Helen and I are doing something we have never done before … 2 weeks in the Kruger Park. We left this morning from home at 7:45am and headed for the airport. Michael kindly dropped us off. Our flight left at 10am for Nelspruit Kruger Airport. When we arrived the pilot said it was 26 degrees C but his thermometer must have been off because by the time we got into the car it was reading 31 degrees.
We drove to Malelane to do some food shopping for the next 2 weeks. While I was paying Helen went off to buy some KFC for our lunch. She was feeling pretty hungry so she bought us each a Streetwise Five (that’s five pieces each!). Needless to say we only ate 4 pieces so the other 6 will be our lunch tomorrow (and probably the next day). With all the necessary stocks on board we headed for the Crocodile Bridge Entrance gate which is near Komatipoort. It is the Eastern most entrance to the Kruger Park.
We got to the gate around 4pm and right at the gate we saw the first of the Big Five. I don’t think I have seen an elephant so close to the gate ever before. There was basically no one at the gate so doing the necessary paperwork was very quick and then we headed into the park. Not 5 minutes in and we saw a pride of lion lying in the shade under a tree. Probably about 5 in total but it was hard to tell exactly as they were not very active (mainly lying with their paws in the air actually).
We also saw a lot of birds and were doing more birding than animal looking when suddenly a white rhino crossed the road in front of us. It walked down the road straight toward us turned off the road when it got to us and walked past the left side of the car. One of the best sightings of Rhino we have had in the Kruger Park ever. No other car in sight … just us … just the way we like it!
As we approached Lower Sabie (our camp for the night) we saw buffalo in the river. That made it 4 of the Big Five in about 1.5 hours and really on our drive in. Quite incredible really. The park is very green and lush and so we were expecting it to be hard to see game but so far it has been the reverse. If all two weeks are like this then we are in for a great time! Helen said earlier she can feel herself relaxing (and that’s exactly how I feel too).
Lower Sabie is a beautiful camp right on the river. We managed to add a few birds to our trip list which is currently at 19 birds. Not a bad start for 1.5 hours in the park. On the game front we have also seen (besides elephant, buffalo, lion and rhino) giraffe, kudu, impala, warthog, baboon and vervet monkey.
Dinner this evening was a steak salad – steak on the braai (cooked perfectly Daniel/Stephen!) – salad made by Helen. Only challenge was that we discovered (when we were about to eat) that there was only one fork! I just did the manly thing and ate the meal with my fingers.
It’s 9:12pm and I can feel the need to get to sleep. Gates open at 4:30am in the morning. We are thinking maybe a 5 or 5:30am start might be more appropriate for us.
P & H