Elephant Poop Safari – Kruger National Park

If you think a safari means leisurely driving around, taking pictures of lions and zebras who are posing for your pictures, think again. On a safari you spend hours gazing into bushes, up trees and along wide-stretched savannas in hope of catching a glimpse of an animal. Or anything that breathes. And more often than not you end up seeing nothing. At the same time, it is a wonderful adventure, and a memory that will last a lifetime.

We spent four days driving up and down dirt roads through Kruger National Park, entering in the middle of the park and moving a bit further south every day. At first, Eduardo was unimpressed. “What, we’re going to spend four days here?” he muttered the first day. We had just entered the park that morning, and had already seen our fair share of elephant poop and dry grass. But then we spotted our first impala. Cool. When a large group of baboons surrounded our car, it started to get interesting.

“Where are the lions?” Eduardo asked. “Somewhere, anywhere. They move,” I explained. For the first-timer it can be incomprehensible that the animals are actually wild – and free. They go wherever they want, do whatever they want, and you have to be lucky to actually catch a glimpse of them. When we saw a family of elephants crossing the road right in front of us, it sealed the deal. This was going to be a good safari.

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Our first night, we saw some giraffes munching on thorn tree branches, and moments later heard a cheetah attack a baboon.

Zebras are everywhere, but they’re extremely shy, so we had to approach very slowly or they would run away. But when watching them close up, the way their patterns play together is hypnotizing.

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Nearby the Lower Sabie restcamp we spotted maybe 30 elephants who had just taken a bath in the Sabie river.

We only saw one hippo out of water (sleeping). They usually spend their days in the water, with only their eyes peeking out. They only get out of the water at night to feed. You can also call them fricking lazy!

One of my favorites were the warthogs, extremely shy and almost blind, they take one look at you, then quickly run away with their tails up in the air.

And I adored the ugly wildebeests. The poor males sometimes spend weeks alone under a tree, protecting their territory, and hoping to meet a girl.

Early one morning we caught a glimpse of two spotted hyenas, stealing away along the road, then disappearing into the bush.

We almost were attacked by buffaloes that thought we got too close. The leader of a large herd suddenly pushed the others back, scraped his hoof, and got ready to charge. I quickly rolled up the window and screamed to Eduardo: “Go, go, go”. The photo below is taken just before it charged.

Buffalo

Our last night we spotted three rhinos that for once didn’t run away. They are simply, unbelievably huge and wonderful!

But the lions were the most difficult to discover. Our first lions, a female with two cubs, were sleeping under a tree, stomachs full with a fresh impala-dinner. We would never have seen them if someone hadn’t pointed them out to us. The next day, we found our own lions, sleeping in the high grass.

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After spending long days staring across bushes, we spent the nights in basic restcamp bungalows, where we dined on tuna, avocados, bread and wine. Without plates, and with toilet paper for napkins. Classy!

And, yes, of course Eduardo absolutely loved the safari.

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1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. cara
    Jan 01, 2015 @ 08:25:29

    a true Kruger park trip .. sounds like you enjoyed it a lot

    Reply

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