Well lets first say that the trip took us a SHOCKING
8 hours to get to from JHB! Travelling with women who want to stop at all the shops and go shopping is just not on!!
Anyway we finally got to the park through Numbi gate and headed off towards Pretoriskop. We did not see much on the way there. Once at the camp we unpacked and had some snacks to eat and decided to go in search of something spectacular. Just taking a non planned route we travelled along the Pretoriuskop road towards Skukuza. On the road we spotted a white rhino with her calf in the distance. We decided to look at a dam when we saw movement in the bush (also in the distance) and all ten pairs of eyes were busy looking in the same direction (left) when an elephant decided to cross the road 10meters from the car
! It was heading towards the tar road so we went to the dam, spent 5 minutes looking at a lonely hippo and headed back towards the tar road. We spotted the elephant from the tar road and he was in a heard of about 10. We decided to head back to camp as it was getting close to closing time.
Next morning we headed out early. We went up to Phembini gate and travelled towards Skukuza. We spotted some beautiful animals (elephants, rhinos, a few reptiles and a kingfisher trying to find himself lunch in the water. We headed to Skukuza day camp for lunch where we had to wait 1hour to hire utensils to make lunch with
We decided to head of back to camp as we had a game drive that evening which we all very excited about
! I had organised a private game drive for us because we were a pretty large group (10 people). The game drive started off towards Numbi gate when the driver phoned a mate and got told that there were lions on Vortrekker road so we turned around and went in search of the lions. When we reached the spot where the ranger said the lions where they had vanished. Having just missed the lions i thought this could be a night with no surprises for us! We found ourselves on the tar road towards Skukuza when I shouted stop! Saw something big but don’t know what it was? The ranger stuck the vehicle into reverse and there were 2 lonely Buff’s sitting right next to the road in a ditch. What a lovely sighting watching 2 lonely buff’s sitting watching us. We then left the buff’s and spotted an Elli eating some leaves not too far in the distance.
All we now needed to see was lions, and the amazing leopard! We had seen many rhino’s during the day so we were quite happy not to see them BUT there they were crossing the road, 3 amazing white rhino walking in a hurry. We then went on driving when the ranger spotted something walking towards us in the road.
What could it be?it was a smallish shape and thin.
Could it be the amazing leopard? Was it a lone female lion? As we got closer the animal decided it did not like the lights and headed into the bush. We stopped close to where we thought it headed into the bush and there it was, walking parallel to the road in the bushes a lovely male leopard. You could see he wanted to head back onto the road so we did a u-turn and switched off our lights and waited for a minute or so (boy was it dark). We switched back on the lights and there he was walking on the tar road busy marking his territory. It was absolutely amazing we stayed with the leopard for about 15 min when we headed off in search of the king of the jungle’s. We drove and did not see much so we decided to head off back towards camp and look around there for the lion’s.
While driving back an animal was walking in the road in the same spot more or less where the leopard was. Did we manage to catch up with the leopard? This creature looked slightly larger and was a bit hunched back! Yip it was a hyena, he was sniffing the markings left behind by the leopard. We spent some time with the hyena before he headed off into the bushes. On the way back to camp we came across a few owls sitting in the road waiting for their supper to appear.
Sadly to say we never saw the lion’s but we were hoping that we would when leaving the camp the next day. The next day we packed up our stuff as we needed to leave, and headed off. We saw some elephants nice and close on the road but still no lion’s. Will we see the lions before we reach the gate? Well sadly to say we did not manage to see the lion’s but I suppose that is the luck of the Kruger!!
Will post some pictures of the trip soon!
Hope you enjoyed reading the trip report!
Canon 5D MK III
, Canon 7D , Canon 450D | Canon 400 F5.6 L
| Canon 70-200 F2.8 L
IS|Sigma 10-200 EX DG OS F4-5.6 & goodies Runner up wildlife photographer of the year 2012-sunday times & winner-Canon S.A. reflection category