Kruger, day 1

Kruger, one of the most well known wild parks in Africa; some say it’s too commercial while others mean you can’t miss it. We decided we couldn’t miss it and spent a week inside the park at different campsites. It was our last wild life spotting chance during this trip and we haven’t seen cheetahs and wild dogs yet. We would also like to see a kill by lions, cheetahs or leopard and we would love to see cats with cubs. No high expectations at all, right???

Before entering the park we met a very friendly couple who told us the chance of seeing cats is best early in the morning, right after sunrise, which means that between 6 and 6.30 you have to be in your car spotting. So we had some early mornings, with packed breakfasts and thermoses coffee and tea to get us going and to keep us satisfied in the car for a while. FYI you aren’t allowed to get out of your car in these parks (guess whyJ).

First morning we were very lucky. Menno saw “something” walking on the side of the road some hundred meters ahead of us. When we arrived at the spot, we saw our 4th LEOPARD, looking back at us as if she was waiting for us to show up. She walked into the bushes in a diagonal line away from us. We drove a little further where we found a side road and decided to drive in, and hope to see the leopard again and yes, yes, yes; there she was … walking straight towards us. We stopped the car and the leopard, a young female, crossed the road right ahead of us. We had such a good view of her and she was slowly crossing the road and then disappeared into the bushes.

That day we saw a lot of game, huge herds of elephants, all with young elephants and at a river we saw a baby elephant that couldn’t be older than a month, still wobbly on his feet, staying close to its mom. We saw young elephants drinking at their mothers.

The campsite for our first night, Balule, was a small one, without electricity, which made it a wonderful and quiet place. While taking our lunch and dinner there, we saw hyenas walking alongside the fence of the campsite. Although we could watch them very closely, the reason why they’re walking there is not a good one. They’re simply waiting for scraps of meals that tourists throw over the fence. This is a huge problem as the animals start relying on these meals and stop hunting for their own food and finally they become aggressive and have to be killed. At every campsite you are told not to feed any animal and to keep your food locked away.

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