22 Dec Experience the Natural Wonders of Africa
Experience the Natural Wonders of Africa
The Kruger National Park, by far South Africa’s most internationally acclaimed, was established in 1898 to protect South African wildlife and is today an unrivalled leader in biodiversity and environmental management. Watching a herd of elephants cooling off at a waterhole or a lioness and her cubs playfully taunting one another are truly some of the most amazing sights anyone can behold.
The park is extremely large which allows the wildlife to roam free and exist as they were created to without borders or unnatural threats.
An open vehicle safari drive is one of the best ways to experience nature up close and personal and it is highly recommended for any one interested in eco-travel.
On Safari With Kara
12 December 2016
This morning I pickup up my 4 guests from France and it was raining with quite a thick cloud covering the sky. And we all mentally prepared for the worst only hoping deep down to still see a few different species. Yet again nature did not let us down and we were able to find a few different sightings of Elephants, a herd or two of Buffalos and after a few hours we got to see a big dazzle of Zebras and one very comical Giraffe between the rest eating the leaves off a juicy mopani. Our highlight’s was a hyena chasing a few impalas close to a dam hoping to run one down but the impalas were to clever and he missed out. Then just before lunch w e found a Jackal pup next to the road by his den just peeling out to see what ’ s going on outside.
13 December 2016
Today started out with 5 drops and then the sky just opened up. All the thumbs definitely helped. It just got warmer and warmer from there. Not unbearable heat just right. That helped with the birds and animal sightings we had. Our first species for the morning was a big herd of elephants crossing the road and walking close to the vehicle with babies trailing close behind. Then later a hyena being chased by the same herd of elephants. Then more animals just popped up from everywhere, 2 ground hornbills foraging, a big herd of blue wildebeest, 2 little Klipsprings or a mountain with some Rock Hyraxes also in the trees and on the rocks. Last but not least a pride of lions on a river bed. Two big Males and three beautiful females resting close to one another. Very appreciative for all the good species we managed to find up in the nort h and down to Satara.
14 December 2016
Our last day was yet again really exciting. We could add a few new animals. A very unique sighting to see a herd of Tsessebe roaming the plains of the north a round Mopani. What a beautiful area it was to explore. Soon after three Southern Reed bucks followed hiding from the rain. On our 2nd day the Marion bought a book of the animals and birds of Kruger . Which got the 12year old really serious about birding and seeing as many as we can. The birder in me didn’t complain one bit. Having added a few new birds and rare one s to the area was amazing. All sharing in the excitement. A Greater Painted Snipe kicked off our morning safari and soon after a Chestnut backed Sparrow Larked followed, Kittlitz Plover and a Less er Grey Shrike. What a great end to our safari. Sad to see them leave.
On Safari With Gert
12 December 2016
After breakfast we headed out on a Game drive, again in cool and drizzly conditions. Early on we encountered a large Buffalo herd, more than a hundred animals, all huddled up close together, lying in a clearing, trying to shelter from the cool breeze. We also had some good sightings of birds of prey, too cold and wet to fly; a variety of Vultures including a beautiful White-headed Vulture as well as a couple of Tawny Eagles. After our coffee break it started clearing slightly and we were lucky enough to find a pack of Wild Dogs, about 40 meters off the road. We arrived just in time to see them, as the sun started coming through and the dogs got up one by one to move into some shady spots and unfortunately out of sight. We then found a group of about 10 Giraffe, including a courting male and female, however the female was playing very hard to get with the male for the mo st part just running after her, trying to block her escape routes and not allowing her to get away! Then, shortly before returning to camp for our lunch break, we got very lucky when a beautiful female Leopard randomly came walking out off the grass, completely undisturbed by our presence, crossed the road right in front of us and carried on into bush on the opposite side, providing us with a great view and some good picture opportunities before disappearing in the thick undergrowth! We had a relaxing late afternoon drive during which we encountered a very large troop off Baboons foraging along the road, on route to their overnight spot on a large granite outcrop. The youngsters were especially entertaining with their playful antics and we also got to see some Baboon mating action! All in all a very successful day on Safari!
13 December 2016
After an early breakfast and loading luggage we left on our final morning drive of the Safari. The sunshine, which quickly burnt off some wispy cloud cover, was a welcome change to the cold weather of the previous 2 days. We found large herds of Zebra grazing close to the road, accompanied by some Giraffe as well as a few large Elephant bulls along the way. Then, at a visit to a waterhole, a Leopard had just caught a young Impala and was finishing it off in a large Marula tree across the water. Although a distant sighting, it was in the open on a large branch and we could clearly see it feeding, then cleaning itself before getting up, stretching and getting out of the tree to get comfortable in a nearby thicket! We then stopped at another waterhole, where we found a large variety of game. 2 White Rhino were having a drink as we arrived and then moved to a muddy spot to have a wallow and cool down. A large herd of Buffalo were also making their way to the water, with some of the larger males already in the water, some drinking, some also lying down in the water to cool down with hundreds more arriving! This while a herd of Waterbuck were also trying to drink but kept being chased off by the Buffalo and trying to avoid a large Crocodile basking on the edge of the water, which also contained 2 Hippos! Certainly a great deal of activity and a great way to end our Safari!
17 December 2016
Yesterday we started a new Safari with 6 guests from Germany, who enjoyed a Sundowner drive in the evening. This morning we left after an early breakfast in cool and cloudy conditions . Our drive started off well when we had our first of 2 Lion sightings for the morning. It was a young male lying on a large flat rock, fairly distant, but a clear view . A little further on, we found a large breeding herd of Elephant, with many youngsters in their midst, moving closer to the road. They eventually crossed the road as a herd in front of our vehicle, providing us with some very good views. Then we got very lucky with a brilliant sighting of a young male Leopard! When we first spotted him, he was sitting up in the grass, behind some small tree s, but then came walking out into a clearing, looking up a the trees for a suitable s pot. He then found the tree he was looking for and gracefully jumped up into the firs t fork of the tree before gradually making his way further up until he found a comfortable enough branch. Here he lay for a while, looking around at the vehicles that had gathered by now. We watched him until he decided to look for an even better branch, higher up into the tree canopy, settling down for a rest. After a relaxing afternoon break we went out for another short drive during which we found a group of Giraffe, very relaxed and browsing right next to us, as well as 3 lazy lioness lying in the open, enjoying the late afternoon sunshine!
18 December 2016
After an early breakfast, we set off on our game drive amid clear and sunny conditions; already quite hot. We stopped off at a few waterholes, which attracted a good variety of general game and along the way also found 2 lioness hiding in a shady spot on a large rocky outcrop. We also found a large Elephant bull having a mud bath at a small rainwater pond. When we arrived he was already largely covered with mud – a very effective sunblock and cooling method, but he continued throwing mud all over him self with his trunk and also sat down in the mud, rocking back and forth to ensure he was thoroughly covered. After a refreshment break, we decided to do another quick loop before heading back to camp, as it was getting very hot. This decision proved to be a good one, as we found a very relaxed female Leopard, right next to the road. She appeared to be chewing on something small that we couldn’t see, but then got up and slowly started walking down the road, crossing back and forth a few times, stopping regularly to smell some bushes, like she was following the scent of another Leopard . She sat down in a shady spot on the road for a while, looking back at us over her shoulder a few times and also around as if weighing up various options. She then got up and continued down the road, before veering off the road on a pathway that eventually led her away from us and out of sight! A very special sighting indeed and certainly one of the most relaxed leopards I have ever seen! We then returned to camp for lunch and some relaxing time around the pool, before heading out again for a late afternoon drive and unbelievably, another Leopard sighting! This time a very large male, which crouched in the grass as soon as we spotted him about 2 meters from the road right next to us! He seemed uneasy with our presence though and got up to move about 10 meters away and lay down in t all grass in the shade of a small tree, peering out at us from his hiding place . Another great day on Safari!
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