Discovering Kruger National Park

LOCATION: Inside Kruger National Park at one of their lodge camps
WEATHER: Very nice. High 75

I had arranged this 2 night/3 day trip to Kruger as we have 3 days to kill before starting our next housesitting assignment. A guy came to pick us up at our hotel at 6:30 AM to begin the tour. I thought we would be on a tour bus, but we have a private driver/guide for the whole trip. Wow!

I hadn’t done my homework well, as we were surprised that the trip would be 5.5 hours! It was a lovely drive. Our hotel is on the edge of Johannesburg so we missed the rush hour traffic, and were soon out on the highway. We passed through grasslands, then coal mines. Soon we got into the mountains. The landscape is not anything like I had envisioned central South Africa to be. It is green, mountainous, and rocky. Then, the countryside turned to pine trees, and we passed a huge paper processing plant. Finally into a tropical area with lots of bananas, mangoes, avocado, citrus, and macademia nut trees. People were selling fruit from colorful roadside stands.

Then into Kruger. It is vast:

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It really reminds me of a national park in the USA or Canada. There are main, paved roads and side dirt roads. Every time we saw other cars stopped, we stopped too, as that signalled that there was wildlife in sight. We saw some of the same animals as we saw in the Botwana Delta, and some new ones, too. Within a 2-hour car drive, we spotted:

kudu

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waterbuck

wat
steenbok

stee
impala

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cheetah
baboon
warthog
elephant

as well as beautiful zebra posing for us….

and a pack of 7 hyenas in their den…

The funniest sight was a dung beetle rolling a huge ball of elephant dung across the road.

We settled into our thatched room cabin. The camp is quite nice with these bungalows and also a section for tent and RV campers. We bought some beer and game biltong (jerky) at the shop and enjoyed a rest in our outdoor kitchen area…..

The cabins are modest, but nice.

DINNER: We ate at their little Wimpys restaurant..a chain, I think. We shared the rib and chicken wing platter and some wine. Quite nice for out in the middle of a national park.

BOOKS: I finished the 3rd in the Alexander McCall Smith about the lady detective -“Tears of the Giraffe”. It is very light, enjoyable reading, and I like being able to relate to the Botswana background. 4 stars out of 5

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