Trip To Kruger Park Area  - South Africa - May 2006 
(click any picture to get enlargement)

Nicole lives in Pretoria, which is located in the upper middle part of South Africa.  Unfortunately there aren't any beaches to relax on, or mountains to explore.

There are, however, many nearby game reserves which have native African animals.  The largest of these reserves is to the east and is called Kruger National Park.  Bordering Kruger Park we found many private game reserves which help protect the wildlife and offer opportunities for tourists to see them.  

It takes about 4 hours to get to the Kruger area from Pretoria.  
About 3 hours into the trip the terrain turns from a highland 
plain, to a canyon area, and then to the lowland plains.

Getting Near Canyon Land

At Canyon Boundary 

From Canyon floor 

The canyon offers a place to take a break.  We hiked to waterfalls and saw many types of flowers. 

We also found a place that had "potholes", which are holes cut into the rock ....  

... by smaller rocks which were swirled around and around in the current.

We visited the Sabi Sabi Game Reserve, which is next to the Kruger Park.  
The daily routine was morning game drive, breakfast, lunch & hike, afternoon/night game drive and then dinner.

The local inhabitants are very poor... and they had to be quite imaginative with the limited resources they had available to them.

Dry River Bed Area

Herd of Impala 

Elegant Lone Impala

Herd of Wildabeest 

Wart Hog Family

One-horned Buffalo 

The next series of shots come from a rare and wonderful sighting.

Our guide received a call on the radio and got a big smile on his face ......
  a day-time sighting of three leopards !

A mom and two children in a tree (well camouflaged).

Child eating on an Impala that is falling apart

 Mom jumps down to retrieve a piece of leg

No girl, the food is not on the Land Rover! 

Aha!  She finds it and brings it back to the kids 

The kids munched on the Impala for quite a while. We  just sat there and watched in awe; they were truly beautiful animals.

 The guide said that in all his years, he had never seen such a close sighting! Needless to say, we felt quite lucky.

After a while the mom jumped down and  ... 

... she left the area while the kids napped.... typical!

When leaving the reserve we heard a loud noise  ....

... and an elephant came from the woods; cool!

All-in-all a very nice visit to Sabi Sabi Reserve

We then ventured into Kruger National Park, which is a self-drive park.  At first we didn't see many animals, but towards the end of the afternoon it got quite exciting.

Baoboa Tree (looks like planted up-side-down) 

Finally I include a picture of a pretty bird! 

Guinea Fowl running across the road 

Small Herd of Elephants 

Big Herd of Buffalo 

Lone Buffalo 

Busy Kruger Highway (this view made us laugh) 

He's giving us a dirty look for using HIS roadway

The Giraffes were the highlight of this trip  

Sometimes you only saw the giraffe's head and other times you were able to see their entire bodies.

As they gently strolled along, they truly looked like majestic giants. 

Family of Baboons 

Upon leaving we met a .... 

... friendly, hungry monkey. 

Kuname Resort - We won a trip to this resort at an outing sponsored by a travel agent.  This resort was relatively new and run by a family in which the owner sold his business and bought the resort for their "early retirement" in the bush.  

Resort on a prairie, with ....

...dry river beds which ...
. ... animals use as roads.  

We had game drives each morning and evening; there were few guests :) 

The guide sees a cat but cannot tell what it is.... 

...what luck, it's a leopard! 

Towards a warthog family 

The "cute" family departs 

Wild Dogs 

This ends this section on our trips to Kruger Park.  Hopefully we will get back to the park many times in the future, as each time we experience something different.

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