Tales from Kruger | 04 | always on the road

If you’ve never been to the Kruger National Park – or any game reserve for that matter – then there’s one specific quality that you have to have to be able to enjoy it. you need to be okay with spending hours in the car. The only way to see the animals is to drive to where they are, and the only way to do that is to spend lots of time in the car. The fact that you’re limited to 40km/h most of the time and the fact that you’re generally not allowed to get out of the car makes being content with hours in a car even more important.

Now, being in this amazing place for three weeks on end means quite a lot of hours logged behind the wheel. And I can tell you that the moments where you get to photograph some awesome animals are exactly that, just moments. Moments compared to hours spent in the car. I’m not complaining though. I managed to make the most of the car experience, bonding with the windmills, including the car window in my shots and staring at the deserted road in front of me through my lens every now and then.

Check out these five recommended roads to drive to spot animals in the Kruger

Lonely windmill

Probably the loneliest road I've driven so far.

Hyenas on the H6

Sometimes, just sometimes, the cars are in the way a little. But it’s always nice when the animals decide to some to you rather than you trying to crop that bush out of the shot.

Zebra on S1/Doispane Road

Baboon love

Stomp stomp stomp

At this particular instance, I made the stupid mistake of driving by a herd of elephants that were busy munching just off the side of the road. So just as I drove on, they all decided to cross the road en mass. Pity.

June

How a rental car looks after two weeks in the bush. I dubbed her June.

Impala on the S114

Life from my window

Biyamiti private road/S139

Life through the other window

Tales from Kruger | 03 | sitting, eating, drinking

I have now spent three weeks on my own in the Kruger National Park, and while I’m home in Cape Town, taking a break before heading back up, I thought I’d share one of my favourite activities while in the park – sitting, eating and drinking.

Anyone that has travelled on their own will appreciate the wonderful discovery that is a beautiful spot to sit, on your own, sometimes for hours. It could be in a restaurant with a book, it could be at a lookout point with a pen and some paper or it could be somewhere outside, early in the morning, with a cup of coffee in hand. These are some of my most memorable times spent travelling. Because it’s while you’re, sitting, eating and drinking on your own that you truly appreciate the strange place that you’re in.

Simple, yet delicious, toasted sandwich at Tshokwane Picnic Spot. The monkeys almost stole it right off my table.

Simple, yet delicious, toasted sandwich at Tshokwane Picnic Spot. The monkeys almost stole it right off my table.

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Teatime: pancakes at Afsaal Picnic Spot. This place smells of bacon and sunshine.

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A quiet Sunday morning at Pretoriuskop Rest Camp. Groups and families were all enjoying a lazy brunch, so I decided to join them.

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Late afternoon drinks on the deck at Skukuza Rest Camp. Here you can look out over the Sabie River and spot hippos an crocs in the water.

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Lake Panic bird hide is a wooden structure on stilts that hangs over a massive, tranquil lake. The most peaceful spot to sit and enjoy the subtle bird sounds all around.

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Early morning sunrise and coffee beside the Biyamiti River

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Much needed coffee after a morning game drive. The trees at Berg-en-Dal Rest Camp’s restaurant supplied just the right amount of shade.

A lookout point, high up on a hill, where you can out of your car and sit on the massive boulder. This was my favourite sunset spot.

A lookout point, high up on a hill, where you can out of your car and sit on the massive boulder. This was my favourite sunset spot.

Tales from Kruger | 02

Today my interest lies the monkeys of Kruger National Park. The monkeys and the baboons. First, the monkeys.

Vervet monkeys are a known ‘threat’ around the camps. They are probably the cutest monkeys I’ve ever seen, but they’re known for hanging around the camps and stealing food. I didn’t think this was such a serious threat, until I left my packet of sugar on the table outside and turned my back for about 10 seconds. A monkey came, grabbed and was gone, off to indulge in a sugary feast.

They do look pretty sitting on the fence at dawn though. This particular incident happened at Crocodile Bridge Rest Camp.

Vervet monkey on the fence of the camp

Vervet monkey on the fence of the camp

And second, that baboons.

As I was exploring a mountainous area in the south of the park, the Steilberg Loop, to be exact, I came across this family of baboons. First I saw these two, looking like someone just told a really funny joke and they’re cracking themselves up. Just a few metres further I saw a little family. It looks like that picture taken just before the well-posed, all-smiling family photo is taken, with some looking away and some still getting into position.

Baboon on S120. Steilberg Loop

Baboon on S120. Steilberg Loop

I’m currently on a six-week trip in the Kruger National Park, so excuse me if my blog revolves around animals for the next while. You can follow my journey on Twitter (@Adelgreen) or the hashtag #crossingkruger.