@Pumbaa, Tawny, PetraJ, cheetah2111, Elzet, Kamadejo, buffalo_soldier, Elsa, Meandering Mouse- Thank you all for reading and following my TR
......more coming now
Have to apologize before hand that this part of the trip was the really bad part and ended up in a bi@^*ing episode…….I promise next installment will go better.
Ok, then let me continue, Day 4 “The sunset drive” from being an angel to the devil him self!!!!.
After the lions we basically took the shortest route back to Orpen. Along the way we found some general game, but nothing major. We where back at Orpen at around 16h30 and had to get ready as the sunset drive was about to leave at 17h30. On the drive we would end up being ourself’s, 3people from outside the park, one lady from Marula and a Mom and sun from Tamboti. We went out on one of the 25 seaters which to be honest is not quite my scene for a game drive but dew to so little people, everybody ended up having their own row. Now I have done plenty of Night drives my self but mostly in a Private reserve next to Kruger. I am not a keen favorite of Kruger night drives as I believe you cant do it at more than 20km and if you go faster you will not spot any thing and also you need a trained person in my opinion behind the light. But I decided I just going to do it for fun.
So after pick and all introductions the drive started. First sighting( witch cant give the location) we find impala and rhino together. The guide sounded to know his stuff and gave good explanations of the animals and also could make a good joke or two.
Here’s some of the first animals of the drive.
After this we where stopped by a staff bus of Hamilton’s concession telling us of some lion 1km down the S140. We where all excited as we have only been 20min on the drive and already there is prospect of lions. Well needless to say our search ended up in nothing. After that the drive went at n nice pace and like I said the guide gave us good info. We saw nice pair of Tawny eagle, lone big elephant bull, distant giraffe, water buck, zebra, wildebeest and Black back jackal all before the sun went down. Buy the time it got dark we were at the end of the S106 and would go down the H7 back to Orpen. We stopped at the tar road, the guide gave spotlights to some of the guests and with no instruction what to look for, nor the way to point the light at animals we started driving, well not driving but speeding. Suddenly we went from 20km driving at daylight to 50 km driving at night. Our first sighting was of n heard of elephant, for with we had to reverse for 500m, as it took the guests for ever to stop the guide and he went on such n speed. We stopped for 30sec and then starting speeding off again at even faster speed. We then almost ran over a scrub hare which we stopped for about 10sec and no info given started speeding of again. By this time the SO and I started looking at each other as to what had caused this sudden change in our guide. Well after this it was a nightmare drive as we almost run over n small spotted genet, 3 scrub hare and n big male Giraffe that he didn’t even stop for.
About 1km before you reach the S107 entrance again, the guide started shouting…”Lions in the road”… which got me excited for a sec, before I noticed but he is not slowing down. When we were about 50m from the lions doing at least 60km he suddenly tried to stop but was to late, with cause the lions to run off the road, looking at us as if we where the bats from hell disturbing their peacefull sleep on the road. It was 2 young males and luckily could get some pic of them.
The whole sighting lasted about 2 min and then gone they were and we started speeding again!!!. We didn’t stop from here for one single animal and basically went threw the routine of dropping of every one at there camps. Now being a guide I now that your biggest part of the money you earn is from tips, and a reminded that you never work for a tip, as if you are good, people will reward you out of their own, but there are that little disappointments if you don’t get one. Now once he drop us off I was really considering not giving him anything, but it just a in my human nature not to give something. I also don’t like criticizing other guides and for the daytime section of our drive he really was good, but what happend once the Stars and moon came out is a question that probably will never be answered.
Being skeptic of doing the night drive in the first place, I don’t think I will being doing one again any time soon in Kruger if I cant do it myself. If you never done one, please do one but don’t get your hopes up and if you can try one of the 10 seater and try to keep away from the 25 seaters at all costs. That roof is unbearable on the sand road and driving anything more than 30km hour will feel like flying at a 100km. Sorry I now there are people loving them, but for me there is only on place you can do them, and in Kruger in that 25 seaters is not the place….