Rats, mice, bats and insects, snakes and other small mammals have been around in all the rest camps of the Kruger National Park (KNP) for many decades.
This is due to the artificial nesting and roosting sites created for them by the buildings, as well as vast sources of food brought about by visitors leaving foodstuff outside and all the insects attracted to the lights in the camps. Even in camps where special bat-houses are installed, bats still use the buildings as well.
It is almost impossible to keep the rodents and bats out of buildings as they originate from the surrounding natural bush and are able to crawl through the tiniest of holes.
Fortunately the vast majority of visitors to the KNP realise that rodents, bats and other insects, reptiles and mammals are an integral part of the KNP ecosystem and accept them as such. Kruger Park boasts an impressive diversity of rodents: 25 species of rodents (mice and rats), 9 species of shrews, 3 species of elephant shrews and 43 species of bats.
Most people also accept that a visit to the Park may inevitably lead to some sort of a close experience with some 'creepy crawly', be it a bat, mouse, spider, scorpion or insect. Here is some information about what animals you may encounter when visiting our park.
Bats & Insects
Light draws many flying insects and with these insects come their predators. These predators could take on the form of bats and frogs. Please remember to keep your screen doors closed as this will prevent these unwanted creatures from entering your room. Should you forget and a bat enters the room by mistake, please do not panic! Calmly place a towel over the bat and release it outside or call for assistance.They are some of the most interesting small mammals with some of the most extraordinary adaptations to find food and survive. Bats, for example, use ecolocation in flight to zoom in on insects and this is one of the wonders of the world in my view. An African night will never be complete without their feint but sharp sounds in the background.
Spiders, Snakes & Scorpions
Yes, these creatures are part of our environment but will most probably not harm you if not threatened. If you must walk around at night please DO NOT DO SO WITHOUT A TORCH. If you do come across a snake please do not try to catch it! Rather report this to the Manager on duty or to reception.
Monkeys, Baboons & Bushbuck
Monkeys, baboons and tame bushbuck are very cute and can be entertaining for young and old, BUT PLEASE DO NOT FEED THEM. Remember that by feeding them, you are signing their death warrant, as they become aggressive and may have to be destroyed. By feeding these animals you do not only aggravate the situation but you also make these animals lazy and they become dependant on this food supply. The same applies to animals you may encounter along the fences of the camps in KNP, including Hyaena. Do not throw food to them or attempt to touch or tease them.
Before going out in the morning in search of animals please make sure that you have put all foodstuffs securely away. Remember that these monkeys and baboons have learnt to open up fridge doors and cupboards.
Have a question? Why not ask on the forums?
Report rule breakers and other incidents to KNP's Emergency Call Centre on 013 735 4325
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Did You Know?
- The park was first proclaimed in 1898 as the Sabie Game Reserve by the then president of the Transvaal Republic, Paul Kruger. He first proposed the need to protect the animals of the Lowveld in 1884, but his revolutionary vision took another 12 years to be realised when the area between the Sabie and Crocodile Rivers was set aside for restricted hunting.