A Kruger Park Holiday Worth Waiting For

by Jo-Ann Meiring
(Kirkwood, Eastern Cape, South Africa)

Wild Dog Pack

Wild Dog Pack

16 years!! That's how long it took for us to return to the Kruger National Park. 2006 was our year. The twins had outgrown their hyperactivity and the budget was perfect.

We booked our place at Lower Sabie Camp for 5 days and excitedly counted down the days to our departure for paradise.

On entering through the Kruger gate, the very first game we spotted was a leopard with its kill - this barely a kilometer from the gate.

That night, we had a nocturnal visitor in the form of a hyena who emptied the trash can behind our tent (giving me heart failure). He also decided that the space between our tent and the twin's tent was the perfect spot to sit and relax!!

Day 2 had us seeing elephants, rhino, lion, buffalo, leopard, crocodiles, hippos and ever so many different varieties of antelope.

It also brought forth a huge rock monitor paying us a visit, as well as a snake deciding it wanted to live under our tent.

On day 3, we spotted our normal herd of elephant crossing the road (between Lower Sabie and Skukuza). On our return, in the same place, we saw a pride of lions. Suddenly, an elephant came roaring up the embankment and chased away the lions. Out came the binoculars for a closer look. The lions had killed a baby elephant and the aunties and uncles were furious!!

Later on, while sitting on the deck at the Lower Sabie restaurant, an elephant strolled below us, crossed the river and scared the living daylights out of a buffalo that had been wallowing in the shallow water.

Day 4 had us idling by the camp gate waiting for it to open. Barely out, and we spotted two hyenas strolling up the road. A few kilometers later and a family of rhino were right next to the road. Stunning!!

Our afternoon drive had us stuck in a traffic jam while a huge herd of buffalo crossed the road. Literally a few meters further on, we came across a leopard resting in an enormous tree right next to the road. Such a regal animal!!

Day 5 - departure day. On our way out, we saw 4 hyenas with bloodied mouths rushing in and out of the bush. Horrific sounds of pain and fear were coming from some or other antelope in the bush. This continued for about 15 minutes and then - silence!

A few meters down the road, and a pack of wild dogs came running up the middle of the tarmac. They too were full of blood and seemed very nervous about something. Less than 200 meters further on, a lioness came strolling out of the bush and crossed the road right in front of us.

It was a holiday truly worth waiting for - just not another 16 years. It is confirmed - 2008 is once again time to make the 1600 kilometer trip to the Kruger National Park (aka PARADISE)!

Jo-Ann Meiring's Safari Details:

Safari company used: Self Drive (make an enquiry)

Parks visited: Kruger National Park in South Africa

Date of safari: 5 days

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  • Comments for A Kruger Park Holiday Worth Waiting For

    Click here to add your own comments

    Nov 15, 2007
    by: Brandy

    A lovely adventure. I'd love to be there with you!

    Nov 15, 2007
    A life experience
    by: maggs

    Jo-Ann is right - the Kruger Park is a truly magical place worth visiting as often as possible.
    I was blessed to live on its doorstep in Hoedspuit for several years but sadly had to move to Gauteng.

    Nov 15, 2007
    by: Mary Ann Martin

    I can't imagine the experience but it sounds lovely.

    Nov 15, 2007
    Here's wishing you a trip in 2008!
    by: Anonymous

    Wait was worth it, it seems! :-)

    Nov 15, 2007
    by: Marina L .W.

    I agree that the KNP is paradise........... but you were so lucky to have seen such a lot in 5 days!
    Love your story... good luck

    Nov 15, 2007
    by: Maliska

    This is really once in a lifetime that you see so much in one trip - you guys deserved it! Thanks for sharing it.

    Nov 15, 2007
    A City-Boy Convinced
    by: Abdullah Ismail

    Truly an African Dream, pity that many Africans can not see the beauty we have around us. Jo-Ann has convinced me a city-boy to get with the wild

    Nov 16, 2007
    by: Brenda Espach

    Excellent - good reading.

    Wish we were all so fortunate in the KNP

    Nov 16, 2007
    You tell it so nicely :-)
    by: Jacquie Bate

    Having grown up in that neck of the woods, and been dragged off to The Park everytime we got visitors from out of town , I have sworn that I never want to see a "Noggebok" or "Blerrie Baboob" again.
    Jo-Ann, you were blessed with some wonderful sightings which, if I had seen half of them during my visits, would have made me want to return.
    I'm so glad you wrote it down because I can enjoy the experience through your vivid descriptions without having to make the trek myself.
    Waiting in anticipation for "Episode 2" :-)

    Nov 16, 2007
    by: Anonymous


    Nov 16, 2007
    Incredible story
    by: Anonymous

    Wow, you really had an eventful visit - JEALOUSY! :)

    Nov 16, 2007
    by: Corrie

    A wonderful experience like this should warm the hearts of many and these times which one can spend time with ones family is a wonderous blessing. All and all this would be a family adventure.

    Nov 16, 2007
    Joy Ride
    by: Nola

    Fantastic! Jo, I felt like I was in the back seat of your car. Of course all I can say is, you have such a natural love for animals when they 'herd' you were on your way, they pulled out all the stops for your family. I have no doubt that they have a better performance for your 2008 trip.

    Nov 16, 2007
    Great one
    by: Louise

    Great one Jo. You and your family deserved it.
    There really is nothing like our Sout African outdoors and seeing so much in such a short period of time is absilutely amazing.

    Nov 16, 2007
    Very Nice
    by: Herman

    I've never been there in my life and this tells me alot for when i one day go there .

    Nov 16, 2007
    by: Louisa

    Sounds very nice. That would be a dream come true to go to the Kruger National Park.

    Nov 16, 2007
    by: David Hessey

    Great story and picture x

    Nov 17, 2007
    Lovely story
    by: Tim

    Thanks for the wonderful account of your visit and the great pic!

    Nov 20, 2007
    by: Pierre Meiring


    Nov 23, 2007
    Great Week end
    by: Clyde Langenberg

    Jo-Ann what a lovely time you had in the park! Hope to see you in 2008.

    May 07, 2009
    by: CURTIS


    Oct 14, 2010
    Only Jo
    by: Mike

    Only you can describe it in such vivid detail without laboring the point. Well done Jo-Ann. I know how much you love animals and I hope you get the opportunity to see more of Africa's wildlife.

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