Blogs from Kruger National Park, Mpumalanga , South Africa, Africa

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We started today at 4:30 for our final morning safari into Kruger National Park. Today's goal: rhinoceros and leopard. Today's actual hits included: elephants, hyena, cape turtle doves, emerald-spotted wood doves, duiker grey antelope, tawny eagle, battaliers, vultures, wild dogs, RHINOS on 3 occasions(!), vereaux eagle owl, warthogs, and LIONS(!). We saw so many impala (antelopes) they felt like part of the family. Though we never found the elusive leopard, today's "hunt" was very successful. The highlights were the rhinos and the pack of wild dogs. Our guide, Mary-Anne, was super excited to have found these two species for us. Though many attempts have been made to tame/domesticate the wild dogs, even those reared from birth, none have been successful. We should also mention that during our breakfast break at a picnic area, we were being ... read more
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Today began epecially early, with a 4:45 wake up call. We barely had time for coffee before departing the hotel for a morning Safari. The intent today was to hunt (photo hunt) for cats. Though we did see some lions from a great distance a couple times, today was mostly the day of the kudu. Our first site of the day was the rise of the sun over Kruger Park. Think lion king. The sun came up among mostly above acacia trees and possibly some marula. Mary-Anne did an excellent job positioning our van throughout the day to get amazing shots of this picturesque scene and many others. (Visitors to Kruger Park are strictly prohibited from exiting their vehicles.) As we made our way through the park, we encountered a number of species, not limited to ... read more
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Picking up from where we left off... After finishing last night's blog, everyone put a few more logs and pieces of coal on their respective fires and made their way to bed. Just as he was about to fall asleep, Jake moved his leg and felt a soft, warm thing by his foot. Panicking that there was some sort of animal in his bed, he gave it a good kicking, only to find out it was a hot water bottle that someone on the hotel staff had put in as a warm-up. It was a moment of panic and a water bottle, not a wild beast. Today we started early, with breakfast at six and on the road to Kruger National Park around seven. The drive took roughly three hours including one pit stop along the ... read more
Elephants
Elephant
Friends


There was the tap on the unit window at 5.15 am just as happened yesterday and we arose and quickly dressed warmly not to be caught out like yesterday morning when we really felt the cold. What would today bring? Would the elusive big cat be found for us to view before we finished out stay at Gomo Gomo Lodge? Only time will tell. We were to continue our game drive with Gert and Dominic along with the American family and we nabbed the front row of the three tiers on the back of the land rover again. Heading out it wasn’t long before we came across a group of zebras preparing to roam and graze for the day. It is amazing how every zebra in the world has its own distinctive coat and no two ... read more
Never going to tire of these sunrises
Impalas turn at the watering hole
Elephant right on cue


There was a quiet tap at the door just before 5.15am. It was time for coffee and the morning game drive. The young women from Singapore were heading away early this morning and didn’t have time to do the drive but the family from Texas were there all coated up ready to endure the cold. We were only a short distance from the lodge when we came across giraffes in several sizes all nonchantly grazing on the trees at their respective heights. As expected it was cold, very cold as we headed out towards the tar sealed road from the gatehouse and continued east towards the rising sun. The cold intensified as the land rover picked up speed and the wind chill tried to find any parts of our body that had even the smallest exposure ... read more
Stunning sun rise on the game drive
Giraffe time
Another of the big five,white hippos


t was with great anticipation of the next stage of the BBA V4 South African adventure this morning that I awoke at 3.15am well in advance of the 5am alarm we have set. It is funny how you think that there is no point going back to sleep when you know full well that the alarm will wake you soon anyway. 5am came around fairly quickly, I think, between snatches of sleep or more likely dozing. Then it was a matter of a shower and preparation for a ride to the bus terminal at the airport about 15 minutes away where our connection to Gomo Gomo Lodge in Klaserie Game Park in Kruger National Park would leave from at 6.45am. The Safari Club chef had put together sandwiches, fruit and orange juice for us to take ... read more
Gretchen in the frame at first coffee stop
First wild elephant,just not real
Fill up time at second coffee stop


A Journey to South Africa By William Graham Poet, novelist and travel writer William Graham holds a BA and MA in English and a MS in Communication from Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. He lives in Stowe, Vermont. His most recent book is Border Crossings: Travel Essays and Poems. At five o’clock on an August afternoon at the Sabi Sand Game Reserve adjacent to Kruger National Park in South Africa, the southern hemisphere’s winter sun was dropping fast behind the trees. Long shadows fell across the dry savannah woodlands. From the shadows of the bush, our guide and his tracker noticed an African wild dog trotting warily. Then another and another appeared until there was a pack of four wild dogs, which had distinctive brown, black, yellow ... read more
African Penguin
Lion
Rhino


Yesterday was amazing, how can we beat that. Easy.... Up at 0530, yes, before the sun rises and the birds start chirping. quick coffee/tea for some and a cookie and OJ for others. Not the truck to be first away, yes, Barnie (our driver) loves to be first, and when he is carrying that bloody big gun, he is boss... Our requests for today’s drive were elephants, water buffalo, leopards and whatever comes after that. We had been out for about 15 minutes, spotting the usual Impala, zebra and giraffe (ho hum) with a few pics of the sunrise when we started to go faster. All of a sudden, Barnie says we are now going to see a leopard that others have spotted. No complaints from us. Arrive and one other truck is there. The leopard ... read more


Early early start without a safari drive. Heading to Kruger via Johannesburg and Hoedspruit. Pouring rain as we leave the hotel in Port Elizabeth. Arrive at the airport and have to say farewell to Nando (can you bea the drums Fernando) as he has to drive back to Cape Town empty after this. Lovely guy and a great driver - never felt in danger at all, and he could get the coach up and ripping pretty easily. Into the airport and check in - what a debacle. Supposedly all organised, but the tour director is flustered. Searching through his bag for the tickets, etc. finally it starts to happen. Eventually all checked in and through security to the departure lounge. Get on messenger and have a quick chat with Jessica and the kids. Nice to see ... read more


Happy birthday to me Saw a monkey up a tree Saw a lion Oops that’s lyin So an oldie I’ll be ! Great day in Kruger yesterday with loads of sightings. Awesome. Tent accom very swish. Patchy wifi so short blog. Not been eaten yet but another game drive today so maybe. Weird weather. 34 yesterday then massive electric storm last night knocked out water supply to camp. Very early starts ... read more




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