Cape Town  -  Kalk Bay

Kruger National Park
South Africa.

Lion Giraffe

King of the Jungle and a Giraffe

The Kruger National Park is the biggest game reserve in South Africa. It's border stretches from the Limpopo River in the north to the Crocodile river in the south. The whole eastern boundary of the park borders onto Mozambique.

The Kruger National Park is the biggest game reserve in South Africa. It's border stretches from the Limpopo River in the north to the Crocodile river in the south. The whole eastern boundary of the park borders onto Mozambique.

The park was established in 1926 and is over 2 million hectares in size. Its size can be likened to that of Wales or the American state of Massachusetts. The park falls into a summer rainfall area and the temperature can reach in excess of 40 degrees centigrade during the day.

There is a large variety of animals in the park, ranging from 122 different species of mammal, 109 different types of reptile, 55 species of fish and 422 species of birds. The park is also home to 7000+ elephants, 30000 buffalo, 120000 impala buck and 22000 kwaggas (Zebras). Other animals found in the park are giraffe, lions, leopards, cheetahs, hunting dog, hyenas, rhino and hippos.

Hyena

Hyena

As you can see the park is a veritable Noahís Ark. A visit to this reserve is a must and if you are not an animal mad person, after your first visit here you will find that you have become one. Enough of the statistics, letís visit the park.

Most visitors to South Africa do not have enough time so a quick visit is what they opt for. To get to the park they either travel by tourist bus or fly in and land at Skukuza, the largest rest camp in the park. Here you can hire a car and drive yourself, or elect to go by coach on a guided tour through the park.

Lets use our own vehicle and tour privately, stopping where and when we want to. There are a couple of rules one has to follow in the park and they are.

Do not leave your car under any circumstances except in designated rest areas.

Keep to the speed limits.

Do not go off the laid out roads either gravel or tar.

There is good reason for the rules. There are wild animals out in the bush. You might get out of your car and walk slap bang into a lion lying in thick grass right next to the road. Guess who is going to win that argument. The lion initially, but once it has killed a man it will kill again and be a threat, thus necessitating its own demise.

The rest camp gates open at six in the morning and you are able to venture out onto the roads. Suddenly 10 metres in front of you there is a movement in the bush. You stop your car and one impala crosses the road. Sit still donít move, suddenly there are hundreds of them in the road. In about 10 minutes they have all crossed and the road is clear.

Looking down the dusty road ahead of you can see what looks like a largish rock in the road.

Drive up slowly and youíll see that it is moving. Neck sticking out straight and legs going like mad. Its going flat out, dead slow! Of course itís a tortoise crossing the road. Get too close and it will withdraw into its shell and sit there until it thinks it is safe to move on. Around every bend in the road is another surprise waiting to be discovered.

Lions in the Kruger Park

Lions in the Kruger Park

Looking up you see a clump of rocks with some thorn bushes. At the base of the thorn bush, every now and again there is a twitch and the grass moves. Take a closer look and see a largish animal lying on its side. Itís a brown dusty colour and still that twitch. Youíve found a lion, the twitch is its tail, which it flicks up and down to get rid of the flies. Lions love to sleep in the shade in the heat of the day and if you keep your eyes open you are likely to see more of them.

Leopards are very difficult to spot. Where there are largish trees, check the higher branches and with a bit of luck you may spot a one relaxing on a branch watching the world go by. Itís just about sundown now, time to get to that waterhole. Find a good spot where you can see it clearly, keep quiet and watch. The animals will slowly make their way down to drink.

Impalas

Impalas

Impalas, kudus and many other species of antelope. They are very wary as they approach the waters edge.

The Hippo Pool

The Hippo Pool

Have you noticed the log floating close to the waterís edge? Itís a crocodile lying patiently in the river with only its eyes sticking out the water waiting for its supper. If an animal gets too close the crocodile will launch itself and grab its prey by a leg or neck, and then drag it into the water. All the animals close by will disappear as suddenly as they appeared. When the skirmish is over they will all make their way back to the waters edge to drink.

Elephants

The elephants in all their splendour arrive waving their trunks as they savour the breeze.

Soon there is no place for the other animals, they must wait their turn as the elephants suck up trunkfuls of water spraying it over their backs and into their mouths. The baby elephants run and play in the shallows churning up the mud and rolling in it like naughty kids. Once the bath is over, they leave and make way for the other thirsty animals.

It starting to get dark so its time to get back to the rest camp. Drive slowly and watch for the eyes of animals on the side of the road glinting in the headlamps of the car. You would be amazed at whatís looking at you, if only you could see them.

When you get back to camp, have a meal, and hop into bed. Before dropping off listen to the sounds of the bush. Youíll hear lions roaring, birds calling, and many other sounds. While trying to identify them all youíll fall asleep in expectation of another exciting day. Want to experience the above? Visit the Kruger National Park in South Africa.


Contact Details
Email :  Geoff Fairman    
6 Bothma Street, Monte Vista 7460 South Africa
© 2015 Turtle SA - All Rights Reserved - Cape Town - Kruger Park
Page updated 1.6.2015








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