A little geographic information.
To be a bit more specific, within the blue square above.
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.
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.
and then it was the Cape Buffalo – wow! (#2 on the Big Five list!)
Here’s some of what we saw.
Three down and only two to go! A very pregnant elephant. (#3 on the big five list!)
This fellow started walking toward the car and Shaun started talking him down and he backed off – it was very interesting.
This little hyena was just lying by the road seemingly without a care in the world.
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”
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.
There didn’t seem to be an awful lot of storks around – perhaps because of the croc.
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.
I’m not sure exactly what kind of vulture this is – maybe the great 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.
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.