Covering an area of about 19000 square kilometers, Kruger National Park is one of the largest game reserves in Africa. The park is situated in the provinces of Limpopo and Mpumalanga in northeastern South Africa. This park extends to 360 kilometers from north to south and 65 kilometers from east to west. The administrative headquarters are situated in Skukuza. Kruger National Park became South Africa's first national park in 1926 and was first protected by the government of South African Republic in 1898. South African provinces of Limpopo and Mpumalanga, Zimbabwe, and Mozambique surrounds the park from west, south, north and east respectively. This park is now part of the Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park. The Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park links the Kruger national park with the Gonarezhou National Park in Zimbabwe, and with the Limpopo National Park in Mozambique. This park is part of Kruger to Canyons Biosphere. Kruger to Canyons Biosphere is an area designated by the UNESCO as an International Man and Biosphere Reserve (the "Biosphere").
There is a subtropical climate in the park. With temperatures soaring above 38 degrees celsius, summer days are humid and hot in the park. The Kruger National Park website list September and October as the driest period, however, the rainy season is from September until May. Less chance of contracting malaria, days are milder, viewing wildlife is more rewarding in sparse vegetation and animals drawn to the waterholes to drink water every morning and evening are one of the many reasons to visit the park in the dry winter season.
There are four main areas for plants life in the park. The area for Thorn trees and red bushwillow veld lies between the western boundary and south of the Olifants river. Combretum and acacia species are predominate here. Knob-thorn and marula veld area provide the most important grazing land at the south of the Olifants river in the eastern half of the park. The two most prominent species in the western half of the park are the red bush-willow and the mopane tree. There are a number of smaller areas in the park which carry distinctive vegetation. The sandveld communities near Punda Maria are equally definitive, with a wide variety of unique species.
There are 253 resident, 117 non-breeding migrants, and 147 nomad species of birds in the park. Some of the species like the lappet-faced vulture, martial eagle, saddle-billed stork, kori bustard, ground hornbill and the reclusive Pel's fishing owl are localized and seldom seen. Kruger houses 114 species of reptile, including black mamba, african rock pythons, and 3000 crocodiles. 50 species of fish, as well as 33 species of amphibians, are found in the park.