Towards the end of my trip to South Africa (Cape Town), it is devoted to an exhilarating and unforgettable game drives to discover Kruger Park’s abundant wildlife. Be ready to be amazed!
We left Cape Town the previous day and took a flight from Cape Town to Johannesburg, then a 4-hour drive to our lodge which is about a 45-minutes to an hour drive from Kruger National Park. Just know it was a long day and we needed the rest.
The next day, we woke up bright and early (before sunrise) for our game drive. I worked on my safari attire lol
The drive to Kruger…….
Kruger National Park
Kruger National Park is one of Africa’s largest game reserves. It has a high density of wild animals includes the Big 5. Hundreds of mammals make their home here, as do diverse bird species such as vultures, eagles, and storks. Mountains, bush plains, and tropical forests are all part of the landscape.
Our driver and tour guide
In part 2 of the Photo Diary and Stories from Cape Town, I wrote about how I underestimated the weather in South Africa. We kinda stole all the blankets from our lodge.
And we were still freezing in the open jeep.
Then it was the drive to see the Big Five…
It is time for The real thing.
And there’s no better place for this than South Africa, which offers the most exciting, memorable, and exhilarating experience of your life – coming face to face with the Big Five. You are probably wondering — “What is the Big Five”? The Big Five are the Elephant, Lion, Water Buffalo, Rhinoceros, and Leopard.
How did these five animals – the lion, elephant, buffalo, rhinoceros, and leopard – come to be called the Big Five? It was originally a hunting term used by the so-called ‘great white hunters in the hunting heyday of the 19th and early 20th centuries when professional hunters bagged as many trophies as possible in as short a time as possible.
The Big Five
The largest living land mammal, elephants are a truly unforgettable safari sight, especially when you spot them traveling in a large family herd.
The lion is often referred to as the king of the animals, and it’s not hard to see why. An apex predator on land, a lion does know how to purr, but that’s about all he has in common with your housecat.
We found out during the safari that the gazelles were the prey for the lions and other meat-eating animals. ;-(
They may look like cattle, but don’t be fooled; African buffalos are powerful, quicker than they appear, and ruthless when provoked. Part of the reason for that is the buffalo’s extremely thick skull. Curving horns completely cover the top of the animal’s head, forming a near-impenetrable bone shield that can even deflect bullets. Because of this, and the buffalo’s large size (males can weigh up to 2,000 pounds), most predators won’t attempt to take down an adult African buffalo alone.
The black rhinoceros are nearly extinct due to poachers. They are on the critically endangered list due to their demands for their horn.
Nocturnal, stealthy, and wary of humans, leopards are an elusive animal, making sighting a rare treat for any safari-goer. The smallest of the big cats, leopards are mostly solitary creatures and are likely to flee at the first sign of perceived danger.
You can say that the leopard was missing in action.
Crossing the Road
During the safari, we had to stop a lot because the animals wanted to get to the other side. It was impressive to watch.
Here is a little tidbit we learned about giraffes, due to their long neck they can spot predators (i.e. lions). If you see them running, you better run too.
We say a lot of the hyenas and they were so close to our jeeps. However, they didn’t remind me of the “Lion King” 😉
Now you can’t have a safari without seeing monkeys (baboons), boar (I think that is boar), or zebras.
Overall, I enjoyed my trip to Cape Town and Kruger. I hope you enjoyed this series and just maybe you will join me on my next trip to Cape Town.