A Travellerspoint blog

Kruger National Park

South Africa’s top safari destination

sunny 32 °C
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Kruger National Park is South Africa’s top wildlife park and covers and area of 19,623 square kilometers. Kruger is my favorite safari park and I’ve visited Kruger uncountable times in my life, but since 2015 I’ve visited it once or twice every year.

I’ve always been very lucky with big cat sightings in Kruger and was keen to see if my luck was still intact and to freshly assess how Kruger compares with the many safari national parks I visited on this Africa Big Lap trip.

I crossed the border at the infamous Lebombo Border that was in the news recently for massive blockades and torching of cars. The dispute was luckily settled and the border worked efficiently and I crossed both sides within an hour, with the Mozambique side the most efficient.

I must admit it was nice to drive back into South Africa after almost seven months absence. I appreciated the relatively good roads and the well stocked supermarket with food that I missed like “beskuit” (rusks), quality meat and my favorite, biltong. It was the first time I had biltong since Botswana, six months ago!

I visited the doctor and he confirmed it’s a viral infection and not malaria and gave me additional medication that sorted me out very quickly.

This time I didn’t stay in the national park but in a place called Elephant Walk Retreat, just outside the Crocodile Bridge Gate, with nice views of elephants, buffaloes, hippos and other wildlife on both sides of the Crocodile River.

View from Elephant Walk Retreat

View from Elephant Walk Retreat


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I did four game drives, two early morning and two late afternoon drives, each time entering the park through Crocodile Bridge Gate.

The first morning I saw a female cheetah that was busy enjoying her kill, constantly looking around for other predators that will steal her food. She eventually finished and walked past, creating a nice photo opportunity. After that great sighting I saw 5 lion sightings in different locations. Later I saw a hyena walking along the tar road and in followed her to take a video. I also saw a buffalo and several elephants sightings. The beautiful green scenery of the Kruger bush reminded me why I love this place so much.

The next day was not that lucky but I had a good sighting of two female lions, who were interested in a passing warthog, but wise enough not to spend their energy chasing after this agile little creature. On the afternoon drive I also had a sighting of three very lazy lions, the 7th lion sighting for this Kruger visit. The final big sighting was a large herd of buffalo between 200 and 300 animals crossing the road.

Cheetah

Cheetah


large_95CE3FA9-6740-4DF9-9CD9-98A7FE6E5473.jpeglarge_646A1456-F86D-4F05-9F07-9AF7406A5D6C.jpegFemale lion

Female lion

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Watching the warthog

Watching the warthog

large_906F9663-61E0-4C23-8E1B-D99B30556024.jpegElephant herd

Elephant herd

Juvenile Bateleur

Juvenile Bateleur

Lesser-spotted Eagle

Lesser-spotted Eagle

Marabou stork, one of the ugly five

Marabou stork, one of the ugly five

Mud bath heaven

Mud bath heaven


Large herd of Cape Buffalo crossing the road

Large herd of Cape Buffalo crossing the road

My rating of Kruger National Park compared to the 25 safari wildlife parks I’ve visited on this trip is that only Maasai Mara is worthy of a higher rating. I would rate the top 10 safari wildlife national parks on my trip as follows:

  1. Maasai Mara (Kenya)
  2. Kruger (South Africa)
  3. Tsavo East (Kenya)
  4. Chobe (Botswana)
  5. Murchison Falls (Uganda)
  6. Lower Zambezi (Zambia)
  7. Queen Elizabeth (Uganda)
  8. Tarangire (Tanzania)
  9. Serengeti (Tanzania)
  10. Lake Nakuru (Kenya)

From here I will travel to Pretoria where I will stay with Willie, an old friend of mine and pick up my caravan which was repaired by Echo4x4 to continue to the Drakensberg for 5-6 days before heading back home.

Posted by Malan 06:18 Archived in South Africa

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Comments

Welkom terug in SA Kobus!

by Pieter Esterhuizen

It's a very good idea to round off your amazing trip with the Drakensberg mountains.

See you soon 🙋🏻‍♂️

by Benno

Welkom terug Mater. Thank you very much for all the great pictures and information. I know what to give to you for Christmas...Beskuit😋

by Terecia

Good feeling of home! Familiar culture, food and smell...

by Jim Luo

Uiteindelik! Terug op eie bodem!!

by Mariette Oosthuizen

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