Kruger National Park – An Alternate Travel Story

Kruger National Park – An Alternate Travel Story

This time it is Africa!!! Recollecting memories from our old golden days in South Africa. Let’s take a walk down the memory lane and make my memories of Kruger National Park alive again. This was one of our favourite destinations in South Africa. 

I still remember every details of my first visit to the park. It was a 3N/4D trip during Easter holidays in 2012. 

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On the way to Kruger

In the early morning of April, we drove almost 4.5 hours to reach Kruger National park, the world’s greatest wildlife-watching destination.

The Kruger National Park is South Africa’s most exciting safari destination where nearly 2 million hectares of unrivalled diversity of life fuses with historical and archaeological sights. This world-renowned National Park offers a wildlife experience that certainly ranks within the best in Africa. 

Important tips:

  • It’s recommended to carry torch or headlight
  • Though chances of malaria is very low but carrying mosquito repellent is always a good idea.
  •  In the dry season the grass is short making it easier to spot wildlife as the water holes for the animals will be fewer, your chances of watching them at waterholes in any given area is higher.
  • Early morning and evening are the best time for Game drive. Although animal sighting is not guaranteed. Just enjoy the beauty of the surrounding. If you spot something it’s always a bonus.
  • Keep a safe distance when you encounter a wild animal and keep your windows rolled up for safety.
  • Kruger National Park Facts/FAQs are listed here.

Day 1- First meeting with big African animals

We entered the park through Numbi Gate, the south western entrance to the Kruger National Park. It is one of the most popular entrances because of its place in amongst granite Inselberg, and the predominance of acacia trees, tamboti trees and sycamore figs. 

A wild buffalo welcomed us just after entering the park. It is among the big five who belongs to all visitor’s bucket list. 

african-wild-buffalo
African Wild Buffalo

We took mainly H1 and H4 routes which are famous for wildlife sightings. You have to drive really slow to scan every possible place for new spotting. 

Along the way there was Transport Dam famous for ‘Battle at Kruger‘. 

The drive goes through Skukuza which provides some of the best drives in Kruger Park and  Sunset Dam which is always alive with birdlife, hippos, crocodiles and more. 

A glimpse of our 1st day sightings below:

addicted-elephant-kruger
Busy to get Marula

Kruger National Park is heaven for bird watchers, though you need to be patient to get the reward. We spotted few- frog tailed drongo, southern Yellow billed Hornbill, black smith lapwing, martial eagle, southern Ground Hornbill, Cape Glossy Starling are remarkable among them.

Sky was orange, Sun was sinking behind the slopping trees, making place for moon. Darkness was slowly swallowing all around. I wanted to enjoy the moment in savanna, but we had to leave as our accommodation was booked just out side the park for that night. I was disappointed but it made my day when a herd of buffaloes appeared from nowhere and crossed the road in front of us near crocodile bridge. It was like a consolation prize for me.

No luck with the famous Kruger Lion on Day 1.

Day 2 – Mating Lion

Early morning, jumped into the car to get the morning vibe of Savanna. The effort did not disappoint us though. A lion family with kids were enjoying the morning sun on a dry crocodile river bed. 
Our destination was Pretoriuskop camp via H4-1 , Lower Sabie. Few sightings on the way.

 In the afternoon the jungle looked mystic in the soft light of fallen sun. Nature had created a perfect atmosphere of love with her beauty, color and soft light. Love was in the air. A royal couple made perfect use of that. Though they were least bothered about our presence, my heart was saying me to leave the place to give them privacy.  

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Royal Love Making near Nyamundwa

 

Our journey for the day ended in Pretoriuskop Camp which is the oldest in Kruger National Park . The surroundings was like an well-organized small village with beautiful small cottages.

All camps, inside the Kruger are really beautiful- far from the crowd in the middle of the jungle. Though every camp is surrounded by electric fence it is quite normal to spot big animals just outside the camps. All camps are fully equipped with all basic facilities for guests. From petrol pump to retail shop, restaurant, you can find almost everything inside the camps.

full-moon
Mystic Full Moon

 

We were tired enough but wanted to explore the camp as it was our first night inside Kruger. We took a small stroll around the camp. The night was awesome with full Moon. 

The surroundings looked dreamy in moonlit night. the dark woods, gentle breeze, thatched cottages, gravelled trails, scream of anonymous night birds transformed it to unearthly.

Day 3 – Suspicious Mom

Morning 6 o clock!!! She was waiting to greet us just outside the camp gate. She posed, looked at us and then  disappeared into the grassland. 

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She was so close that we even felt her breath – near Pretoriuskop Camp

 This time destination was Satara camp via Skukuza. In Skukuja camp we saw cute vervet monkeys jumping around the place. Other notable sightings were Warthog, A flock of OstrichesHelmeted guineafowlsspringbok during the journey.

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Skukuja Camp – Kruger National Park

We found famous Baobab tree near Kumana dam. The thick trunk of the Baobab is a massive water storage tank and sometimes animals shelter inside them!

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Baobab Tree

 

Our day ended in Satara camp. It has a rustic charm, with the bulk of the accommodation set out in a series of circles. The area is well wooded. At night the chirping of cicadas and crickets , the clink of fruit bats, the hooting of owls and nightjars fused with the whoop of hyena, the screech of jackal and the roars of lion to create a thrilling atmosphere.

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Satara Camp – Kruger National Park

 

Day 4 – The Lion Pride

The morning started with a beautiful show.
early-morning-satara
Good Morning from Satara!!

It was our last but the luckiest day in Kruger.  In the morning when we started our journey from Satara camp we noticed  almost all the cars were going to same direction. Expecting some ‘lucky sighting’ we followed them and took a gravel road. Within few minutes we realized that we did the right thing. There was a pride of 26 lions just beside the  road near Nsasane. After Finishing their grand feast on a buffalo one by one they crossed the road like real kings ignoring the presence of cars and disappeared into the grassland holding us spellbound.

After that breathtaking show we went to Gudzani dam, another great spot for wildlife sightings.  We saw steenbok, a small, graceful antelope normally lives alone near the dam. You can find them in pairs during breeding season.

We roamed around Satara camp, Sweni and kumana dam area.

Wildebeest , Impalas, Kudus, Leopard along with few  birds like hooded vultures, Kori Bustards, Saddle billed stork, Cattle egret were posing for the visitors throughout the day.

Finally it was time to bid goodbye to Kruger . The Kruger national Park fascinated us with her charming beauty, mystic nature and wildness. It was far from hustle & bustle of the city life for 4 Days. 

phabeni-gate
Phabeni Gate

We left Kruger through Phabeni gate and started our journey back to Johannesburg hoping to Visit Again.

Moon Ray

A Traveller with soul of Nomad

This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. Really like the way of your presentation… beautifully done 👌

  2. Lekha ta khub valo hoyeche..Tumi khub valo describe korecho…je keu porle tar mone hobe se sei moments ta feel korche tomari Sathe.

  3. Chrorom

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