Central Kruger Region

The Central Region of Kruger is the largest region in the Park making up just over 30% of the Parks landmass and is home to 9 of the Eco-zones that are found in the Park. This area is found between the Sabie River in the South and the Letaba River as its northern boundary. One is able to access this area through the Southern Region but direct gate access is via Orpen Gate and Phalaborwa Gate. What make the Central Region special is its high density of Lions and as such is known to be the best region to see Lions in the Kruger. The reason for this are the flat open grasslands with restricted water supply which gathers all the plains game and then concentrates them around the limited water. As a result there are increased populations of Zebra, Wildebeest and Buffalo providing a bounty for the Lions in particular. According to Park research, of the 2,000 Lions that call Kruger home, roughly 30% can be found on the central region.

A unique landscape feature of the Central Region is the gradual change from the vast weet grazing grasslands to Olifant’s Rugged veld and then into a sea of Mopane forests. This transition makes for an incredible landscape change and offers a unique beauty of its own. This change is as a result of soils and their flora preference as well as a reduced annual rainfall. The perennial Olifant’s and Letaba rivers create a very special atmosphere and following them can be very rewarding.

These Eco-Zones include:

  • Mixed Bushwillow Woodland on Granite
  • Thorn veld on Gabbro
  • Delagoa Thorn thickets
  • Stunted Knob-thorn savanna on basalt
  • Knob-thorn Marula savanna on basalt
  • Olifant’s rugged veld on basalt
  • Mopane Shrub-veld on basalt
  • Sandveld
  • Mopane Bushwillow woodlands

With a reduced rainfall the savanna is not as lush and diverse as the South but the vast open expanses make for easy and plentiful game viewing, incredible sunrises and sunsets and a wide variety of ground dwelling bird species from Ostrich to Bustards, Korhaan’s to Coursers and many species of Larks, Pipits and Cisticolas and a wide variety of Raptors.

Highlights of the Central Region include:

  • 4 Main Camps (Satara, Orpen, Olifant’s and Letaba) with 5 Bushveld Camps (Maroela, Tamboti, Balule, Roodewal and Talamati)
  • 3 Walking Trails (Sweni, Mathikiti and Olifant’s trails)
  • 6 well placed Picnic sites being Tshokwane, N’wanetsi, Nhlanguleni, Muzandzeni, Timbavati and Masorini.
  • Over 12 important historical sites to enrich the routes.
  • Access through the Southern Region as well as Orpen and Phalaborwa gates.
  • Hoedspruit airport is roughly a 2 hour drive Orpen Gate.

We recommend either a 3 or 4 Day Overnight Safari experience to this region in order to get the very best out of your time spent in the Central Region.

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