Skip to Content

Cape of Storms' Kruger Family Adventure. KNP, April '14

Tell us about your breathtaking experiences in the parks
User avatar
Cape of Storms
Virtual Ranger
Virtual Ranger
Posts: 1824
Joined: Sun Feb 07, 2010 5:26 pm
Location: Cape Town

Cape of Storms' Kruger Family Adventure. KNP, April '14

Unread postby Cape of Storms » Mon Aug 04, 2014 12:17 pm

Sometimes it is almost embarrassing to tell people that I get to go to Kruger every year.

The view from Mopani shows South Africa at it’s best. A Country reflected in the water that has so much to offer but Kruger certainly is one of the best parts!

Image

My good friends share the addiction and are always excited for me. Other people cannot understand the need to head back there annually. Somehow true understanding of being a Krugerholic only comes when you see the addiction take root in someone else. For me it was the reaction of my children to the news we were headed for an unexpected trip to Kruger. We (after 2 years of debating) decided that 2014 would be the year that we would be doing our first 4x4 trip to Botswana. A life long dream that had to wait till the girls were old enough. So it was decided last year that our July holidays would be spent on a new adventure - NOT Kruger. That was the bitter pill to swallow… A new adventure meant being unable to do the family tradition we had become used too.

Initially when we told the kids they were very disappointed but like any parent would we laced our trip to Botswana with absolute decadence. We got to the point where Botswana was starting to sound like Disneyland to my girls. It was settled we were going to explore Wild Africa and Kruger would have to wait till next year until…

It was one of those stunning Cape Town Wind free evenings that February serves up for us just to remind us why this country can never be beat. My brother in-law, his wife and their little girl came to spend the afternoon. After a glorious day around the pool and a braai “wat skrik vir niks nie” we put the kids to bed. Adding some wood to the fire, whiskey for the guys and Amarula for us ladies we began to reminisce about our last trip with them all the way back in 2010. It was a trip of a life time and we have yet to match our sightings in that one trip with the 3 subsequent ones without them. Something about Amarula just brings out the nostalgia. Maybe it was the mellow mood helped along by the drinks but we decided there and then this is nonsense we need to go to Kruger. But when and how will we afford two major holidays….

The conversation of possibles now heads towards probables. Ok we can do it in April / May since now the kids are being given the days off between public holidays. Only 3 days of leave for a 10 days of holidays. But after all the laughs and excitement it was down to me getting us in and also trying A ) to make sure we can get bigger units b) not have to travel everyday between camps and c) Get a a kombi or large vehicle to split vehicle costs! A slow bubble of excitement starts to brew deep inside.


Dumb luck or destiny when I call on the Monday morning I manage to get some accommodation. Not one single night anywhere - we get to stay 2 nights at every camp. PLUS we are going to Pretoriuskop - a first for all of us.

Car rental and flights seemed to jump out at cheaper costs than when we went last year. It was just amazing.

So that Monday we all sit around the fire again. IS THIS REALLY HAPPENING???? We sit and book all our flights together and once that is paid we do a little dance!

Image

Now to break the news to the kids…. Well this is where the Krugerholic came out in both of them. First a big smile appears on their faces (that are still there by the way) next they start jumping up and down. Picking their cousin up and telling her how they are going to educate her in all things Kruger. Now for a 3 year old this doesn’t mean much but the excitement spills over and soon all three of them are chanting “We are going to Kruger, we are going to Kruger….” You get the idea. Yip Cape of Storms and her brood of addicts are at it again. This time we have a few extras in the bus and hope to feed the addiction!


Image

User avatar
Cape of Storms
Virtual Ranger
Virtual Ranger
Posts: 1824
Joined: Sun Feb 07, 2010 5:26 pm
Location: Cape Town

Re: 2014 April: Kruger Family Adventure

Unread postby Cape of Storms » Tue Aug 05, 2014 1:25 pm

26 April

We fly up the Friday night. Drive through to Nelspruit where we overnight before getting our shopping done and heading on to Paradise!

A new addition to the camera kit was a Gopro! we received for out anniversary from family and boy was it fun to use.

Here we go. The show was on the road.

Image

With rumours of long road stops on the Malelane road we chose to head in at Phabeni. Entering the Jewel of SA is like coming home.

S1 Doispane Road
Image
Image

Who was waiting for us around a tree? Mr Zeebee Deeeee!!
Image

After the Zeebees by the tree it was time for an Ellieeeee!
Image

Even Barbieeee had to have a look and see!
Image

Heading on in towards Pretoriuskop with the sun setting. What could be better???
Image

Fayi Loop road near Pretoriuskop.
Image
Image

What a pleasure to be at Pretoriuskop. A wonderfully clean and quiet camp. So far we were loving it!
Last edited by Cape of Storms on Sat Sep 20, 2014 8:15 pm, edited 3 times in total.

User avatar
Cape of Storms
Virtual Ranger
Virtual Ranger
Posts: 1824
Joined: Sun Feb 07, 2010 5:26 pm
Location: Cape Town

Re: 2014 April: Kruger Family Adventure

Unread postby Cape of Storms » Wed Aug 06, 2014 6:22 am

spargish: Welcome on board. So glad there are more addicts out there!

dellac: Thank you for your kind words. So glad you are joining us and of course C.O.S is definitely in order!

Kaapsedraai: It is on my list as a new favourite. GoPro is in experimental stage!

ruthp: We definitely have similar ideas. Our girls have also been going annual since the youngest was 3 and they absolutely can’t get enough. Now your daughter is living my dream life!!!

fee: They think they are scared! Boy I would love 5 visits a year !!! When is your next trip?

Philip1: I hope I don’t disappoint! And "Stormy" this winter it has been!

Mellory: Welcome to group! Sure is an addiction where the group feeds the craving instead of stopping it!

Chip: Excitement was high! It was her first time and she had a ball. My girls really educated into Kruger Living! Welcome on board

27 April 2014


As any true Krugerholic knows, your first morning that you wake up in the park you are read to hit the road before the sun even peaks out. Our first morning waking up at Pretoriuskop was no different.

Typically the sunrise did not disappoint, and we sat and watched as it broke through the morning darkness, smiling to ourselves that we were finally here.
Image

Image

We head out on the Napi Road. Our first animal on this morning drive was this Gerry peering into the distance. Perhaps it too was enjoying the break of day knowing that at least for now it was safer.
Image

Quick Historical Pit Stop.
Image

This little beauty was looking at us!
Image

Even in the distance the sights of Kruger just keep you coming back for more.

Image

The decision is to head towards Transport Dam. According to the sightings board leopard have been very active in the area. Fingers crossed we travel to the Dam. Scouting the trees for the spotted one we only find a lofty vulture.
Image

Time for a break and a cup of coffee at the Dam. Total relaxation.
Image
Last edited by Cape of Storms on Sat Sep 20, 2014 8:31 pm, edited 4 times in total.

User avatar
Cape of Storms
Virtual Ranger
Virtual Ranger
Posts: 1824
Joined: Sun Feb 07, 2010 5:26 pm
Location: Cape Town

Re: 2014 April: Kruger Family Adventure

Unread postby Cape of Storms » Thu Aug 07, 2014 7:09 am

Mr Elephant heading towards the dam in earnest to have a drink!

Image

Back onto the H1-1 and we spot our first Fish Eagle. Not the best photo but when you hear that sound of the Fish Eagle calling you know you are truly in the wild.
Image

Shitlhave Dam Who was here??? Predation is what we seek but cannot find!

Image

Gliding along in the dam is the only predator of the day!

Image

Some more viewers!
Image

Beautiful Waterbuck better watch out for Mr Crocky Croc!

Image
Last edited by Cape of Storms on Sat Sep 20, 2014 8:34 pm, edited 2 times in total.

User avatar
Cape of Storms
Virtual Ranger
Virtual Ranger
Posts: 1824
Joined: Sun Feb 07, 2010 5:26 pm
Location: Cape Town

Re: 2014 April: Kruger Family Adventure

Unread postby Cape of Storms » Fri Aug 08, 2014 6:10 am

For some on the Bus the pace was just to much…
Image

Seeing how blissful my niece was made us all decide that part of holiday was resting so we headed back to camp for a very late brunch and some R’nR before heading back out in the afternoon for a little cruise around.

Speeding off was a very fast tortoise!
Image

No mention in which direction we went but we were very cautious as this beautiful rhino was getting pretty agitated at being boxed in and stuck trying to get past a massive bus. Rhino’s deserve the same respect as elephants when it comes to keeping your distance. They can do serious damage!

At least he managed to get past without being hurt or hurting anyone. I couldn’t believe that some people drove so close to him. Maybe I am just a scaredy cat.Image

Image

Image

Clouds were warning us of incoming rain.
Image

and we decided to just enjoy the light rainfall before heading back into camp after a VERY relaxing day.
Image

And is there any better way to end the day than sitting around the fire?
Image

My dirty mouthed explorer was checking out the night life with her head lamp.
Image

Just staring into the burning fire was like plugging in a rechargeable battery into the wall socket. Slowly the energy that our rushed lives gobble up was starting to refill.

Image

What would tomorrow bring? Even if we had another slow day we were definitely forgetting the city life behind and soaking the bush veld.

User avatar
Cape of Storms
Virtual Ranger
Virtual Ranger
Posts: 1824
Joined: Sun Feb 07, 2010 5:26 pm
Location: Cape Town

Re: 2014 April: Kruger Family Adventure

Unread postby Cape of Storms » Sun Aug 10, 2014 7:12 am

28 April 2014

Another wonderful sleep in the Park and we are up at Sunrise. The plan is to take a trip down to Berg-en-Dal for a picnic. Once again, as we do every year the hunt is on in particular for Wild Dogs. These doggies seem to always dodge us, bar one sighting in 2012. Rumor had it that there was plenty of dog action around Berg-en-Dal so that is where we were going!

On the road again.
Image

It seems our waterbuck survived the night and was still enjoying herself at the water’s edge at Shitlhave.
Image

Near Transport Dam we have a typical Zebra Crossing.
Image

Breakfast on the road for this little one. Mamma love.
Image

Some of the young ones were also enjoying a grass nibble.
Image

Transport Dam
Image

Vulture waiting for some action.
Image

Just can’t help photographing these little posers.
Lilac-breasted Roller
Image

Another beautiful Jerry on the H3.
Image

So many river crossings along this road. Each one was as beautiful as the next.
Image

Klipspringers on our way to Berg-en-Dal H3
Image
Image

User avatar
Cape of Storms
Virtual Ranger
Virtual Ranger
Posts: 1824
Joined: Sun Feb 07, 2010 5:26 pm
Location: Cape Town

Re: 2014 April: Kruger Family Adventure

Unread postby Cape of Storms » Mon Aug 11, 2014 5:45 pm

This Baboon Finding Grubs kept us entertained for quite a while. He would dig until he found a grub and then he would gobble it up before scratching for more and start the whole process over again.

Image
Image
Yummo NOT!!
Image

Then of course there is the best mode of transport. Hitching a rid and it looks like he is texting too!
Image

Best kind of road block. A herd of Ellies. This baby was stomping and entertaining us.
Image

Too big for Boobie?
Image

Stress levels in the cars were raised when we noticed the Bull Elephant approaching.
Image

But he was more interested in the ladies than us.
Image

I was rather pleased that we were on this side of the road block and not the cars where he was headed.
Image

Unfortunately the picnic site just outside of Berg-en-dal was temporally close since the ladies that were running it from the community were scared off by some lions in the site one night the previous week. But the staff at Berg-en-dal were unbelievably friendly. They sourced a skottle for us and set it up near the old site under the trees and we were enjoying a fry up in no time.

Our breakfast chefs.
Image

User avatar
Cape of Storms
Virtual Ranger
Virtual Ranger
Posts: 1824
Joined: Sun Feb 07, 2010 5:26 pm
Location: Cape Town

Re: 2014 April: Kruger Family Adventure

Unread postby Cape of Storms » Wed Aug 13, 2014 10:50 am

After refuelling our tanks it is time to head on back to camp.

Another one trying to make a getaway.
Image
Image

Back past the water crossings.
Image

More fun and games along the way. This is how we entertain ourselves.
Image

We spot another herd of Ellies along the way.
Image

One gets WAY WAY WAY WAY WAY to close for my liking and the kids totally freak out. But he was just curious and we drove by speedily.
Image

Hammer Time!
Image
Hamerkop Voortrekker Road
Image

Time for some memorabilia.
Image

User avatar
Cape of Storms
Virtual Ranger
Virtual Ranger
Posts: 1824
Joined: Sun Feb 07, 2010 5:26 pm
Location: Cape Town

Re: 2014 April: Kruger Family Adventure

Unread postby Cape of Storms » Fri Aug 15, 2014 11:18 am

Once we get home it is time for another steak on the braai and a relaxing drink before bed. What would the morning hold? We were off to Olifants (my favourite camp)

29 April

A leisurely morning of packing up and letting the kids play on the lawn. A long drive ahead of us so just making sure they get rid of all their energy. Probably because we left so late in the morning we really didn’t see much along the way. Just before Skukuza we see a commotion of cars…… In the tree is a kill but no Leopard in sight

Image

Close but no cigar!!

Quick pitstop and refuel at SKU and then back on the road again.
H12 Sabie River Crossing

Image

What a great lady! One of my Kruger heroes!
Image

Another Tall one! H1-2
Image

Tshokwane for a pitstop and of course ICE CREAM!!
Image

Image

Because of flood damage there was no water at Tshokwane. Port-a-loos and tanks of water to keep everyone happy. At least a plan was made but it did making washing up a bit of a problem.

Heading North on our journey to Olifants. The veld is changing and this is part of what I really love about Kruger. The various regions don’t only offer animal diversity but vegetation and scenery changes to.

Mazithi
Image

They say lightning doesn’t strike in the same place twice but can you handle 2 x Leopard kills in trees on the same day and still NO LEOPARD!!!!!

Image
Image

We had never been in the park for this long without seeing a cat or at least a hyena. Could this be the trip where our “Luck” runs out….
Last edited by Cape of Storms on Sat Sep 20, 2014 8:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
Cape of Storms
Virtual Ranger
Virtual Ranger
Posts: 1824
Joined: Sun Feb 07, 2010 5:26 pm
Location: Cape Town

Re: 2014 April: Kruger Family Adventure

Unread postby Cape of Storms » Sun Aug 17, 2014 8:24 am

Even though we are headed up to Olifants we decided to take a quick detour down our favourite road in the park. The H7. A quick look at Nsemani. Then A quick grab for binocs as we think we see a lion….
Image

arrggggggg!!! Just a baboon walking along.

But as we look a bit down the road we see a few cars stopped. Could this be it? Our moment to see a cat?????

Sure enough a mating pair of lions and finally the Drought is broken!

Image

This male was very determined. :big_eyes: He ever did his thing while she was pretty much a sleep! :doh:

Image

We never saw her face once she was so exhausted! :lol: Eventually he joined her in slumber and it was time for us to move off and leave the love birds to catch up on the R’nR! :gflower:

Image
Image

With a renewed bounce in our drive we head on up the H1-4 towards Olifants. The usual suspects along the way. Waterbuck, buffalo, giraffe, ellies and impala and just before we get to camp this vulture in a tree. I think it is a Lappet-faced vulture? :hmz:
Image

Just before the gate at Olifants camp we enjoy watching a Tawny peering into the distance. It was as if he too was enjoying the tranquillity of the setting sun.

Image
After settling into units 90 and 91 we lit our fire and just enjoyed the best view in the world. :popcorn:

Image
Last edited by Cape of Storms on Sat Sep 20, 2014 8:38 pm, edited 4 times in total.

User avatar
Cape of Storms
Virtual Ranger
Virtual Ranger
Posts: 1824
Joined: Sun Feb 07, 2010 5:26 pm
Location: Cape Town

Re: 2014 April: Kruger Family Adventure

Unread postby Cape of Storms » Tue Aug 19, 2014 6:33 am

30 April 2014
We wake up early hoping to catch the sunrise over the Olifants river. This is the first pictures of the morning from our unit.

ImageImage

We head onto the S92 to get a closer look at the river in the morning light and pass this little guy. A Three-banded Plover

Image

Enjoying coffee and rusks on the S91 near the water we manage to catch a golden sunrise.

ImageImage

The decision is to head back down towards Satara and try our luck in lion country. Maybe breakfast at N’wanetsi before heading back up. So down the H1-4 we go.

Olifants River Crossing

Image

No Elies in the Olifants just a lone hippo.

Image

Just after the bridge was this lone Hyena Pup all cozy in it’s den. Little did we know how he would entertain us later in the day.

Image

“Mom it’s to early to get up! The sun is in my eyes” :roll:

Image

The rest of the trip down to Satara was pretty uneventful. A quick run in for a toilet stop and a sighting’s board check. Looks like the action was out on the H6 not S100 hundred the previous night so are set to do the S100 loop but starting from the H6.

User avatar
Cape of Storms
Virtual Ranger
Virtual Ranger
Posts: 1824
Joined: Sun Feb 07, 2010 5:26 pm
Location: Cape Town

Re: 2014 April: Kruger Family Adventure

Unread postby Cape of Storms » Wed Aug 20, 2014 4:50 pm

Our first sighting on the H 6 was this Kori Bustard.

Image
Keeping with big birds… The Biggest of them all.

Image

These two guys were leaving us behind in search of greener pastures (or some lovely ladies!)

Image

It was a pretty windy day and in the middle of the road, this little guy was desperate to get across.
Image

Chameleon Green was rocking back and forth placing one foot carefully in front of the other. Maybe it sensed danger from above?

Image

Could it be a coincidence that we see another Chameleon about 1 km further doing the same thing? Trying desperately to cross the road.

Image

Check how he is checking us out with his rotating eye! I got my eye on you boy!!!

Image

User avatar
Cape of Storms
Virtual Ranger
Virtual Ranger
Posts: 1824
Joined: Sun Feb 07, 2010 5:26 pm
Location: Cape Town

Re: 2014 April: Kruger Family Adventure

Unread postby Cape of Storms » Thu Aug 21, 2014 6:29 pm

Jan van Wyk thanks so much for sticking with us
Trrp-trrrrrrrr Thanks! Love Kudu they are really beautiful
impyim The lack of color change in the chameleons was a topic for conversation in car too
Meandering Mouse Such awkward birds yet they do so well in Kruger.

Finally we arrive at N'wanetsi Picnic Site!
Image

While we were cooking the girls were being kids and playing around us.

Image

My youngest in her element!
Image

Time to get cooking.
Image
Yummy in the tummy.
Image
Last edited by Cape of Storms on Sat Sep 20, 2014 8:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
Cape of Storms
Virtual Ranger
Virtual Ranger
Posts: 1824
Joined: Sun Feb 07, 2010 5:26 pm
Location: Cape Town

Re: 2014 April: Kruger Family Adventure

Unread postby Cape of Storms » Mon Aug 25, 2014 4:12 pm

Customary family pictures at the lookout.
Image

Each year for the past 5 years we take a photo at the same spot and seeing how the kids have grown over the years is very scary!

Here are 2 photos of the girls in 2009 5 years ago!
Image
Image

Here is the latest of our family.
Image

What are we looking at?
Image

The best view you could ask for.
Image

Back on the road to look for those lions. But we find the tall ones instead. Giraffe on the S41.
Image

Grey Heron in flight S41
Image

Image

Water Monitor on the S41.
Image
Image

Then it is time to see if our lucky S100 will deliver. This Waterbuck giving us the old gangster eyeball!
Image[
Mr Ellie also popped in for a view.
Image

While these Zebra showed us their disinterest.
Image

And that was about it for the S100. Usually this road would always produce something spectacular but today just the usuals.
Last edited by Cape of Storms on Sat Sep 20, 2014 8:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
Cape of Storms
Virtual Ranger
Virtual Ranger
Posts: 1824
Joined: Sun Feb 07, 2010 5:26 pm
Location: Cape Town

Re: 2014 April: Kruger Family Adventure

Unread postby Cape of Storms » Tue Aug 26, 2014 3:40 pm

The decision is to head back up on the S40 where Zebras show us how they lean on each other to prevent neck cramp!
Image

Piet Grobler Dam and a long crocodile lies in wait.
Image

Would this guy be a victim one day??
Image

I am sure everybody knows these spots …

Image

Image

Our Brave Hyena Cub was still waiting patiently for the rest of his clan. The entire day all alone …. Poor guy. But then he did a crazy thing and it was one of our most exciting memories of the trip. As we stopped to watch him, he disappeared.

I didn’t want hubby to drive off as I suspected he had gone underneath the bus… How would we know? We come up with an idea. If we put the GoPro! onto my monopod we could see if he is under the car. The GoPro Syncs wirelessly with my iphone so we could check out his position. I decided to record at the same time and just then MR Pup got very brave!! Hope you can see the video. I slowed it down a bit.

[video]http://youtu.be/pbmyxfsmpVc[/video]

The day I nearly lost my new camera to a hunting hyena pup!!
Image
Last edited by Cape of Storms on Mon Sep 01, 2014 1:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.


Return to “Travel Tales”