So, as I said, we had to wake up at 5:30am to get ready to leave at 6:00am. So, I woke up and took a hurried shower, but of course, even though it’s South Africa, This is Still Africa. We had another T.I.A. (This is Africa) moment because our Jeep broke down. So we decided to take breakfast and our guide will switch our vehicle with another one. Breakfast consisted of mixed fruit, watermelon, eggs, bread, yogurt, museli, and corn flakes. It was delicious and relatively healthy considering the amount of junk food we’ve been eating lately. After breakfast, I took a nap and read, while Israel (our guide) went to switch the vehicle. At 10am, we finally went off.
We had a game drive basically from 10am to 6:30pm. We only stopped for one hour to eat lunch, but otherwise, it’s game drives. We went off to see more of the Big 5. The previous day we saw rhinos, elephants, and buffalos. Today, the only exciting addition is a lion in the distance. However, we did see more elephants, giraffes, buffalos, impalas, wildebeasts, rhinos, hyenas, vultures, and mangooses. At one point, an elephant was travelling on the road and it’s supposedly looking for a mate and was considered at its most aggressive stage. Israel revved the engine and managed to make it avoid us, but it came pretty close to us. It was also such a hot day that the hyenas we saw were just bathing in a pond to cool itself off. We also played a game to pass the time by seeing who can point out the most animals. Basically, the whole day was spent seeing animals though we did fall asleep at some stretch of the park, where animals are scarcer. For lunch, we ate at a camp called Olifants, which is pretty close to the Mozambique border. I had a steak, egg, and chips meal and it was 45 rands, which about $6. For a tourist place, the price is surprisingly average and not too expensive.
After a whole day of game viewing, we returned for dinner. Dinner today was plentiful. We had nsima (they call it something else – but it was the same as our Malawian nsima) with an AMAZING relish that resembles sweet/sour sauce, chicken kebabs, lamb chops, coleslaw, and sweet potatoes. Another great meal by our amazing chef. For desserts, we even got a chocolate mousse. Then, everyone took a shower to cool themselves off (something we learned from the animals haha), and embarked on our night game drive. On the night game drive, I got to be one of the people controlling the lights in the vehicle! That was quite exciting. We saw most of the things that we saw during the day: elephant, giraffe, hyenas, mongoose, and impalas. We even got to see wild cats, and jackals. However, the most spectacular thing is at one point, we were stopped by a lion on the road. We thought it was cool that a lion was right in front of us, but then about twenty lions came and started crossing the road. This was the first time that we got to see lions at such a distance. During the day, they avoid humans – so that’s why we didn’t get to see any. This satisfactorily satisfied our desire to see lions.
After the game drive, it was about 10:20pm – and I’m writing this blog in a very tired state of mind. We also need to wake up before 5am tomorrow because tomorrow is our last day in Kruger National Park. Tomorrow, we’ll be having a game drive in the early morning, return to eat breakfast, head out and have another game drive, then leave the park to head to a lodge in the Greater Kruger Reserve, where we can have a relaxing night. The final day will be a bush walk and a return to Johannesburg. So we’re starting early tomorrow to get the most of our experience. Hopefully, we can see a leopard to complete our Big 5 experience.