A Taste of High Adventure in Kruger National Park
For anyone visiting South Africa, one of the best National Parks to see the true wild is Kruger National Park. Spreading out over 19,485 square kilometers, right up to Zimbabwe, it offers some of the best game viewing on the continent. Some would ask, when's the best time to go to Kruger; or Africa, for that matter. The answer is, anytime is the best time to do an African Safari.
The Kruger Park is home to some 517 species of birds, 114 species of reptile, and 50 species of fish. Anyone wishing to see the Big 5 (lion, elephant, leopard, rhino, and buffalo) will find them. Add in the giraffe, crocodile, cheetah, antelope, hyena, and the endangered African Wild Dog, and you've got yourself one outstanding Kruger Park Safari.
On Safari With Gert
13 May 2017
After collecting our guests and settling in at the Nhongo Lodge, we went out on a Sunset drive, which turned out to be very successful as the guests were lucky enough to see no less than 3 Porcupine - very special indeed - as well as the secretive African Wild Cat! Towards the end of the drive they also found 2 male Lion in the road and ha d a great sighting as the Lions were walking along right next to the vehicle!
14 May 2017
We spent the majority of the day in the park, and had some very good general game sightings, most notably a large herd of Buffalo, scores of Plains Zebra and Blue Wildebeest, as well as several Giraffe including a calf of about a month old! We also stopped at a waterhole where we counted no less than 43 crocodiles basking along the bank!
15 May 2017
On the last morning we had a rather cold and wet drive, but did manage to find a Spotted Hyena, actually it managed to find us, as it was in the road as we rounded a bend, drinking from a rainwater puddle. We had a good view of it, a large female, before she moved off the road and disappeared in the tall grass - a nice way to end another great Safari!.
17 May 2017
This morning we left the lodge early, entering the park just before sunrise in beautiful, clear conditions. We started off with a beautiful Giraffe sighting, a journey of 10 animals consisting of an adult bull a few adult females and youngsters from 1 month old, silhouetted against the brightening dawn! They were slowly moving along from tree to tree, browsing on the go. At the same place we also had 2 very large male Warthogs grazing right next to the road, one of them scratching a few itches against the trunk of a conveniently placed Acacia Tree. During the course of the morning we also spotted several varieties of Birds of Prey such as Brown Snake-Eagle, Tawny Eagle, African Harrier-Hawk, African Fish-Eagle and a variety of Vultures. As the day started to warm up considerably we found several Elephant herds attracted to the river and at some point we had a large breeding herd, consisting of adult females and young, almost all around us, also with youngish adult bulls play- fighting in the road in front of us, one of them very excitable and keen to s how off his power, trying to break trees and shaking his head at any vehicles that came anywhere near! We ended the day with a large bull White Rhino, covered in drying mud after a thorough wallowing session, grazing in a clearing about 20 meters off the road! Even though a bit thin on the predator front, a great day with memorable sightings!
18 May 2017
After the excitement of the Sunset drive last night, when the guests saw Porcupine , Honey Badger and 5 young male Lions in the road, we set out early this morning hoping to add to our sightings list. While looking for any of the spotty cats, we were very lucky when we found the least likely of them all, a Serval! It came running out of the tall grass and we followed it down the road for a while, before it eventually disappeared into a thicket on the opposite side of the road! A very rare sighting indeed to get us started for the day! Later on we had a very nice White Rhino sighting, when we found a family of 4 resting in a clearing about 30m off the road. One of the highlights of the day was when a large Elephant bull in full musth came walking out on the road in front of us, putting us in reverse for a few hundred meters as its always better to give these guys right of way. He treated us to a good display as he tossed up some dust with his trunk while bustling down the road towards us, eventually veering off the road to drink from a rainwater hole. We also had a interesting sighting of Southern Ground-hornbill, when we found 2 of them on the prowl, one carrying a baby Swainson's Spurfowl in its beak. The Spurfowl, obviously dead, was probably being taken to a nest, as the bird repeatedly put it down to pick up other food scraps and then picked it up to walk further.
On Safari With Kara
15 May 2017
Sylena, Alexandra and I entered at Malelane gate our first afternoon together in hope to find as many animals with our excitement and want of seeing every little creature. One of the animals that jumped out from behind a tree as we came around the bend in the road was a family of warthogs, mom and young running tails in the air o n a mission through the lush grass towards a mud pool to roll around in. Later we had a beautiful elephant sighting where a big male elephant decided to block our way down the road by eating on a buffalo thorn he pushed over. Being stuck for 40min watching a elephant destroying a bush is definitely not bad traffic. Later we had two Impala males fighting quite aggressively in the road where it ended that one was without a horn tail tucked in and ran away. The same day we saw another male impala with a blind eye a lot of pus oozing out, another result of fighting in this mating season.
16 May 2017
Our second and last morning together we were up early again heading down Crocline from crocodile bridge to malelane. Not far down the road we witnessed a very special sighting of 4 wilddogs running down the road and passing the side of the car. Then spotting some impalas in the road a few 100m away not noticing them and after quietly stalking after them they chassed them into the bush trying to hunt. Lovely seeing this endangered species. Not long after another endangered species made their way across our path. A female White rhino and calf came investigating some green grasses that have grown since the rain and grazed close by. The morning drive ended with a really good breakfast and the drop off with Dez in Nelspruit to head back to Johannesburg for their flight for more safaris in Kenya.
On Safari With Cedric
19 May 2017
The morning is becoming colder as winter sets in. We started off early in at crocbridge, the sun was just below the horizon and all tucked in with scarves and gloves. We came across a big herd of wildebeest busy resting together. Further on we spotted 2 male lions and a female in the distance. We spent a b it of time with them hoping that they would come closer but no success. It look ed like the lioness was in heat as the males did not leave her side, and now and again they would have a tussle between each other. We then headed north towards lower sabie for breakfast... but before we s topped, we came across numerous herds of elephants. After a great breakfast we headed further north looking out for anything. Suddenly in a marula tree we spotted a male leopard resting in the tree enjoying the breeze and the viewpoint. We sat there for sometime enjoying the moment and explaining the leopard ’ s characteristics. The rest of the day we had good general game sightings and even great birding.
20 May 2017
Well it's our last morning in the park with Joedi and Rochelle. So we went once again early into the park to see if we could find some last sightings for them before we head out to the airport. We did find good sightings of elephants drinking down at the crocriver but otherwise it was slow for the morning.
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