My SO and I spent 10 days in Kruger towards the end of August. We traveled 1200km in the Park. The Park was busy as it was a school holiday (private?) period.
We are regular Kruger visitors since 1992 - this being our second trip of three this year. Four last year.
After reading recent posts on this forum it was with apprehension that I arrived at Kruger Gate. I did not feel like my precious trip being spoilt by litter lying all over the Park, vehicles speeding past us, trying to tolerate law breaking tourists, seeing road kills, having the quiet evenings interrupted by noisy neighbours in the camps. Experiencing indifference from staff members .... you get the idea I am sure.
I decided to take special notice of how much of this type of disregard for Kruger and what it stands for we encountered. I went in there expecting the worst and totally prepared to report on exactly what I witnessed.
Here is my report back.
Not once did I witness rampant speeding. I was totally surprised that in fact we did not see one speeding incident in the time we were in the Park. We encountered delivery, staff, tourist, police, army and construction vehicles. To tell the exact speed of another vehicle is not easy, but I am certain no one went over their prescribed speed limit by more than a couple of percent - something one can surely understand happens to anyone now and again when driving.
We saw two different speed cops going out on duty and encountered one road block manned by the traffic dept and army.
I noticed very little litter. The litter I did see was tissues and bits of loo paper - easily blown out of car windows. One broken beer bottle, one beer can, one chip packet and once plastic cooldrink bottle. The latter on the road in from Phalaborwa Gate. The litter bag at the bird hide near Letaba was full - but goodness, why can't tourists remove their own litter from bird hides?
We saw one road kill
that of a hornbill. One too many yes.
Being super sensitive to camp noise, I was amazed that not one of our nine nights in Kruger was spoilt by any sort of noise in the camps - these being Satara, Letaba and Skukuza!
There was one incident of tourists breaking the law - a group climbed out of their car just off the Olifants bridge to take photos of baboons.
We were able to spend 8 hours driving a 62km trail without seeing another car or other humans.
Depending on our mood of the day, it is sometimes fun to spend time at a busy picnic site, sharing the camaraderie of being in such a special place with everyone else there. If in the mood for solitude, we would park somewhere nice, and enjoy coffee and rusks in the vehicle.
I noticed an absence of hyena at the fence at Letaba. One came by once at Skukuza.
There were notices at Letaba veranda imploring visitors to not feed the birds.
The birds were having a field day with left overs at Lower Sabie and Satara.
The three activities we did were done with guides totally passionate for Kruger and the bush
Was this trip any different than any in the past? No.
I cannot wait to go back