Kruger 9-15 July 2007
Hi there, a quick background on our family. Our Schoeman family are 3 members strong... myself (Stephan), my wife (Junita) and our wonderful baby Antonique. She was born on the 4th of May 2007. Antonique was born with a cleft lip (left). We picked this up at about 6 months on a sonar. Antonique is a young and healthy little baby and we love her dearly. Corrective surgery has been done since our trip last July and the operation was a huge success.
We visited Kruger with her when she was just 2 months old. Yes.... I know what you are thinking..... A baby in Kruger???
Well we had a wonderful trip and to all the sceptics out there... it can be done!
9 July 2007
We left the "Vuildriehoek" at about 9am on Monday morning and arrived at Malelane gate at about 3pm.
On our way...
On the S110 towards Berg en Dal we saw two of the big 5. We had sightings of 4 white rhinos and a few elephants. Also saw impala and warthogs. We arrived at Berg and Dal at 15:45. We stayed in a bungalow (BA3), we unpacked and I started the braai while my wife was bathing our baby. We enjoyed a wonderful meal and went to bed early.
Sightings of day 1:
10 July 2007
We had a good night. Baby kept to the routine and woke up at 11pm and 2am to be fed. My wife and I take turns each night (we call it "duty nights") so that each of us get a decent nights sleep every second night. We got up at 4am to get everything ready for the day ahead. At 6am we were at the gate at Berg en Dal and ready for our first full day in Kruger...
We travelled on various roads around the Berg en Dal - Afsaal area that day. We had the following sightings:
Southern Ground Hornbill
Southern Yellow-billed Hornbill
Sightings of day 2
Back at Berg en Dal a monkey ran into our bungalow and stole our sugar. We had to buy a new packet of sugar.
We loved Berg en Dal... one of our favourite camps...
11 July 2007
After a good nights sleep (Our baby stuck to her sleeping routine throughout our visit), we left Berg en Dal at 6am on our way to Skukuza, our second camp.
Ten minutes after leaving Berg en Dal our little Angel started to cry and she cried and cried... After we considered a number of possibilities we realized that she had a number 2!!! We needed to change her nappy and fast, otherwise all the animals will be in the northern part of Kruger within an hour!!!
With no picnic spot nearby I had to do the following...
We travelled on the H3 and H1-1 towards Skukuza. Had a lot of sightings (Day 3):
Later that afternoon about 12 km from Skukuza on the H1-2 towards Tshokwane we had this spectacular sighting of my favourite wild animal:
This wild dog seemed to be alone... which was very strange to me because they normally stay together in packs.
12 July 2007
We left bright and early again this morning and travelled on the Skukuza - Lower Sabie road. We met up with some friends for breakfast that morning at Lower Sabie. This road was a bit disappointing with regard to sightings because there weren't anything accept impala. We had a bid of luck a few kilometres before Lower Sabie where we saw a female lion.
After breakfast we travelled on the H10 to the Mlondozi dam picnic spot. We had lots of sightings (Day 4). I will just name a few:
Southern Ground Hornbill
We returned to Skukuza at 17:20. What a great day!! We spend our last night at Skukuza. We enjoyed our stay here, quite a different feel to all the other camps... much bigger and very busy, but still very nice!
13 July 2007
Left early at 6am for Satara, our next camp for just one night.
Travelled on the H1-2 and H1-3 towards Satara. Saw general game. The way in which the landscapes change from one area to another in Kruger is quite fascinating.
Special sightings day 4
Arrived at Satara 12:30. We unpacked and travelled the famous S100 later that afternoon. Saw lots of general game but no cats.
We enjoyed our stay at Satara... it was just too short to get a real feel for the camp. We decided to stay at least 2 nights on our next visit.
14 July 2007
We left 6:30am for our last night at Olifants camp. I'm very excited because for me, this is the most beautiful part of Kruger.
We left Satara on the H7 and saw our first hyaena of the trip! That Hyaena was also the most expensive hyaena I've ever seen because I had to pay R2500 for that sighting... Why you ask? Well... I forgot about my trailer behind my vehicle and practically reversed over it in my effort to see this animal.
Needless to say I wasn't good company at all the rest of that day. I kept to myself and tried to figure out what to tell the insurance... the truth seemed very far-fetched!!!
We had general sightings that day. Same species as previous days.
Our Bungalow (no.1) at Olifants was amazing. The view and the hippos down at the river is a wonderful sight. We went to bed early and a bit sad because this was our last night in Kruger.
A few pictures:
15 July 2007
We left this morning at 6:30am. All packed and planning to exit at the Kruger gate. I was a bit disappointed because I wanted to see more cats. Well... as we left Olifants camp about 3 km from the camp we saw this:
This was the highlight of the whole trip!!! We left the park that day planning our next visit. We got totally hooked to Kruger and will try to visit the park at least once a year.
We (with our 14 month old baby girl) will visit the park again this year in June/July 2008. We are even more excited than the previous time and we will tell you all about our next visit...