This is a Trip Report of our Trip to Skukuza and Satara. Me, SO and my Parents who are in the late 60,s. Its my 3rd time in Kruger, 2nd time staying in SAN Parks, they have never been before. I did all the bookings via the Internet. you may want to get some
We started by getting the internal flight on SAA Airlink to KMP - all went smoothly and with no problems. I advised the other 3 to keep thier cameras handy as they may want to take a picture of the terminal building. SO - 'why do I want a picture of an airport?' As we where making our way to the terminal they where all taking pictures. I think its one of the best looking airports in the world.
Pick up our Hire Car - Nissan XTrail 4x2 from Thriffty - again no problem. Then on to White River to get some supplies, mainly in the form of G + T for Ma, Amarula for SO and Windhoek for Pa and myself
Also some breakfast stuff and snacks for in the car.
. Stocked up we head for Numbi gate full of excitment.
At they gate I do the entry paperwork while they say hello to Jock.
As we enter Kruger on the H1-1 I tell them that I wont stop the car at the 1st MacDonalds as we will see loads during our stay. But how can you resist when you see your 1st group after living in a City 12,000kms away.
We stop and watch them for a few minutes as they enjoy the shade, once you see your 1st animal in the park it feels like a releif and you know all the travelling to get there is worth it.
. The next Sighting are 2 White Rhino Sleeping under a tree, tried to take a picture but no luck, a couple more Km's down the road more Impala, then this chap keeping a lookout on his real estate.
Then we saw 3 of these majestic animals, I always wonder how the 1st Europeans described them, and if anyone belived them.
I cant belive we have already seen so much before we even get to Skukuza, and feel its going to be a great stay.
We get to SKukuza at about 4pm, booking in goes well with no Q, we had 2 couples wild cards (which we purchased in Cape Town for Addo) its so nice not having to worry about the money for your conservation fees. All goes well. I then mention that via email I have reserved 4 people on the evening Bush Braii, I half expect to be told they either have no record of the booking or its been cancelled, for this reason no one else in the party knew about it so it was a nice suprise for them.
Im told to be at the Game drive area for 4.45pm - leaving at 5pm - its 4.15
Take Ma and Pa to there River Front Rondaval - West side, me and SO are on the East side
as we leave remind them that once they put stuff in the fridge to turn it round to stop the Vervets. As we get to our Roundaval and start to unpack we look next door
Point out to SO thats why you turn the fridge round - putting just a chair in front is no good! The criminals are still hanging around.
As much as I can watch them for ages we had no time only 25 minutes to up pack the car and freshen up in the fantastic showers.
We get out and make our way to the car park where we find out there are only 10 on the bush braii - our Party of 4 - Melin11 and SO - and 4 Saffas. Oupa is our ranger and although the animals didnt all co-operate what a fantastic evening, the setting, the food, (loads of) a stash of cool ones in a tub of ice, and the staff where all great.
This is a random picture that was taken of the chef - but sums the evening up perfectly.
If you get the chance to do one make sure you do, highly recomended
As we drop my parents off at there Rondaval I remind them to set there Alarm for 5am as the Gates open at 6........
......Alarm goes off at 5 wake up all excited 1st full day in Kruger and I cant wait to see what the day holds in store. Put the kettle on Im english and cant start the day woith out a cuppa (5 roses in this case) SO gets in the shower and says she cant get the water to run through hot..... strange I thought, they was red hot last night, maybe SAN Parks has gone to solar heating and the waters not hot, I decide to chance a cold shower, I turn the hot tap on and nearly scold myself, turns out SO had still been half asleep and only turned the cold tap on. (Im still laughing thinking about it now).
SO makes some cheese and tomato Sarmies for the car we pack chips etc as once I leave camp I dont like coming back till the gates are due to close. Pack the car drink my tea with couple of Dippas (the marmalade flavour is lekker). Pack the car - cameras - batteries etc, check the fridge is secure.
Drive to the westside to pick up Ma and Pa, only find my Ma has been ill all night, we think its a reaction to the Malarone and a bit of De-hydration - bummer - she decides to stay behind but my Pa jumps in the back of the car. Its 5.45 drive to the gate and............there must be 20 cars in front of us!!!!!!!!
SO has been teasing me about fnding a leopard - I told her they are so difficult to find and also LIT are a myth put around on internet forums.
Oh well we sit there and make a plan wondering what way we should go when we leave the camp Turn left - no will end up going towards a gate and we have just got here, just dont want the thought of a gate - straight on possible and then a coffee later on at Afsal - or maybe left and head up towards Tshokwane, for our coffee also possible. The gates open at 6am - most people seem to be going straight on - thats it we decide to go left. see some more of these guys at 6.10,
We stop and watch them in the early morning light and wonder what the day has in store for them and us. Over the low water bridge - I point out the leval of the 2000 floods. SO and Pa cant believe it!
A few more buck then we get to the turn for the Maroela Loop, we,ve not been on the dirt since we arrived at Kruger so I make a turn. No one else around so we slow down to about 20kph and scan the bush. We do about 2k,s then OMG -
2 shapes on the right hand side 2 Leopard cubs!!!!!!! They start making there way into the bush - I brake - Reverse - as we all start scrambling for our camaras - we look and see them walking off I squeeze of 3 shots with my Point and shoot. One has gone - but the other is slower he looks over his shoulder
We cant Beleive it, we are all breathless asking each other was it real did we really see 2, yes we did. SO says that if we see nothing else in our stay then it has all been worth it.
We drive on - more Giraffe - more Impala - Back onto the Tar - stop off at Mantimahle
Then up to here for a leg stretch and take our daily dose of Malarone and some juice, we all still cant believe what we,ve seen so far.
Finish our snacks pack the rubbish away, Take the right towards Tshokwae as planned, the next sighting is some Gunu/Blue Wilerbeest/Lion food walking away
a few Zebra/Black and white strippy horses/Lion food near Leeupan.
The 1st of both we have seen this trip, but a bit of a quiet spell.
It all changes as we arrive at Leeupan at 8.50.
We arrive and on the far side are 2
Just browsing the tops of the trees, they look so graceful and calming.
Also on the far side a stunning Sable Antelope, wih some feathered freinds hitching a ride for a free meal.
There are some glossy starlings and some red and yellow billed hornbills hanging around,
Question - what happens if they breed - Orange Hornbills?
Also an African Fish Eagle?
The 3 of us sit there with about 4 other cars and enjoy the peace taking pictures of the animals, then all hell breaks loose, this lot came rampaing to the water hole, all noise and dust, destroying the peace and scaring off the the animals.
we stay and watch them cause chaos - until they leave and peace returns.
Then make our way for a coffee on the way we see
Steenbok I assume?
Its 10am now so coffee at Tshokwane is calling. So we drive past Silolweni.
Coffee drunk, spotless ablutions used, ichy feet. We drive back to Siloweni not much happening read the sign
and feel sad the hippos maybe culled - why not breach the dam to get the water flowing?
We decide to drive down to Lower Sabie back up the road take the H10 turn we go down the dirt S32 see plenty more Imala and Nyala, stop off at Orpen Dam not alot going on double back down the S32 and see this lot crossing the road
we watch them dissapear into the bush, we take the left onto the H10 and met them crossing the road again
You have to love the little ones!
Once they have gone we go south, not much going on so we stop at Nkumbe and admire the view, and have some juice and snacks - we,ve been out 6 hours already
Just down the road we see our second Klipspringer of our trip.
Question - one side of the Road (Mozambique) is all burnt, was this a controlled burn or a bush fire??????? - it seems a very large area.
Not much going on so we make a turn, off the Tar and onto the S128 and drive for a bit enjoying the solitude of not a single car in either direction. We stop when we see a group of ground hornbills with a youngster looking for food
Then we come across this Bull on his own (is he named?) so we watch him feed while he watches us - watching him - watching us.....
Nothing much else to be seen apart fom a second group of Ground Hornbills with 1 of the group looking like he wants to attack the hire car can animals have an attitude? cos this guy seemed to.
Its already 3pm time for a break at Lower Sabie
We have a hot pie and a cold one at LS and enjoy the view from the deck.
Out the gates and start making for Skukuza, we stop at Sunset - hoping there is a 2nd 'Battle' taking place - alass no but plenty of bird life there
And some big crocs lazing in the sun
This guy was wisely on the opposite bank to them.
Driving up the H4-1 not much going on apart from the usual buck until we get past Nkuhlu,
We watch the baboons feeding at the roadside. This was one of the cutest.
Rant on - Only downer was we pulled into one of the laybys that over look the Sabie and see 4 empty bottles of Savana!!!!!!!! Why cant people take there rubbish back to camp - is it that difficult??? I was tempted to get out the car and pick them up.
- Rant off.
Then we came across a tree that must have some of the sweetest leaves in Kruger
Then back to camp - drop Pa off and me and SO freshen up, this time she turns the hot on. then upto Seleti for a meal - I can recomend the ribs. Alarm set for 5am. Sleep