Kruger National Park

Kruger National Park

Kruger National Park, KNP, Kruger. What makes this 19 485 square kilometer, 7 523 square mile ecosystem so startling and unique. This wilderness wonderland boasts one of the largest conservation areas in the world, the surface area of the Kruger National Park is larger than not just one but 7 different countries, yes! countries. Namely Qatar, Swaziland, Slovenia, Fiji, Kuwait, Lebanon and The Bahamas.

 

With a conservation area that colossal, surely it is not just a destination one decides to visit with only 5 animals in mind, the famous Big 5. The Kruger National Park is home to over 336 species of fauna and approximately 147 mammal species, and a whopping 490 bird species. The park is not only disparate in its fauna and flora but the various eco zones and topographical areas can be divided into an array of vegetation zones due to its mammoth size and surface area. Ubiquitous Mopane shrub blankets almost most of the area north of the mighty Olifants River. An area of the Kruger National Park which offers sanctuary to many Buffalo and Elephant, for those seeking out the more secretive critters the ever-elusive Speckled Emperor Moths are cassanovas of the Butterfly shaped Mopane leaves. Traversing to the east into the Rocky Mountains of the robust Lebombo Mountain Range, one may find themselves settling in for the night on steep sand river banks that plummet into the rushing rapids below that are dwellings to thousands of Tilapia. The park then extends into some of the more scenic locations of the Limpopo, the dense thickets that drape the Levhuvhu and Shingwedzi River systems. Sitting out the heat of the day beneath monstrous Nyala and Natal Mahogany trees, one is granted the opportunity to ogle the largest land antelope grazing gracefully, the Eland. If that by any chance is not enticing enough then surely the ever-dwindling population of Roan antelope which are concentrated in this area will surely grab your eye.

However, if you deem yourself the type that enjoys a more humanly congregated vacation, then traveling almost 400km south will usher you into the heart of the Kruger National Park, Skukuza Rest Camp. The options for scenery and wildlife from here are truly indescribable, the Skukuza Rest Camp rooted on the banks of the Sabie River gives over night and day visiting guests an opportunity to lunch and dine in the presence of nature’s submarines, the endless echos of Hippo grunts and chants of Fish Eagles play at a chorus to your river side table. One is then presented with heading in a southerly direction, meandering and treading a path through massive out lays of granite scattered hillocks that are home to many spotted beauties the big and small from Leopard Tortoises to the agile tree climbers themselves the Leopards. The end reward is meeting the Kruger National Parks southern boundary the Crocodile River. This river system forms part of the 5 perennial river systems the Kruger National Park hosts. A favorite to many is the prolonged stretch of sand road that provides the possibility of seeing Africa’s painted wolves the African Wild Dog or if you’re up to speed you could be just lucky enough to witness lands fastest mammal the lanky Cheetah which prowl the plains above the banks of the Crocodile River.

 

Visiting the Kruger National Park can be experienced in an array of ways, the park is scattered with main rest camps that offer one a night in the luxury of air-conditioned river view homesteads. As well as rustic thatch covered bungalows and finally for those wanting to rest as close to mother nature as possible whilst still being in the security of the rest camp, there is the option to camp out. The Kruger National Park also offers 5 star fully catered packages when one is in need of some bush time pampering while still witnessing the raw beauty of Africa.

Author info: By Mohammed Kathrada

Why go on Safari?

Why go on Safari?

Why go on safari?

The term safari is a term many only dream about, a bucket list item, an unreachable goal, why? An African adventure into a beautiful wonderland, untouched and remote. A land filled with towering trees and mountainous outcrops and an abundance of wildlife. An opportunity to reconnect with the long forgotten wild, to witness the cycle of life and all the splendour mother nature has to offer. These are just a few elements of a safari, leaving our comfort zone and embarking on a journey that will take us into the life of Africa’s kings and queens. Seeing Africa’s true icons roam their natural surroundings. A journey that leaves our mouths dry and our eyes widened. Opening our minds to the great majesty the fauna and flora the land has to offer. As the elephant gnaws on the freshly fallen marula and the leopard surveys his territory from the comfort of his fig tree, a spark will ignite within you.

 

So, whether you are seeking that iconic photo of the sunset casting its blanket rays over the vast mopani covered land or you are desirous to fill your mind with knowledge of the behavior of lions or simply just to marvel at the lanky yet elegant giraffes, it’s all here, it’s all in an African safari. The possibilities are endless, who knows what each day may hold. You could find yourself following the tracks of the docile white rhinoceros or photographing a leopard whilst he sits in your shadow. Being on safari in Africa isn’t only restrictive to the great animal sightings, our vast areas of untouched wilderness offer spectacles of nature, varying from fig tree clustered riverines to goliath granite outcrops, open plains scattered with termite mounds and white washed sodic sites. For the wildlife enthusiasts, the winter season is best suited to a safari.

 

The bush is dry, water is scarce and animals flock to the last drops of water that are sparsely spread in the slowly disappearing catfish filled mud wallows. For the landscape junkies that want to feel Africa in their veins and see it in all its might, then the warm summer days offer flowering wild fox gloves and luscious red bush willows covering the landscape in a blanket of greens that leave the eyes fixated on the best artist of all, mother nature in all her glory. And when the days on safari come to a close you will truly realize what the term ‘the city that never sleeps’ really means. Hunkering down around the nights camp fire, glowing ambers and darkness fills your eyes, whilst your ears are filled with fiery necked night jars singing along to the chorus of the giggling hyenas.

 

 

The connection is surreal, it slowly becomes an addiction that can never be fully satiated, an addiction that will never leave you, an addiction to Africa. A place that talks to your inner adventurer and explorer, where you get to be spectator to mother nature’s most prestigious show, out in the grassland and bushveld of Africa. Explore Africa with experienced guides and photographic mentors that will grant you that perfect opportunity for million dollar pictures and a once in lifetime experience. It’s all found here, from 5 star accommodation to sleeping out under a sky dotted with a million stars.

 

Author info: By Mohammed Kathrada

Deaf Safari

Deaf Safari

Deaf Safari

One of the fun things that happened last week was that the deaf couple who we met at the Robben Island contacted us and wanted us to organize a safari. A safari in Sign Language in the Kruger Park!! How cool is that?? Arun, the Legend Safaris guide in Kruger is fluent in many languages and so happens worked with the deaf community for over 25 years and is fluent also in Sign Language, so naturally he was quite excited to be able to take deaf people on safari.

 

Our guests, Maryann and Daniel (names changed) wanted to have a real full on Kruger experience and opted for our “Open to closing” safari days with an overnighter in the park. “Open to Closing” just means that we start safari when the gates open and come out/back to rest camp when the gates close. In December that means 14 straight hours in the bush.

 

The first day was simply amazing despite the rain with all the Big 5 and the Ugly 5 as well. For those of you who are wondering, the Ugly 5 are the hyena, wildebeest, marabou stork, warthog and crocodile. Needless to say, Maryann and Daniel, were really happy to have a fluent signer taking them on safari. It was also Daniels first time in the bush and the range of game he saw just blew him away. Started the day with impala and herds of elephant, then just past Tshokwane rest stop there were lions in the river bed. Then a tusker came, up close and personal, a heart-stopping moment for him, to use his own words. Giraffe, zebra, wildebeest, martial eagles, kudu and steenbok were some of the other animals and birds we saw. When they heard the swallows came from Germany and Holland they were so amazed. The migrants are in and they are all over the park nowadays, including the European roller.

 

“It was a real pleasure to meet and work with deaf people in the park for the first time for me in Africa” says Arun. He has taken deaf people on safari in India before but this was his first experience in Africa and he loved it. “It’s always fulfilling to be able to communicate my passion about the bush and if it is sign language then well, so much the better” he says.

 

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Another day in Kruger

Another day in Kruger

 

Another day in Kruger

I had the most exciting time the other day with my guests from Israel. A really jolly family and they only had the one day in the Kruger. You can imagine I was really keen that it should prove itself worth it for them, but in a situation like that Kruger always comes thru.

 

We started a little late that morning and actually began the game drive only by 9 am, and by then we had lost the morning already. But as I said Kruger comes through. What do we see as we cross the Sabie high water bridge?……. Mating lions… on the road!!!! My guests seeing lions for the first time were thrilled like you cannot believe. They were right up against the car too, literally 2 meters from the car lay this huge male lion. The lioness just a little further away. It was awesome. We had a few herds of elephant that day in the Sabie River along with a herd of buffaloes.

 

After lunch we crossed the Sabie River at the low water bridge by Lower Sabie and had a brief sighting of a leopard walking through the bush on our left. It was quick but then leopard sightings are often like that. Along the H10 we had a whole bunch more elephants and then the last of the Big 5……. rhino!

 

I was quite thrilled that we had the Big 5 because it was their only safari but we were further blessed with all the plains game imaginable. There were herds of giraffe zebra and wildebeest all around us; steenbok crossing the road, bushbuck and nyala browsing alongside the road. It was a feast for the eyes and I might add…. The soul!

 

Just when we were on the home stretch getting out of the park we come up on a hyena casually strolling along the tar road heading out for his evening walkabout. That was just great! We were so full of goodies and just when we thought nothing could be better, we saw a clump of cars 100 mtrs further along and from behind the cars out pops a lone wild dog. WOW!

 

That was a Super 7 day, simply fantastic, as I said some days Kruger just comes through for you.

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