As a kid, and with us living in Nelspruit for a few years, I visit Kruger often with my parent. I have to be honest tho….I did not enjoy it then. My parent did not have the money to stay over, so we went in for daytrips…to make the most of these visits, my dad drove around the entire day (he loves nature
)…from gate opening to gate closing. For a active kid on the back seat, this was sometimes just too much …especially in summer.
Many years later as newlywed, my hubby and I, wanted to go on a holiday. We did not have 2 cents to rub together
…was renting a 1 bedroom flat in Arcadia, PTA….the cheapest option we had was to go and camp in Kruger….and we did so with a flimsy tent that leaked like sift when it rained.
We camped in Pretoriuskop for a week. During this week, we had a pride of lions right next to the fence at our camping site (and this was before electrical fences). The male actually charged us…turning around only right next to the fence where we were standing. The adrenaline rush of this caught us hook, line and sinker
About a year later, I changed jobs, and no longer had to work Saturdays.
One Friday we, completely compulsively, decided to visit Kruger for just the weekend…camped in Lower Sabie the Saturday evening. The Sunday morning we had 5 different lions sightings on the S25 between Croc Bridge and Malelane (never had this again)….that sealed the deal.
After this we visited Kruger one weekend a month (camping)…driving from Pretoria on a Friday after work…. pitching our tent somewhere outside the park that night….staying inside the park on the Saturday evening. We did trips like these even right up to Punda Maria, on a normal weekend. The monthly Kruger trip because a line item on our budget…and to fund this, we gave up on the things our other friends did for entertainment, like movies, restaurants etc…. we did this for about 7 (?) years before we moved to Moz…
That single night in Pretoriuskop, looking into the eyes of that male lion, completely changed the course of our lives…all our priorities changed…for example, when our other friends where looking to buy luxury sedan vehicles…we looked at a cheap bakkie ….had it not been for our desire to be in Kruger, we probably would have also not excepted the offer to move to Mozambique. Amazing that just one incident like that, can change ones whole life