Day 5 ….. Kruger saving the best for last
This was our last full day in Kruger however our friends were leaving that morning. SO decided to lend a hand with their packing up, while I decided to head out on a morning drive. I made it to the gate at 05H30 and off I went, headlights on as it was cloudy and still quite dark.
Back up the H3 and came across the male nomads once again. They were a bit more active this time around, walking right past me. Well, that is until one JJ arrived (I will not mention the company name), a quick radio call and then the place was infested with JJ’s.
I took my pics (including one of a small boy hanging out the window about 3 meters away from one of the Lions, I still need to submit this to the gallery of shame
) and then I left for Renosterpan.
Arriving at Renosterpan I just caught a glimpse of a W Rhino moving off into the bush. I stuck around for a bit, but the Rhino did not return so I headed back to camp. This time the JJ’s were gone and only a few cars were at the lions, I crept slowly past and headed off again. Just before BnD, I came across something I have not seen in years/decades!!
I waved a g’mornin and carried on towards BnD.
Before I reached the gate, the one and only Kudu bull I saw on the trip, popped out to say hi
then back to camp, where our friends had finished packing up, perfect timing wouldnt you say?
We decided to spend the afternoon in camp as we were going on a sunset drive that evening and we packed away what we could to minimise the next days packing up. When 16H45 arrived, we debated whether we should drive up or walk up to meet the sunset drive. We ended up taking the car there, a decision we would later be thankful for.
Peter was our guide for the evening. Our drive started out to be an ‘educational one’, as he put it. Peter was very informative, explaining details of the little things one would normally take for granted. Then Peter asked if the group was really interested in an educational drive or if they just wanted to see the big 5. I certainly don’t need to tell you how the vote turned out, do I.
Off we went racing to find the big 5.
First up Rhino (actually that was second, as we were being educated on elephants when Peter posed the drive altering question). Leaving the Rhinos, we headed for Matjulu waterhole. Halfway down the road we made a u-turn as a passer by alerted us to Lions on the S110. As we turned back onto the S110, we came across a car heading away from BnD. Peter kindly informed them that the gates were about to close and that they had to turn back, “Ok” came the reply (now, remember that part). So off we raced to the third B5 item on the list, two of the nomad Lions right in the road. On two occasions walking so close past us we could have reached out and touched him
The second one walking past must have caught sight of one of the guests arm hanging out (which they were) as he looked as if he was about to jump up into the truck.
While all this was going on, Peter was at the back of the truck taking down some details. What details you might wonder….., the details of the occupants in a car behind us. The same people that were told to head back to camp were cruising along behind us, taking a sunset drive of their own.
Anyway, back to the Lions. Well now, these two gents put on a show of note for us, three ROARING performances that vibrated right through the truck. That is truly an amazing experience to hear and see that right in front of you.
A small teaser…. View My Video
Passing another Puff Adder, we headed off again, half stopping for a Hare.
We came to the end of the S110, crossed the H3 and onto the S114. By now the lightning that was on the far horizon had brought with it a strong wind, with a storm threatening to break loose any minute. About 3-400m onto the S114, there she was, a young female Leopard walking along the side of the road. As soon as we arrived she made off into the bush and luckily we were able to get a few rushed visuals of her before she disappeared.
Then the storm broke!!
We were drenched by the time we got back to camp as the flaps on the side of the truck could not be fastened in anyway. Everyone hung onto a side flap while we made what seemed to be the longest 12km ride, ever. It turned out to be a big 4 drive that night as no Buffs were seen.
As mentioned earlier, when we arrived back at camp, we were glad the car was there and we didn’t have to slosh back down to the camping area in our wet clothes as it was getting rather chilly.
Sadly our time in Kruger had come to an end, we slept soundly that night and were up early the next morning. We packed up, had a shower and headed for Malelane gate and checked out. We took a slow drive across the bridge, stopping to admire the Crocodiles and a lone Buffalo before departing for Johannesburg.
Until next time KNP……………………
And that Ladies and Gentlemen, is the end of my trip report of Berg-en-Dal 2010-03-26 to 2010-03-31