Yes it’s a little late but I’m now editing our photos from our Kruger trip in April 2017. What amazing sightings we had! Because there were so many amazing moments I thought it prudent to post a quick trip overview complete with itinerary, video and pics to inspire you all to get your butt there (if you’re not already!).
Here’s our itinerary for the trip:
April 7-8: Tamboti
April 9-10: Letaba
April 11: Tamboti
April 12: Berg-en-dal
April 13: Skukuza
April 14: Letaba
April 15: Pretoriuskop
April 16-21: camping at Satara
April 22: Pretoriuskop
April 25: Shingwedzi
Note that this was over the Easter period and also school holidays in South Africa, but we had a guest who had notified us of the dates at the eleventh hour, so we had to scramble for accommodation between the 10th and 15th – that is why we stayed all over the place! I wouldn’t recommend this particular itinerary as there was quite a bit of driving north then south then north again etc. I am working on a few suggested itineraries for Kruger but feel free also to get in touch if you’d like some advice 🙂
Now if you want the easy way to get a good idea of our trip – here’s a video of the highlights:
Side note: don’t forget to subscribe for more wildlife safari videos!
So what were some of our Kruger highlights?
- Wild dogs! At the beginning of the trip we saw wild dogs for the first 4 out of 5 days – pretty crazy. It definitely cemented Tamboti as the camp to stay in to find wild dogs. Where did we see them? Twice on the H7, once on the S106, once on the H1-3, once on H1-2 and once on the dirt road going to Tamboti camp (only open to guests staying at Tamboti and Maroela camps. We then found them on the S34 later in the month – with no other cars!
- Elephants on the S100. We had a guest with us when we went looking for lions on the S100 and S47. Unfortunately they were not around, but we did have a truly amazing elephant experience (particularly for someone visiting Africa for the first time). We stopped our car and waited while a huge herd of elephants
- Cheetahs galore. We had quite a bit of luck with cheetahs (who can sometimes be quite elusive in Kruger). There was a family of five cheetahs that we saw 2-3 times on the H7 (even once when lions were on the road), and then we stumbled upon a family of three lovely ladies on the H1-6 just outside Letaba (which is the first time we’ve encountered cheetah near Letaba).
- Leopards in trees without the usual car congestion. We should have known it would be a leopard in tree month as it was the first thing we saw when entering the park! Then driving up the H1-3 I spotted another leopard in a dead tree (no cars stopped) – a good start to the trip, but neither were that close to the road. During the time we had our guest we unfortunately did not have a great leopard sighting – we saw two (separately) cross the road (one just south of Satara, and the other close to Letaba) but not good enough to get a good photo. After she left, we had a couple of great sightings on the dirt roads south of Satara. The first I spotted in a marula (no cars) on the S34, and the other was a beautiful female with a kill on the S125 (one other car when we arrived).
- Lions in the sunrise. When we went to check the H7 for our cheetah family we found a few cars already there – thinking it was for the cheetahs we were surprised to find a pride of lions next to the road. They then proceed to walk along the road, and (thanks to Van’s superior driving skills) I managed to get a few drool-worthy shots of them with the sunrise in the background! It was totally worth Van’s anger at all the other cars.
- Hyena excitement plus one lonely wild dog giving them hell. We were heading up from Tamboti to Letaba and came across one OSV on the H1-2 just before Leeupan. There was a group of very excited hyenas who had an impala kill. But what was even more interesting was there was one lone wild dog, who kept harassing one of the hyenas! It was very entertaining to watch (some footage taken by our guest in the video above). Once we moved on we pulled into Leeupan itself and another clan of hyenas had a different kill here – at one stage they all ran towards the other clan and we thought we were going to witness a battle of the hyena clans, but alas it wasn’t to be.
The cutest baby rhino EVER. We were driving to our camp for the night and all of a sudden a big femal rhino steps out on the road in front of us. It was exciting enough but nothing prepared us for her tiny, newborn baby that came following on her heels! It was truly one of the best rhino sightings I’ve ever had because this thing was a day or so old (still with an umbilical cord attached) and just ridiculously cute.
So there’s the top highlights for April! As a side note I will say this: it was my first time camping in Kruger (we only camped for 6 nights in Satara) and I loved it! It’s not easy to camp if you don’t already have the equipment but if you do have it (or can borrow it like us), it’s definitely something I recommend trying at least once. Anyway that’s an article for another day!
Reminiscing about our Kruger trip last April (and also our Kruger trip in January) has definitely made me even more excited for our upcoming trip in August 2018… in the meantime I’ll have to console myself with organising other people’s safaris 🙂 With that in mind, be sure to get in touch if you’re keen on ticking off safari on your bucket list this year (or next)!