Posted on Leave a comment

Kruger Park #3

(apology for the delay in posting we were busy partying and the cell reception hasnt been great)

So the last two posts have pretty much been brag posts and it might seem like this wild animal watching stuff is pretty easy, let me reassure you that it’s not. We have been lucky very very lucky, I know people here who have seen leopard in the wild maybe once or twice their whole life.

So rather than just brag today I thought I would tell the Kruger Park story.

Areas of the park were first protected by the government of the South African Republic in 1898, and it became South Africa’s first national park in 1926.

Kruger National Park is one of the largest game reserves in Africa. It covers an area of 19,633 square kilometres (7,580 sq mi) in the provinces of Limpopo and Mpumalanga in northeastern South Africa, and extends 360 kilometres (220 mi) from north to south and 65 kilometres (40 mi) from east to west. Approximately  the size of England

To the west and south of the Kruger National Park are the two South African provinces of Limpopo and Mpumalanga. In the north is Zimbabwe, and to the east is Mozambique. It is now part of the Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park, a peace park that links Kruger National Park with the Gonarezhou National Park in Zimbabwe, and with the Limpopo National Park in Mozambique.

To the north and south of the park two rivers, the Limpopo and the Crocodile respectively, act as its natural boundaries. To the east the Lebombo Mountains separate it from Mozambique. Its western boundary runs parallel with this range, roughly 65 kilometres (40 mi) distant. The park varies in altitude between 200 metres (660 ft) in the east and 840 metres (2,760 ft) in the south-west near Berg-en-Dal.

Today we entered the park through the Phabeni gate again, one of nine gates to the park and it wasn’t long before we had our first Big 5 sighting.

Do you know what makes up the Big 5 – a couple might surprise you I think. The term big five game / Big 5 was coined by big-game hunters and refers to the five most difficult animals in Africa to hunt on foot. The members of the Big Five were chosen for the difficulty in hunting them and the degree of danger involved, rather than their size.

The Big 5 are Elephant, Rhino, Buffalo, Lion and Leopard.

Our first sighting was a lovely buffalo in the river just chilling out.

Buffalo
Buffalo

We had made a plan to head back to some similar areas we had driven on our first day as it seemed rich in wildlife but to also take a few new paths.

The first path wasn’t one we had decided on and once again lady lucky was on our side. Sitting under the shade of the tree in the sandy empty river was a little group of 5 lioness.

_DSC8755
Lioness’ relaxing

We also spotted some elephants and rhinos along the road. We headed to a lookout get a higher view over the park, its pretty spectacular.

Africa !
Africa !

 

Our trusty wheels
Our trusty wheels

The weather was quite warm today by mid morning it was low 30’s and lunch time it had reached 36/37 and stayed there until we left the park at 6.30pm, so sightings were very low today unfortunately, and it seemed that the weather was playing havoc with the big bull elephants moods, as we had to avoid two today and boy were they unhappy little vegemites!

We were fortunate enough to catch a small herd of elephants cooling off in the river, and it appeared that the adults were having as much fun as the little ones!

Playtime
Playtime

We headed up some more roads and a section of the park we hadnt ventured into as yet and managed to spot some …

Piggies
Piggies
Monkeys
Monkeys
Kudu
Kudu
Giraffe
Giraffe

We managed to exit out of the same gate today and were lucky enough to cross paths with one of the huge buffalo herds crossing the road.

A small portion of the buffalo herd
A small portion of the buffalo herd

I kinda feel like i need to highlight that all my photos have been taken whilst safely situated in our vehicle. Most have been taken on a semi-pro ‘crop’ DSLR with a 500mm lens, these combined make it seem like the animals were reasonably close, and in some cases they were but I guess what I am saying is that Kruger is a wild park with wild predators and shouldn’t be thought of as a zoo or a place to goof off in because you are endangering your own life, the life of others around you but also the animals, so please when you visit stay in your car when outside the rest camps, give the animals space and just enjoy being in the wilds of Africa.

Copyrighted. All images and rights are reserved by Emma White ~ Photography. You are welcome to post via a direct link. Please do not crop, copy, reproduce or distribute in anyway without permission. If you would like to use any of my pictures – for personal, blogging or commercial usage – please contact me so that we can discuss what  options may best suit your needs. If you have any other questions, please drop me an email here
Advertisements
Posted on 2 Comments

Kruger Park #2 .. or simply we Smashed it !!!!!

So there really isn’t too much to write to about today as the number of sightings was down significantly from yesterday  .. aww that suks doesn’t it !!! hmmm well ok not really 🙂 🙂

Our only sightings today were – Leopard, Cheetah, Rhino, Elephant, Rhino and umm something else, let me think .. oh yes thats right a live lion kill right in front of us – about 3 meters away, at one point i thought we going to be in the kill it was that crazy for about 15 seconds.

So okay the day was pretty bl**dy good !!!!!

We headed in via a different gate to – the Phabeni gate – and saw a giraffe and some elephants…

Giraffe
Giraffe
_DSC8380
Elephant

… before we came across an buffalo herd, a reasonably large one at that blocking the road.

Buffalo Crossing
Buffalo Crossing
Buffalo
Buffalo

We sat watched them slowly make there way across the road before on down the road a little more where we hit an animal jam – cars all over the road and necks straining in one direction – can only mean one thing Cats ! Yep Leopard down in the gully. As you can see the picture isnt pretty and isnt going to win any awards but this is a real life live leopard just doing its thing.

_DSC8410
Leopard Sighting

We sat and watched whilst it wandered up the gully before disappearing into the grass.

Leopard
Leopard

After the leopard sighting we decided to head down one of the roads didn’t go on yesterday unfortunately the sightings were pretty low and the usual impala lining the sides of the roads

Impala
Impala

We came to an intersection and decided to get off this section and start to head back towards the area we were in yesterday. We came across the dam and were watching two Rhinos when a car pulled up and asked if we had seen the lion pride just off the road – which we hadnt – so we headed back up the road and there right beside the road is a big male lion. now i don’t know how tash missed him, it was her side of the road but she did !!! So we sat and watched him for a few minutes before he decided to cross the road in front of us and join a few of the females on the other side in the shade.

_DSC8435
The one she missed !!!

We decided to see if we could get a better view from the top road, which we couldn’t so we made a decision to go back down to the dam. As we got closer to the stopping area impala starting running everywhere and suddenly there were about 6-7 lionesses running in all directions …

_DSC8446
On the run

This poor girl was all like what happened where is everyone ..

_DSC8450
Girls Im over here …

… and then we realised over in the shrubs they had caught one and the fighting, clambering and grunting had begun …

_DSC8453
Stacks on

We stayed and watched them for probably an hour. It was quite amazing that they had decided to kill in the middle of the day so they must have been either bored or hungry, but i really don’t know how that little impala was going to feed the 7-8 of them given the big male took some fairly big chunks with him. We were so close to them you could hear the crunching of bones and grunting and fighting as they tried to steal from one another, it was pretty amazing.

_DSC8472
Yep thats lunch done
_DSC8489
Do not mess with her !

We left the lions to sleep off their kill in the shade of the shrubs and headed off back on the back roads again where we saw Rhino …

_DSC8554
Rhino

… giraffes doing yoga …

_DSC8570
Yoga move ?

By this time we were in need of some fuel so headed to the nearest camp to fuel up when we came across another car jam, and what should we see – a cheetah wandering the river bank with elephants and rhino

Cheetah in the distance
Cheetah in the distance
_DSC8609
Playful

Fueled up we started our trek back to one of the main exit gates. Yesterday when i was saying the elephants are big as cars, this is what i was talking about !

_DSC8629
These dudes are big !

On the way out we passed some Hyena/possibly wild dog we weren’t 100% sure which and a herd of elephants with a teeni tini bubba in tow

_DSC8671

_DSC8682
too sweet man !

So that was our second day, i wonder what our third day will have install for us 🙂

PS, anyone i south africa with accommodation please apply within, as it is possible we will not be allowed back at Charmaine and Lances LOL 🙂

Copyrighted. All images and rights are reserved by Emma White ~ Photography. You are welcome to post via a direct link. Please do not crop, copy, reproduce or distribute in anyway without permission. If you would like to use any of my pictures – for personal, blogging or commercial usage – please contact me so that we can discuss what  options may best suit your needs. If you have any other questions, please drop me an email here
Posted on 2 Comments

Kruger Park #1

Paul Kruger gate is about 40kms from the lodge and after a bit of a slow start we arrived at the gate to get our day tickets. Now it is a world famous park with some pretty awesome – ok brilliant – animals but come on!! Charging foreign tourists four times the price of locals that’s complete highway robbery. I get local prices and we have them at home but they certainly aren’t asking the foreign nationals to rob a bank when offering the service etc at home. For any with a South African passport, temp resident, perm resident, or ID card its 70Rand per day per person, for foreign nationals its just under 300Rand per day per person. So once we determined that the mortgage extension would cover the entry price for the next few days we headed off into the park.

Once in the park we started to make our way to Skukuza camp, followed by Lower Sabie then Crocodile Bridge before making our way back to Paul Kruger gate just on closing time – well actually a little late due to a big ass bull elephant that decided he was king of the road and no-one was getting past him, so we all played turn around and drive off pretend we don’t want to go that way till he decided to get off the road when we all turn around again and head off for the gate again. These massive beasts are not be questioned when they decide they want the road you give them the road no questions asked !

Our sightings for the day: Elephant, Rhino, Giraffe, Buffalo, waterbuck, kudu, impala, wildebeest, warthogs, hippos, crocodiles, spotted hyaena, chacma baboon, vervet monkey, tortoise, lizard, and birds galore so we did pretty well except for the cats 🙁 but seriously the elephants are bigger than the car and 1 second they are there the next they are gone, so if you can lose an elephant spotting cats is like i may as well buy a lotto ticket i would probably have more chance, but we are going to try !!!

_DSC8313
Dont try and mess with these guys
_DSC8301
The ugly stick – Wildebeest
_DSC8327
Here i am !
_DSC8355
Mr Giraffe
_DSC8255
Beautiful Kudu
_DSC8236
Waterbuck
_DSC8168
Mr Eliphant
_DSC8145
Naww little bubba Zebra and Mum
_DSC8140
Mr Warthog
_DSC8119
Drink time
_DSC8111
Leopard Tortoise
_DSC8093
Impala – Lion Fast Food – check out the Big M on their butts !!!!
_DSC8079
Cute Vervet Monkey
_DSC8064
Baboon in the tree

 

Copyrighted. All images and rights are reserved by Emma White ~ Photography. You are welcome to post via a direct link. Please do not crop, copy, reproduce or distribute in anyway without permission. If you would like to use any of my pictures – for personal, blogging or commercial usage – please contact me so that we can discuss what  options may best suit your needs. If you have any other questions, please drop me an email here
Posted on Leave a comment

To Kruger we go

Monday morning and it was time to leave the soon-to-be married to themselves for the week whilst we headed north to Kruger National Park. Frank and Shirley were loaning us their unit at Kruger Park Lodge which was just awesome of them to do.

So with all of our gear and food loaded up and hopefully the crazy highway traffic disappearing we started the drive north. We arrived in Kruger late in the afternoon and settled into the unit.

image
The lodge
image
The lodge

Once we were settled we headed up to the hippo hide to see what the crazy most dangerous animal in Africa was up to!

_DSC7962
Poor little guy has seen better days
_DSC7977
No mum isnt eating baby 🙂
_DSC8003
This little guy was having a ball !

With the light fading we headed back to the unit to light the braai and settle in for the night.