We spent a week in and around the Kruger National Park
, South Africa. And I am a firm believer in ‘a picture is worth a thousand words…. so I will add a few words to these pictures, but most of all, just enjoy them!
We did see many hippos out of the water on this trip. Usually hippos feed at night, and spend the day in or around the water. But we even had a hippo cross the road in front of us during the day. Very unusual. I do wonder whether it is because the Kruger National Park was very dry, and they might not feed enough during the night – and that means they have to continue feeding during the day.
|This was the tiniest hippo baby I have ever seen!
|This kudu male had fantastically big horns.
We saw leopards twice – always a highlight. Although the one sighting was also accompanied by Kruger Park road rage – and a woman actually got out of her car to shout at cars who had created a bit of the traffic jam – understandably – as everyone wanted to see the leopards.
The other sighting saw some foreign woman, virtually get out the car. I don’t think tourists realise that while you might be 100% focused on seeing and photographing a leopard, a lion or elephant might be coming from the other side which you’re not focused on. So getting up to this type of antics, is not recommended, and officially forbidden! (Yes, I did stop to explain to her that she is not to get out of the car under any circumstances!)
We saw 2 tortoises in one day. And this little chap hid under our car until a herd of baboons had passed. (I would also be scared of a baboon and hide if I had the chance!)
I absolutely adore monkeys. I know everyone wants to see the ‘Big 5’, but to be honest, to sit and watch monkeys is far more exciting than a buffalo sighting in my opinion. We watched these little guys fighting and playing – and to be honest, I would have been happy watching them all day. They fascinate me.
We were very pleased to see many vultures
during this trip. I remember that at one point, their numbers had declined quite drastically and you really didn’t see them often. They are one of those animals that I found so ugly, that they’re actually beautiful. Does that make sense?
are often thrown into the same category as monkeys. But to be honest, they are dangerous animals whom I am so wary of. We watch this lot in the tree for a while. One mum and its baby was screaming blue murder. Turns out the alpha male was chasing her. He eventually gave up, and let her be, but all the little babies were so scared of him. He was a nasty piece of work.
At another sighting, which was too difficult to take pictures of, a baboon had caught and killed an impala, which sounds almost impossible (which we had just missed). I had heard that baboons
do kill impala, but I had never actually heard of anyone who’d seen this happen. Anyway, he was sitting there and eating it – hoarding it. He wouldn’t share and no-one was brave enough to try and approach him.
|Ground hornbill (endangered)
We saw these 2 hyena
pups twice. Once with their mother, and once on their own – on the same place, at the same time 2 days running. We think their den must have been close by.
We came across this gem outside the Kruger National Park, north of Graskop, on the way to Bourke’s Potholes. It’s called: Potluck Boskombuis
(translated as Potluck Bush Kitchen), although the foreigners who mainly frequent it call it Bush Pub
It has no running water or electricity, so everything is cooked by fire. And the setting is simply spectacular. Certainly worth a visit.
The menu is tiny, but brilliant: steak or boerewors
served with pap and sheba. Here is a quick index for those who don’t know what these things are:
Steak = needs no introduction, but they only use excellent quality meat. (Owners are ex-butchers!)
Boerewors = South African beef sausage flavoured with ground coriander. Delicious.
= Maize flour and water cooked into a stiff consistency. (A little like polenta). African staple food.
= sauce normally made from tomato and onions, but can include other veggies. It purpose is to flavour the pap.
Although we were officially on holiday, we were trying to get some reading in for the new business – so this was a perfect spot to do just that!
The other incident we had, was in the Kruger. Let me set the scene: We were staying in this rondavel (hut) for 2 nights. And the fridge was on the little veranda. Temperatures soared to 40 degrees one day. We had brought some food along, and had bough some from the local shop – enough for our 2 days there.
But then we saw a notice saying: please don’t keep any food in the fridge overnight or when you’re not there, as it may be raided by the baboons. It continued to say that if you really must leave food in the fridge, please turn the fridge around and barricade it so that the baboons can’t get it it. (What kind of place gives you a fridge and then tells you not to use it anyhow?!)
Well, we had bought meat and veggies for a braai (BBQ), milk, butter etc. All things that can’t be left out in 40 degree heat, so we decided to store the food there, but turn and barricade the fridge as suggested.
We came home to find that the baboons were able to move the fridge far enough to get their arms into it, they’d pulled out all our eggs (bye-bye breakfast), corn, dried fruit etc etc. But not only that, they must have raided someone else’s fridge, and brought the loot to our veranda for their picnic, because there were remnants of a number of things which weren’t even ours!!
Next time we go, we’re taking a rope to secure the fridge with….