There’s no other way to explain it. Kruger National Park is an addiction.
I blame my parents and I will be forever grateful to them. My first night in the paradise that is the Kruger Park was in September 1983, at just four years old, camping at Pretoriuskop.
As with any decent addiction, the more you get the more you want – visit more often, stay for longer. And I’ve been only too happy to oblige. Every time I enter those gates I feel reborn, every time I leave I get depressed. In fact, if I didn’t already have the next visit planned so that I have something to look forward to there’s a good chance I wouldn’t be able to leave at all.
Worst of all is that we’ve gotten our son addicted too. Little Joubert was only eight weeks old when he had his first taste, also at Pretoriuskop, and in the two years since he has been back to Kruger 6 times (not to mention all the other reserves he’s been visiting with us) and been all over the Park from Pafuri Gate in the north to Malelane in the south. Absolute proof to the saying that the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, our little two-year old gets excited weeks ahead of our next visit. He recognizes Skukuza, Letaba, Olifants and Satara from pictures and can identify a multitude of animals and birds, even from their calls. He recalls previous sightings at particular locations when we pass there again. Joubert carries his own little digital camera around, clicking away at anything from beautiful landscapes and elephants to insects, leaves and…dung, by which he is absolutely fascinated: every so often we have to stop at some or other poo-pile so that it may be thoroughly appreciated.
We visited as many of our favourite spots as we could fit into the five days – Lake Panic bird hide near Skukuza, N’wanetsi and Timbavati Picnic Sites, Sweni bird hide, the S100 gravel road and the Girivana waterhole near Satara, the viewpoint in Olifants and the Elephant Hall in Letaba. Sadly another favourite, the low level causeway over the Olifants River at Balule was still out of commission following the January floods.
What follows is a selection of our photographs taken between the 26th of April and the 1st of May 2012 celebrating the serenity and beauty that the Kruger Park is so famous for.
Luckily for us our next short visit occurs in June!