I recently spent two weeks with my wife in and around the Kruger Park in South Africa. The main reason that we go there is photography although my wife likes it because we are so “disconnected” from my real job. Mobile phone coverage is available but when the choice is talking on the phone or photographing wild dogs …................. phone loses every time!
The Kruger is obviously well known, the Sabi Sabi is an area adjacent to the main Kruger Park. The beauty of this whole area is that the fences between the various conservancies on the area were brought down many years ago. This meant that the Kruger as greatly expanded, the animals had greater freedom to roam and the whole experience for tourists was greatly enhanced.
Travelling in the South African bush does not mean roughing it unless that's your style. There are camps (tented and buildings) that cater for every accommodation level. On this trip we stayed at Jock (the original concession in the Kruger), Nottens, Shumbalala and Kapama Buffalo Lodge.
We typically stay no more than three nights at any lodge. We find that we start to feel a little stale at the lodge if we stay any longer.
It is hard to pick highlights from any trip to South Africa or
Namibia. On this trip we saw a young male leopard chased up a tree by a herd of buffalo. They then tried to knock the tree down or hit it hard enough to shake him from it.
Then we witnessed a juvenile male hyena greet a senior male fromthe pack. The young male was sun baking on some rocks on the side of the road as we passed in our vehicle. We stopped and photographed him for a while, watching him enjoy the late morning sun. About 10 minutes went by when he started to become a little restless and it was then that the senior male emerged from the bush to be greeted by the more junior male.
Or the other time at sundowners (the evening cold drink out in the veldt watching the sun go down over the bush) when a small group of rhino emerged from the bush about 150m away.
These curious animals simply stood there trying to work out what we were doing. They wandered a few metres in our direction before stopping and staring at us for a while. After about ten minutes they wandered off, bored with just standing there watching us watch them.
Each of the lodges is different in terms of accommodation style, the game drives and sightings, the food experience and the overall feeling of the lodges. It is hard to get bored with a two week stay in and around the Kruger. We have spent as long as four weeks on game drives in different lodges and enjoyed each and every one.
For a voyeuristic “fix” of Africa and the wildlife, I often use the South African National Parks (SANParks) web-cam feed. It is available at ; http://www.sanparks.org/webcams/
Our trip was organised by a very efficient and organised lady at Go2Africa (http://www.go2africa.com/). She was highly attentive to our needs and what we wanted from this trip and I would recommend them for travels to South Africa.
Put a trip to South Africa on your bucket list, then move it to the top. That's where it belongs!