OUR TOP CAMP­SITE 7 IN THE KRUGER

South Africa’s big­gest na­tional park has 13 camp­sites, each with some­thing dif­fer­ent to of­fer. We pitched tents from souts to north to find the best

Getaway (South Africa) - - Travel - ZYL ME­LANIE VAN APHS BY WORDS & PHOTOGR

Ifirst learnt to swim with­out arm­bands in the pool at Ber­gen-Dal rest camp when I was six. I also used to do ‘game drives’ sit­ting on my dad’s lap in the car and steer­ing the wheel to­wards im­pala, gi­raffes and more. Dad could ‘smell’ a ze­bra from kilo­me­tres away, with those su­per­pow­ers only par­ents seem to have – much to my and my sis­ter’s de­light. (Said sis­ter once took a gi­ant swig of gin when my folks failed to pack any juice for us on our af­ter­noon drive, but re­mem­bered their own tonics and de­canted some gin into a wa­ter bot­tle.) Kruger is also where I learned how to iden­tify birds: my first, the colour­ful lilac-breasted roller. Kruger Na­tional Park was founded 120 years ago and stretches for 350 kilo­me­tres, from Mpumalanga in the south, sweep­ing along the Mozam­bique bor­der to where South Africa, Zim­babwe and Mozam­bique meet at the Lim­popo River in the north. To­day it’s one of the most ac­ces­si­ble wildlife ex­pe­ri­ences in Africa and, at two mil­lion hectares big, with an im­pres­sive range of wildlife, habi­tats, birds and views, you can re­turn to a new ex­pe­ri­ence every trip. I camped my way from Male­lane right up to Punda Maria, rat­ing and as­sess­ing every rest camp on the way. It was hard not to put every camp­site on my fi­nal list, but this is how I would plan my own af­ford­able camp­ing trip.

‘THERE’ S NOTH­ING QUITE LIKE BE­ING EN­GULFED BY A BREED­ING HERD OF ELE­PHANTS ON KRUGER'S ROADS' – ME­LANIE VAN ZYL

The Berg-en-Dal rest camp is named for all the scenic drives that climb kop­pies and dip into the val­leys of the area.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.