Blogs from Kruger National Park, Mpumalanga , South Africa, Africa - page 4


Kruger National Park is one of the largest game reserves in Africa, covering about 7500 square miles (220 miles N to S) and 40 miles wide. It is huge, so we obviously just got a glimpse of its fascinating sights. We entered from the south side after crossing the South Africa/Swazi border uneventfully. We timed it so we could do the sunset drive with a guide - what an experience. We broke up into various groups and each had our own successes, but our vehicle had a lot of large animal sightings. We came back at nighttime so we also got a night view of many large animals, saw a classical African sunset, the southern cross and milky way from a deep dark vantage point. Perfect weather - warm, not hot. Amazing!... read more
Our First Elephant Spotted
Ubiquitous Impala
An Eagle

So, after our Garden Route drive ended in Port Elizabeth, we stayed a day longer to take in a day-long game drive with long-time guide Alan and then flew to Johannesburg where we were picked up and taken to a permanent tented lodge (similar to the type we stayed at in Tanzania's Selous Game reserve - see blog entry "Selous 1" for details) for 4 days of Sabi Sands Game Reserve and Kruger National Park game drives and bush walks. We took them in and relished them knowing that these were the final and still-amazing animal encounters and sightings that we experienced during our awe inspiring 3 plus months' sojourn in Africa. Two highlights stood out amongst the many wonderful creatures we saw for the last time. b. Rhino Encounters All of our previous sightings of ... read more
Happy Black Rhino at Addo
The Multispecies Shot
Tented Camp

It took six hours of driving to get from Johannesburg to Balule Plains, a private game reserve less than an hour from the Kruger National Park. I was taken on a night time game drive on the first evening, and I can't say that I particularly enjoyed the experience. Being on safari at sunrise or in the middle of the day is one thing, but being on safari in the pitch black is something else entirely. The guide at the front of the safari truck has a big flashlight, which he constantly shines from side to side to reflect the eyes of any animals nearby. But not being able to properly see your surroundings, not knowing if there's a leopard in the tree above you or a pride of lions just feet away, is pretty unnerving. ... read more

Africa » South Africa » Mpumalanga » Kruger National Park February 23rd 2012

Many thanks to all of you who comment on our blog. Not only is it a connection to home, but it makes it easier to write the next entry! I have heard a rumour that our daughters even look at it- but refrain from commenting........Kids!!!!:) To respond to some of the comments: Yes, I 'll be sure we spend some time at home, even if Mark could stay on indefinitely......and yes- I was worried about the safety issue over here in Africa. We heard MANY stories of how scary it would be- and mostly from the native South Africans. We have seen NOTHING to be worried about. WE are careful not to travel at night, and to use common sense-we don't flaunt our electronic devices or money. The people have been nothing but friendly, some more ... read more
Dirt road for a game drive
Giant Kingfisher
Move off the road

Africa » South Africa » Mpumalanga » Kruger National Park December 19th 2011

We had a great time in Kruger National Park and we saw lots of wildlife, including countless rhino, which completed our "Big Five". However, I do think we were a bit spoiled by our introduction to safari in Botswana. In Kruger, we had to rely on our own spotting skills and we had to remain on the marked roads. This meant that if there was a cheetah relaxing in a thicket even several meters away from the road, we would never see it (cheetahs are a bit of a sore spot because we still haven't seen one, even though it's the leopard that is supposed to be the hardest big cat to find). We relied on the wildlife that came to us, rather than tracking the wildlife by sound, terrain and even bird alarm calls, as ... read more
On a walking safari: check out the porcupine quill I'm holding!
Giraffe observing our Hyundai
Lion panting in the shade


Africa » South Africa » Mpumalanga » Kruger National Park November 29th 2011

Late on our last night in Pretria we got the call from our tour guide to say we would be getting picked up at 5.15am!!! We hadn't realised when we booked that Kruger is a good 6 hours drive from Pretoria, add in a couple of hours for picking other people up from Joburg and we had been on the bus for 8 hours before arriving at our camp site. Bearing in mind this had been sold to us a permanantly erected tents with beds inside we were a bit miffed to be shown to a crummy 2 berth tent with wet mattresses inside due to the heavy rain from the previous days. This coupled with about 50% of our clothes being soaking from being in the trailor (seems things which are supposed to be waterproof ... read more
Sleeping pack of humans
No problem spotting buffolo

Rounding up the end of our venture we finally departed Cape Town after a week of beauty and headed through Johannesburg towards White River to reach our final destination...Kruger National Park. Our hotel lay on the outskirts of this large National sanctuary in a town known as White River. Surrounding us? A whole lot of nothing. We enjoyed a late dinner of local spreads and meats and readied ourselves for the 5am wake up call to board the bus into wilderness. We were awoken before sunrise and grabbed our gear to go. For not being much of a morning ray of sun, I was smiling and truly ecstatic. I had dreamed of the day I could encounter the wild at an arm's length. As we passed nearby villages I was taken in by the locals walking ... read more
Baboons at Kruger
So Majestic

Africa » South Africa » Mpumalanga » Kruger National Park September 20th 2011

We got ourselves a guide book and like studious 6 year olds we ticked off the animals as we saw them - strangely satisfying. Kruger stretches out for miles and is similar in size to Israel. Although it is fenced this protects the animals from poachers and they are free to roam where they choose. The tracks through the park are tarmac making game viewing a nice smooth ride. Visitors are not alllowed off these tracks and a hefty fine is issued if they are stupid enough to try. At first we stopped at giraffe, zebra and impala but after a while it's close encounters with rhino, lion and elephant that really excite. We stopped by a group of baboons. They were great to watch as they chased, groomed and pushed each other about but the ... read more

Africa » South Africa » Mpumalanga » Kruger National Park September 11th 2011

After leaving Pezulu it was just a short drive to Kruger National Park. We took a slow meandering game drive through the park towards Skukuzu – the site where we checked in for our walking safari. The awesome thing about driving through Kruger is the excitement of never knowing what you are going to see. One thing we didn’t realize is that the animals come so close to the vehicles. We didn’t expect that at all… The thing is though – they just look at the vehicles as some big nosy other animal and don’t really pay them any mind. So you really get to see some of them so close- it is awesome! We saw so many animals in Kruger that it is hard to list them all – during the game drive that ... read more
Andre - our ranger
Jeff with Phillip and Andre
He is not happy that we moved him from his meal!

Africa » South Africa » Mpumalanga » Kruger National Park September 5th 2011

M – There have been times on this trip when we have felt like we were either submerged in an episode of the Discovery Channel or, for those Brits reading this, sitting in the truck with Sir David Attenborough filming one of his many documentaries. The short series of photos that follows was taken from the car when a troop of Baboons blocked our path. It started when Kate happened glance down from the passenger seat and began laughing at the lack of endowment of the fellow in the first shot (see the photo to the right). The rest of the photos took less than a minute, the only missing shot was of the female offering herself to the male. My favourite of the group though is the two differing expressions on the male and female ... read more
She's Cute
Believe It Or Not This Female Did Actually Egg Him On!
With Teeth Like That Who Is Going To Argue

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