Open vehicle game drives are the best way to compliment your stay at the Kruger National Park, especially when you are new to the African wildlife experience. It allows you a chance to ask questions about the wildlife and habitats found in the Kruger Park from our extremely experienced Game Rangers. The rangers take you to areas that are not accessible to the public and know the habitats found in the Kruger Park with a good knowledge of its wildlife and birds. This information is freely shared by them on the game drives.
Read our latest Safari highlights from our Rangers Diaries below...
28 August 2017 - We did a afternoon drive on our first day together and were lucky to find the elusive Leopard stalking impalas. The wind changed direction and ended up giving the impalas a whiff of the leopards scent and they immediately started alarm calling and the Leopard got up and walked off. Its chances of getting close enough to them now very small... We could then follow it a bit of a distance while it walked parallel to the road.
29 August 2017 - We planned a full day trip in hopes of going a bit deeper into the park. That was great because we got to see a huge herd of ellephants drinking water and also some Rhino's waking up after sleeping a bit later while it was still freezing cold. A family of baboons were also playing, eating marula seeds and a few youngsters causing trouble got sorted out by adults. Some Vervet monkeys were keeping guard in huge trees and while that happened some banded mongooses manned up against a youngster and chased him away.
30 August 2017 - To day we did our full day on the Panorama Route. We started our trip after a wonderful buffet breakfast at Dreamfields and headed through Grasskop to Gods window. After Gods window we drove through the Blyde River Canyon to Three Rondawels, then Burkes luck Potholes and our last stop before lunch was Lisbon water falls. Such a beautiful peaceful drive where we spotted a pair of Verreauxs eagle's.
31 August 2017 - Our last early morning drive together from Phabeni gate started with a bang with a massive herd of Buffalo moving towards a open clearing. Later we had a Cheetah on a mission following some sound he heard, probably the impalas we could see moving in the distance. Just after our coffee stop a family of elephants were eating along the road and crossing right in front of the vehicle giving us a magnificent view of babies playing and rolling in the dust. All ended really well.
30 August 2017 - We started a new Safari yesterday afternoon and after lunch and checking in, our guests enjoyed a Sundowner and evening drive. This morning we left camp after an early breakfast and were very lucky early on, to find 2 Male Lion and a Lioness feeding on what appeared to be a young Zebra, only about 10 meters off the road! When we arrived, both males were feeding, with the female lying a few meters further in. After a while both males got up and started moving in the direction of a nearby waterhole, providing us with great views and picture opportunities. The female took the chance to get back to feeding on whatever the males decided to leave behind. A brilliant sighting and a great way to start the day! A little later we came across 2 young male Giraffe fighting, one a bit younger than the other and apparently the instigator, constantly showing off and challenging the older male, who was trying not to take it very seriously. We also got to see a young Black Mamba, about 2 meters long, crossing the road in front of our vehicle. As these snakes are very nervous and will quickly move away when disturbed, we had to approach it very slowly to make sure we get to see it well, which also means we didn't get very close to it, but got to see it quite well anyway; not something that happens very often!
31 August 2017 - We loaded luggage and left camp after an early breakfast amid cool, cloudy conditions. We pursued some early rumors of Cheetah and Lion, but missed out on both by a matter of a minute or 2, a reminder of just how much luck is involved when dealing with wild animals on the move! We did have the opportunity to sit with a large breeding herd of Elephant for some time, as they were feeding along both sides of the road, slowly making their way towards us. At some point a youngster of about 7 years old came out close to us, browsing right next to the vehicle, but with mom and some of the other large females in the herd approaching it was soon time to make space. There was also a large bull with the herd, making his way straight down the road and we decided to leave them in peace as they were already nervous, with a few young calves around. Further on, we found a female Spotted Hyena, lying by a den entrance, with 2 cubs nursing, while a younger-looking cub, from a different female, was trying to suckle, but getting repeatedly and rather aggressively shunned by the female. Late in the afternoon we were lucky enough to see one of the best examples of Cheetah motherhood, when we came across a female Cheetah with her 4 sub-adult cubs, not a usual occurrence with a high number of stronger predators around, such as Lion and Hyena. They were very lazy and relaxed, not expending unnecessary energy; they even held their nerve and carefully watched as a young Elephant bull confidently strutted past, apparently oblivious to their presence about 20 meters downwind from him! A great sighting and a very special way to end the day!
1 September 2017 - We left camp early this morning in cool and cloudy conditions, the plan being to head towards where we got the 5 Cheetah yesterday afternoon. We had a few distractions along the way, with plenty of action in the first half an hour or so of our drive. First up, we had a big male Lion on the move, trotting straight to us, crossing the road and away! He did stop twice to look back just long enough for a couple of pictures, before disappearing over a ridge. A few hundred meters further, 2 Spotted Hyena crossed the road, also heading away from us along a pathway, roughly in the same direction as the Lion went. We then had a injured Hippo, most likely a young male that clashed with an older bull, as they often fight over territory and can inflict serious injury. This bull was grazing quite far from water and badly wounded on the back and rump, not looking happy at all.. We eventually found the Cheetahs we were looking for, at first a distant sighting of them playing, chasing each other around, with a few Vultures gathered as if they were expecting the Cheetahs to hunt. We lost sight of them in a drainage line and carried on with our drive and stopping for breakfast. Later on in the day, we went past the same spot and they had made a successful kill. When we arrived they had just finished feeding and started to move away, the Vultures very quickly moving in to finish what was left! We then had a great sighting of the 5 Cheetah as they slowly crossed a clearing, moving away from the kill and eventually out of sight, a rare and very special sighting indeed!
3 September 2017 - We left camp early this morning, accompanied by a spectacular sunrise. Not long into our drive we encountered a lone Spotted Hyena on the prowl straight down the road. She seemed entirely undisturbed by us and walked straight past the vehicle without as much as looking at us! A little further on, we found 4 more Hyena, close to an old Buffalo carcass, which they were no doubt inspecting for the possibility of some leftovers. We also found a large number of Giraffe throughout the day, including a mother and baby crossing the road in front of us, as well as many Elephant, with one in particular, a very large bull, leisurely browsing right next to the road, providing us with a great view. Our highlight of the day came shortly before lunch, when we spotted a female Leopard sleeping in a large Jackalberry tree, no more than 20 meters from the road. She appeared fast asleep at first, but after a while she sat up, looking at a herd of Impala and some Kudu off in the distance. Having provided us with a brilliant view and picture opportunities, she stretched, carefully climbed out of the tree and moved off through the undergrowth along the riverbank; a great sighting and very lucky indeed!
2 September 2017 - Today I collected my 6 guests from Pestana hotel by malelane gate. The weather today was overcast and cool...perfect for cats! Once in the park we headed slowly along the H3 and roughly 4 kms from the gate we found 6 very relaxed cheetahs lying close together. The cheetah is critically endangered so it was an incredible privilege to see 6 at the same sighting. We left after half an hour along the dirt road and found some lovely Elephants including babies. Zebras and giraffes also along the road as well as the ever present impalas, my personal favorite antelope. Driving slowly parallel to the river we found at least 6 lions, it looked like 2 adult females and 4 cubs, they were lying on the riverbed enjoying the cool temperature. An amazing drive today and after lunch we saw plenty more elephants and a female hyena lying in her den. Tomorrow we set off early again for hopefully another successful day in the Kruger.
3 September 2017 - Today was our last day with my guests from Portugal. After a late night sampling some South African wine my guests wanted to leave a bit later! Expected temperature today is 29° , spring has sprung in the park for sure. We headed off down the watergat road and came across a hippo relaxing in the water...covered with terrapins that were warming up in the morning sun. Impalas tried to drink but were irritated by the red billed quelias flocking to also drink. We sat for about half an hour enjoying the peace and my guests enjoyed a much needed coffee! Later we came across 3 very handsome kudu males and further down another road we found a magnificent white rhino just lying by the water. Time was catching up with us and we realized we only had 45 mins left of our drive so we ambled along a nice dirt road enjoying the scenery. As we were driving I looked to my right and there very well camouflaged crouching behind a bush was a leopard totally focused on the impalas some meters away! Incredible! We watched for a while before she headed into the riverbed and out of sight. A great way to end another safari in the Kruger Park!