Kruger National Park

he Kruger National Park is a major draw card for South Africa. This extensive park has received many awards for the quality of its service and its environmental diversity and sense of responsibility.

Kruger National Park itself boasts many smaller parks, reserves and lodges within its ample borders. The accommodation facilities range from outdoor camping facilities, for visitors wanting a true taste of living in the African bushveld, to luxury game lodges, which offer a more exclusive and private experience of Africa. Between these accommodation ‘poles’ are many lodges, self-catering hotels, Bed & Breakfasts and resorts that are ideal for the family, honeymooners, or even business travellers seeking an idyllic getaway. The more luxury facilities include world acclaimed Sabi Sands, Timbavati, Balule, Thornybush and Kapama.

The Kruger National Park is situated in the northern part of South Africa. This sets it within the ideal locale for exploring the rest of the country, as well as surrounding areas such as Mozambique. Within relatively close proximity too are Johannesburg, Pretoria and Durban, all of which are tourism must-sees for first-time visitors.

Image of a Kruger National Park Leopard.
Kruger National Park Leopard.

Kruger understands that its visitors hail from all corners of the earth to experience a true African safari. For this reason, most activities and packages are based on allowing guests to see the diverse array of birds, vegetation and wildlife. Qualified and experienced game rangers share some of their knowledge on guided game drives, or walks through the wildest bush while teaching you about the tracking of these magnificent animals. Most destinations or accommodation providers allow their guests options to embark on such tours in the early morning and / or late afternoon. This grants you to see the very different kinds of animals that emerge at these different times of day.

The animals that have made the Kruger Park their home include the Big 5 – lion, leopard, elephant, buffalo and rhino. Along with these are many species of buck, apes, snakes and birds. Kudu, springbok, warthogs, bush pigs, giraffes, hyenas, meerkats, ostriches, lynx, and many more share the expanse within the park’s borders in all of their natural glory and splendour while vultures, hawks and eagles soar above them.

Image of Kruger National Park Vultures.
Kruger National Park Vultures.

For the corporate guest, the conference facilities at Kruger National Park will prove to be most convenient and welcome. World-class facilities combine with true 5-star hospitality to create a memorable and productive experience.

Visitors from the world over are guaranteed of a unique experience within the park. However, there are also several facilities outside of the park that are definitely worth a visit. The Endangered Species Centre and The Cheetah Breeding Project are both great day trips for the nature enthusiasts. There are also cultural villages around the park, as well as a golf course, for a different take on touring Africa. An elephant back safari is an absolute must as South Africa takes on a new beauty from this elevated perspective. Indeed, Kruger provides visitors, both from South Africa and the rest of the world, with a first-hand encounter of the stunning land that is this magnificent continent.

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Effects Of Climatic And Environmental Changes On Ancient African Civilisations

Hundreds of thousands of years ago, the entire planet earth looked very different to what modern man experiences today. Continents were not yet divided, and the vegetation and animals were different. Significantly, the climate was also vastly different to what it is today. Climate plays an integral role in determining the plants and animal that live in a certain areas, as well as how habitable a place is for human beings.

In fact, even the theory of the evolution of man was dependent largely on the climatic influences on our ancient ancestors. It is hypothesised that the ancient versions of man were forced to walk upright, lose body hair and develop their coordination for survival in a changing environment. New skills also needed to be learned as farming techniques and living habits had to be adapted.

Ancient Africa experienced major vacillations between mega-droughts and Ice Ages, although these fluctuations occurred over thousands and thousands of years. As humans continued to develop and evolve through these phases, they needed to make major adaptations, not only to their ways of life, but also to their personal body structure. Prior to 135 000 years ago, the whole of Africa was lush and fertile, with a tropical climate. Then, the most intense mega-drought ever to occur hit the continent in the period referred to as the early part of the Late Pleistocene epoch. This is believed to have led to the migration of most of our human ancestors into other areas that were more habitable and fertile. Lake Malawi has been used by scientists as a rain gauge to ascertain water levels in ancient times. Research has shown that, during this mega-drought, the lake’s level dropped at least 1968 feet, or 600 metres! Evolutionists claim that this severe lack of water not only pushed ancient man from the area, it also forced aquatic animals (such as fish) to develop the facilities to be able to survive on dry land, thus evolving into land animals.

As people flocked out of the continent, only a very small proportion of this specific generation remained. Humankind as we know it is widely believed to have come from these few remaining on the continent, who evolved significantly and in response to the climatic changes.

These conditions continued until about 70 000 years ago, when the climate was again characterised by wetter conditions. These led to the growth and renewal of fresh vegetation, as well as an increased water supply to the region. More people were in the area during this time of abundance, and the population grew. This increase in numbers eventually led to migrations due to space limitations and the ownership of land.

Then, about 20 000 years ago, an Ice Age overcame the entire earth. This meant that the planet underwent a long-term period of cold temperatures over most of its surface. In places like North America and Eurasia, giant ice sheets covered enormous proportions of the land, making it impossible to farm and, sometimes, even live in these areas. This final Ice Age lasted for about 9 500 years. It forced most of the populations to migrate to the highlands, where they would be relatively protected from the ice sheets. Again, these civilisations had to adapt their farming methods, and change their diet, social habits, clothing and migratory patterns. This forced an evolution to a certain extent. Body hair was necessary to keep people warm, their skin lightened due to a lack of the harsh rays of the sun that they experienced during the mega-droughts, etc…

When this Ice Age came to an end 10 500 years ago, areas like the Sahara were left fertile and healthy. This made it and the other areas like it the ideal spots in which to settle as ancient man began to descend from the highlands. Animals and plants thrived in this environment, which made it very desirable in the eyes of mankind. The abundance of food, water and sunshine again changed the habits and physical structures of our earliest forefathers.

These conditions lasted for some time, but the Sahara in particular continued to experience fluctuations between humid and dry conditions. These eventually left the entire area unable to yield crops or sustain life for any extended period of time. Today, it remains a large stretch of desert. Then, approximately 2500 years ago, the group of people who had made their home in the Sahara began to follow the direction of the Nile River, which held promise of a rich water supply. The arid conditions of the Sahara and its surrounds continue to the present day.

Africa has, since prehistoric times, proven to be a place of fascination, life and evolution. Changes in the climate were often dramatic, and these were, to a great extent, responsible for determining the ancient civilisations that inhabited this vast continent. It is no wonder that many researchers and scientists maintain that Africa is the Cradle of Mankind, and research continues to yield fascinating evidence of this theory.