Kruger National Park

Komatipoort Travel Blog

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Impala are a walking snackbar for the big cats in the park.

Today we make an early start. At 5.30 am we're heading for Kruger National Park in big open jeeps that can be closed with the same fabric that tents are made of. It's a half an hour drive to the entrance of the park. In the little shop at the entrance we can't resist the smell of Billtong (beef jerky) in many different flavours. Today's favourite: Kudu.

As soon as we enter the park we're out in the wild. Silence all around, no sound but the monotonous humming of our jeep. Although we're here in the "wet" season and the vegetation is thick, there are many animals to be seen, there are zebras, wildebeest and wild boar, one animal however outnumbers all the rest: the impala, a small deer that's pretty much at the bottom of the carnivorous foodchain.

A bull after his morning mudbath.
For now they have nothing to fear, so far no big cats in sight.

Around nine, after more than three hours of spotting (and taking pictures of) animals, we get out of our vehicle to have our breakfast. We can only do this at a purpose built picnic spot where the predators don't like to come. Here stands a tree with literally hundreds of hanging birds nests, built by bright yellow weavers.

A little later we run into a large male elephant (bull) that just had a mud bath. The longer we remain silent, the closer the bull gets. Pretty exciting for "not rangers" like us. As we drive on there's a group of elephants standing on the road and it takes at least 15 minutes before our ranger risks driving past them.

As it gets later, it also gets hotter and there's less and less game about. When sitting in a warm rocking jeep for a long time it's very hard not to get drowsy, BUT when all of a sudden we spot a gloriously proud male kudu staring right at us, we all are right awake again.

When the sun starts moving towards the horizon, our first safari comes slowly to an end, but there are more safari days to come and we are looking forward to them.

All that's left is a very good meal in our lodge and a mini safari in our rondavel, where I need to chase a ferocious cockroach off my bed before going to sleep.

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Impala are a walking snackbar for …
Impala are a walking snackbar for…
A bull after his morning mudbath.
A bull after his morning mudbath.
A Kudu buck keeping an eye on us.
A Kudu buck keeping an eye on us.
Komatipoort
photo by: TrudyNRonnie