*We were in Kruger National Park all week and away from the internet, so I'll be posting several posts I wrote this week while we were there.
December 25 - 28
Today is our fourth day in Kruger National Park. We got to South Africa on Christmas morning and drove about 8 hours to get to Kruger and then a few more hours into the park to our first rest camp - Shingwedzi. As of this morning we have officially seen the Big 5! As a matter of fact, we saw all 5 of them in the first 2 hours of our drive this morning – after spending the last 2 days waiting for leopard and rhino. Granted, the leopard and rhino were butts only, but we saw them! I'm hoping we get to see them again in a better light before the week is up.
Now that I’ve been here, I’ve come to a few conclusions about the park. 1) I am now planning to fund our retirement by renting out my husband, Nando “Dundee Irwin,” as a spotter for anyone’s future trips here. Please email me for details. 2) Half an hour really does make a difference in what you can see - especially the half an hour between 4:30 am and 5 am. 3) Telephoto lenses are worth the price you pay for them. 4) Seeing animals in a zoo is no comparison. 5) Elephants are huge.
|Me photographing the lion with the window down|
We were the lone car on S114 between 4:30 am and 5:30 am or so. We saw a hyena sauntering across an open field, a rhino running away from us and were intimidated by an elephant bull who thought we’d gotten a little too close. For a while we weren’t sure if he was going to charge us since he just kept walking at us flapping his ears (their warning). It was a little scary since we knew there were elephants behind us too and we weren’t sure how far we could back up from him. He finally decided we were far enough away and headed off into the bush.
Our animal checklist so far: Elephant, Lion, Leopard, Water Buffalo and Rhino (the Big 5). Mongoose, Hyena, Water Buck, Bush Buck, Impala, Zebra, Giraffe, Baboon, Hippopotamus, Fish Eagle, 2 kinds of Turtles, Crocodiles, Klip Springer, Nyala, Kudu, Vervet Monkeys, Warthog, Wildebeest, Ostrich and Steenbok.