and hooded vulture. Other bird species include lilac-breasted roller, yellow-billed hornbill, greater blue-eared starling, long-tailed shrike, fork-tailed drongos, francolins, red-billed oxpecker, carmine bee-eater, woodland kingfisher, and European roller.
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