South Africa | Kruger National Park

Click here to watch our South Africa | Kruger National Park travel video


Welcome to Part Four of our travel blog series! This past year my husband and I were fortunate enough to go on an adventure of a lifetime. The fourth part of our journey took place in South Africa | Kruger National Park outside of Nelspruit. The rest of our trip included: Johannesburg and a Soweto Bike tour, the Rhino and Lion Nature Reserve, Sun City, and Cape Town. Join us on our day-by-day blog recap!

Day Seven

Guided Safari

We started our safari bright and early at 5:00 AM. The guide picked us up at our hotel in Hazyview, which was super convenient! When we started looking into safaris we realized that it wasn’t that much more money to book a private safari, so that’s what we did and had the whole jeep to ourselves. We got to the gate and right away we started spotting animals (well Nathan did) He spotted a leopard roaming the grasslands in the distance. Unfortunately, I never saw that one. After that we kept seeing animal after animal. Since this post is so full of pictures I thought it would be best to just list out the animals we saw that day. I can’t believe how lucky we were, we were able to see all of the Big 5 two different days while in Kruger! Driving throughout the day we learned more about Edgar (our guide) who had been doing safaris in Kruger for around 17 years. He was super nice and so knowledgable about all of the animals in the park. We stopped a few times for bathroom breaks and snacks. Our lunch was at Skukuza rest camp, and the noodles at the buffet were amazing, I wish I could’ve had them everyday. We finished our day with a quick shopping trip to stock up on food for the next few day’s safaris and doing laundry!

Animals we saw:

Leopard

Rhino

Hyena nursing pup

Elephant

Giraffe

Zebra

Wildebeest

Klipspringer

Impala

Kudu

Cape Buffalo

Lion 

Hippo

Crocodile


Day Eight

Self Drive

Another early morning driving to the park, but this time on our own! Right away we saw another leopard far away up in a tree. We learned from our guide different roads we could check, and where to look for certain animals, and different things to look for. Later in the morning we spotted two HUGE male lions just taking a nap right off of the road. It was seriously such an incredible experience. We sat there forever and just watched them. They were probably 15-20 yards from our bakkie (truck). We watched them for a while until they stood up and walked away. In the afternoon we checked into our place at Skukuza. The cutest little African bungalow right on the Sabie river. There we found some friendly wart hogs roaming around by our bungalow. If we were to do it all over again, we’d stay in the park everyday. We loved it! On our afternoon drive we saw some ground hornbill which we later found out were extremely rare and endangered, so we felt pretty lucky to see those! We ate dinner at the restaurant at Skukuza rest camp and the food was so good! There was a playground right by the restaurant and it was full of monkeys playing around. There were a few monkeys that walked around the restaurant as we ate. They were so fun to watch. Our evening drive was full of baboons, monkeys, and hippos. Then we facetimed our kids and got ready for our Night Safari!

Leopard

Lions

Hyena

Elephant

Giraffe

Zebra

Rhino

Wildebeest

Impala

Cape Buffalo

Hippo

Crocodile

Ground Hornbill

Kudu

Baboon

 

Night Safari

The gates at Kruger close at 6:30 PM, which is pretty early. It was fun to book a night safari to see the park after dark. They use spotlights to try and see animals, if anyone saw anything they had to yell stop to the guide and try to see it. We learned that predators eyes shine red in a spot light and all other animals will shine yellow or green, I thought that was really interesting.

Owl

Hyena

Elephant

Spotted Genet

Impala


Day Nine

We heard from a few different sources and the boards at the rest camps about having good luck at Satara (further north) in the park for lions in the morning. We tried our luck and unfortunately didn’t see any lions, but we were able to see a few different things up north. We saw a beautiful family of elephants, which we were able to follow and watch for a while. Some of my favorite shots were done here of the cutest baby elephant.  On the drive to Satara we found a massive Baobab tree in the park. We also saw a lot of ostriches, which we hadn’t seen the previous days on safari. They were so tall, and so weird. We stopped at a lookout over a big valley and saw some vultures on a kill. On the drive back on the S114 we spotted a leopard in a tree, this time it was really close. This was one of my favorite moments, if not my most favorite moment of Kruger. The huge leopard was up in the tree and we were able to watch it move around, sleep, and hang out in his tree. Once it left we kept driving back to camp and saw some hyena pups by a den right next to the road. Later we saw the same leopard walking around in the field by the same tree.

Family of Elephants

Ostriche

Vulture

Leopard

Hyena Pups

Rhino

Impala

Wildebeest

Zebra

Giraffe

 


Day Ten

Self Drive

This day was so rainy, I loved it. During our trip I was hoping to experience at least one African rainstorm and it did not disappoint. In Africa there are two seasons, the dry season and the wet season. We were there during the wet season. It was warmer, more green, and more wet. The rain made it a little harder to spot the animals, but not impossible. We found a leopard in a tree again, and as soon as the rain started coming down hard it left the tree and crossed the street right in front of us!!! We were 10 feet away from it, it was so so so incredible. The rain brought out some hyenas and they were having fun jumping around and playing in the road.

On our way out of the park we came across a huge huge bull elephant, the biggest one we’d seen so far. We actually got stuck behind it. It was walking right in the middle of the road and we didn’t have room on either side to pass it. At one point it finally moved off of the road and we got in front of it, then we were able to turn around and font follow it in reverse to make it easier to take our shots. It got back on the road and we watched it for a while. As we got close to the Crocodile Bridge gate to leave we saw 2 cheetahs in the field. I still can’t believe how lucky we were to see them. As we were watching them we saw an impala come really close to them and one of the cheetahs stood up. I thought we were going to see them run after it (I was hoping they would), but they must not have been hungry because they just laid right back down. Soon after a hyena came close to them and you could tell the cheetah wasn’t thrilled about having him close they got up and were super alert. Then a huge elephant walked right by the cheetahs. One of the coolest parts of Kruger is seeing all of the different animals and how they react to each other.

Drive back to Johannesburg

On the drive back to Johannesburg we saw a sign for a the Elands river waterfall, so we pulled over. As we went to walk to it we came to a super long and creepy tunnel, so we went back to the truck to get our spot light and took a guide back with us. Apparently it’s a hot spot for hijacking or being jumped. The waterfall was gorgeous, and worth the walk. We drove to Johannesburg, got on our flight to Cape Town around 9:30 pm, and arrived around 11:30 pm.

Rainy Day

Leopard 

Hyena

Elephant 

Cheetah

Impala

Zebra

Giraffe

Kudu

Waterbuck

Baboon

Warthog

Rhino


Planning a trip?

Here are some helpful links!

Hazyview Cabanas

Skukuza

Kruger National Park Safari

Panorama Route

Click here to view or buy pictures from our trip!

 

Kruger National Park Kruger National Park Kruger National Park Kruger National Park Kruger National Park Kruger National Park Kruger National Park Kruger National Park Kruger National Park Kruger National Park Kruger National Park Kruger National Park Kruger National Park Kruger National Park Kruger National Park Kruger National Park Kruger National Park Safari Kruger National Park Safari Kruger National Park Safari Kruger National Park Safari Baby Elephant at Kruger National Park Baby elephant at Kruger national park Elephant family at Kruger National park Kruger National Park Safari Kruger National Park Safari Kruger National Park Safari monkey at Kruger National Park monkey at Kruger National Park monkey at Kruger National Park monkey at Kruger National Park giraffe at Kruger National Park night safari at Kruger national park night safari at Kruger national park night safari at Kruger national park night safari at Kruger national park Elephants at Kruger national park Elephants at Kruger national park hyena at Kruger national park hippo in river at Kruger national park hippo in river at Kruger national park hippo in river at Kruger national park elephants at Kruger national park elephant herd at Kruger national park leopard in tree at Kruger national park leopard in tree at Kruger national park leopard in tree at Kruger national park leopard in tree at Kruger national park leopard in tree at Kruger national park leopard in tree at Kruger national park leopard in tree at Kruger national park leopard in tree at Kruger national park leopard in tree at Kruger national park leopard in tree at Kruger national park leopard in tree at Kruger national park leopard in tree at Kruger national park leopard in tree at Kruger national park leopard in tree at Kruger national park leopard in tree at Kruger national park South Africa Kruger National Park South Africa Kruger National Park South Africa Kruger National Park South Africa Kruger National Park South Africa Kruger National Park South Africa Kruger National Park zebras at Kruger national park zebras at Kruger national park zebras at Kruger national park South Africa Kruger National Park South Africa Kruger National Park South Africa Kruger National Park South Africa Kruger National Park South Africa Kruger National Park South Africa Kruger National Park South Africa Kruger National Park South Africa Kruger National Park Bull elephant in Kruger national park Bull elephant in Kruger national park Bull elephant in Kruger national park Bull elephant in Kruger national park Bull elephant in Kruger national park Bull elephant in Kruger national park Bull elephant in Kruger national park giraffe in Kruger national park giraffe in Kruger national park giraffe in Kruger national park giraffe in Kruger national park giraffe in Kruger national park giraffe in Kruger national park monkey carrying baby on back Kruger national park monkey carrying baby on back Kruger national park Kruger national park Kruger national park Kruger national park Safari Kruger national park Safari Kruger national park Safari Kruger national park Safari Kruger national park Safari Kruger national park Safari Kruger national park Safari Kruger national park Safari Kruger national park Safari male lion at Kruger national park male lion at Kruger national park male lion at Kruger national park male lion at Kruger national park male lion at Kruger national park male lion at Kruger national park male lion at Kruger national park male lion at Kruger national park male lion at Kruger national park male lion at Kruger national park male lion at Kruger national park male lion at Kruger national park male lion at Kruger national park white rhino at Kruger national park white rhino at Kruger national park white rhino at Kruger national park white rhino at Kruger national park white rhino at Kruger national park zebra at Kruger national park zebra at Kruger national park zebra at Kruger national park zebra at Kruger national park hornbill at Kruger national park elephant at Kruger national park elephant at Kruger national park elephant at Kruger national park elephant at Kruger national park

Leave a Reply

Follow on Instagram!

Copyright © 2019 Mandi Rae Photography · Theme by 17th Avenue