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Published: June 22nd 2017
Kobus and his vehicle
Great viewing from a elevated position. Apparently the only real risk is from cranky elephants, that have been known to overturn vehicles. Kobus said he didn't own a pair of long trousers - he paid for it and was frozen like the rest of us.
Geo: -25.3636, 31.8949
A 5:30 start this morning. After picking up another Ozzie named Ken, Andy, Ela and we headed into Kruger Park which is about half an hour away. Kobus, our driver/guide folded up the canvas sides of our safari vehicle after we entered the park at Crocodile Bridge and told us there was a sighting of lions hunting just inside.
Sure enough, 500m into the park five lions were hunting three wildebeest and they continued across the road, in and around ten or so tourist vehicles. A lioness skirted our vehicle and after a brief eye contact with us, she got on purposefully with her role in the hunt, flanking the small wildebeest herd. The herbivores scarpered before the trap was sprung and the lions settled back into the bush and waited for more game to come their way. It was very exciting, especially the urgent move by the lioness just metres from our astonished eyes.
The Big Five - lion, elephant, leopard, buffalo and rhino are so named because they are the most dangerous animals to hunt. We saw all except leopard in a full day driving slowly around the park roads. Leopards are hard to spot and Kobus said he'll
Lioness on the hunt
We were too startled by her sudden appearance to photograph her as she passed our vehicle. This was her participating in the ambush. Look how perfectly her colouring matches the bush.
see them about once a week, when going out daily. The wind chill boosted the effect of the low temperature and it was freezing! Luckily we had been warned so had gloves, scarves and beanies along with many clothing layers and extra blankets.
The density of wild animals was surprising. We saw hundreds of impala, kudu and wildebeest. Four families of elephant, closest about 50m, four solitary rhino, two individual buffalo and the five lions (twice). Lots of basking and swimming hippos (some of them are HUGE), giraffes, zebra, a troop each of baboon and vervet monkeys (the organ grinder variety), plenty of wart hogs, crocodiles and a startled mongoose that scampered back into the undergrowth when we interrupted its road crossing. Plus a heyena that came out of a den in a road culvert.
We had a very fine lunch at a restaurant in the riverside tourist centre at Lower Sabie.
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