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Sunday, August 13, 2017

South Africa, Farewell Kruger

 

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.

 

IMG_5575I spent my last night on safari where we spotted one of the park's rare animals a Serval along with an African Wild Cat.

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.

 


JNB Trip 873


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.


JNB Trip 890At one point, giraffes stroll gracefully across the road in front of me. At another, I sit silently and watch Zebras horse-around with each other.





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.

 

JNB Trip 887With a sixth sense I look in that direction and another huge elephant is less than twenty feet away from me.

It seems like a “Gentle Giant” not disturbed but just curious about my presence. I hope it sensed my awe and admiration.





JNB Trip 891

 

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.

 

JNB Trip 905A lunch stop and I find myself eating a Kuduwor Roll.

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.






JNB Trip 906Kudu Sandwich



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.

 

JNB Trip 916

Elephant Crossing

 

 

 

 

 

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.

 

 

JNB Trip 950Crocodile Bridge

 

Thanks, KNP.

 


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