I booked a 3-days trip to the Kruger National Park at a travel agency as I didn’t have a car. Otherwise the trip would have become very difficult. I got picked up from where I stayed in Johannesburg at 7am and an 8h journey started. The mini-bus was really comfortable and everything went well. When you are on the way to the park, it can happen that you just have pure nature around you for 1-2h and then, suddenly, a city appears in front of you.
The landscape was amazing. It sometimes reminded me of Austria or Canada. You pass by farms of crops and fruits. The entry of the National Park is around 30km afar from the border of Mocambique and you can already get directions for the way to Maputo (the capital of Mocambique).
Please also consider this:
The camp where i stayed was called Skukuza which is the largest one in the whole park. The name comes from the very first ranger there who’s main task was to clean up the park thus the name means something like “cleaner”. (That is what the guide explained us when we arrived)
The camp itself has everything that you need and is like a little town. You can find there:
- Internet Cafe
- Swimming Pool
- Camping Spots
On the right side you the bungalows which I strongly recommend staying in when you make a safari. There are several reasons. On the one hand, you don’t get much sleep in the night as getting up is mostly around 4-5am. Furthermore, in summer it gets pretty humid in the evening/night and warm/hot during the day. Believe me, you will be very thankful for the air condition you have in the rooms. What is more, a nice shower after the driving around is something incredible! I do not recommend backpackers as they are mostly outside of the park and it takes you around 30 minutes minimum from most of them to drive into the park. Sometimes you also might have night drives and there you are just grateful if you can fall into your bed quickly afterwards.
The picture above shows a warthog in the camp. It is without zoom and I could get up to 1m close. They are sooo relaxed and used to the people.
As I had a 3-days tour, it included 4 drives. 2 morning drives, 1 sunset drive and one
afternoon drive. We started the first drive at around 4pm. The African landscape and sky in the night is amazing. I suggest sometimes just closing the eyes and enjoying the
moments. It is wonderful. Already on the first drive, I saw a hiyena, giraffes, monkeys, impalas and many more really close. There are around 130 000 impalas in the park.
The beautiful fact about the park is that the animals are so relaxed. It shows so much that if human beings are nice to animals, then they won’t harm you in any case.When the sunset started, you saw even more animals coming out because it got cooler.
Getting back from the 1st drive, we got served a dish from Cape Town and it was delicious!
See here about parts of the breakfast of the next morning:
The next morning, we had to get up around 4.30am because
we started the morning drive at around 5.30am. It was simply amazing, out of 120 wild dogs in the whole park we saw 7. A rarity. It was really luck. A minute after seeing the wild dogs, we saw lions right at the back of our vehicle…they
must have smelled each other. 3 beautiful lions appeard – 2 females and one young male.
We got so close and they were sometimes just lying on the street. It gave me the impression again that lions are really peaceful animals and actually really lazy. They sleep up to 20h/day! Besides, they are scavengers – means, they like to steal their food. 😉 The picture of the lions and the wild dogs are taken without any zoom.
Shortly after that we saw 3 rhinos lying on the path where we were driving. 3 bulls – 2 of them were still very young.
Out of the Big 5, I saw the rhino, buffalo, elephant and lion. The leopard didn’t show up, unfortunately. The same day, I got a glimpse of a buffalo. Glimpse because it was pretty far from our path and I couldn’t really get a nice picture of it. There are beautiful birds, turtles, butterflies and many more rare animals.
It was simply amazing. We also got to see monkeys, zebras and giraffes pretty close.
The next morning, we started again at around 5.30am and tried to look for leopards but we didn’t find any. After leaving the park, we went to the Lisbon Falls which are around 90m high. An incredible scenery.
After enjoying the view from the water falls, we went on to the Blyde River Canyon which is one of the 3 biggest canyons in the world.
Short note aside: there are little shops by the water falls and the canyon where you can get African crafts very cheap!
The canyon gave me a view I have never seen before. It is simply amazing. I could have set there for hours and just watched the nature. It’s an incredible picture that turns up in front of you. I guess there are quite some animals down there which one has never heard of or known that they exists. It was the perfect ending of an unforgettable trip.