Today is going to be our last full day game drive in the KNP, it is going to be a guided game tour. At the Bushwise , a guided game tour is included in the price. We decided to rest out the last day, and let us be chauffeured around the Park. The drive included us 4 and 2 Australians. We left the lodge at about 05:30 hours. It was a bit fresh doing 100 km/h in a open jeep, but we reached the park gate at 06:00. It took a little longer to check in, but soon we were under way. Our ranger was Werner. We already knew him because he did the bar shifts. Werner’s speciality was tracking. This really interested us, especially my dad being an ex military man. It was the first ever game drive of the Australian couple. This actually turned out to be quite useful.
We headed up the H4-2, initially we were stopping for impala and giraffes. The other game drive vehicle in front of us didn’t stop for this lot. After stopping for some wildebeest, we drove on. The game drive car in front didn’t stop for these either and I think they regretted it. We just drove on when I shouted lion!!, but nobody heard me
. Seconds later my mum looked to the right and shouted lion!! Now we did stop
. There were 2 females with a young male. The older female lead and the other 2 followed her. The old female walked up the bank and onto the road. There she waited for the other 2 lions to join her.
The lioness waited for the other 2 lions but they weren’t in a rush. The young female was shy of cars and she didn’t walk up towards the road. The male looked like he was boarded of walking but eventually he walked up the bank and stepped onto the road.
They walked up the road for a couple of minutes, but because the other lioness didn’t join them, they stepped off the road and went down the bank again. We drove of and spotted a herd of wildebeest about 50 m further. Werner stopped the car and we waited. We knew the lions were heading into their direction. After 2 minutes the wildebeest ran off, they had obviously spotted the lions as well.
We drove further up de H4-2 until we got our next roadblock. It was more...Buffalo!! It was quite amazing, we hadn’t seen them for over a week and then you spot them 2 days on a trot. It was a medium size heard, 50-100 bufs strong. They just started to cross the road when we pulled up. It took about 10 min before they all had crossed. There were some young calf’s among the heard, this meant we had completed the baby 5!!
After the bufs we bumped into the next big 5 roadblock. Still on the H4-2 there was a bull elephant. He was walking in the same direction we were driving towards. He was forcing 2 cars back into the direction they just came from. We slowly followed the elephant, but we could not get passed. Werner( who had bad experiences with ellies) was afraid of ellies, so I think he didn’t really enjoy this sighting. We followed the ellie for over a km, which meant that the 2 cars practised there reverse skills for over a km. There was a traffic jam in the park because of this ellie. There must of been 20 cars behind us. It was like being back in Holland. After a while the bull decided to walk off the road and push down a tree. We then overtook him, but he smelled disgusting! The bull was in must, which explained his behaviour. It was the first time we smelled a bull in must, and hopefully the last time.
Werner drove up towards Mondlozi pick nick spot. We saw some nice sightings including this young male kudu.
We also saw some more ellies and these 4 white rhino’s together.
We reached de pick nick spot, where we enjoyed a bush braai. Before we left Werner consulted with us about where to go next. We had told him what other sightings we had seen and also where we had seen these sightings. Werner first wanted to drive down the road where we had seen the lion and the black rhinos. Which we had seen during our time at Lower Sabie. We had noticed that a lot of roads had been closed because of the rains. This road which we wanted to take was also closed. We were getting forced to stay on the main roads. We drove up the H4-1 towards Skukuza. This road had been very leopard productive for us on this holiday. We didn’t see a leopard this time but we did see some other nice things, including this nyala.
Going back down the H4-1 again we stopped at Nkuhlu pick nick spot. After this short break we headed towards the hyena den on the S130. We saw plenty of game going down there, but just before we reached the hyena den a car waved us down. They had spotted a serval in a tree with a kill
. Sadly this was too far away, so if we went there we couldn’t be back at the gate on time. This sighting we had to let go
. Within 15 min we were at the den. The hyenas were out to play, but there weren’t as much as yesterday. We sat 15 min with them before we headed back to the gate. Here’s some more pics of them.
“Patch” was still creating havoc, but his brothers/sisters were also running between the trees this time so the adults couldn’t reach them. We easily could have spend another hour with them, but time didn’t allow this.
We went down the H4-2 again and there was a traffic jam. The 3 lions were still about but they weren’t very visible. We drove on because we had a great view of them that morning. Al to soon we reached the gate and our last full day KNP had come to an end.
Our trip back to the Bushwise was fine. We came back and flopped in the bar. Dinner was outside that night. We had another great meal at the Bushwise. I forgot to say but at the Bushwie you get what you are given. There is no menu. Good job the dinner is always stunning.
After dinner we went back to the bar. After a few drinks we said our goodbyes to the other residence and Werner. Tomorrow we are going home. Our flight leaves late at night, so we can drive back via the park. Our last night in Kruger had come to an end