Firstly thanks to all those who replied to my first post and gave me suggestions. Much appreciated.
I have just spent 3 weeks travelling in South Africa with my daughter who is volunteering in PE. I have travelled to 15 countries around the world and have never been to one that I've fallen for as much as South Africa.
During our time there we visited Addo and Kruger, too short to do either of them justice but enough for a facination to start growing. The guides we had at both parks were terrific and taught us a lot.
Saw lots of large herds at Addo with babies of all different sizes.
A recent Eland kill 1-2 days old - glad I wasn't there when that stomach exploded!!!
We travelled to Kruger with with Bundu Safari's and stayed in the unfenced camping site outside of Orpen. Because it's unfenced we had to have a ranger with us at all times. The camp site has a number of permanent 2 man tents, a corral for camp fires and the evening meal, and a camp toilet for emergencies only!! During the day we used the facilities at Orpen. Most of the time we were at Kruger it was freezing, most unusual and not what I expected, and we spent the long drives in the Safari truck wrapped up in blankets.
My daughter and I had hysterics over the thought of having to use the camp toilet on the first night, however on the second night and after a few drinks, and especially at my age...well it was necessary. Let me tell you, your life is not complete until you've had a pee in the bush in the dark with a ranger standing shotgun over you (out of sight of course), in case an animal comes along. It was the funniest experience of my trip.
Once inside your tent at night your not allowed out unless you call for the ranger. We were up at 4AM to go on the 2 hour morning walks after a light breakfast. The walks - or was that looking for the Safari truck for 2 hours
were informative and fun.
We saw a leopard on three different occassions and I have the infamous LIT photo's!! We watched a large leopard in a tree with a Impala he had draped over a branch for quite a while. He was bothered by tourists, some of whom were going off road to get closer shots, and he went up and down the tree once or twice. The next day we saw him dragging his Impala away through the bush.
In the evenings in our camp site we heard a leopard making its strange calling sound as it patrolled its teritory. It was very close during the night and woke me up - it was strange and eerie but lovely to hear.
On one of our long evening drives, which turned into a night of spotlighting we saw many animals, including another leopard, two honey badgers, a genet, and a young lion slowly padding along the road. We followed along beside it for some time, hoping not to bother it too much and at one point it stopped right beside the truck and turned to stare at us. It was beautiful and quiet and just looking, as were we. I was so engrossed that I couldn't take a photo, I just soaked up the experience. Then it just turned and kept slowly walking along the road. - Majic.
We saw, in two days - Duiker, Impala (how could you not see them??) Waterbuck, Kudu, Blue Wilderbeast, Steenbok, Tree Suirrels (at Orpen gate), Dwarf mongoose, Honey badgers - 2 together, Lesser Bushbabies, Ellies - lots, Hippos, Giraffes Buffalo, Lions and cubs, African wild cat (how our ranger spotted this one I'll never know!), Leopard (3 times), Large spotted genet, Baboons, Burchells Zebra, Blackbacked jackal, Warthog, Vervet monkeys, Spotted hyaena's.
We also recorded lots of birds including a Southern Ground Hornbill more than once.
This little Duiker was sitting very calmly at the roadside and didn't move, even when the Safari truck pulled up next to it.
We were sad to leave and although our time there was so short, Kruger has had a profound effect on me and I hope to be able to return within 18 months to have a much longer look. I'm so glad the Forum is here and the Webcam.