As I leave my bungalow at Satara Lodge, I realize that my time at Kruger National Park has been too short. However, I don't feel cheated as I have gotten a good bang for my buck and saw a lot of bucks along with my bang. Although I did not see all of the Big 5, the experience was still well worth it.
A different experience as the first thing you spot are sets of green or red eyes staring back at you.
I leave the Satara Lodge gate one last time headed for the Crocodile Bridge Exit of the park. Another four hour drive that I am sure will take me eight to ten hours to complete.
Down dusty gravel roads with stops at a few well built and protected hides I enjoy many of the animals I have seen before but from a new perspective.
My drive from the park becomes a reflective time to just stop at many places and watch the animals as if I had all the time in the world to do so. At one point, I am watching a huge elephant in a distant field out my driver's side window unaware that I am being watched from the passenger side of the car.
It seems like a “Gentle Giant” not disturbed but just curious about my presence. I hope it sensed my awe and admiration.
My route from the park brings me to a Kruger Park historical marker. I am at a location where in 1903 a solo night horse rider was attacked by two lions and managed to survive. Harry Woulhuter was one very lucky man and park ranger.
Yes, it is made from real kudu meat and I would say it tasted a lot better than the wildebeest jerky I had earlier in the trip outside of Cape Town.
The sun is again painting the park with it's golden orange paintbrush as I approach the Crocodile Bridge Exit. I have spent my last few hours in the park watching pods of hippos keep cool near a dam as a herd of elephants cross downstream. I have watched as a crocodile patiently waits for an unsuspecting visitor to show up at his favorite watering hole.
From a high elevation I have seen the plains and distant lands that make this place special for many. It is one of the more fascinating places on the planet and I am glad I got to make it a part of my travel experience.