We entered via Phabeni Gate, a little late in the afternoon after flights, collecting the rental car and some food shopping. Neither my dad not sister nor her hubby had seen this entrance before as they had last visited Kruger some 10years ago. They were very impressed! My dad jokingly asked the friendly attendant where to find the lions, to which was politely, but firmly replied: “This is not a zoo, sir.”
A European Roller greeted us just inside the gate and for once perched obligingly for a photo. I have many photos of rollers: lovely abstract blurs.
I will repeat what other recent visitors have said; the park is green, veeeeery green, like Knysna in the bushveld. Awesome! It makes for challenging game viewing, but by the same token, the scenery is beautiful in itself. The road to Pretoriuskop yielded a few impala sighting, yup, pretty amazing, huh? And of course many birds. I have listed the birds spotted at the end of the report as I can’t remember exactly where each was seen.
At Shitlhave dam there were two waterbuck with a young one each.
We checked in at Pretoriuskop, and went for a quick sunset drive. The sunset was spectacular.
The alarm was set for 5am and we arrived at the gate just as it opened. The first part of the drive was quiet viewing wise, other than birds and mushrooms growing in elephant dung!
Then we rounded a corner and there was a pride of lions ambling down the road. This was probably one of the best lion sightings I have had in a while. The lions were incredibly relaxed as were the five cars viewing them. The pride sauntered around the cars, lay down in the road and one even sniffed the boot of our car. The cars all kept their distance and allowed the cats their space, which made for very pleasurable viewing.
We did finally manage to spot a lone kudu peering shyly through the bush and just outside of Skukuza two splendidly groomed, freshly washed piggies strutted their stuff.
There were hundreds, and I mean hundreds of butterflies everywhere: canary yellow ones, orange ones, brown and purple, white and orange……and plenty of flowers. We were too early to check into Skukuza and so set off to view a house outside of Kruger.
part 2 tomorrow.....