Days 99, 100, 101 Safari at Kruger National Park South Africa April 11, 12, 13, 2019

We arrived at Pestana Kruger Lodge on Day 99 April 11, 2019.

 

 

 

 

We had a nice room.

 

 

 

 

At a great lodge.

 

 

 

 

Complete with gift shop

 

 

 

 

and pool  

 

 

 

with lounge area 

 

 

 

a creek runs through the grounds

 

 

with a warning.

 

 

 

A super feature of this lodge is a large deck with these entertainment monkeys,

 

 

 

 

but most importantly it overlooks the river in Kruger Park.

 

 

 

 

 

We saw these elephants,

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hippopotamus

 

 

 

and antelope from the lodge deck on the afternoon we arrived before we had even entered the park.

 

Over the three days at the park we took these 4 X 4 Toyota vehicles into the park for morning and afternoon safaris.  We also had a night visit.  We took over 1,000 photos and the highlights are presented below. 

 

So the animals we were able to see included the giraffe. 

 

 

 

We saw giraffes each day we were in the park.  It was fun to watch them walk

 

 

 

 

 

and eat.  According to the guide the trees have a protective mechanism built into the design, such that if a giraffe eats to much from one plant the leaves become toxic to them so they have to move around and eat and thus not destroy a single tree.

 

We saw tons (pun intended) of elephants.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Also saw them with their babies.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This old bull was huge.  Can hardly believe how close he came to us.

 

 

 

 

 

 

This was really fun.  The elephants had formed a road block.  Since the guides are not allowed to disturb the animals, we had to sit and wait, which was great since we were able to watch them close-up for 15 to 20 minutes.  This baby was cute as he decided to just lay down and take a nap.

 

As the sun moved, the roadway became in direct sunlight, so they decided to move on and then we went on down the road.  That was fun.

 

 

Here are some hippos wandering through the bush. 

 

 

 

 

Mostly we saw them enjoying themselves in the watering holes. 

 

 

 

 

 

We were very fortunate to come across this pride of lions.  It was on an evening drive.  The lions sleep during the heat of the day and hunt at night.  Here they are starting to wake up.

Rolling over to get some energy to start moving.  How cute.

 

 

 

Everyone is up and ready to start the night shift.

 

 

 

 

We saw this older male right on the road.

 

 

Their manes get darker as they get older.

 

 

 

Loved seeing this one so close.

 

 

 

 

Saw zebras every day

 

 

each one with their own set of stripes as distinctive as a fingerprint.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We saw impalas several times on every safari.

 

 

They are so prevalent that the guides hardly want to slow down for a good picture.

 

 

 

At night we saw large herds (several blocks long) bedding down together.  We loved it because they are such a beautiful animal, even if the guides saw no skill in finding them.  

 

Rhinoceros were great to see, and we were within a few feet of some of them.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The sightings went on and on.

 

 

We saw a few cape buffalo and the guide said one way they are dangerous is they will lay like this seemingly not paying attention

 

 

and then charge when you get close.

 

 

 

 

Our favorite sighting was this cheetah.

 

 

He was walking along the road and marking his territory. 

 

 

 

The Kruger National Park covers one million acres and there are only 120 cheetahs so we were very fortunate to see this guy. 

 

 

Great day.   That was awesome.  

 

 

 

 

A kudu.

 

 

 

Magnificent looking animal.

 

 

 

Wildebeest.

 

 

 

The Common Duiker.

 

 

 

 

The Warthog.

 

 

As our guide stated, seldom accused of being pretty.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Waterbuck.

 

 

We also saw lots of smaller animals and birds.

 

 

 

 

Turtles.

 

 

 

And other ugly ones.

 

 

 

 

Like these crocodiles.

 

 

 

Lots of great birds.

 

Eagle

 

 

 

 

 

 

Saddle-billed stork.  Very colorful.

 

 

 

Swainson’s Spurfowl.

 

 

 

 

 

White Backed Vulture.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Trumpeter Hornbill.

 

 

 

 

Great Egret.

 

 

 

Right next to this egret was a water monitor.

 

 

 

White fronted bee-eater.

 

 

 

 

Brown Hooded Kingfisher.

 

 

 

Crested Guineafowl.

 

 

 

Wahlberg’s Eagle.

 

 

We also went out for a night safari.  We saw a lot of animals and with the spot lights, it was pretty good viewing.  Difficult photo environment however, so only a few photos to show from the night.   This hyena was a great add to our list.

 

 

Elephant at night.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Found Cape Buffalo

 

 

 

 

grazing at night.

 

 

 

Loved this owl photo.

Wow!  That was an amazing 3 day safari.  We saw so many animals in their national habitat.  We learned so much and enjoyed it greatly.  Setting aside one million acres for a national park was wise planning and so many people can enjoy it today.  Definitely a great highlight for our trip.

 

 

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