Kruger National Park - Tour day 3 - Drive through Kruger (in tour truck)/second night drive
Kruger National Park Travel Blog› entry 6 of 25 › view all entries
First a quick language lesson, itâs 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 wasnât long before Laura was uttering the phrase âcheck out the Impalaâs bumâ J Not a phrase you hear every day, but of course what she was referring to was the McDonaldâs style M that they have on their butt.
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 weâre 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 itâs 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.
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 âWhoâs a cute little scavenger then?â 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.
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 ânegotiationsâ 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 âDonât I know your uncle ?â. 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 rangerâs 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 a much older demographic on this truck, which actually does matter since having good eyesight matters quite a bit on this spotting tours. There werenât 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