H & I left for the Kruger National Park today. It is our 3rd year in a row that we have done a Jan/Feb KNP trip – it is becoming a ‘must-do’ holiday for us now. We are not generally given to tradition but this might just be one tradition we have to keep going forward. We left Cape Town on a 10:50am flight to Hoedspruit which is right in the heart of game parks. There is nothing better than getting onto a plane where the majority are foreigners and clearly heading for a ‘safari’. We landed at 1:10pm which was exactly on time. Helen got the luggage (which they simply offload into a shed of sorts) while I picked up the rental car.
It was 37 degrees C when we got into the car and headed to do some shopping in Hoedspruit so that we had food for next 11 days (KNP shops aren’t really great for food). After a quick shop at the very nice Pick n Pay, we followed another tradition and bought KFC for lunch (fastest drive through I have ever had anywhere) and then we headed to the Orpen Gate (about 50 kms away) to enter KNP. We entered the park at about 3:30pm and had another 50 km drive to our camp for tonight.
A few hundred meters from the gate we saw we zebra, wildebeest & impala and we already had the feeling it was going to be a good 11 days. 10kms from the gate we saw our first of the Big 5 – leopard. Not the one you would generally expect to see first but quite nice to tick that off about 15 minutes into the park! It was right on the side of the road and then decided to walk down the road. The only issue was that it did it in front of the car in front of us so we couldn’t always see it. It eventually headed off the road and went and lay down under a bush for an afternoon rest. At that point it was clear it wasn’t going anywhere so we headed off to the camp.
It is incredibly green and the bird life is unbelievable at the moment. We have also seen a lot of game already – wildebees, impala, giraffe, elephant (2nd of Big 5), zebra, kudu and baboon. While no lifers as yet, we have had good sightings of a lot of Birds of Prey already too. We arrived at Satara camp at just after 5pm and checked in for the next 2 nights. It was 34 degrees and very hot still so unpacking was sweaty business!
Braai (chicken wings and lamb chops) for dinner washed down with a beer for me and G&T for H (well actually those technically went down before we ate). Soon off to bed – for some reason being in the game park makes you need to get to sleep early.
Until tomorrow …
P & H