Kruger National Park

Malelane Travel Blog

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at Kruger park

This game park is probably the most accessible in the world.  It's basically a gigantic outdoor zoo with roads.  I got up early and waited by the Southern entrance until 5, when they opened the park.  I wanted to see the big cats and they are best spotted in the early hours.  Within only about 10 minutes, I turned a corner and right before my disbelieving eyes was a pride of three older male lions walking down the center of the road.  I slowed down to follow them.   Eventually, they sauntered over to one side allowing me to pass, but then decided to lay down by the roadside, and I also stopped the car to observe them.  My heart was beating fast as I rolled the window down a few inches to hear their deep throaty growls.

elephant
  It was so amazing to realize the only thing between wild lions and myself was three feet and three millimeters of glass.  Never before had I wished so badly that I had brought my digital camera! 

Although that encounter was the highlight of the day, I also saw many herds of gazelle, dik dik, elephants, girraffe, buffalo, and even a leopard in a tree.  Once, I stopped the car when I saw a bright green chameleon walk across the road in that herky-jerky way they move.   I got out of the car to hold it and promptly got chewed out by a park ranger passing by with a van full of tourists.  Getting out of the car in the park is strictly forbidden!  Most of the roads in the park were gravel but they were well maintained and I could drive fast on them - a little too fast actually.  I rounded a bend and almost slammed into a herd of gazelle crossing the road.  I swerved and missed them, but did slightly clip a younger one as I passed.  I felt so bad - it was limping along to keep up with the others and in the wild that could be a death sentence. 

By noon, I had to leave the park, albeit reluctantly, because I had a plane to catch that evening in J'Burg.  The drive back was anything but pleasant.  I underestimated both the amount of slower traffic and the winding mountainous nature of the drive between the West gate of the park and J'Burg and I had to drive very aggresssively and well over a safe (and legal) speed on technically difficult roads to make my flight.  I was totally frazzled when I pulled into the airport just at final check-in.  I barely made the plane!

bubu932 says:
sound really fun :)
Posted on: Jul 22, 2012
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at Kruger park
at Kruger park
elephant
elephant
Malelane
photo by: bluemarbletreader