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
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