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a personal guide

Kruger National Park

Kruger Park, Numbi Gate signOne of the most popular tourist destinations in South Africa is the Kruger National Park, an area the size of Wales. It is situated in the north-east of the country between the Crocodile River and the Limpopo River.

We stayed in a nearby hotel (see hotels link below) and were taken on a day-long guided tour starting very early in the morning. This was just part of our holiday. However, many visitors stay in camps within the park, often for several days, and go on several safaris as their entire holiday or the main part of it.

In the Kruger park, animals roam wild, whilst it is the visitors who are confined in 'cages' (vehicles). We were transported in Land Rovers which had roofs but no sides. The high seats and the lack of windows made it easy to spot, observe and photograph the wildlife.

The terrain varies from river beds (often dried up as the Kruger has had little rain in recent years) to rocky hilltops.

Our driver took us down bumpy tracks, urging us to tell him to stop when we saw an animal, bird or plant we wanted to see. He mainly used his experience to take us to places where animals were likely to be found, but this was supplemented by squawks from his radio when his colleagues spotted something interesting.

Many visitors aim to include the 'big five' amongst the animals seen. These are elephant, rhino, buffalo, lion and leopard. We saw all but the leopard - cats are relatively uncommon where we were in the southern part of the park. Other animals seen in about six hours included: giraffe, water buck, zebra, vervet monkey, baboon, hippo, nyala, impala, warthog, crocodile, bush buck, duiker, steenbok, kudo, klipspringer, crocodile and gnu. Interesting birds included stork, vulture, oxpecker and two types of hornbill.

Buffalo in Kruger Park Mother and baby elephant
Rhinoceros The Ground Hornbill is about 2ft high
Young warthogs playing in the dirt Vervet monkey

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