18 Jan Best Game Viewing in the Kruger National Park
You will need to develop a meticulous tour plan to really savor the best that Kruger has to offer. The park extends along the boundaries of Zimbabwe and South Africa. It is home to thousands of species of birds and large mammals. Notable among the larger mammals are lions and elephants which roam the wild with undisturbed demeanor.
Kruger park open vehicle safaris
Incomparable Open Game Vehicle Safari Experience in Kruger Park
On Safari With Gert
3 March 2018 – After starting a new Safari yesterday afternoon, we left our camp this morning after an early breakfast.
Early on we found a very alert looking herd of Impala. We stopped to see what they were looking at, as some of them had also started alarm calling.. After searching for a while, we managed a quick glimpse of a Leopard moving in a nearby thicket, but that was about all we saw of it, as we couldn’t locate it again; neither did we see it coming out anywhere..!
Later on in the morning, we were lucky enough to get a good view of a family of White Rhino, grazing in a clearing not too far from the road..
Another highlight of the morning was undoubtedly our first Giraffe sighting – a very large male giving us great views as it was browsing right next to our vehicle!
The highlight of the day came in the evening, shortly before closing time, when we encountered a pack of 5 African Wild Dog in the road in front of us! They seemed very alert and possibly on the hunt and we could follow them along the road for some time, before we had to move on..
Very lucky indeed and a great way to end the day!
4 March 2018 – The morning started of well, with an Elephant breeding herd with some youngsters in their midst, feeding close to the vehicle. However, they were quite well hidden in very tall grass and thick vegetation and it was remarkable to see how well they can hide for such big animals!
We stopped at a large Waterhole where we got a large Crocodile, 4 Hippo and 2 very large old male Buffalo, all fairly close together, with the Buffalo enjoying the early morning sun right on the edge of the water.
We also found a small family group of Giraffe feeding close to the road which was a beautiful sighting and a first for some of our guests!
Later in the day we found 5 very large Kudu Bulls, very graceful and majestic with their impressive spiraled horns and showing off nicely as they were very relaxed and browsing close by, offering some great picture opportunities!
All in all a good day for the herbivores.
5 March 2018 – We started our drive in cool, drizzly conditions, which didn’t last very long, as it quickly warmed up when the sun came out.
We were just in time at one of the Spotted Hyena den sites, to see 3 of them leave the den, cross the road and moved into the shady cover of a nearby thicket.
After stopping for a quick break at one of the camps, we finally found our first Lions for the Safari – on day 4! – 3 young males lying about 4 meters of the road! 2 of them were fast asleep with the third looking around wondering what all the commotion is about, as they attracted a fair amount of attention, choosing one of the busiest roads in the park to lie next to! We got a few good shots before moving on to drive along the river. We found a very large Buffalo herd in the riverbed, probably a few hundred of them with many young calves in their midst.
A little further on, with still more Buffalo moving along the opposite bank into the riverbed, we found a lone Lioness lying on the grassy riverbank, staring at the passing Buffalo. At this stage we were quite lucky – with the sun behind some clouds it was just cool enough for her to venture out of her cover and give us a great sighting with no other vehicles around. As soon as the sun re-emerged she got up and moved back into cover, but not before we got some good shots of her on the move!
With the mercury rising to 39 Celsius it was a hot, but very successful day on Safari!
8 March 2018 – We started a new Safari this afternoon and after checking in at our camp, we headed out on a late afternoon drive. We started off quite well, as not long into our drive, we found a Leopard sleeping in a tree, fairly distant, but still a great start. The Leopard appeared to be fairly well fed as it certainly looked quite full and was very lazy. It eventually woke up and started looking around a bit, but seemed in no hurry to go anywhere.
Shortly before getting back to camp we encountered two separate groups of African Wild Dog, only about 3 km apart, possibly the same pack. Both groups looked like they were getting ready to set off on a hunt as an early dusk was closing in thanks to very thick cloud cover.
9 March 2018 – Out of many good sightings for today the highlight has to be a small Elephant herd of females and their young, one very young calf of perhaps a month old was following mom very closely and she was also very protective of it, constantly trying to shelter the youngster from our view – a very special sighting indeed.
10 March 2018 – We set out early this morning and first up, we got a large breeding herd of Elephant with 2 very small babies. They were quite active, with especially the young males being very playful.
A little further on we got a quick glimpse of a Cheetah, but only when it sat up. As soon as it’s head was down we couldn’t see it at all and eventually gave up..
After breakfast we continued and eventually found our first Lions for the Safari – a few females and young males, 6 in total. It was a difficult view at first, as they ware all sprawled out on the ground in a shady spot in the grass and we could only really see them if they moved. However, it got a lot better very shortly after the sun managed to break through the clouds as they decided to get up one by one and move over to a rainwater pool for a drink before heading back into the cover – offering us some great views and picture opportunities!
11 March 2018 – Our morning started off well with a large female Spotted Hyena on the move along the road, in a bit of a hurry. We followed her for some distance as she trotted along until she veered off the road, probably on her way back to a den as she was lactating.
It turned out to be a good morning for Hyena as we got a few more of them outside of another den.
We also encountered a large and very relaxed bull Elephant moving along the road, stopping off now and then to feed before moving on.
The highlight of the morning was when we spotted a Cheetah on top of a large termite mound, sitting up and scanning the plains for a potential target. It eventually got down from the mound and started walking parallel to the road, stopping to scent mark a few trees along the way and providing some great views, a great sighting and very lucky indeed!
Late afternoon we found a magnificent Martial Eagle which had just caught a Rock Monitor and started feeding on it , making for a very interesting sighting and a great day on Safari.
On Safari With Amanda
13 March 2018 – Today I pick up my 2 German guests for a 3 night safari, Edwin and Michelle.
The temperature for the next 3 days is up in the high 30’s with a promise of rain soon!
We entered numbi gate around 1pm and headed straight for skukuza, along the way a lovely giraffe came close to us along with a nice elephant.
I spotted an impala, it looked quite large for a female but it had no horns, a very rare find!
After checking in at skukuza and a chill down time we set off at 4:15 for a drive, gates close at 6pm so just a little bumble around. We headed to lake panic and I’d heard there was a leopard close by so we set off, there were actually 2 leopards in the same tree with a kill, looked like a female impala. We sat for the duration watching them move around.
A great way to start a safari for my 2 guests as we head back for our supper.
14 March 2018 – We set off this morning bright and early watching a beautiful sunrise!
The temperature predicted for today was 39° so we split the drives as it’s too hot to drive in the midday heat!
We drove along the 114 to renosterkoppies in search of lions, we found some very fresh tracks but alas no lions. Great elephants on the road very close to the vehicle always adds a bit of excitement as it’s then that you realize how huge these mammals actually are.
We missed a leopard by literally 2 minutes but that’s ok there are plenty of other leopards to find. Driving to berg en dal after breakfast we spotted our first zebras hanging out with some blue wildebeest. Hyenas in the road always make for an entertaining viewing.
As we got closer to camp we had a quick look at matjulu bridge a car had stopped and said there was a leopard lying in the grass.. somewhere! We stayed but couldn’t spot it so headed to camp.
A waterhole is always a good place to visit and just chill, it was extremely hot so our expectations were low but we weren’t disappointed. Lying in the water lay a lone rhino surrounded by elephants and a giraffe drinking at the waterhole a couple of warthogs also came to drink, lovely to see all the animals together.
A young zebra foal lay in the road blocking our way but that’s ok how often do you come across a baby zebra roadblock!
A great day with lots of great sightings and after a lovely supper my guests are heading out on a night drive.
15 March 2018 – We headed out from camp this morning at 5:30 and already you can feel the difference in the seasons, autumn is here as there’s a bit of a nip in the air.
We drove along the berg en dal tar road and came across some zebras crossing the road accompanied by some impalas.
As we got to matjulu bridge we saw something splashing in a small mud puddle, a honey badger! Very rarely do we see them so it was nice to just sit and watch it having fun in the water.
Lots of rhinos on our way to breakfast as well as elephants.
After breakfast we headed back as to camp as the sun was already heating up to today’s 39°. We came across some buffalo who proceeded to chase some vervet monkeys, giraffe and a few kudu males away from the water very funny to watch.
Heading out after siesta time in the hope of finding predators!
18 March 2018 – Today I collect a mother and her daughter for a 5 day safari, my guests are from Sweden so looking forward to some sunshine after a long dark winter at home!
Temperature today is a nice 33° with lovely blue skies.
We entered in at numbi gate and headed for skukuza via the numbi tar road. We spotted some nice giraffes browsing and close by some impalas.
A one tusked male appeared out of nowhere and slowly crossed the road in front of us.
A leg stretch at mantikenyane gave us some lovely views of the area before we set off.
We headed to lake panic and about 700m along the road we spotted an impala leg in the tree, there must be a leopard around as there was still some meat left. Driving slowly we spotted some movement in a low acacia bush and there sat a young leopard! We sat for a while but the leopard was quite content to lie there!
A nice start to our trip with plenty of time to find the other beautiful animals in the Kruger.
19 March 2018 – A beautiful cool autumn morning as we set off at 5:30 for our morning drive.
It was dark as we left and we watched the sun rising in the east over Mozambique giving us some lovely photos.
We headed towards renosterkoppies to see if there were any lions around, they’d been hanging around the area for a few days so maybe we’d get lucky…and we did there appeared to be 1 male and 4 females all lying in the sun warming up. The male eventually got up and mated with one of the females so that was a lucky sighting.
We headed to camp along the s114 and came across a lone hyena just lying in the road he wasn’t moving for anyone! As I looked into the bush I noticed another dog and it wasn’t a hyena it was actually an African wild dog.. incredible and so close to the hyena!
We still had some time left before breakfast so we decided to see if the leopards were still there from yesterday…they were along with hyenas so they soon headed into the bush! About 5 mins drive further along the road we saw something walking in the road straight for us and it was a huge male leopard! Amazing! He plonked himself no more than 5m away from us and just sat there before moving off after 15 mins what a great morning as we headed into lake panic and unbelievably there was a female leopard with her cub!
A fantastic morning drive as we headed back to camp.