5 October 2017 - My 4 Day Safari with the most funniest and good hearted Swiss I have had the pleasure of taking on a safari. Gaele, Ben, Marco, Coralie, Eline and I entered the park after having a quick lunch, driven by our need and excitement to see Giraffes and Elephants but all the animals and birds the bush had to offer us on our first afternoon in Kruger. Our very first specie was a herd of Impalas with a few males, young from the previous season and loads of heavily Pregnant females ready to give birth after the first good rains. Later we were very lucky to see a Cheetah off in the distance lying on a big Termite mound in the shade of a Weaping Boerbean in bloom. After a while he got up looked at us and climbed down the mound into the thickets and disappeared from our view. Leaving that sighting beyond thrilled we were barely a hundred meters further when we noticed a few spotted Hyenas resting by a den in the shade panting from the heat... We also managed to see a huge herd of buffalo crossing the road, all following the dominant bulls to a nearby watering whole we were guessing...
6 October 2017 - We set off early after coffee and breakfast packs in hand. It was a bit raining in the start but soon it dried up and it was a cloudy day, not to hot and not to cold helping us to find a big variety of species. We got 4 White Rhinos sleeping, not ready to get up and start grazing, but just taking turn peaking up and smelling in the air to make sure there is no threat lurking around. There was a female lioness also lying in a river bed a little while after stopping for breakfast. She was lying there in the sun baking with a full belly after a recent meal. We came to a dam called Sunset dam and was sitting looking at all the birds, hippos and crocodiles lying on the shore when we spotted a female Hippo with her calf moving slowly towards the shore. All of a sudden the hippo gets up and starts chasing the crocodiles that were lying nearby and they all fled in different directions, not wanting to get in-between mom and calf.
7 October 2017 - Today was the day we did the panorama route, driving from Hazyview through Graskop and heading to Burkes Luck Potholes, the rain and misty weather luckily didn’t cause us to not see well here but unfortunately created a bit of a wall at Three rondalwels but for the rest of the stops we could see the waterfalls very clearly and what a magnificent sight. While stopping for lunch the sun came out and it was wonderful weather getting a chance to shop for some curios and take look at the village.
8 October 2017 - It was unfortunately our last morning together and in our luck the sky started to open and there was no rain and while driving we were already discussing where to go in cape town and where to go in the park once they came back to visit. We had the most adorable sighting of 4 young Dwarf mongoose fighting and playing next to the road. Jumping on one another and tackling one another from the grass. We also had a big herd of waterbuck which we could see from up close how fluffy they were and a troop of naughty baboons trailing behind. What a few amazing days with great people and no matter the weather we made it a blast.
6 October 2017 - Today I collect my lovely English guests, John and Sally at Phalaborwa as they are staying at bushveld terrace hotel. After lunch we are booked on a sunset cruise on the Oliphants river at 3pm. Roughly 800 odd kms long starting near Johannesburg and flowing through the park out into the Indian ocean, the Oliphants river gives some breathtaking views as we slowly amble along for a few hours. Giraffe's and Waterbuck, impalas and huge crocodiles on the river banks. After disembarking we head back for supper and a good night's sleep.
7 October 2017 - Today we decide to maximize our time in the park and drive to Oliphants camp. The weather is very pleasant and a bit of cloud cover as we set off. This is the mopani region in the park because of the vast amount of mopani trees. With mopani trees comes huge elephants and plenty were to be seen along the way. Giraffe, zebras impalas and kudus on the road.. just before we saw 2 male lions relaxing under a bush. After coffee we set off driving in a light rain shower with massive storm clouds to the west of us, we noticed a few cars ahead. After looking around we saw they were looking at an impala wedged in the tree by a leopard, the leopard was busy cleaning herself at the base of the tree. After some time she got up and disappeared out of view. We headed for a quick lunch and on returning to the leopard kill we were lucky to see her eating on the kill where after she lazed on a branch...only waking when a hyena paced around the tree obviously aware of the kill. The hyena disappeared quickly and soon after the leopard jumped down from the tree out of sight. Another great day.
8 October 2017 - We decided on an early start and did a few loops around the area we saw lovely Elephants and rather skinny looking buffalo. My guests enjoyed watching baboons warming up on the rocks, we sat and watched them play for a while. A kori bustard, our biggest flying bird was seen, very rare to see. Yellow billed kites, white fronted bee eaters and the sound of a migrant woodlands kingfisher indicating that summer will soon be with us. My guests were on a sunset drive where they saw hyena, genet a spring hare and a juvenile Mozambique spitting cobra. The drive was carried out in full swing of a massive thunder and lightning storm very very incredible to witness.
9 October 2017 - Today we decided to head north to mopani and get a photo opportunity at the tropic of Capricorn. The scenery is amazing along the way . Another kori bustard and lots of general game along the way before lunch offering a great view of the dam at mopani. Huge baobab trees adding a striking view just passed mopani camp. On the way home we came across a massive herd of buffalo at a water hole and also 3 reed bucks. With another storm brewing we headed back to the hotel.
10 October 2017 - Our last day today as we say our goodbyes as my guests set off on the journey back to the UK. Another rewarding safari.