A wild time at Kruger National Park

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Kruger National Park is regarded by many as the best park to see African mega fauna and after ten unforgettable days in this vast wilderness, I feel compelled to strongly agree. We entered the park in the north at Pafuri River Camp where tourists were conspicuously absent and large grazing animals were everywhere.

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The very endangered white rhino with calf.

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Giant baobob tree at Pafuri river camp.

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Purchasing mealie (corn on the cob) at a gas station.

As we drove south through this epic park, tourist sightings began to out number animal sightings. The wildlife parks get busy with locals who are interested in the abundant wildlife at Kruger. It’s holiday time for South Africans so most people we talk to are locals from places like Pretoria, Joburg or Cape Town.

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Cheeky Baboon
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African elephant with young.
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The gorgeous lilac breasted roller.
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Red hartebeest
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This male lion was giving us an intimidating glare.
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Cy’s favorite animal, the warthog

A typical day at Kruger starts at dawn, 4:30 am, which is when the gate out of camp opens and this is the best time to be out because it’s cooler and animals are active. We are confined to our vehicle except at picnic sites and a few other select places we are allowed to alight out of our vehicle at our own risk. Ryne is a bit cheeky when it comes to following these rules because he can’t contain his desire to inspect nature more closely. I am a bit concerned he will get eaten by a lion. He was stalked by a leopard while looking for a bird already!

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Cooling off in a luxurious campground pool!
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Spotted hyena nursing young in the middle of the road
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Got a kick out of the dung beetles rolling around poo balls!
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Cute fuzz head in the morning
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Red collared widow bird
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Camp picnic robber, vervet monkey
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Baby impala enjoying a grooming from a red billed oxpecker
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Trumpeter hornbill
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Woodland kingfisher
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Look close. There is a leopard snoozing in this tree.
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Yellow-billed Oxpeckers
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Southern red-billed hornbill
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The savanna woodlands were beautiful with lily blooms!

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Fruit is plentiful and delicious

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Many species are everywhere. It can be hard to go 10 minutes without seeing an impala. Kudu, zebras, giraffe and elephant are found multiple times per day.  Temperatures start soaring into the 90’s by 11am so this is when we eat and rest in a shady spot or by the pool.

Curfew is at 6:30. If we are not back at the campground by this time, then we have to pay a fee to get in. Last night we were 4 minutes late and the gate was closed. Thankfully, the guard let us in and waived the fee. “Campgrounds” are designed for high occupancy and are more like plush resorts with 100’s of cute round huts, shops, restaurants and a swimming pool with a small area designated for tents and camper vans.

We are now in the mountains enjoying cool crisp air and hiking.  And using our legs again is wonderful! We were pretty sedentary the last 10 days due to the danger of leaving our vehicle. It was a rush and humbling being in the bush with animals that could eat us.

Merry Christmas everyone!

 

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Punda Maria Gate into northern Kruger National Park.

One thought on “A wild time at Kruger National Park”

  1. Cry was right He’s seeing all the animals from his waterhole set. Be careful and follow the rules! Sometimes there’s a reason for them.

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