Kragga Kamma Game Park is about a 30 minute drive from central Port Elizabeth and should be on any visitors sight-seeing list.
Daniel had visited the Park with his family in their early years in South Africa. This was my first time. At the entrance gate, we had a quick toilet break and spotted a white rhino with its calf on the hillside – a sign it was going to be a wonderful day! After paying R80 per person at the gate, and ready with a pen and animal sighting checklist, we drove into the Park. No matter how often I see animals in the wild, I love the experience.
After one or two bends we drove through an open area. Here there was an abundance of animals: warthog, bushbuck, waterbuck and giraffe. Driving towards the watering holes we saw buffalo, zebra, springbok and ostrich. There were many young ostriches and a family of chicks (so cute!). It was amusing to watch the father ostrich chase all the other ostriches away from his chicks. Although, to be honest, fighting ostriches are mildly terrifying. Further on we came across duiker, bontebok and impala. This first entrance loop was by far the greatest opportunity to see animals. It was a busy day in the Park and cars were becoming impatient but don’t let other visitors rush you – take your time on this loop.
Cheetah enclosure and Forest Loop
After this loop, the road leads in three directions: (1) to the cafe, (2) to the cheetah enclosure, (3) the forest loop. There are no predators freely roaming the Park. Hoping to see the cheetah, we drove through the enclosure – we had no luck in seeing the elusive creature. Not ready for a break yet, we continued on with the forest loop. We saw the small buck species (duiker and grysbok). The forest scenery was really wonderful but the road was a bit too ‘off-road’ at times. We were in a VW Polo and while Dan managed to get over the bumps and holes along the way, it was a bit hairy at times. The Forest Loop ends at the cafe, where you can have a bite to eat, rehydrate and stretch your legs.
Cafe and Monkey Walk
There are numerous picnic sites around the cafe and parking area. There is a ‘tame’ cheetah in an enclosure next to the cafe. There is a bridge over the enclosure where you can look down onto the cheetah (finally we saw one! Photos below). This bridge also leads to the accommodation available at the Park. Encounters with this cheetah cost R120 and are “every hour on the hour” from 10 am – 3 pm. There is a wooden suspension bridge at the cafe that leads over a small river. We crossed the bridge and followed the boardwalk through the forest and alongside the wild cheetah enclosure (we still didn’t glimpse a sighting of it). This boardwalk is referred to as the Monkey Walk. There are benches along the boardwalk where you can rest and admire the scenery. You definitely need to do it at least once.
From the cafe, you can continue onto the Mountain View loop or to the exit. We opted for the self-drive option but you can join a guided 2 hour game drive offered by the Park. Being so close to PE central, this game park is a brilliant way to see the amazing wildlife South Africa has to offer. It’s a fun day out of the city bustle and there were many couples and families enjoying their day there.
Fun giraffe fact
While we were watching a majestic giraffe herd, we noticed one of the giraffes seemingly eating a bone. We Googled it when we were home and learned that giraffes do in fact consume bones, from time to time. Bones are a source of nutrients (phosphorous and calcium) that they may not take in while eating their usual plant-based diets.
Animals you can see
Giraffe, Buffalo, White Rhino, Wildebeest, Cheetah, Grey Duiker, Blue Duiker, Bushpig, Cape Hare, Spring Hare, Porcupine, Grysbok, Impala, Common Reedbuck, Mountain Reedbuck, Waterbuck, Springbok, Bushbuck, Zebra, Bontebok, Nyala, Ostrich, Warthog, Cape Grey Mongoose, Vervet Monkeys.
We saw most of the animals on the checklist, so it was definitely a good day!
The Park is open daily and you can enter between 8 am and 5 pm. In summer the gates are closed at 7 pm; in winter the gates are closed at 6 pm.
- R80 pp – Adults
- R40 pp – Scholars (3 – 18 years old)
- Free – Pre-school (0 – 3 years old)
Prices and content are based on the time of the visit.