South Africa Day 3 (part 1): Kruger National Park

One of the main attractions of South Africa is a safari to see the wild animals. This was to be one of the highlights of the holiday. Our accommodation at Hazyview was near the southern part of Kruger, where there is the greatest concentration of wildlife. It meant an early start at 4.15 a.m. as the animals are most active early in the morning. The hotel supplied us with coffee and rusks for dunking and a packed breakfast before we left. We met our guide, Alfred at the entrance to the Park and were soon seated in the 4×4, which held nine, three in each row. Everyone had a good view as the seats were tiered. The vehicles must keep to the roads, which are mainly tarmac and sometimes it almost felt like being on a motorway with the amount of traffic. The drivers are in constant contact by radio so when an interesting animal is spotted the vehicles congregate and jostle for the best view. Just before we arrived in South Africa there had been six weeks of torrential rain, which had flooded much of southern Kruger. On the smaller dirt roads many of the bridges had been demolished and the roads closed. However, this did not deter Alfred from ignoring the closed signs in his quest to make sure we would see lions. Driving across slabs of concrete that had formally been bridges was quite something. We finally came across a pair of lions sitting next to the road, only a few feet away from us. By the end of the safari we had seen four of the big five animals: lions, elephants, buffalo and rhino. In addition we saw many other different animals.

Mahlathini & The Mahotella Queens – Mbaqanga