Did I scare you? Well, we were definitely scared out of our pajamas when we heard two lions roaring outside of our tent camp in Kruger National Park! Read more below……. 🙂
Here is the background — We took a “Mango Airlines” flight to Johannesburg, and because of delays at the airport, we were later than we thought arriving to Kruger National Park.
It seemed as though we arrived late at night, or at least it was dark — but it was actually early, about 5:30pm. Unfortunately, we couldn’t get to the camp called Satara, where we had reservations, because the park will not let anyone drive in the wild areas at night, for their own safety and the safety of the animals.
Instead of Satara Camp, we got to stay in a tent camp right at an entrance gate, Orpen Gate……and boy are we glad we had to make this change! We were just getting ready to go to the bathroom and brush our teeth when a sound made goosebumps pop out of our skin!
There were lions roaring right outside of the fence surrounding our tent! So guess what? We DID NOT walk in the dark to the camp bathroom to brush our teeth! LOL.
Then, when we were settling down into bed, we heard a lot of rattling and banging right outside the front door! Needless to say we did lose a little sleep since we could not see the fence that was protecting us from the animals, just 10 meters away!
In the morning, we found trash scattered around the trash can. Apparently, a honey badger and her friends liked the remains of our dinner!
In the early morning, On our way to our next camp, a dark shape darted across the road! We had time to see that it was a leopard! I could tell it was a leopard by the silver tip on its tail. Unfortunately, we did not have time to snap a photo!
Have you heard of the Big Five? The big five is a term originally used by hunters and it refers to five of the greatest wild animals of Africa, as well as the most dangerous to hunt. They include the lion, elephant, African buffalo, rhinoceros and leopard.
These days it is not as much about hunting as it is about viewing these five beautiful animals. One is considered privileged to view all these animals during a visit to the Kruger Park. Man, are we lucky to have seen four of the five! One will see many other exotic African animals like zebras, kudus, warthogs, giraffes, springbok, hippopotamus and many, many more! So much more fun to come!
The “Tuskers” tusks are usually uneven because one is the dominant one.
After our stay the second night in our cool chalet at Satara Camp, we went to Oliphants Camp.
Each camp is different, and usually you see different animals in different locations, too. They have sighting maps that change daily, up at all the camps, like the one I showed you in the Addo post.
We continued our drives in the game areas and saw dozens of animals. Look at the warhogs–
Who knew that warthogs grazed on their elbows?
The night in Oliphants Camp was very awesome!
The camp is high and looks over a river basin. My Moms made a braai — with help from neighbors 🙂
They were very nice people, and guess what? I met one of the South Afrikan Women’s National Chess Champions!
She and her parents have traveled all over the world for her competitions. Now she is in med school and may come to Northern CA for a residency!
Did you know that tomorrow I turn 10? It is going to be really fun! I continue on safari on my birthday!
We started my birthday with the birthday braai, and “Afrikan Crackers,” and presents.
And BTW – in our family we celebrate a “birthday week”, so the celebration continues all week! We are going for a sunset game drive with the Ranger for my birthday!
Look for more safari posts from your Junior WorldTrek Reporter
Keep Calm and Travel Around the World