Kruger Day 2

Written by Safarigal
July 29, 2017


Berg en Dal Camp


We heard the lion roar last night. When a lion roars the sound seems to fill the whole universe, it is my most favorite sound in the whole world. To hear it our first night in the park was totally wonderful.


Yesterday we became separated from two of the other cars in our group, and over dinner we heard that they had seen WILD DOGS!!!!!!!


The gates to exit the camp open at 6:00 AM, so at 5:45 our 5 cars lined up to be the first cars out of the camp, so we could go searching for the wild dogs.


It’s very handy having game rangers in the family, as they had a good idea of where the African wild dogs would be found, and sure enough less than 15 minutes out of the camp; there they were having breakfast. I was totally excited – they were right next to our cars, and we all got an excellent view of them as they devoured their meal. There must have been about 10 of them, and they were very busy running around and eating, totally ignoring our presence, and the cameras poking out of the car windows. They are simply beautiful, with colorful markings, and you can easily see why the other name for the African wild dog is the African painted dog. We sat watching them in awe, and would have loved to stay longer, but gradually more and more cars arrived to see them, and we felt we should share them with others alas.


We said goodbye to them, and the 5 cars headed off to explore what marvels of the animal kingdom were there to be enjoyed today.


By then there seemed to be hundreds of other cars on the roads, and even though we chose to take the dirt rather than the paved roads thinking these would be the roads less traveled, there were still more cars to be found than animals.


Still, we had a great morning of animal watching, including a very playful warthog, and a lazy crocodile, and it was soon time to stop at the Afsaal picnic spot for lunch. At Afsaal, and also at the other picnic sites and camps, they have boards with different coloured magnets that show where animals have been spotted. I’m not sure how accurate they are. Angie’s little brother had a good time moving the magnets around, so by the time he was done they were a work of fiction, bound to confuse any unsuspecting traveler.


Now, on most safaris we do an early morning game drive, head back to the camp for brunch, and nap or read until tea time, when we head out on a late afternoon game drive. This is because the animals are supposedly more active at these times, and are themselves napping during the rest of the day. Not so when we are in Kruger. We are usually the first people out the camp gate when it opens in the morning, and are the last people back to the camp just before it closes for the night. We drive around all day game viewing, and our only stop is for lunch at one of the picnic sites in the park.


The first thing to do after arriving at the picnic site is to rent your skottles. Skottles are a truly wonderful invention – they are like a portable gas barbeque with a wok top, and perfect for cooking in the bush. You can also buy one on line for your patio on Amazon. Just search for a skottle, and soon you can also imagine you are cooking breakfast in the bush rather than suburbia.


After a tremendous lunch, where we were serenaded by a California Christian singing group which seemed to be a little bit random, we set off again in search of wild life.


We were not disappointed. The afternoon brought us hippos, waterbuck, rhinos, monkeys, hyenas, zebras, giraffes, impalas, buffalos, warthogs, and many herds of elephants, blocking the roads. We were also lucky enough to catch a glimpse of a beautiful leopard before it quickly disappeared into the bush.


It had been a totally perfect day of game viewing. I had seen my wild dogs; up close and more personal than I could ever have hoped to see them. However, I had also been able to see my fill of elephants – and that makes any day special.





Post Discussion


  1. Karen Hill

    Knowing we’ll be there in 10 months makes this so alive. I’m heeding your advice and checking out cars with a bit higher profile than I originally reserved. Still researching a bit.

    • Safarigal

      The rest of the family had small SUVs or mini vans – and they were much higher and gave better visibility. I went for the Corolla because that’s what I am used to and I thought it would be easier driving on the wrong side of the road!

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