Thank you mosij, Grantmissy,JeanniR, Philip1, Franconel, hilda, Trrp-trrrrrrrr,MM,Cape of stormsHere we are :
July 25th morning
Queue to get an entry stamp on passport but lanes well organized and quite soon we were collecting our luggage, luckily everything was on the carousel
, then we crossed the hall to the Car rental floor.
Rapidly we got all documents and the key, a little bit disappointed by the 4x4 allocated (going to Botswana after Kruger and Mapugunbwe)
; we would have preferred the other Japanese car maker and not this one but after some discussion
, we realized there was no other car available at the airport and that we had no more time to waste.
A quick run to the ATM to get some rands, thanks to Frizzle
information on the forum ,we could get more rands in one shot from ABSA ATM in the arrivals hall than from any other ATM at the airport.
Found the car in the parking, carefully checked everything was OK, I recommend to everybody to check in detail and not to trust the pre-check document that will be given to you
. I ask the guy in charge (a very nice fellow) to add a long list of scratches, small holes on the canopy, windscreen, I check spare tyre, jack was in and all needed tools (hope I would not need to use it but …)
And finally on the road ...
Even if we tried to hurry up, it took us some time before we left the airport .
The flight from Paris arriving later than before (10h30 am instead of 7 am in the past) we shouldn’t wander around if we wanted to reach the gate before curfew.
Kruger, here we come!
This is still the best moment of the trip, you feel you are in a kind of no man’s land between the place you left and the place you are trying to reach.
You started your holidays but at the same time you didn’t totally.
The first 3 nights are booked in Pretoriuskop
and we will enter the park through Numbi gate
We like this small gate and each time we used it, it was easy and quick formalities and …very nice sightings at once.
This time also, the tradition will be ….but it’s another story we’ll see later.
A quick stop at a strange place on the toll road for fuel for car and food for us and we started the last part of this drive. Nelspruit, some “stop and go” on the way, White river, ,missed the sign towards Numbi gate,not so clear in fact,back and finally too late at the gate ...
But but as we felt we could be delayed we had phoned from Nelspruit to inform Pretoriuskop of a possible late arrival
(It costs you 200 rands to get an escort from the gate to the camp)
While waiting for our “bodyguards” on a very silent road without any car in the twilight,we had our first sighting in the distance
All of a sudden it was night and we followed the escort car to Pretoriuskop camp gate
Strange to drive at night in Kruger
No animals or at least we could not see them except a few eyes shining, certainly impies.
And suddenly on the right side of the road , lurked behind a bush a young leopard
The time we realized, we flashed the lights to our escort car and tried to find the camera,this beauty was gone.
No photo for this first one.
We did not know at this stage that during this trip we will have the chance to see “only 6 leopards “
, some with photos as we will see later…
And finally after a long flight,a long drive and this beautiful leopard, we felt asleep dreaming of all sightings Kruger will offer in the coming days....
At 5h30 we got up ,coffee and some bread from the plane as we could not shop before entering the park and ready we were for our first drive.
We decided to take the loop round the camp before going out of the park for some shopping.
A new day was born and we enjoyed this first sunrise in a misty morning, happy to be at least in the bush after all those months, preparation, dreams and hope.
Enjoy your day as if it was the last one, I like and try to apply this motto.
As often especially during the first days we stopped for everything: birds,animals,trees,plants,landscapes,insects,flowers,clouds etc…BACK SOON ...