Kruger National Park was amazing. I was told that we saw more in the 2 days we were there than some people see in 2 weeks. We got up before the sun both days and caught some gorgeous sunrises, and so many animals of all sorts. We managed to see all of the Big 5! Here’s all the best from the first day:
The safari trucks were of course open, so we would sit in all our layers of clothing, wrapped in blankets, waiting for our drivers to finish paperwork..
All while watching the long queue to the park, even at 6 in the morning. Very promising sunrise..!
The first day we saw animals literally minutes after entering the park. A couple of buffalos crossing the road (above) and a lone elephant in the bushes.
Yup, amazing sunrise!
A fish eagle I believe. We didn’t really stop for birds as none of us were bird enthusiasts; we just wanted to see the Big 5.
The rule about never getting out of the truck only applies until a tire punctures. Then EVERYBODY gets out, and all the drivers get together to make the change as quick as possible.
Kind of an exciting start to the first day! Other than that, the first couple of hours we just saw a couple of kudus..
..and so many impalas they became a running gag in our truck. ‘An elephant you say? Jeesh, I was hoping for an impala..’
I forget the name of the place where we had the first break of the day, but it was big, had a restaurant and a shop, and monkeys!
And these beautiful blue birds that seemed to be as common as pigeons are where I come from. I think I prefer these..
At about 10 AM we set off again, for what would become a VERY exciting afternoon! First, a lone crocodile:
And then, elephants! And lots of them. Like, decidedly more than 10 when we started to count.
And they were close..!
And then they all started crossing the road:
A. DO. RABLE.
That little one just faceplanted the asphalt, and absolutely melted the hearts of everyone looking.
And luckily made it up okay. So after this encounter, we didn’t really think it could get any better. But since we had so far only seen 2 of the 5, and we ended up seeing all of them, we weren’t done yet!
We drove on and saw a couple of baboons;
A couple of hippos, another crocodile and uncountable impalas before the next big catch of the day: a leopard.
We only saw the big cat for a couple of minutes before it went into hiding.. and then we spent the next hour driving around, trying to catch a glimpse of it again. Forget about it. I wish I had taken a picture of the congestion of cars outside the bushes where it was last seen! When we finally gave up on the leopard we went to lunch, and didn’t see much the rest of the day.
Apart from this adorable hyena pup,
and my first (but definitely not last) pair of zebras!
So, 3 out of 5 done and done. And we still had one more full day to go! Kruger National Park exceeded all of my expectations. What an incredible place to see african wildlife. This was in July, which means winter down there: cold mornings and evenings but temperatures of up to 30+ centigrade during the day, and practically no mosquitos. Not bad at all, as long as you bring enough clothes, sunscreen and water.
Have you been to Kruger? What was your experience like? Comment below.