Autumn in Kruger: Berg-en-Dal, May 2014

Along came the 1st of May, and we had another long drive southwards from Orpen to Berg-en-Dal Rest Camp, in the far south-west corner of the Kruger National Park. The three nights we’d spend at Berg-en-Dal would conclude our autumn visit to the Park, and though the thought that our time in Kruger was coming to an end weighed heavy on our minds, we were looking forward to finding out what was still lying in wait for us.

Lions between Orpen and Satara

Lions between Orpen and Satara

As expected, we had wonderful sightings along the way and we enjoyed a nice lunch with good friends at the Skukuza Golf Club.

 

We’ll dedicate a special post to Berg-en-Dal soon, but wanted to include some photos of the camp and our accommodation (Wielewaal Cottage, #26) as a little appetiser.

Berg-en-Dal_May2014 (19)

Wielewaal Cottage

Berg-en-Dal_May2014 (18)

Educational displays in the Rhino Hall

Apart from the wonderful array of wildlife in the Berg-en-Dal area, it is one of the most scenic parts of the Kruger Park.

Berg-en-Dal sunset

Berg-en-Dal sunset

Taking a morning drive to the Biyamiti weir turned out to be one of our most enjoyable drives of the trip.

Biyamiti Weir is a beautiful photography spot

Biyamiti Weir is a beautiful photography spot

 

How Marilize managed to spot this boomslang at a distance of about 50 metres still has me amazed!

Can you spot the snake?

Can you spot the snake?

In camp, the Rhino Trail offers up close-and-personal encounters with a variety of wildlife; big and small, furry and feathery.

Time for one final afternoon drive:

And as it often does, Kruger keeps the best for last. Heading back to camp on our final afternoon, with the sun almost at the horizon, we come across a pack of wild dogs in the road, one of them heavily pregnant. These are among Africa’s rarest animals, and it was indeed a very special treat to have such a close encounter with these top predators.

It was the morning of the 4th of May and our autumn 2014 visit to the Kruger National Park has come to an end.

Thick-knee (Dikkop) in camp

Thick-knee (Dikkop) in camp

On the way to Malelane Gate we had a splendid sighting of more hyenas in the very early morning.

Spotted hyena on the way to Malelane Gate

Spotted hyena on the way to Malelane Gate

Eight nights of serene peace and quiet flew past in the wink of an eye. And of course we’re counting the days till we return!

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29 thoughts on “Autumn in Kruger: Berg-en-Dal, May 2014

  1. Pingback: Autumn in Kruger: Orpen, April 2014 | de Wets Wild

  2. Pingback: It’s an Honor to Be Nominated! | Learn More Everyday

  3. M-R

    Your multi posts are as welcome as anything I can think of ! 🙂 Now, tell me about the wild dogs: their name isn’t very specific, and yet they are really a specific breed, are they not ? A cross between a hyena and a wild dog, maybe, started it all off ?

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    1. de Wets Wild Post author

      Thanks again Margaret-Rose!

      There’s a much more descriptive name for the African Wild Dog, though not as widely in use: “Painted Wolf”. Fits them so will, don’t you agree?

      They’re 100% canine and hate hyenas to pieces…

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        1. de Wets Wild Post author

          No, you are absolutely correct Margaret-Rose. They’re absolutely pure-bred and I’ve never heard of them crossing with domesticated dogs. In fact, domestic dogs are part of the reason why the ‘painted wolves” are so rare, as they transmit all kinds of diseases to them.

          Researchers use the patterns on their bodies to distinguish individuals, as the blotches are as unique from one another as our fingerprints are.

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          1. M-R

            OK .. then from now on I shall look upon the nomenclature of ‘wild dog’ in exactly the same way as if it were ‘black rhino’.
            🙂
            MANY thanks for your inpit !

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  4. bulldog

    Love the photos.. a special area of the park… but the road back from Malalane to Nelspruit with the “stop and go” is a pain in the you know where…

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    1. de Wets Wild Post author

      Thanks Bulldog!

      A “local” shared a very nice alternative road with us to get past those roadworks – via the Boulders Pass (turns off the N4 just before and after the Crocodile Gorge and only a few kilometres longer, with absolutely gorgeous scenery)

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      1. bulldog

        Ok so you know about it then… the old Kaap Maiden road… I returned from the Talking Turf on that road, a friend followed me to where I turned off, but did not want to take the road… I was safely back in Nelspruit and phoned him, he was still in the queue and couldn’t even see the stop-n-go… my time one hour from Leopard Creek to Nelspruit, his time 3.5 hours …

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