It’s All About the Animals, Baby or “THE BIG FIVE”

A little geographic information.

Where in the world is Waldo? (Ok, Cindy, Gary, Terry and Geoff)

To be a bit more specific, within the blue square above.

The red square is where we stayed for the first few nights (Hazyview) and the red oval where we spent the day driving around looking for the animals.

With the sightseeing part of our tour over, we embarked upon our first African Safari. It was amazing, truly amazing. We saw over 32 different species of animals and birds in our 5 or so hour game drive. Luckily for you I didn’t get photographs of all of them.

Before I get to those shots though, here are three from the first day we arrived at Kruger Park Lodge.  As we were driving into the lodge, Shaun pointed out the hippos in the pond alongside the 2nd hole of the golf course. They were very cool.

Not sure if they were friends playing or not so much friends and arguing. Still, very cute.

And now, finally, we hit Kruger National Park. Our goal was to see as many of the Big Five – lion, leopard, rhinoceros, elephant, and Cape buffalo as possible – and we had already seen the rhino so we were off to a great start.

Within 10 minutes of entering the gate we say our first kudu.

Cute, aren’t I?

Beautiful spiral horns

and then it was the Cape Buffalo – wow! (#2 on the Big Five list!)


And so our day continued. We spent about 4 hours driving around looking and looking, dashing from place to place when someone let Shaun know of a siting of some animal or other.

Here’s some of what we saw.

Three down and only two to go! A very pregnant elephant. (#3 on the big five list!)

Elephant

This fellow started walking toward the car and Shaun started talking him down and he backed off – it was very interesting.

Intimidating

Giraffe 1

Giraffe 2

Giraffe with birds. The birds are very important as they eat the ticks that are on the giraffes.

What majestic animals and incredibly graceful

This little hyena was just lying by the road seemingly without a care in the world.

Hyena

Warthogs are the funniest little animals. When they start to run – which they do very easily, their tails go straight up to say “Follow me”

Warthog

On the drive from Johannesburg to Hazyview, Shaun was telling us how he loves crocodiles and Terry was telling us how she hates crocodiles. Shaun said that by the end of the trip she would love crocodiles.

Our first croc – lying in wait or just resting? We didn’t get close enough to find out.

There didn’t seem to be an awful lot of storks around – perhaps because of the croc.

Wooly-necked stork

On the other hand, we saw literally thousands of impala, which are considered the food for almost every predator above it on the food chain. They are very skittish and yet will also just stand there looking at you from 20 or so yards away. What is interesting is that when one of the takes off, they all take off in a leaping flight.

Impala – the basic food group

I’m not sure exactly what kind of vulture this is – maybe the great white?

Vulture

A pregnant zebra who was moving very slowly

They also look good in black and white.

Zebras in black and white

Steenbok will stand watching from a perch until leaping away. I think they are steenbok – they could just as well be springbok – who can tell with the South African accent.

Steenbok

Just a little minkey as Inspector Clouseau said.

Rhinoceros

Mother and baby

Springbok

Wildebeest

Springbok and wildebeest – why can’t people get along so well?

And finally for today

One short anecdote. For the first two nights we stayed at the beautiful Kruger Park Lodge at Shaun’s family’s summer home. We were scheduled to stay at a lodge in the park for the third night. Before we had arrived at the lodge Shaun had asked us to give him feedback for future safaris on whether or not we would have preferred the one hour drive back to Kruger Park Lodge or to stay at the in park lodge. We checked in, unpacked and then he came around to ask if we needed anything. We told him that in terms of feedback, we would choose the K.P.L. We were packed up and out of there in ten minutes. Then he told us that when he talked to his wife the night before, he had told her that we would be coming back the next night to the Lodge. He was getting to know us very well.

And that brings us to dinner at the Pioneer Grill – a fantastic meal. We enjoyed crocodile, springbok carpaccio, ostrich, the best beef steak Gary has ever had, kudo and a fantastic wine.

6 thoughts on “It’s All About the Animals, Baby or “THE BIG FIVE”

  1. Ingrid

    Hi all. Wow, what an amazing experience you are having. Excellent pictures Geoff, and so nice to see the big five! Did you see a leopard?? Everyone looks so happy and relaxed, could be the wine!🤪. Enjoy the rest of your time and safe travels.

    Reply
  2. Janice Therrien

    Living the dream you two!! Wonderful photos and as usual a great account of your travels so far!! 😘

    Reply
  3. Lois

    Fabulous. What a great experience and to have good friends with you…A+ Don’t pet the lions; they look cute but have BIG teeth and BIG claws and can get crabby. Enjoy

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s