Fauna and Flora in Kruger National Park
A Kruger Safari offers you the perfect introduction to African fauna and flora. The Kruger Park is home to an impressive number of species: 147 mammal species including the Big 5 (elephant, lion, rhino, buffalo and leopard), together with 336 types of tree, 49 classes of fish, 34 amphibian and 114 reptile species. 507 species of bird make the Kruger a popular birding safari destination too.
Come hear for yourself the thunderous roar of the lion, king of the beasts, watch the lumbering mass of a herd of African elephants or tread carefully around the famously cantankerous rhinoceros.
On Safari With Amanda
12 October 2017
Today I collected 2 guests at skukuza who were joining for the panorama tour. After collection we headed for lunch at skukuza overlooking the sabie river. The temperature was is the mid 30's as we headed out for a drive to our accommodation at sabie river lodge. We saw plenty of elephants crossing in front of us as well as impalas kudus and of course more impalas! We stopped along the river where we spotted a lioness keeping cool under a guarri bush, she got up a few times to reposition herself but nothing more as it was too hot to venture out into the sun. After checking in at the lodge we had a filling supper before heading off for an early night.
13 October 2017
After a good night's rest we set off to Paul Kruger gate to enter the park. A bit cooler today as we entered. A beautiful martial eagle sat in a dead tree surveying the area for food, our largest bird of prey and very impressive to see. We were looking for leopard today as my guests were excited about finding one! We drove to afsaal for breakfast, a small open picnic spot in the southern malelane side of the park. We drove to biyamiti weir and saw a huge hippo lifting his head to watch us watching him! After lunch it had definitely warmed up.. so we headed along river road. There was talk of a leopard hunting, when we got there we'd just missed her, all the other cars drove away but we sat for 15 mins and then saw her head raise out of the grass eyeing the impalas who were unaware of her presence. We sat for a while until she disappeared into the grass. Great stuff for my guests they found their leopard! As we drove towards phabeni gate I saw some impalas closely packed and alarm calling ,all pointing in the same direction.. a sure sign of a predator. I switched the engine off and after 10 mins of alarm calling there, not more than 5m away from us appeared a leopard. He casually walked towards the impalas , his cover blown so no chance of a kill. He wandered around for 10 mins spraying and then finally walked off into the bush. Expect the unexpected!
14 October 2017
Today was panorama route day, gods window, the pot holes and the 3 rondavels all just a short drive to Graskop. The weather was against us today as we set off. The area is much higher altitude 1,300m above sea level at some points so potentially lots of cloud cover. We did get some views of the lowveld and ended up at harrys pancakes a favorite lunch stop. A stop at Lisbon falls and my guests wandered off along the short trail enjoying the views. Back at the lodge we enjoyed our supper and packed up ready for an early departure for our last drive.
15 October 2017
As we entered through the gate we saw a few cars ahead, normally an indication of a predator and it was, a lazy male lion resting in the morning sun! A nice way to start the day. We decided to do a stop at Lake panic bird hide and weren't disappointed as right in front of us a big herd of Elephants crossed through the water and then proceeded to surround the bird hide! We stayed until they'd gone then set off. A drive to renosterkoppies proved rewarding as we sat for an hour watching a mating pair of lions and then spotted another male resting under the bushes . The female eventually tired of the male and walked away out of sight! A great way to end a safari.
On Safari With Gert
12 October 2017
We left camp early for a short morning drive. The first animal we found was a Giraffe walking down the road towards us. As it turned out it was the first of many Giraffe for the morning and we got to see them very well and up close. We also had a large bull Elephant making his way down the road towards us and even though he displayed some signs of being in musth, he was very relaxed and peaceful, offering a very good sighting. Not much further on we found a large breeding herd consisting of adult females and their young of various ages. They were feeding and slowly moving along on both sides of the road. In their midst, mostly hidden from us by the mother and the tall grass, we managed to spot a very small baby of probably no more than 2 weeks old. We managed to get a few good views of it, however for the most part, the very protective mother kept shielding it form our view. In the late afternoon we were lucky enough to have a sighting of the rare and elusive Black Rhino! It appeared to be an old male and was in a Tamboti thicket, their favorite hiding place, as it offers plenty of cover and a favored food source, the Tamboti tree. A great way to end the day!
13 October 2017
We left camp early on, as we had a long day's drive ahead to the next camp. It was cool and cloudy and actually turned out to be a cold day throughout. It was to be a day for unusual sightings, with one of our first sightings of the day being a Porcupine! As they are very secretive and almost strictly nocturnal animals we were extremely lucky to spot this one in a small drainage line as it headed into shelter. As soon as we stopped it turned away and ran for cover in the opposite direction along the drainage line and eventually out of sight, a great way to start the day! Throughout the course of the day we also saw a large number of Elephant with several breeding herds and large Bulls along the way. We found one real big tusker with 2 huge tusks completely intact and in great condition. Our next unusual sighting for the day was when we crossed the bridge over the Olifants River. Here a large herd of Elephant with several young calves were carefully crossing the river, led by the matriarch. On closer inspection, near the bridge on a washed up pile of driftwood, lay a African Rock Python of around 5 meters long! Not moving much, it was in a good basking spot in the little sunlight that shone through the clouds, while being sheltered from the cold wind - certainly a very special sighting!
14 October 2017
This evening, our guests went on a Sunset drive which turned out to be quite the highlight. They were very lucky to find a large male Leopard fast asleep in a dead Leadwood tree, in perfect late afternoon sunlight. He awoke after a while , laying on the branch and looking around, providing some great picture opportunities before getting out of the tree - a brilliant sighting!
15 October 2017
We left camp early this morning as we had some distance to travel. We found a lone Spotted Hyena on the prowl along a riverbank early on. We were also lucky enough to find an African Wild Cat on the move and it trotted across the road in front of us and across a wide clearing where we could see it quite well, stopping once to look back at us before disappearing into a thicket. Shortly before reaching camp for the night, we found some very inquisitive Spotted Hyena cubs of different ages outside their den entrance, a few of the more playful cubs approaching us with their big eyes, trying to get a better look and taking turns bullying each other, especially the youngest, who appears to be learning the hard way! A great way to end another successful day on Safari.
23 October 2017
We set of for a Game Drive early this morning on what was shaping up to be a very hot day. Early on we stopped at a large waterhole with many resident Hippo and they welcomed us with a loud symphony of their grunting calls! Joining in with its own calls, was an African Fish-Eagle perched nearby. It turned out to be a good day for the large herbivores, starting off with a group of 10 Giraffe of different ages, browsing on both sides of the road and some crossing right in front of us! We also had several Elephant sightings throughout the day, the best of which was a large breeding herd that we found hiding in a shady spot close to the river. A female with one of her calves were feeding right next to us and she had only one, very long and straight tusk, the other missing completely. We also watched another herd on the riverbank digging to loosen mud for a mud bath and wallow to cool down and act as sun protection. Towards the end of the day, we found a solitary Spotted Hyena, amazingly getting out of its shelter to go lie in the direct sunlight, as if it needed to warm up in the 35 degrees Celsius!
25 October 2017
We set off early this morning for our final game drive of the Safari. It was to be another hot day and the cats were unfortunately hiding too well. We were treated to some very nice Elephant sightings, most notably a breeding herd approaching and drinking at a large waterhole. We also encountered some large bulls along the way including one fairly old male, quite an impressive tusker! We also found one female Spotted Hyena with her cub, lying in a shady spot outside their den entrance. On the way out of the Park we came across a mud wallow with some old male Buffalo around. A few of them were already in the mud with more approaching and getting comfortable in the mud to cool down, some rolling over to make sure they are well covered and protected from the harsh sun. A few good days on Safari and even though the cats avoided us, plenty of other sightings to make up for it!
On Safari With Robbie
14 October 2017
Today a new safari began yet again in inclement weather which progressed in to sunny patches into the end of the afternoon drive! The 2 couples joining me where in for a treat as we kind of got real " up close and personal " to three species , namely Elephant , W . Rhino and Giraffe! At one stage a young Elephant bull literally strolled towards Wayne ( much to his amazement ! ) and nearly touched him with his trunk! The Giraffe bull we saw was also extremely close to us as were the 2 W.Rhino who grazed happily past us without a worry! The sighting of the day was a giant Eagle Owl which a friend of mine had spotted in am extremely camouflaged position perched in some thickets! The coloration and in particular the eyes on this beautiful bird was quite something! It was a great start to a safari and we are shortly headed for dinner!!
15 October 2017
Today we set out under clear blue skies and all were feeling positive! Initially things were quiet and then we started picking up some good general game and plenty birds! We then suddenly picked up 2 extremely rare species in a row , that being Black Rhino and African Wild Dogs with great visibility! To top these 2 sightings , something huge was needed and it came in the form of mating Leopards! I must say the visibility was not great but we did get great shots of the male in particular! To top it all a female Hyena came down and almost interrupted the 2 honeymooners! We then managed to get even better pics of the male as he decided to leave his mate for a while and sat down about 50 meters from us in good light! To add to " rare species seen " we also came across some Southern ground hornbills later on in the day! Tonight the guests are looking forward to a late night safari so we wish them luck.. Till tomorrow!
16 October 2017
Yesterdays safari continued where it left off on the night safari with rare sightings being experienced! On that night drive the extremely rare Serval was spotted as well as the majestic Sable Antelope.. Then on the drive today an incredibly rare pair of Side striped Jackals were spotted which to me was actually the sighting of the day! But to the guests the best was two pairs of mating Lions which we got exceptionally good visuals of and excellent photograph opportunities! We actually sat at this sighting for 1 and a half hours as we were in no rush at all! A herd of 20 Elephants also came down to drink nearby to where the tawny Cats were lying adding to the incredible scene which was going on before us! Our afternoon safari was pretty quiet but we saw some great Elephant herds and spent a lot of time taking pics of the sunset which was fantastic!
17 October 2017
On our final day we saw an awesome pride of Lions with their tiny cubs , but the sighting of the day was a Honey Badger which we only spotted because a Buffalo disturbed it! Luckily we were able to observe him for a couple of minutes! This was truly a memorable safari in terms of unique species seen , namely :
1) Black Rhino..
5)Side Striped Jackal
6) African Wild dog!
23 October 2017
A new Safari started today where we entered at Numbi gate and headed for Pretoriouskop in 39 degrees heat! After lunch we cruised through to Skukuza camp with the highlight of the day being an awesome herd of breeding Elephants and their babies crossing the road in front of us! What was great was they were all wet from a mud bath and this impacted their size, in particular when they were on the road! Great general game was also spotted including vast amounts of Giraffe!
24 October 2017
Today we covered the areas between the Sands and Sabi rivers... Terrific sun rise pics were taken and there were also a herd of zebra to be photographed close to the rising sun! The highlight undoubtedly was a female Leopard spotted on the way back from collecting our new guests in the middle of the day! She stared at us from where She was sitting under an Acacia tree and then after a couple minutes She darted across the road directly in front of us! The photographic opportunities here were insane! Within seconds She was gone and all were super excited !! Tonight the guys are on a night safari so we shall hope they see a lot ! .
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