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.
Our 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.
To 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.
We 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.
We 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.
After 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…
Then 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!
After 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.
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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