Our flight was at 13:15 from Nelspruit Kruger airport and so we decided to leave Skukuza via the Malelane gate which meant about 70 kms of driving in the Kruger Park. It was our last opportunity for game viewing. We left at about 7am but it was already quite warm (25 degrees C) and game viewing was quite sparse until we got further south. While the game viewing did pick up, what also picked up was the amount of cars and private game viewing operators. We stopped at Afsaal (midway between Skukuza and the exit gate) and Helen counted 24 game vehicles parked there! It is quite incredible how they dominate the whole southern part of the Kruger.
We did see about 10 white rhino on the drive down and one sighting of them at a waterhole and it was just us present for that sighting. We also saw a buck in the tree which a leopard had put there. We couldn’t see the leopard – it was further back in the bush and our view was obscured by the multiple private game trucks in front of us. You edge forward, they edge forward. It is very irritating and reminded us why we so much prefer the north of the Kruger where you see no private game vehicles at all. We did add a few more birds to the trip list which brought our final total to 152 birds with 4 lifers.
We exited the park at around 10:30am and arrived at the airport about an hour later. Checked-in, Wimpy for lunch and then onto our flight which left on time and we arrived on time into Cape Town as well.
We had a fantastic time and it was very relaxing. We have already started to think about ‘next time’ and where we would go and how long we will spend! Highlights of the trip for me:
- Helen’s cheetah sighting – still have no idea how she saw it!
- Bird of the trip – White Stork (we saw so many!)
- Lifer of the trip – Long-crested Eagle (we could ID it through it’s call in flight and we got a good look at it)
- Best camp – Shingwedzi
- Best meal – Steak salad (did I mention how good that steak was?)
Until next time …
P & H