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Kruger National Park...An Explosion of Animals


I'm pretty obsessed with animals. Basically, if I see a creature that is moving I consider it to be my new BFF. Because of this, I knew that Kruger National Park and I would get along splendidly. The trip was all I could have asked for and more (well...except for the very end  where the car broke down and it took us an extra 3 hours to get home).

We started our journey by waking up at 6 a.m. which was rough considering we usually don't get up until 8:30 or 9. As everyone expected, we were late meeting up with the gang due to a series of unfortunate events. Eventually we made it to Wimpy, sort of like the South African version of Denny's, for breakfast with the crew. We then started our little caravan to Kruger.

On the way we stopped at Waterfall Boven to take pictures at the waterfall.  Apparently this used to be a popular tourist attraction but it was apparent that those days were long gone.  To get there we were escorted by a policeman through a long dark tunnel which, if our friends hadn't gone ahead of us in their truck, would have been absolutely terrifying. In the end it was worth it for the amazing view.

After a few more hours of driving we made it to the house we were renting in an are outside of Kruger called Marloth Park. The house was roomy and homely but I must say that I wasn't a fan of the six buck heads that were scattered around the walls staring down at us. After settling in the festivities quickly began. We all gathered on the back porch for drinks and a board game called 30 Seconds (similar to Taboo but with lots of South African references which I didn't understand at all).  

Once the sun set we braiied some meat for dinner. After a few hours we were all very full, tipsy, and loud. Then all of a sudden someone shouted out "SHH!" and pointed to the side. A zebra was just standing there staring at us. It was quite a magical moment when we all turned at the same time to see this creature.  To our surprise it started walking towards us and then we saw that he brought a friend along. It's a bit disconcerting to see how comfortable these wild creatures have become with humans but nevertheless it was amazing beyond words to see them up close. The zebras must have told their friends that there was a party going on because soon a sounder of warthogs (yes I looked it up) came stomping through. The perfect first night of a trip indeed. 

The next two days were spent by getting up early in the morning to go to the park. Spending most of the day driving around looking for animals, and then returning exhausted to braii dinner and play board games and drink.

Here's a list of all the animals I saw (that I can remember):
  • Springbok
  • Gemsbok
  • Impala
  • Kudu
  • Zebra
  • Warthog
  • Giraffe
  • Elephant
  • Mongoose
  • Monkey
  • Baboon
  • Crocodile
  • Hippopotamus
  • Hornbill
  • Vulture
  • Rhino
  • Lion
  • Eagle
  • Water buffalo
  • Wildebeest 

I am going to Pilansberg Game Reserve on Friday so updates and more pictures of animals to come =-)

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