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.
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.
- 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.
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:
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
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.
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.
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.
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 Ostriches, Helmeted guineafowls, springbok during the journey.
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!
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.
Day 4 – The Lion Pride
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.
We left Kruger through Phabeni gate and started our journey back to Johannesburg hoping to Visit Again.