First of all, this is my first TR after visiting Kruger 4 years in a row…hope I am doing justice in adding value in the same way I have gained from all the forumites contributions.
Thursday, 13 Dec’12 we landed 08h30 at OR Tambo from Cape Town, was disappointed with car hire as I reserved a Nissan X Trail 10 months ago ending up driving a Kia Sportage (we drove one the previous year and loved it, but we were only me, SO and daughter then). The reason was that my in-laws accompanied us this time round, hence needed a bigger car for luggage etc. Nevertheless, all worked out fine with boot space just making it.
We set off to Nelspruit via N4, stopping at Crossings Spar (as per usual), then headed for the nearest gate, Numbi, but for some reason, I missed the turn off, then headed for Phabeni – a first time entry for me. Whilst driving through the towns towards the gate, SO and my in-laws (former northern Free Staters before they moved to Cape Town) were hinting at me stopping to buy some of those white mealies fom the local residents longside the road, but my mission was to get into Kruger and thought they were having me one - which they were not.
First things first before entering, put on the YR on the one side mirror and OR (orange ribbon – KNP sightings) on the other, cameras on my lap, and here we go, taking the S1 Doispane road towards Skukuza. Our first sightings were couple of hamerkop on the bridge over the Hlulamadvodza river followed by a large lonely elephant bull and then this fellow welcomed us with a ‘heads up’ gesture.
These guys were also hard at work whilst we were on vacation...
Before booking in at Skukuza, I had an appointment with myself (that place you will visit giving you the feeling – you are home, peace and quiet) – Lake Panic! There was relatively little activity compared to our previous trips, but the quietness was good as one relax immediately and could hear how noisy the quietness actually is. (For some photos you can refer to Lake Panic gallery started by Jan van Wyk).
After settling in at the Elsie Clark unit as we normally do when visiting Skukuza, and visited the shop to get our Kruger passports with stamps, we did another first and that is to eat out at the Selati restaurant, just next door – and thoroughly enjoyed the food and the service was excellent. Yummy …
It was also a time to pause and think – the morning we were still in Cape Town and now relaxing 1164 miles away in Skukuza.
And so we have started our 16 days south-to-north-and-back Kruger trip i.e.:
Enter at Phabeni gate with 2 nights each at Skukuza, Biyamiti, Lower Sabie, Satara, Mopani, Punda Maria, Shingwedzi and 1 night at Letaba and Satara with exit at Numbi gate.
I might get carried away with detail and refer to previous trips (as per DinkyBird’s threat on “Golden Oldies – memories created over time”, but mine will not be ‘old’, just slightly matured moments…), so please advise if I must rather get more in slide show mode than detail.
Day 2 to follow …a one with dots and painted colours
2012 Dec Kruger: from south-to-north-and-backviewtopic.php?style=2&f=27&t=69478&start=525Next trips
21-29 Jun'13 Wildernis & Tsitsikamma
14-29 Dec'13 Kruger