Kruger Self-drive – Routes, Roads & Ratings

by Heinrich, Philip & Ingrid van den Berg
Book review by Johan Rothmann – 30 May 2019

With nearly 2 million visitors per year, the Kruger National Park remains South Africa’s number 1 tourist attraction. Many visitors, especially South African citizens, are regular, repeat visitors – the so-called die-hards go there annually. Although this book is intended for all visitors to the park, it will be of special value to these die-hards who know the park well but want to continue exploring it.

With more than 500 beautiful images of animals, birds, and trees in the book, from award-winning photographers Heinrich, Philip and Ingrid van den Berg, it could have been another special coffee table book about our national park. But it is much more and it offers a lot of unique information about the park that I have not seen elsewhere.

The book starts off with 79 suggested routes from all the camps. Distances, duration, get-out places, drinking places along the routes, and ratings are included for each of these routes.

All roads in the park with its official numbers are illustrated on a map and rated according to the probability of encountering predators, density of herbivores, birding potential, scenic beauty and tree diversity. It is the first comprehensive guide to all roads in Kruger National Park that I am aware of. The road descriptions feature a write-up of the vegetation, game viewing opportunities and history where applicable, as well as images taken on the specific road.

I like the index of all these roads at the back of the book - it makes it easy to find the description and rating of any road in the park.

Additional information about the geology of the park and the ecozones provides valuable knowledge to understand the different regions of the park and to be “bushwise” - know what can be expected where.

Special attention is paid in a separate section of the book to tree spotting, birding, mammals and reptiles, and even place names of the park. If there is one thing I would have liked in addition to all this, is more information about the rivers that runs through the park.

A pull-out road map is included in an envelope attached to the back cover. On one side of the large A2-size map is the northern region, with the southern region on the other side.

The Van den Berg family have published more than 30 locally and internationally acclaimed illustrated coffee-table and guide books. HPH Publishing’s books are renowned throughout the industry for their use of colour, attention to detail, binding techniques and overall finish.
This book was the first in HPH Publishing’s SELF-DRIVE range. Subsequently SELF-DRIVE books on the Kgalagadi and Pilanesberg Game Reserves were also published.
I am confident that this book will provide many nice surprises to all visitors of the Kruger National Park.
KRUGER SELF-DRIVE – by Heinrich, Philip & Ingrid van den Berg
First edition, third impression 2018
The book has 288 pages with a hard cover.
Published by HPH Publishing (
ISBN: 978-09946751-2-5
Price at the time of this review (May 2019): R650 including VAT