Kruger National Park on the East of South Africa is a prime big 5 spotting safari destination teeming with deadly animals, brilliant! The park has been set up for you to drive your car past and just pop in for some wildlife viewing fun. So thats just what we did. We hired a car, booked two nights of camping accommodation in Lower Sabie camp and on Tuesday morning at 5am we were outside the entrance gates - think Jurassic park, high wire electric fences, giant gates complete with burning torches. Our camera's at the ready, the car windows wound down and the words 'yummy' have been written on our foreheads in a vain attempt to attract the animals over, (joking, about yummy. It was 'tasty').
Once in Kruger, you are free to roam around trying to pap (think paparazzi) the animals, taking photographs is all really just pot luck, you can stake out the watering holes for more luck on spotting animals but its good to just drive, a lot. Some of the roads have tarmac and most are gravel, the animal tracks often cross the roads and this is where you can get a chance to closely, sometimes really closely, watch the animals in their natural habitat.
Its interesting as the animals can't distinguish the humans, they just see cars, which they have become adjusted to and now perceive as sort of slow moving, placid, not prone to sharp movement animals so most of the wildlife couldn't care less about the cars prowling along. Its great because you can pull up so close to the animals. We got so close to a lion I could have reached out and given it a stroke, although when it checks out your arm it would get a surprise and jump back.
The photos we took tell most of the stories about what we saw, I've added stories to some of them. One evening we came across six giraffes eating together. Three of them starting dropping their heads and nuzzling each others hind legs. Two of them went off to the bushes, right next to our car and you didn't have to be a genius to work out there was going to be a possible baby giraffe making exercise here. 'She' got ready and buried her head in a tree eating some leaves, while 'he' also got ready. The scene was all set and we had a front row seat on this intimate giraffe moment, until that is the tour group parked behind us must have said something funny as they all howled with laughter. The poor old male giraffe didn't like the interruption and lost his mojo.
After three days and 750km we left the park, promising to come back again.
Love Dan & Kat