Category Archives: Mpumalanga Province

Our experiences in the reserves of Mpumalanga, South Africa

What makes the Kruger “THE KRUGER”?

Well, if you ask us what makes the Kruger National Park “THE KRUGER”, our answer wouldn’t be the prolific game or birdlife, awesome as that might be. To us, what makes the Kruger National Park special is the wide variety of habitats and scenery where all this life finds a niche to flourish. At almost 20,000km² in size, the Kruger National Park is bigger than some countries, and naturally a piece of land that enormous would encompass many different landscapes and habitats; in fact there are pronounced differences in the scenery as one travels from south to north through Kruger’s 350km length.

This first gallery of images were taken during my solo visit at the end of May to Pretoriuskop and Skukuza in the south of the Park.

The north of Kruger has a quite different character to the southern parts. Here, the Mopane and Baobab trees dominate the landscape, by virtue of their numbers and size, respectively.

This gallery of images were taken during our visit from 15 to 24 June to the northern reaches of the Park (based at Shingwedzi Rest Camp)

 

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Game-viewing in Kruger (May and June 2019)

When talking about “game-viewing”, most people immediately have images of Africa’s iconic Big Five flashing through their minds. And of course our recent trips to the Kruger National Park did not disappoint at all when it came to these most charismatic of African mammals, as well as many other furry creatures great and small.

This first gallery of pictures were taken during my solo trip to the southern part of the Kruger Park between 30 May and 2 June 2019.

There’s also much interest in the Kruger’s invertebrates (including a bounty of beautiful butterflies), fish, amphibians and reptiles, many of which are difficult to see elsewhere in South Africa.

Returning to Kruger two weeks later, this time to Shingwedzi in the north of the Park, proved just as fruitful with memorable encounters not only with predators and rare antelope, but also a menagerie of other mammalian species.

 

 

Bird-watching in Kruger (May and June 2019)

With over 500 species recorded, the Kruger National Park deserves its reputation as one of South Africa’s finest bird-watching destinations through and through. We’ve already shown you the cute little Spurfowl chicks that strutted all over the Park during our visits in May and June this year, but there was so much more feathered variety to point our lenses at that it surely deserves a dedicated post!

This first gallery of images were taken in the south of the Park on my solo trip to Pretoriuskop and Skukuza – all in all I ticked 110 species in the 4 days I spent south of the Sabie River.

Two weeks later, this time with Marilize and Joubert alongside, we headed to the north of the Kruger Park, basing ourselves at our favourite Shingwedzi for 9 nights, during which time we recorded 99 species of birds.

 

The lady that stops traffic

This lioness was using the bridge outside Lower Sabie in the Kruger National Park as her own personal catwalk, settling down to give her adoring fans some close up views of her beauty – and I was lucky to get a front-row seat!

But lions aren’t always such show-offs – sometimes they like to keep their distance, and other times they lie hidden in plain sight…

 

Painted Wolves on the move (and quickly!)

Coming across a pack of Painted Wolves, also known as African Wild Dogs, on the road to Skukuza was another special encounter from my solo visit to the Kruger National Park in May 2019. These animals are highly endangered – it is thought that fewer than 7,000 remain in the wild with the estimated 200 living in the Kruger National Park representing South Africa’s biggest population of the species. Seeing these energetic and attractive animals is therefore always thrilling!

 

Tiny Quarrels

Dwarf Mongooses live in close-knit clans, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t the occasional squabble between family members! While walking around Pretoriuskop Rest Camp on a recent visit to the south of the Kruger National Park, I spied two of the tiny tykes continuously working on each other’s nerves, until eventually and inevitably the fight escalated into blows.

Francolin Families

We were really surprised at all the Swainson’s and Natal Spurfowl (both formerly known as francolins) families with tiny chicks that we encountered during our recent visits to the Kruger National Park in May and June, supposedly well into our austral winter (and dry) season.