KRUGER NATIONAL PARK PHOTO DIARY

Girl Kruger Safari Jeep

There’s no denying that I’m a words, facts and figures girl. I use this blog to provide information which will help plan another person’s trip rather than show staged, picture-perfect moments which don’t reflect what travelling is really like. But, when I was editing my photos from Kruger, I fell in love with TOO many photos and couldn’t resist sharing them all with you!

Words don’t do a safari trip justice and it’s always been known that pictures speak a thousand words. So here’s a big old round-up of our time in Kruger National Park!

Kruger Giraffe Looking At Camera Kruger Kudu Looking Into Distance Kruger Kudu Kruger Elephant and Baby walking towards cameraKruger Elephant and Baby crossing road Kruger Wild Zebra Blue Bird Glossy Starling Kruger Kruger Eagle Sitting in Tree Kruger Warthog Pumba Kruger Small Antelope Kruger Eagle Sitting By Water Kruger lion sleeping in road Kruger Bird in Trees Kruger Anxious AntelopeKruger Giraffe and Vulture

KRUGER NATIONAL PARK – DAY ONE 

To be sure that we were in Kruger National Park at the time the gates were opening, we set off early after a 4.30am wake up call (which sounds horrid but is TOTALLY worth it for a safari).

The joys of being on an organised safari jeep is that you can skip the big long queue of ordinary cars trying to enter the park. Our guide quickly sorted out our conservation fees and before we knew it, we were face to face with antelope, wildebeest and giraffe right by the entrance gate!

Within 5 minutes we had our first sighting of one of the “big 5” as a herd of buffalo were standing by the side of the road – I took this as a sign that we were in for a good day (spoiler: I wasn’t wrong).

Throughout the course of the day, I was continually surprised by how many animals we managed to spot. With all of the usual suspects (lions, giraffe, zebra, elephants, buffalo, wildebeest, antelope, kudu, crocodiles, hippos, warthogs, a plethora of bird types) and even a lone rhino now ticked off our list, we wondered how on earth there could be more to see?!

Every safari jeep driver that we passed on this day was VERY excited as the elusive leopard had been spotted on multiple occasions. We went on a very long drive searching for it in one particular hot spot to no avail. Normally, this would have been fine, but our first day in South Africa was FREEZING and we were all huddled under blankets in the open top safari jeep.

Then, just as we were about to leave, our incredible guide managed to spot the very well camouflaged leopard through some bushes. Lets just say that leopards are very well disguised and very fast, any photographic evidence I have of this beauty is poor but I feel very lucky to have even caught a glimpse of him!

To then have our exit blocked by a male lion who decided to sleep right in the middle of the road meant that the big cats really stole the show at the end of the day!

Kruger Crocodile by water Kruger giraffe looking into the distance Kruger bird Kruger Kazoo Lion King bird Kruger Lizard on tree trunk Two zebra in Kruger Kruger warthog by watering hole Kruger zebra by watering hole Kruger bird whispering to antelope Kruger elephants playing in water Kruger antelope eating from tree Kruger hippo yawning in water Kruger baboon sitting in tree Kruger kudu in the treesKruger four elephants under tree Kruger lions sunbathing on rock Kruger giraffe packKruger baby giraffe crossing the roadKruger baby giraffe Kruger rhino with horn

KRUGER NATIONAL PARK – DAY TWO

We opted for a half day game drive of Kruger on our second day and as nobody else else had booked this option, we got to choose our departure time and of course gave ourselves a bit of a lay-in!

Having the entire jeep to ourselves proved to be a blessing as we could dictate exactly what we would like to try and see – in our case, rhinos!

Our second day was MUCH warmer than the first and we ended up stripping off all of the extra layers of clothing we had brought after the previous day’s freeze-fest! I can confirm that there is NOTHING better than driving through beautiful African bush-land with the sun shining on your face.

With the weather being much warmer, the animals were displaying completely different behaviours to the previous day. While we were very happy after our first day on safari and thought that there wasn’t anything further we could witness, I am so glad we chose to do a second day. We may have seen the same animals, but the experience couldn’t have been more different.

Today we really got to see the animals mingle with each other. At one large watering-hole, huge packs of zebras, wildebeest, giraffe and antelope lived in harmony bathing and drinking. While on the other side of the lake, the crocodiles and hippos were keeping cool.

Four huge elephants all gathered under one tiny tree, fighting for shade (maybe the heat affects an elephant’s ability to live up to their wise and intelligent stereotype).

After watching so many animals peacefully co-existing, it was a shock to the system when we encountered a group of baboon. One baboon was a little bit cray-cray and displayed very aggressive behaviours towards the other animals before turning his attention to our truck. Thankfully he jumped at the driver’s door (who obviously knew how to deal with the situation) – there’s no way I would have been able to take him on!

Towards the end of our day, our driver made a sudden stop and we we left wondering what on earth he had seen.  Low and behold a lone rhino could be seen in the distance and he appeared to be walking straight towards us! Safari drivers have INSANE vision and should not be underestimated!

We spent around 30 minutes watching this slow giant plodding towards us (but never quite reaching us). With no other cars around and the sun beaming, it couldn’t have been more peaceful and perfect. It is so hard to understand how anyone can hurt these incredible creatures causing them to be near to extinction.

All in all, I have come back from my safari trip with more respect for animals than I could have ever imagined (apart from that nasty baboon).

Have you ever been on safari? What’s your favourite photo?

Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post and all thoughts are my own.
Danielle1

 

 

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CATEGORY: Africa, Animals, National Parks, Nature, South Africa

Danielle - Escaping Essex

Comments (14)

Wow, all of your pictures are awesome!! Definitely worth waking up at 4:30 🙂

Thank you Marissa! I'd happily get up at 4.30am again to relive the experience!

That photo of the male lion… I'm in awe!! I visited a private nature reserve just outside Kruger this year and it was just the most amazing experience of my life, but I didn't get to see a male lion! I'll just have to go back to see more 🙂 Your photos are incredible!

He's a beauty isn't he?! Oh no, we didn't think we were going to see one up close until this fella fell asleep in the middle of the road!

Wow! I can't believe how many animals you managed to see. That chilled lion made me laugh, so casual in the middle of the road lol. Lots of amazing photos, really enjoyed this post!

Thanks Helena! I know right, nothing was waking him up any time soon!

Those are great photos and a safari is one of my to-do lists too!

Thanks Angie – hope you get to experience a safari soon!

You are so right that it's hard to do justice to the magic of safari in words, and even in pictures to an extent! We love safari too, and have been on several in Kenya, Tanzania, South Africa, Botswana and Namibia. Of these, the South Africa ones were self-drive and Kruger was one of the parks we enjoyed very much. Enjoyed reliving the trip via your photos!

Thank you Kavita, wow you are a safari pro! We weren't quite brave enough to self drive on this trip but so many people looked like they were having a good time doing so!

WOW! What awesome pictures. I’m hoping to experience an African safari one day and you definitely made me super jealous! Haha. Looks like you had an amazing time!

Thanks Sophie – hope you get to go on a safari soon!

This is such an amazing post! I’ve always wanted to visit the National Park to observe the wild animals so I really love this post! I love all of your pictures. I can feel like I’m there just by looking at those photos.

Thank you! Hope you get to visit soon – it's truly amazing!

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