KRUGER NATIONAL PARK
In the heart of the Lowveld, stretching for 352 kilometers from north to south along the Mozambique border, one of the world's foremost national parks can be found. This is the Kruger National Park, a wildlife sanctuary larger in area than Israel. Covering 7,576 square kilometers and averaging 42 miles in width, Kruger provides a refuge for 147 mammal species, 500 species of birds, 116 reptiles, 34 amphibians, 49 fishes, 457 types of trees and shrubs, 1 500 smaller plants, and countless insects. Each year approximately 950,000 people visit Kruger National Park in South Africa.
An entire subculture of devotees has developed over the past 70 years around the unpredictability of wildlife viewing, the apparent endlessness of the wilderness and the Park's unique atmosphere. And it is these ardent supporters who are the Park's greatest defenders. Kruger epitomizes for many the rejuvenating and healing qualities of Nature, allowing its visitors to escape the increasing pressures of modern urban life. A 2 600-kilometre network of all-weather roads allow visitors to explore its diverse habitats on their own and without the need to hire a guide.
Across these unbounded, bush-covered expanses everything is constantly changing: centuries-old trees are struck by lightning and are reduced to a small pile of ash; vegetation communities are altered as plants are influenced by drought, fire and animals; and fluctuations in wildlife populations closely track climatic change. And yet the cycle of life - birth, childhood, maturity, old age and death - ensures that things remain essentially the same. Viewed against the complexity and enormity of the entire system, minor changes and events are easily blurred. Individual lives and events are obscured by summer's new growth, washed away by thunderstorms and covered over by the ceaseless procession of time.