It was late afternoon on the 3rd of August, and the sun was slowly setting on our first day back in the Kruger National Park. We were enjoying a leisurely drive along the Sabie River, taking in the deep calming atmosphere that comes with sunset in a magnificent natural setting like this, about 5km from Skukuza Rest Camp.
Unexpectedly, a young elephant ran across the road towards the river, trumpeting loudly and shaking his ears and trunk around, clearly extremely agitated. From a short side loop, we watched as he flushed a pride of lions from the reeds, quite some distance from the road.
Noticing that the lions will now be making their way towards the road, we anticipate where they’ll be moving out of the river bed and position our vehicle in that spot. We have to wait only a minute or two before noticing the first feline shapes appearing among the riverine vegetation, much closer to the road already. The lions are coming, and they are heading straight for us!
One by one, the entire pride of about fifteen animals, including three magnificent males, pass right beside us, crosses the road and moves into the bush on the opposite side. We watch enthralled from inside our vehicle as the big cats move by close enough to stroke (though of course, that would be very foolish to even attempt!).
(You can click on the photos to view them in a gallery, for a bigger view – we’re sure you won’t be sorry that you did 😉 )
Kruger welcomed us back in the most emphatic way imaginable. What else did it have in store for us in the nine days ahead? We hope you’ll join us again to find out!