Hi there forumites
I have just returned from a short trip with my fiance to KNP, where we stayed for 3 nights in our timeshare at Ngwenya Lodge.
My overall impressions of the park / bush
Positives: The bush is lush & green, nothing but friendly faces from Kruger staff, being in Kruger is always MAGIC!!!
Negatives: The reservation system for day visitors needs to be reviewed (more about that in another forum), the bush is really thick & at times the grass was almost as high as our sedan car.
Highlights of my trip(before I start, just so you know I'm not a photographer & I took very few photos):
Arrived at Malelane Gate around 11:00. After getting the wildcards sorted out, we were in the park, magic!!
Drove the S25 the whole way to Croc Bridge, highlight was lions mating on the road 20km from CB, which we watched for about 15 mins. Our luck continued, 8km later leopard!! As we approached the big male leopard stood on the verge of the road, & then walked off into the bush, very quick sighting but great even to get a glimpse of this beautiful cat.
Other interesting sightings were 2 fish eagles along the Croc river, as well as a large herd of ellies on the Biyamiti bridge.
Left CB gate at 6:15 bright & early, & had a quiet first hour. Then at 7:15 while on the S108, just before it joins the H5 I see a pack of 7 strange looking dogs walking down the road towards me. WILDDOG!!! We followed the pack down the road for about 30mins before they walked off into the bush.
After turning onto the H5 we came across 2 hyena walking down the road.
In the afternoon we saw a female lioness ambling down the road on the S25 (the road was really good to us on this trip).
Other interesting sightings
Rhino on the H4-2, Bateleur & Tawny Eagles on the S26, ellies on H4-2 & H10, plenty of giraffes on H10.
Left CB gate at 6:30, our first sighting was a pair of hyenas almost right outside the gate. Then just after the Makhohola dam on the H4-2 a leopard walking down the road, this time a female. No other cars in sight, so we watched it for a minute before it dissapeared. Later during the morning on the Salitjie road, SABLE!!, my favourite antelope, a group of 4.
In the afternoon, rhino on the S28 (mother & calf)
Other highlights, dwarf & yellow mongoose seen.
Leaving today with a heavy heart.
Left CB gate at 6:35 after a fiasco at the gate, which almost resulted in us not getting into the park at all. A quiet drive up to Skukuza with sightings of ellies & buffs, & the rest of the usual suspects. After having breakfast at Skukuza, we were planning on leaving through Kruger gate, as it was already 11:30. However fortunately for us at the last minute we decided to carry on straight through to Phabeni gate. On this detour, we had 2 great sightings of lion. The first one we were watching 4 young lions lying down in a sand bed below the bridge. After watching them for a while, one of the lions gets up & starts walking up the steep embankment & disappears in the thick scrub. Next minute he appears on the road, & the other 3 follow.
Then not far from the S3 intersection close to Phabeni gate, another pride of 7 lionesses & 1 black-maned lion keeping them company. The lionesses were lying down about 30m from the road. All in all, a great goodbye to Kruger.