Travelling to the Kruger Park is something you need to plan a little in advance as the roads can get quite bad, either affected by potholes or flooding. It’s always advisable to phone the gate of the area that you are planning to visit and find out about the conditions of the roads.
Arriving at the Numbi Gate I was welcomed by some game rangers and proceeded to sign all the indemnities before entering the reserve. I watched two eagles perched in a nearby tree and right then I realised that I was in animal paradise. The sun was slowly setting on the park, and seeing its rays stretching through the indigenous trees was astounding.
When visiting the Kruger National Park it’s always advisable to book or join a safari either in the mornings or evenings. Being with an expert game ranger will increase your chances of seeing any game as they keep tabs on where animals have been spotted during the day. Also, the park closes at night due to all the rhino poaching, and during the day the reserve gets so hot that the animals tend to go into hiding to keep cool.
Spotting animals at night is a skill all of its own and you need a flashlight because the reflection of their eyes in the dark allows for easier spotting. Less than 10 minutes into our safari we spotted a herd of elephant that were making their way through the dense bush. To get so close to elephant and to have the matriarch female stare at me was an enthralling experience... all that stood between us was a few metres and a vehicle.
Driving through the rest of the area we spotted buffalo, bush babies, owls, buck, and vultures encircling a kill. On our way back to the gate I had one of my most memorable experiences: an elephant, that I called Dino, came out of nowhere with a branch in his mouth and ran down the road with us chasing after him before he tried to back up near a bush. He stared at us as if to say, “Please don’t take my dinner”. This was a special encounter and it made me feel so privileged to have experienced it.
Having this time in the Kruger was an incredible and exhilarating occasion. It just goes to show that every moment in the Kruger is an opportunity for a spectacular lifetime experience.
It was finally time to say goodnight…