The Kruger Park Safari
The next day at day-break we were ready to go; after gobbling down a quick but pleasant breakfast we all piled into the mini-van to start the eagerly-awaited day-ride.
The 4 day / 3 night safari trip included 3 days in the Kruger Park with a guide, and the third day and night moving to a private game reserve. More about that later, as it turned out the private game park was the highlight!
Our guide Nico was very knowledgeable and keen to share this acumen. He pointed out everything of interest we came across, but we were especially keen to see more rare and majestic animals! The impala had become fairly monotonous, as well as the many wildebeest and warthog we'd run across. Although the zebra and giraffe were plentiful, we never tired of seeing them. We considered ourselves lucky to see that many animals, the list was increasing as the day progressed.
The highlight of that first full day's drive was sighting the elephants. It was a small herd and the only members we saw were about 10 younger bulls (see picture) and possibly the matriarch. Unfortunately no majestic, fully grown, mature bull! These bulls are normally solitary and don't mix well with the group. (see our fauna section for information about the animals).
That evening we arrived at our second rest-camp, thoroughly exhausted but content. We had seen a wealth of animals, in large numbers! It was all and more that we expected... Our good fortune continued, as once again camped in an enclosed camp, were were fortunate enough to unexpectedly see a solitary buffalo (as is the nature of the bulls) came wondering by the fence and toiled for a few minutes showing off his splendor. In the meantime, Nico was busy preparing a good, typical South African dinner I was particularly looking forward to: the braai consisted of boerewors sausage, steak, salad and rice. Once again the group bonded magically in the African night, as the fire raged and the animal sounds echoed through the camp.
Once again the next morning we were ready to continue our adventure after an early breakfast. We only had the morning to seek animals; thereafter we needed to make our way to the private game park. We didn't have too long to wait to see several of the more scarce animals in the park. Although not one of the picture, the cheetah is a rare find indeed. We were extremely lucky to see 8 of only 200 cheetah in the whole park. Remember that the park is about the size of Wales, so we felt especially fortunate!
Another fairly rare sighting was a hyena which crossed the road just in front on us. Luckily I was sitting in the front of the mini-van to shoot a quick picture before he disappeared. Our picture number three appeared that same morning, however not only did I not see it, but Theresa even managed to get fleeting photo of a rhino in the trees about 20 meters away... it seemed that Nico's promise was not so unlikely! But of course it was the cheetah that was one of the highlights of this day. The second was still to come; as we finally made our way to the Nhkoro private game park...