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Mammals of Kruger National Park

Afrikaans name: Krugerwildtuin

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Mammals of Kruger National Park: Bushbuck

Photo © Steven Herbert

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Waterbuck in Kruger National Park

A magnificent male Waterbuck. Kruger National Park is home to a number of species of antelope. Some, like the Impala, are commonly encountered while others, like the Sable Antelope, are harder to find. Antelope to look for include Sable Antelope, Roan Antelope, Impala, Kudu, Steenbok, Waterbuck, Tsessebe and many more.

Photo © Steven Herbert

Kruger Park has a list of over 140 species of mammals. Here are some that you are likely to see.

Chacma Baboon

Chacma Baboon

Chacma Baboons are common over most of the park although they prefer hilly areas or savanna. They can be a pest in the camp sites as they will take any opportunity to steal food.

Vervet Monkey

Vervet Monkey

Vervet Monkeys are common in Kruger Park. They prefer areas with taller trees particularly near water.

Scrub Hare

Scrub Hare

This is the most common hare in Kruger Park although it is nocturnal and unlikely to be seen during the day.

Tree Squirrel

Tree Squirrel

Out of the smaller mammals this is the one that you are most likely to be seen. It occurs in many of the camps and virtually any area with trees in the Park.

Springhare

Springhare

Springhares are restricted to a few areas that have sandy soil which is suitable for them to dig burrows. They are nocturnal and unlikely to be seen.

Cape Porcupine

Cape Porcupine

Although they are quite common in Kruger Park they are not seen very often. They occur throughout the park but prefer areas with rocks that can provide shelter.

Wild Dog

Wild Dog

Wild Dogs may be seen throughout Kruger but are most common in the south-west between Skukuza and Malelane. They normally occur in packs.

Bat-eared Fox

Bat-eared Fox

There interesting mammals occur in the northern half of Kruger. They prefer grassland or savanna areas that also have some scrub for shelter.

Black-backed Jackal

Black-backed Jackal

Although they have been spotted throughout Kruger they are most likely to be seen in the central area.

Large-spotted Genet

Large Spotted Genet

Although sightings have been recorded over much of Kruger Park they are most likely to be found in the north. They are a nocturnal species that are sometimes found inside the camps.

Banded Mongoose

Banded Mongoose

Common in areas with thick bush which provides it with cover.

Slender Mongoose

Slender Mongoose

A common species which is most likely to be seen running across the road and disappearing into long grass or bush the other side.

Dwarf Mongoose

Dwarf Mongoose

The Dwarf Mongoose is fairly common throughout Kruger. It favours areas of savanna.

Spotted Hyena

Spotted Hyena

Common in the central and southern areas but may be seen throughout the park

Lion

Lion

Most people visiting Kruger want to see Lions and, fortunately, they are seen regularly. They can be found throughout the park but are most common in the central and southern areas. The area around Satara is one of the best areas for finding Lions.

Leopard

Leopard

Leopards are one of the most sought after animals to see in Kruger. There is a chance of seeing one throughout Kruger Park but they are most likely to be seen along the bigger rivers that are lined with big trees or dense bush.

Cheetah

Cheetah

These magnificent animals prefer more open areas. They are generally uncommon in Kruger but are more likely to be seen in the central and southern areas.

Caracal

Caracal

Caracal are rarely seen but may be found where there is a mix of rocky outcrops and woodland.

Serval

Close-up portrait of a Serval

Serval prefer areas with long grass. Although they may be seen throughout Kruger sightings are not common.

African Elephant

African Elephant

The numbers of Elephants in Kruger has grown steadily over the years and they are frequently seen throughout the park. They may be seen individually or in small to large herds.

Rock Hyrax

Rock Hyrax

Commonly called Dassies these small animals are only found in hilly areas with lots of rocks. In Kruger they are only found in the area north of the Olifants River.

Black Rhino

Black Rhino

Black Rhino prefer areas of dense bush and are not often seen. They are mainly found in the south.

White Rhino

White Rhino

White Rhino numbers have dropped because of relentless poaching but they may still be seen in open or lightly wooded areas in the south.

Burchell's Zebra

Burchell's Zebra

Very common throughout the park in suitable areas. They are most common in more open areas.

Warthog

Warthog

Warthogs are normally found in small groups and may be seen in suitable habitat throughout Kruger. They like areas that have short grass with mud wallows.

Hippopotamus

Hippo

Hippo are quite common in most of the perennial dams, rivers and waterholes in the park.

Giraffe

Giraffe

Although Giraffe may be seen in suitable habitat throughout Kruher they are most common in the central and southern areas. Their preferred habitat is savanna.

Cape Buffalo

Cape Buffalo

There are plenty of Cape Buffalo in Kruger Park and they are seen regularly. Sightings vary from lone individuals to huge herds. They prefer areas where there is water available.

Oribi

Oribi

There is a small population of Oribi near Pretoriuskop. They prefer higher areas with short grass.

Klipspringer

Klipspringer

Although Klipspringers may be found throughout the park they can only be seen in areas with rocky outcrops.

Red Duiker

Red Duiker

Red Duiker have a very restricted range in Kruger. They like areas with dense undergrowth. They only occur near Skukuza and the extreme south-west of the park.

Steenbok

Steenbok

Steenbok may be seen throughout Kruger Park but they are never common in an area. They can be found in various habitats but open grassland with scattered bushes seems to be a favourite.

Reedbuck

Reedbuck

Reedbuck favour marshy areas with tall grass. They are most likely to be seen in south-west, north of Letaba and north of Pafuri.

Mountain Reedbuck

Mountain Reedbuck

Most likely to be seen in the area around Berg-en-Dal which provides the hilly habitat required by this antelope.

Impala

Impala

It's hard not to see Impala. They are common over most of the park and have a tendency to hang around on or near the roads, or so it seems!

Tsessebe

Tsessebe

Tsessebe favour areas of light woodland and are most likely to be seen north of Letaba.

Sable Antelope

Sable Antelope

Sable Antelope may be found in wooded areas with tall grass. They are most common along the western area of Kruger.

Roan Antelope

Roan Antelope

Roan Antelope are rare in Kruger Park. They prefer lightly wooded areas and water must be available nearby.

Waterbuck

Waterbuck

Small herds of Waterbuck may be found over most of the Park in suitable habitat. They need water to be available but are not normally seen near it.

Bushbuck

Bushbuck

Bushbuck are most common in the far northern region of the park but are also found in well-wooded areas, particularly near water, in the south of the park as well.

Nyala

Nyala

Nyala are most common in the extreme north of the park but may be seen in wooded areas, particularly near rivers.

Kudu

Kudu

Kudu may be seen throughout the park but they have a preference for wooded areas. They are normally seen in small groups.

Eland

Eland

Eland may be found in a variety of habitats. They are most likely to be seen in the northern half of Kruger.

Blue Wildebeest

Blue Wildebeest

Blue Wildebeest like areas with short grass and may be seen in small to medium size herds throughout Kruger Park.

Wahlberg's Epauletted Fruit Bat

Wahlberg's Epauletted Fruit Bat

Most records are from the south-western region of Kruger Park.

Brown Hyena

Brown Hyena

Extremely rare in Kruger Park


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