Unreal first day at Kruger NP

13. May 2018

After a freezing night in our camper we got up early to head towards the famous Kruger National Park. As we are travelling with our Mavic Pro and had read a lot of reports from other travelers who had to deposit their drone at the gate, we changed our travel route and entered at the Phabeni gate in the middle instead of the Orpen gate in the north. In case our drone would get confiscated the detour to get it back after our 7-day stay at Kruger would have been manageable on our way to Mozambique.

But luckily our drone wasn’t a discussion point at all and right after entering the park we saw a group of nyalas which we’ve never seen before, and after that a group of impalas which are such elegant creatures. They look like Zivile, my mother’s friend, had prepared their fur. Then we had the southern yellow billed hornbill and finally zebras. They really look like painted horses and it feels unreal to see them in wildlife. As we were on a tight schedule and had to reach our camp before 5.30pm, when the gate closes, we couldn’t waste a lot of time. The only detour we took was to the Nymundwa water pan and as unreal as it sounds we saw an entire group of hippos including a baby one. Those animals are impressive to watch but the only thing I could think about was that a friend had told me, that they sometimes kill just for fun.

We also saw the saddle-billed stork with his red and yellow face, some blue wild beasts (Gnus), a sleeping hyena, some stupid chickens called helmeted guineafowl running around on the street and the way bigger ostrich in full frontal.

And then we saw that one animal we were hoping to see so badly, a giraffe. We couldn’t believe those strange looking but absolutely beautiful animals actually exist. But they do and they are even more fascinating once you have seen them in wildlife.

And suddenly the other fairytale like creature showed up, an African elephant with his huge sail like ears. First, we’ve seen one and then an entire family including a little one drinking at the Mazithi water pan. The group of sharp’s grysbok and baboons nearly got unnoticed next to those impressive giants.

This day had already been unreal and after all these stops we really had to hurry to make it to our camp before gate closing, but then another highlight turned up. As other cars were lining up at the street we knew that there must have been something special, and we weren’t disappointed. Two lionesses were on the hunt for impalas. We could see them move slowly but steady towards their prey. They were of such an elegance and beauty but also highly focused on their mission to feed their pride. Unfortunately, we couldn’t stay until the attack as we had to keep going to avoid becoming a target ourselves.

After checking in at the main camp we drove to the little satellite camp where we were able to book a camp site. But once we arrived, we were five minutes late and the gate was already closed. We weren’t sure if it was locked, but too scared to leave the car at dawn. So, we signaled with our lights and honked to get the attention of the ranger and eventually someone came, but it wasn’t the ranger, it was some big white annoyed African lady who opened the unlocked gate for us and told us to open it ourself the next time.

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