During our trip to South Africa, my sister and I travelled 5 hours to get to Kruger from Johannesburg. We were really keen on seeing some wildlife, so we narrowed down our options to two places. Lion Park in Johannesburg and Kruger National Park.

Unfortunately, we were unable to visit the Lion Park due to time constraints but we did get to Kruger and had – as I like to call it – an authentic safari experience. After our thrifty spending the days before, we decided we’d splurge a little on our safari. We checked into a lovely hotel just outside the Paul Kruger Gate. It came complete with a camp-like dining area and a guitar-wielding songster and his backup singers – some of the waiters really got into it!

As for the safari itself, we booked with the hotel and got assigned a 4X4 and its driver/tour guide for half of the next day. I felt ‘safer’ in this one than the jeep I rode in during a tiger safari in India.

safari vehicleOur outing began at 6 am. The hotel packed us a breakfast pack and we set out in search of the Big 5. We were met by a friendly guide who briefed us about the park and its rules and regulations.

Our first major sighting of the day was a leopard. Leopards, as I’ve been told are very shy animals and aren’t the easiest to come by on a safari. Our day was beginning on a high! We went on to spot all of the Big 5 on this single trip.

Leopard in krugerTo be honest, I was really hoping for some wildlife action. Like a group of lionesses chasing an impala or something. Sadly, we had none of that. All the animals were just there, sitting or mostly, standing pretty.

kruger national park
kruger_warthogWe also spotted a few birds. Most of them were far away…

After an hour or two, we stopped to have breakfast somewhere within the wildlife reserve. We had a lovely view and spotted a herd of buffaloes grazing in the distance.

kruger_viewingWe got up to take pictures and this guy basically commandeered what was left of our food. We had to chase it away quickly. Feeding the animals is strictly prohibited in the reserve.

Kruger_monkeyAfter breakfast, we continued on our animal trail. We spotted some crocs in the water. No action there either. Maybe we should have dropped my sister in the water…

Kruger CrocThen we went on to see a pair of giraffes. The male was quick to ditch his female partner. He disappeared into the bushes before we good get a good shot of both of them. By the way, fun fact: did you know that male giraffes test a female’s fertility by tasting her urine? You didn’t? Well, now, you can never un-know that. You’re welcome!

Kruger GiraffeAfter our giraffe sighting, we saw a couple of zebras grazing in the distance. More accurately, zebra butts, we couldn’t get close enough to the waterhole where they had gathered for a drink. We also saw a rhino, who wouldn’t stay still. Rhino poaching is very rampant and happens even in a heavily protected reserves like Kruger National Park. Of course, offenders are heavily prosecuted.

Our last sighting of the day was a herd of elephants. Along with lots of impalas. Apparently, they (the impalas) stick with the herd for protection.

Kruger Elephant
Kruger Impala

Have you been on any wildlife safari? Think it’s something you’d like to do?

You may also enjoy reading these;

In search of India’s Bengal Tigers – Tiger safari in Ranthambore, India

On set with the cast of the Lion King – Safari in Serengeti, Tanzania

I also made one minute clip of animals in the jungle. I hope you enjoy watching it.

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  1. Came across your blog today and just wanted to say it’s cool to read about Africa from an African’s (I know you’re Nigerian, don’t worry, I’m not one of those people who think Africa is one country) perspective. You have a really good site with interesting content. I also have been to South Africa and Kruger Park is a great experience.

  2. I am planning my first solo trip to South Africa for June 2018 and this just made me even more excited ๐Ÿค—

    • Oh, you’re going to have such a good time! Where would you be visiting?

      • Cape Town and then to the Kruger National Park area for a safari. I’m trying to figure the latter part out now. I would love to visit Johannesburg but not sure if I’ll be able to work in it. By the way loved your post on solo travel – it reassured me that I will be just fine.

        • Thank you, Kizzie. Are you flying out to Johannesburg and Kruger? If you are and depending on the number of days you have in total, you might have a day to see a little of the city. But if not, don’t feel pressured to pack it in or feel like you’re going to miss out on it.

  3. Ebosereme Akhigbe

    Hahahahah ๐Ÿ˜‚
    Thank God you didn’t drop your sister in the water.

    My best line was….. “All the animals were just there, sitting or mostly, standing pretty”
    I can imagine โ˜บ.
    I wish we had something close to this experience in Nigeria ๐Ÿ˜”.

    Thank you for sharing. I’m looking forward to visiting South Africa and going on a Safari tour

    • We’re supposed to. We have places like Yankari and Gashaka Gumti but I doubt that they are anything close to Kruger. I also doubt that the government is interested in spending millions of dollars/naira to fight poachers. But if you’re interested in a safari close to home, Pendjari NP in Benin Republic is an option you could consider.

  4. LOOL at dropping your sister in for the crocs.

    I can’t wait to go on a safari.