In game driving, just as just in fishing, the earlier you start, the better. The air is cooler and the wildlife hungry. Most gates in Kruger open at 5:30 a.m. but it varies seasonally. We arrived at the Crocodile Bridge gate around 6 a.m., paid our conservation fees and proceeded into the park. My first game drive had begun!
As soon as we crossed the first bridge, we were greeted by a herd of buffalo. I got really excited because I thought they were wildebeest, but upon closer inspection you can definitely tell they are buffalo.
But not even five minutes later and what do we come upon, but an actual wildebeest! Score! Not even 15 minutes in Kruger and I’ve already seen my first of of the big five – the wildebeest. This one is a blue variation.
We then came upon one of my obvious favorites, the giraffe. This one had a darling little one with her. I was surprised how close they were to the road, just munching away on some breakfast.
By this time we were cruising on Route S28 and we were greeted our number two, Big Five sighting: the rhino. Two down, three to go!
The place was absolutely swarming with buck. These guys are called Impala. The males have beautiful horns and they are not phased by the cars driving by, they hardly look up!
After about 3 hours of driving our tummies were rumbling. The lack of breakfast, and lack of snacks, was wearing us thin. It was here I learned my first safari rule (the hard way).
Rule #1: Always, always, bring snacks. It’s like a road trip, lack of snacks = preposterous.
We finally arrived at the Lower Sabie, which overlooks the Crocodile River, and my husband pronounced he could “eat the ass off a low flying duck” (poetic, I know). We ordered our food at the counter and browsed the gift shop while we waited. Unfortunately we had to wait a long time for our food and turned into grumpy
bears lions while we watched everyone who had ordered food after us, get their food before us. Apparently the service in some of these rest camps is not the best. You won’t regret packing a lunch if you come.
We look happier than we feel in this photo…
The view of the river was incredible though.
Babies, Babies, Babies! I highly recommend taking your trip to Kruger in the Springtime, for the sole fact that there are babies! Lots of little babies frolicking through the Kruger charming us with their absolute adorableness. Sure it might be warmer in the Spring, but doesn’t this face make up for it?
Some other wildlife we spotted after breakfast…
Our third Big Five sighting – the elephant!
With three of the five Big Five sighted, we called the day a success. As the sun ascended in the sky, it was time for us to say goodbye…for now.
Wednesday, January 15th 2014 at 5:22 pm
wow—pretty incredible! you’re making me so excited about SA for my parents!