Living on Lajuma is pretty great but there aren’t that many animals that could kill you. There are a few…leopards (only if they are feeling ambitious), snakes (puff adders, black mambas, cobras, etc), scorpions (if you’re dumb enough to turn over rocks and stick your head in holes), but all in all it’s pretty safe.
Kruger National Park, on the other hand, has lots of animals that could bite you, trample you, chase you and poison you. And consequently, we can’t seem to stay away.
The other weekend I headed to Kruger with friends Greg and Kyle. We had a few hours before meeting Sam off the bus in Hoedspruit so we went into Blyde River Canyon. Blyde River means River of Happiness which is pretty nice. It was beautiful there and to me it looked a bit like the American west coast rather than Africa.
We took a short walk out to a waterfall which entailed crossing an Indiana Jones style bridge. Only once we had risked life and limb to cross the bridge did we realise that this was the old path and that a newer, safer way existed.
There was an amazing old log by the waterfall which seemed to have faces in the wood with exposed roots snarled around a giant rock.
We met Sam but his bus was running late and we missed the park gate entrance time. We had to pay a fine and be escorted to our first camp like naughty children. Next morning at sunrise we went our first game drive and saw buffalos and waterbuck. The buffalo had super shiny horns. It was pretty nippy so Greg wrapped up in blankets hobo-style for the drive.
The camps we stayed at were nice. We heard lions roaring at night at Satara and rode a fig tree at Pretoriouskop.
I felt very safariy in my Afrikaans shirt! Greg also looked quite safariy looking for animals on the top of the landy in his Springboks jersey.
So here is a smattering of the birds, mammals and reptiles we saw…
Impalas that kept pretending they were about to rut and then didn’t!
Haubles of elephants.
A kudu bull with lots and lots of oxpeckers on it.
White rhino while on a night drive.
Wildebeest and vultures. We saw vultures eating on a kill as well which was pretty awesome.
A secretary bird.
Lazy baby giraffes.
Sun-burnt hippos and more elephants.
Spotted hyaena both at night and in the day.
The lilac-breasted roller or the magic bird as Marion, our Research Assistant, calls them because of their colours.
Finally here’s the view of the Oliphants River.
It was a nice wee trip to Kruger. We didn’t get eaten this time.