I am addicted to the Kruger National Park. There, I said it, and I am not the least bit ashamed. I just got back 2 days ago from another fantastic self-drive trip to this reserve, my 3rd since moving to South Africa a little over a year ago and my 5th visit overall. This time was a bit different than the others as I went solo. Yes, that is correct, just me, myself and I, alone in the bush and it was an amazing adventure.
Kruger National Park
We had originally planned to spend a week down on the coast somewhere but the Frenchie had some important things crop up and he ended up needing to stay in Joburg. I quickly changed gears and decided I was ready and willing to handle the Kruger all on my own. On our last trip in December I went out on a couple drives by myself when the Frenchie wanted to sleep in so I was confident I could handle this.
Usually we camp (which I love) but as the tent is too difficult to put up with just one person, I booked into a twin-bedded hut in Pretoriuskop Rest Camp for 6 nights. I have never stayed in this camp before, and it be honest, I chose it as these little huts are quite a bargain at 300 ZAR per night (less than 30 USD). The hut was really basic with 2 twin beds, sink, fan, electric plug point and a braai (bathrooms and kitchen are shared) but it was clean and comfortable which is all I needed.
I love everything about the Kruger Park, well everything except having to leave it. It’s not just the incredible animal sightings that Kruger never fails to deliver, but all of the sounds and smells of being in the bush. Seriously, I would rather smell fresh elephant dung than chocolate chip cookies baking any day. It’s also the diverse and spectacular scenery that leaves me in awe of this beautiful country over and over again. And it’s stopping a few moments to chat with other folks just as addicted as myself to share a few words about the day’s adventure.
I have many stories to tell about my trip soon, but just to do a bit of a roundup I had 3 separate leopard sightings (once with a cub), 4 lion sightings (including a pride with 7 cubs), 2 cheetah running all over the road right in front of me, wild dogs (my favorite), hyena with cubs (several times), and rhino (including one mock charging a bus), elephant, buffalo every single day. In fact, I saw the Big 5 all in one day (twice actually), which I have never done before. And of course there were the usual suspects; giraffe, zebra, various antelope, warthog, mongoose, crazy baboons, crocs, hippos, many beautiful birds and lots more. I’ll leave you with a few of my favorite photos, I hope you enjoy.
Elephant at Sunset Dam with Hippo-Surfing Grey Heron
Hyena with 2 cubs