Firstly, what a great thread.
I'm a Capetonian and had heard from family up in JHB that they would visit KNP. But it might as well have been on a different continent. We'd always have family holidays along the Garden Route and I kept thinking that KNP can't be that great if all the Vaalies traveled away from the bush for holiday every year.
Years passed and then havingan SO with a dad who is KNP nutcase (that's a compliment) we decided to do a 6 day trip with my Father and brother-in-law to be. Well have I never, this was a turning point in my life. This was in 2006 and I was in my late 20's. Further I was told that due to it being end of Jan the grass will be long and we might not see much for extended periods of time. I had to borrow binocs and had no camera of my own.
We entered via Malelane Gate and not 50 metres inside the park gate and my eyes were scanning the bush ... what was that...
I said Stop (I had been informed of the riles of engagement
). The two 'experts sat in front and were still fiddling with there extensive camera gear. "Ja ja , what have you seen"; they chirped. My Father in Law didn't stop. Then I yelled STOP. They were now confused and I clearly had a reason for this. Look (I pointed to the left) Rhino's. Bugger me blue, he's right.
We managed to see the big 5 within 24 hours.
That was all it took for me to be hooked on KNP and all it has to offer. These days we travel with a Yellow Ribbon (YR), I have a trusty pair of Binocs, my copy of Roberts KNP Bird Guide and also my weathered SLR as companions. My SO and I have also managed to drag more family members to KNP since then and we return on average every year.
I can never say thank you enough to my father and brother in law for firstly taking us to KNP, but more so that they took the time to show us the little as well as large characters of interest. Not to mention the fact that my SO shares a similar passion for KNP, whilst she maybe isn't that keen on the birds.