Easter in Kruger

The Easter break afforded us the opportunity to visit South Africa’s flagship National Park, and one of our favourite destinations, again, spending first three nights at Skukuza Rest Camp in the south of the Kruger National Park, and then four nights around Mopani Rest Camp in the north. After a summer of apparently good rainfall, the Park’s vegetation is lush and green, with water in ample supply. These conditions make searching for wildlife a bit trickier, but it is wonderful to see the Park transformed from the harrowing effects of the recent drought that is still so fresh in our minds.

The Kruger National Park is renowned for its Big-5 sightings. There isn’t very many other places where one can so easily find completely wild lions, leopards, elephants, buffaloes and rhinos from the comfort of your own vehicle, at your own pace and according to your own schedule. And then there’s always a chance that you may cross paths with a magnificent big tusker!

On the other side of the scale are those less frequently noticed smaller critters (“creepy crawlies” or “goggas” as we call them), that fairly seldom feature on any of the Kruger visitors’ sightings wish-lists. They may be small and unobtrusive, but they are certainly no less fascinating than the glamorous Big-5. We already shared with your the exciting scenes of a Western Stripe-bellied Sand Snake catching and swallowing a skink in Shingwedzi, but there’s plenty more to see if you bend your knees!

The Mopani area is well-known for prized sightings of the rarer antelope species, and we weren’t disappointed on that score either, ticking bushbucknyalaeland, tsessebe, reedbuck and roan antelope on our list.

The lush vegetation made it very challenging to see the smaller antelope species. We managed to photograph steenbok, grey duiker and klipspringer, but unfortunately the grysbok just weren’t willing to pose for a picture this time around.

There’s quite a few herbivore species that you are virtually guaranteed to see when visiting the Kruger National Park. Among these are baboons and vervet monkeys, blue wildebeest, plains zebra, impala, kudu, waterbuck, giraffe, warthog and hippo.

Of course, with such a menu there are many predators in attendance. Apart from lions and leopards, on our latest visit we also encountered spotted hyena, side-striped and black-backed jackal, crocodile and large-spotted genet.

The Kruger National Park is regarded as a paradise for bird-watchers, and that is not without reason. During the warmer months especially, when many summer migrants from northern latitudes enjoy our warm weather, the variety and numbers of bird species to be seen is absolutely prolific, but even in winter feathered life abounds in the Lowveld.

The Kruger National Park is an addictive place. You only need to visit once for it to get under your skin, and stay there. The more you experience of Kruger’s wonders, the more you pine for it. We’ll be back again and again, no question about it.

 

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47 thoughts on “Easter in Kruger

  1. Joanne Sisco

    So many of these photos reminded me of my trip to the Serengeti – almost 10 years ago now. Sigh.

    … but the picture that stands out most for me was the sausage tree. It stills makes me laugh 😁

    Liked by 1 person

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  2. dunelight

    What awesome shots you were able to get!
    Neither here nor there but I saw one of those Sausage Fruit Trees in Disney World in Orlando. It was so..odd that it’s stuck in my mind 10 years later.

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  3. kim blades, writer

    Another fantastic post about my favourite place. I am pleased to say that I have seen all the animals, birds and goggas in the Park on my dozen visits there, but unfortunately don’t have such magnificent photos of them. Well done guys. This post was a real pleasure to savour!

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        1. de Wets Wild Post author

          Wat n pragtige kerel, Dina!
          Hy lyk in baie goeie toestand, en met die tande reeds so dik, glo ek sy ivoor gaan beslis nog verder groei. Hy moet net sy humeur beteuel dat hy nou nie sy tande skade doen teen n voertuig nie!

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  4. JANE

    You never cease to amaze! Very happy to have another tag along with you at Kruger. Did you get any sleep!? Looks like you spent a lot of time from dawn to dusk/dark.

    Liked by 1 person

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    1. de Wets Wild Post author

      Truth be told, Jane, I am a bit of an insomniac when we are out exploring the wild places of our country. Two or three hours sleep at most per night – I think it is because I am sooooo scared I miss something going on outside!

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  5. allentimphotos2

    Thank you for your wonderful images. They are special and I can see how Kruger can get under your skin.
    I’m not sure I’d want to confront the water buffalo on the road. It looked determined to have its way. A dented car or two might be the end result.

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    1. de Wets Wild Post author

      Thanks very much for the kind comment, Tim!
      The old buffalo was terribly frustrated with the falling rain; I just parked the car to the side of the road and he trudged slowly past without even a sideways glance…

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  6. John

    Wow!!! Everyone of the pictures are amazing!😊 It is a nature photographer’s dream to shoot such beautiful motifs. You’ve really spent a lot of time and work behind those photos.

    Liked by 1 person

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