Recently our friends from Germany, Dr. Carsten Holtmann & Anke Plog, visited us. When they visited us in England I kept on (sometimes I think too much) about Africa’s wilderness. Carsten specifically showed a real interest in the topic so I decided to take him to Kruger National Park. The Kruger and the Kalahari Gemsbok Park are the best options for “real Africa” in South Africa. Regrettably Anke was pregnant and couldn’t go (because of the Malaria risk) so she and Lené relaxed in the Eastern Cape.
As expected it was a great trip. And yes; we did see the big 5. My personal highlight was a leopard which we saw on our last drive of the trip! Before this I had never seen a leopard in the wild in South Africa. He was very close to us – in fact he was so close that my 500mm lens wouldn’t focus! Despite this temporary setback we took some great photos. Check them and others out at Kruger National Park Photos.
Another highlight was a morning walk we did with guides Irving Knight & Eliab Khosa. I can definitely recommend this. The guys are very experienced and they can teach you so much about the bush. From the word go we went looking for lions. That was very exciting, but unfortunately we didn’t find any. Our best sighting on the walk was an African Buffalo that was about 25-30m away from us. I love the fact that you can get so close to these magnificent creatures while on foot. Irving also kept it very interesting by telling us some entertaining stories about Kruger. He also told me of some awesome tricks to find predators and kills. Thanks Irving!
Unfortunately there were disappointments as well. They were the same as the last time I visited Kruger, namely: the restaurants. We had a buffet dinner with no service, a bottle of water and a beer and the bill came to R310!! My best advice is just to stay away from the restaurants; it really isn’t worth it. We had another minor disappointment when they overbooked a morning walk; but this was when we saw the leopard so in the end it worked out perfectly.
All in all the trip just proved again that you can’t beat Kruger! And I’m very pleased to see that arguably our greatest treasure is in very good hands – except the restaurants. 🙂