I have wanted to go to Kruger National Park for so many years. It has been on my bucket list to go on safari and ever since I watched The Wild Thornberrys I have wanted to see wild animals in Africa (also to talk to them but I don’t think I can achieve this). It has been a dream of mine for about 16 years.
The flight from Johannesburg to Nelspruit is thirty five minutes, very quick flight, you even get a carton of juice and a pastry, what more could you want.
Kruger about the size of Wales, so there is a lot of terrain you can cover and lots of gates you can enter and exit. You can go wherever as long as you are out of the park on time.
We stayed right next to the Paul Kruger Gate. A fantastic location, it is amazing as you are driving down the road you see wildebeest or zebra, it’s amazing. There is a bridge right in front of the Paul Kruger gate over the Sabie river. Before you even get into the park you can find wildlife on the river. The first animal we saw was an elephant in the tall grass.
We had a Jeep so we were able to go on the dirt roads, we generally stayed along the Sabie, I am very glad we did. Naturally animals go to water, so it is very likely you will see everything you want to see.
We went on three drives. First when we arrived at our hotel so around 2pm. One 5:30am – 9:30am and 1pm – 5:45. All amazing.
- Look at previous sightings, there is a facebook and twitter page dedicated to what people see in the park. https://twitter.com/latestkruger Know where the animals are so you have a better shot at seeing them.
- Get a map, know where you are and how you can get back, don’t get stuck in the park.
- Bring suncream and sunglasses, you have no idea about the wind whipping you will get sitting in the back of a car and also the wind in your eyes for three hours is painful. Sun is hot, it’s africa.
- Get up early. I mean really early. Morning time is incredible in Kruger.
- If you see an elephant in the middle of the road. Back up. Elephants can be aggressive, they have killed people before. I am not sure about Rhino or Hippo but again these animals can be aggressive so be careful. Reverse is your friend, do it.
- Look in the trees! You never know what you could spot.
Animals I saw:
- Elephants (Probably around 90 in the total three drives)
- Black Rhino
- White Rhino
- Vervet Monkeys
- Chacma Baboons
- Greater Kudu
- Lilac Breasted Roller
- Yellow Billed Hornbill
- Water Monitor
- African Fish Eagle
- Martial Eagle
- Egyptian Goose
- Bush Baby
Some of my favourite moments:
- Zebra walking past our room. They were just grazing outside the window…amazing.
- Sitting in between a herd of elephants; they were at the river, females and calfs. We just turned off the car, rolled down the windows and watched these beautiful amazing creatures drink, eat and play. Absolutely amazing to watch such an amazing family dynamic.
- A whole herd of elephants coming up behind us at sunset. Absolutely amazing they were walking beside the river and we drove along beside them until they decided to walk on the road behind us. Incredible moment.
- A whole herd of buffaloes crossing the road causing a traffic jam.
- Coming across a huge beautiful black rhino. Just amazing.
- Watching a hippo cross the road. She decided she wanted to go to the other side of the river so right on the bridge, where everyone drives in and out, she just pottered across the road. It was just incredible.
- Lightening storm at dinner, sitting listening to the thunderous air and flashes of lightening.
- Watching bush babies at dinner.
Kruger is my disneyland. It is the happiest place on earth. If you take the 11 hour flight to Johannesburg and you don’t go to Kruger you are a fool. This place is just amazing and I can’t wait to go back.