Kruger National Park - Tour day 3 - Drive through Kruger (in tour truck)/second night drive

Kruger National Park Travel Blog

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Campsite with uncle Bennie!

First a quick language lesson, it’s always good to at least make an effort with the local language, and although there are many dialects (Benny knew about 8 South African languages himself) we tried to learn Thank you in the Pede language.  This is pronounce Kea leboga-rra (for men) and Kea leboga-Mmme (for women), phonetically it sounds like Key-ah-leh-bow-ah.  Here endith the lesson J

We were really looking forward to starting the day which would see us driving through Kruger in the big Intrepid truck, giving us the ability to just bounce around looking out whichever windows we wanted J

So we trundled off from camp and it wasn’t long before Laura was uttering the phrase “check out the Impala’s bum” J  Not a phrase you hear every day, but of course what she was referring to was the McDonald’s style M that they have on their butt.

Apparently it's not uncommon for elephants to stick their trunks in each others mouth when they meet!
  Bennie calls them the “McDonald’s of Africa” both because of this, and the fact that they are everywhere so predators treat them as fast food J

We were fortunate to spot a giraffe by the roadside which required some tactical reversing down a side road by Benny.  We all leant out the back left windows to see this incredible creature munching away on a tree.   The only problem with having such an abundance of wildlife is that we can get distracted, and we’re pretty sure that while staring away at the giraffe we just missed a lion in the undergrowth near the truck!  Nick was pretty confident he saw a tail, and sure enough, the giraffe stopped eating and was very cautiously looking at that spot!  We patiently waited but alas the standoff was going to continue for a while.  Bennie emphasised that you are best to learn from the animals, chances are if they are reacting or looking somewhere then you probably want to as well J

Later in the day we began to see more elephants, and interestingly saw to elephants with their faces right up against each other!  Apparently it’s not uncommon for them to put their trunks in each others mouths when they meet!  We were introduced to Alexander, the long-tusked elephant, who from memory had the longest tusks in Kruger!  

Our best elephant experience of the day was definitely when an elephant walked from the roadside across behind the truck.

Zazu! Those lion king oflk have done it again! We had about 10 of them waiting for our scraps
  The driver sat us their idle to  just let the elephant calmly go past, but it’s trunk was almost in the back of the vehicle near Pete and Maddie’s shoulders J

After driving past a lush green area where herds  of zebras had gathered, the sun began to go down, and our last wildlife experience in the Intrepid truck was to see these cute little hyena cubs huddled together by the roadside “Who’s a cute little scavenger then?” J

Animal-watching with the Intrepid truck had been great, and Bennie had been very patient with us, but unfortunately all our animal requests had left us in danger of not making it to the campsite in time for the sunset drive so Benny put the pedal to the metal.

Elephant on Laura's camera

As we sped along the dusty road, the hard arm of the law flagged us down.  Now we mentioned earlier that Bennie can speak an incredible array of languages and this is when it comes in handy.  The ticket was going to be 1500 Rand, but Bennie is familiar with what he refers to as “negotiations’ and managed to haggle it down to 500 Rand (for 75 in a 50 zone).   The conversation started with Bennie figuring out what dialect the cop spoke, and then changing to that dialect with a nice corny phrase along the lines of ‘Don’t I know your uncle ?”.  We all agreed as a group that since we had put Bennie in an awkward situation where he was speeding to get to the sunset drive, we would chip in and pay his speeding ticket, another sign the group was getting along well J

Fortunately it was all worthwhile with us arriving at the ranger’s office where you pay for the sunset drive just in time, and immediately transferring to the sunset truck which was already loaded up with other tourists and ready to go.

It was so good how we could open up the roof of the tour truck and drive through Kruger!

It was a much older demographic on this truck, which actually does matter since having good eyesight matters quite a bit on this spotting tours.  There weren’t quite as many animals spotted, early on there was a close encounter with an owl, but the highlight was an elephant right next to the truck.  He then proceeded to cross the road in front of us right as the sun was setting creating a quite spectacular scene J

We were dropped at camp where we were pleasantly surprised to see Bennie had camp all set up for our return.   The evenings meal was chicken potjie, eaten African style with our hands J

 

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Campsite with uncle Bennie!
Campsite with uncle Bennie!
Apparently its not uncommon for e…
Apparently it's not uncommon for …
Zazu! Those lion king oflk have do…
Zazu! Those lion king oflk have d…
Elephant on Lauras camera
Elephant on Laura's camera
It was so good how we could open u…
It was so good how we could open …
To give you an idea of how our tru…
To give you an idea of how our tr…
Laura, Maddie and Nick look for th…
Laura, Maddie and Nick look for t…
Our first load of washing
Our first load of washing
Same elephant on my camera, I thin…
Same elephant on my camera, I thi…
Laura stares down the elephant
Laura stares down the elephant
Bird and antelope combo
Bird and antelope combo
Its very cool how zebras stand li…
It's very cool how zebras stand l…
Our lunch spot, Laura finds a tabl…
Our lunch spot, Laura finds a tab…
The truck for the night drive
The truck for the night drive
We love our elephants
We love our elephants
To give you an idea of how close t…
To give you an idea of how close …
This is Alexander, a genetically s…
This is Alexander, a genetically …
Windmills bring water up to these …
Windmills bring water up to these…
Some hyena cubs by the roadside
Some hyena cubs by the roadside
Aint they cute!
Ain't they cute!
Elephant munching away
Elephant munching away
Elephant crossing the road
Elephant crossing the road
I love this elephant in front of t…
I love this elephant in front of …
Kruger National Park
photo by: tersia