Kruger National Park Safari

Day 11

The alarm went off at 4:40am, Lisa and I had 40 minutes before our safari guide Elvis showed up. We quickly got ready, recharged the batteries for the two cameras and were pretty much ready when Elvis showed up with the safari truck at 5:20. We hopped in the truck and headed for the gates; the gates didn’t open till 5:30 so we had to sit and wait a few minutes.

5:30 the gates opened, we were the 2nd out the gates. We headed in the same direction we had taken the previous day. Not too far outside the gates we saw our first animal of the day, a wide lipped rhino, not to be confused with the white rhino. Next we came up to several zebras that were crossing over the road, Elvis pointed out that one of them had a big scar on his back thigh and said it must have been from a lion. Further on up the road we came upon a single elephant that was munching on some branches quite close to the road. This was the closest yet that we had been to an elephant, I managed to take a few nice close-up shots before taking off.

Morning Safari Drive in Kruger National Park

Morning Safari Drive in Kruger National Park

It was quite a while before we saw any more animals but we eventually came upon 3 or 4 giraffes feeding off the trees. The sun was just right and I managed to snap a few great shots off with the camera – I think they will end up being my best shots.

As we continued to drive it was getting closer to breakfast; we managed to see a few more rhinos, some wildebeest and some hyenas before breakfast. The hyenas were pretty cute, there were three or four hyenas surrounding 4 or 5 wart hogs, but our guide Elvis said they wouldn’t try attacking because the wart hogs are just too fast. But I think the hyenas were just showing their two young cubs how to go about attacking their prey.

The two young hyenas were short and fluffy and Lisa instantly fell in love with them.

We arrived at the second camp which is one of many and took a break. Elvis told us to meet him back at the safari truck in 45 minutes. Lisa and I had a voucher for breakfast, so we headed into the dining building. Luckily there were very few people in the dining area so Lisa and I were able to quickly get our food. I had an omelette, bacon, sausage and the breakfast works. Lisa had some fruit and cereal, but Lisa eventually gave into the smell of my omelette and had to have a few bites. The breakfast was excellent.

Elephant on Safari Drive in Kruger National Park

Elephant on Safari Drive in Kruger National Park

After breakfast we headed outside and sat with the rest of the crowd who had been sitting on the benches and watching the monkeys. There was a couple feeding the monkeys even thought there were big signs that said ‘Please don’t feed the Monkeys.”

I guess it was alright for us because we ended up seeing the monkeys real close; they are quite funny to watch. By the time we finished watching the monkeys we had only a few minutes left before we had to meet our safari guide Elvis back at the safari truck. Elvis had mentioned that we should buy a Kruger Park map from the store, so Lisa and I headed into the gift shop and purchased a few post cards and the Krueger map.

We met Elvis back in the parking lot beside the safari truck and got back in to continue on our way. Not far outside the camp entrance we came across a fish eagle (check name),

Giraffe on Safari Drive in Kruger National Park

Giraffe on Safari Drive in Kruger National Park

Elvis stopped the truck and I shot off a few quick pictures. The bird wasn’t doing much so we didn’t stick around for long. Further along the way we saw a bunch of cars parked on the side of the road, we stopped but couldn’t see what everyone was looking at.

Eventually a car came along side and pointed out the lions sleeping in the shade on the other side of the river; they were quite a distance away and they didn’t look like they were in a rush to go anywhere, so we didn’t stick around for very long.

Between breakfast and lunch we managed to see some more elephants, giraffes and hyenas, oh and we did see a strange looking bird as well. It was actually quite large and I managed to take some close up shots of it as well. We also made another 45 minute break at another camp where Lisa and I took some photos of the nearby hippos, had some ice cream and did some more shopping in the gift shop.

After leaving the camp, Elvis took us to a watering hole where there were a dozen or so hippos in the water. There was only one that was out of the water; so I took a few shots with the camera. He was quite far and I didn’t have a very large zoom lens, so I wasn’t able to get close up. We watched the hippos for a while and then Elvis drove around to the other side of the watering hole where we got to see part of a croc sticking out of the water.

Hyena on Safari Drive in Kruger National Park

Hyena on Safari Drive in Kruger National Park

We didn’t stay around very long as there was very little movement from the animals in the afternoon sun.

For lunch we came back to the camp where we had got breakfast. Lisa was starting to feel hungry by this time so she got herself a sandwich and a bottle of Coca Cola. We sat outside under one of the little huts which had 20 or 30 bats hanging from its roof. We sat on the edge of the hut so that we wouldn’t be under the bats. Lisa took a few pictures of me sitting and the bats in the background.

After lunch we started our drive back to our camp which was located quite a distance away on the other side of the park. We kept on hearing on the CB radio from the other safari guides that there wasn’t much action today – and they were right.

Fruit Bats in Kruger National Park

Fruit Bats Hanging From The Top

Other then the impalas and kudus we didn’t see many animals on our way back to camp, but we did stop and took some photos of wart hogs and lions. These were the same lions we managed to see the night before, but this time they were lay a little closer to the road, we also saw and photographed some zebras and elephants. There had been some reports of a leopard that day but we never did see anything.

On the last stretch back to camp Elvis took a different gravel road back and the scenery was pretty amazing, I took some photos but they don’t even come close to giving you any idea of what it’s like to actually be there. It truly is a unique and unbelievable experience to see miles upon miles of land with animals roaming far off in the distance.

Supper in Kruger National Park

Supper in Kruger National Park

We got back to camp a little after 2:30 and decided to check out the pool located in the camp. We got changed into our swimming gear and walked down to the pool.

We swam in the pool for an hour or so and started to get tired so we went back to our little hut and took a nap until 5:30.

At 5:30 we got up and quickly got ready for supper which was at 6pm. Lisa and I quickly stopped by the gift shop before supper and picked my parents up a gift then headed for supper.

Supper was pretty much the same as the night before. I loaded my plate but Lisa just grabbed a few things. I ordered a bottle of wine for supper, and then Lisa and I sat outside and enjoyed the scenery discussing our week in Egypt.

After supper Lisa started to feel a little ill, she thought it might be heatstroke so she headed back to our sleeping hut while I waited for the bill.

Back at our hut it was a little after 7pm, Lisa took a shower and I reviewed the day’s pictures. Lisa was quite tired and went to bed around 8:30 while I worked on our travel journal.

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