The last time I posted a travel blog was 9 February 2020. Who knew at that point that the whole of 2020 would pass by with no further trips! We were meant to have been in Canada in June/July, and then in the Portugal and US in September and again in US in October (for my nephew’s wedding). Us, like everyone else, simply didn’t have any travel in 2020.
However, we are back. 357 days later we are back (finally) in the Kruger Park. This was H’s first flight for last 357 days (I have made some even late in 2020). Airport was quiet. Only 13 people on the plane with us to Hoedspruit. We landed just after midday and saw Impala at the airport while still in the plane.
H got the luggage while I sorted out the car and then we did a quick trip into Hoedspruit to get supplies for next 5 days. After completing that high risk activity we got our traditional lunch of KFC (drive through) and then headed toward Orpen Gate. We stopped roadside to eat the KFC and got to the Orpen gate at about 2:30pm.
Shortly after the gate (within a km!) we saw a rhino and not more than a few hundred meters from that a pride of lions including two (very rare) white lions. They are the white lions of Timbavati. M & O saw them as cubs in Nov 2019 and they are in the Birmingham pride (or so say M&O). It was a fantastic sighting as they were lying under a tree on the corner of two roads. We couldn’t have gotten closer to them.
Not much further down the road we saw elephant so that was 3 of the big 5 within a few kilometers of the gate. We also added a lifer (Lesser Spotted Eagle) on the drive into Satara camp. Add to that impala, waterbuck, wildebeest, zebra, giraffe, baboon and it was a pretty good start to the trip. We arrived at the camp just after 5pm. By that time a storm was brewing and while it hasn’t rained as yet, I think it will start later. It was oppressively hot – got up to 37 degrees C at 5pm – so some rain might cool things off. Not that they need rain as there have been floods over the last 2 weeks up here. It is the greenest I have seen the Kruger Park.
It’s 9pm and H is already asleep and I am feeling that I might head that way shortly as well. Fresh air & heat seem to take it out of you!
Until tomorrow …
P & H