Kruger National Park
10th-12th April 2012-04-12
The dawn rise to see the animals at their best, was chilly to say the least! We were wrapped up in a blanket each to keep warm, as we slowly drove along the dirt tracks after entering the Kruger gate. Kruger Naational Park is the size of a small country, like Israel. It would seem to be plenty of room for all those animals, but it looks tiny on the map of South Africa. So much land has been taken for agriculture and building for the new population burgeoning from within and adjoining countries, that there is not enough left for the animals we saw at a rescue centre to be released!
Dawn offered us a splendid sunrise – our very first sighting was a girafe, as intent staring at us as we were staring at him!
Our guide, John who had to drive 50 kms from his home village to come and pick us up from our Sabie Bush River Lodge was keen to ensure we got to see the big 5, which was a bit of a safari van fight when we all arrived at the place where a leoapard had dragged its catch up a tree. We’re not allowed out of the vans, making it difficult to see if there are too many of them!
Poor animal, must have been too frightened to come back after that onslaught!
Never mind, we did get to see the lions crossing the road, and the other BIG FIVE
The male lion we saw at the rescue centre
This baby lion is struggling to hold on!
Elephant Mum and her baby
White Rhino who was just sauntering off the road
Leopard that we did see at the rescue centre
Male elephant with large tusks at the river. Many elephants around, they are too numerous now for the park we are told.
The fifth animal is the massive buffalo, which we did see, but so far away tucked into a river bank during the heat of the day, that I was not able to get a good photo.
John did a good job taking us to the places where he knew we would see the animals, including birds, and we were very happy to be given a day’s tour of just a tiny area of the park, down to the Lower Sabie Camp and back.
We were told that the impala are overunning the park, and they are certainly very prolific, with sightings of herds of them every ten minutes or so. They enjoy grazing with zebra and wildebeast and girafe, as they signal danger to each other.
I’m a GNU, how you doo? Also known as wildebeast
Zebras watch out forward and aft for each other
A young female KUDUand siblings
Baboons sitting in the shade on the side of the road
We could watch hippos mostly submerged in the river, until we returned to our lodge, and found this one wading into the water