Thursday, April 25, 2013

The Big, The Beautiful, The Amazing - Kruger National Park!

Hello Again Everyone,

Did you know that the "African Elephant" is named that because their ears look like the continent of Africa? How about that a group of Zebras is a "dazzle"?

The last post was a bit hurried (and I'm even a bit short of time today) but I wanted to get some of the photos from our great trip up amidst the current whirlwind of busy-ness before it is old news. Also, since this trip was 21 days in South Africa and Swaziland, there are going to be a few increments. Previously, I talked about our trip begining at Blyde Canyon in Mpumalanga province of South Africa, it was a blast, with lots of panoramas and a bit of hiking.

From there we went into Kruger National Park on Easter Sunday. We spent 3 nights in Kruger, one at Letaba Rest Camp and the others at Olifants Rest Camp. We spent most of our time in the North/Central part of the park. We saw most of the "Big 5" Elephant, Buffalo, Rhino and Leopord. The Lion, unfortunately eluded us. We did see all of "The Ugly 5" which is Wildebeast, Lappet-Faced Vulture, Marabou Stork, Warthog and Spotted Hyena. We had plently of cool sightings though, like the super-awkard giraffe drinking, which they aparently only do every 2-3 days! We saw some very large Nile Crocodiles chopping down, in the water, on something with large hooves. We saw a hippo grazing out of the water at night, while on our night drive and so many more amzing things!

I took something like 3 gigs of photos during our time in Kruger, so I selected just a few for your enjoyment. It was lovely, we saw a lot of charismatic mega fauna, other animals, birds, reptiles and even plants and ecosystems that were all completely new and amazing to us.  We woke up very early in the mornings and spent a lot of time with our poor, tiny Hyundai on, almost exclusively, the dirt roads and loops around the park. I was actually quite afraid of an angry elephant crushing our tiny car - aparently it has happened before and our rental car was pretty much a little tin can. We also did a night drive where we spotlighted nocturnal animals which was also quite amazing, Shane was one of the spotlighters and his MT upbringing seemed to make him exceptionally good at spotting the wildlife in the dark.

Kruger was really an amazing experience for all of us, this was Dad's first time on the African continent and even with 2 years living here, it was our first time to see all of the amazing "African" animals - as there is virtually zero wildlife here in Lesotho. It was really fun for all of us, and we enjoyed the opportunity to do this almost "grand tour" together. From Kruger we went on to Swaziland and I'll get those photos up sometime next week. In the meantime check out the Eastern South Africa and Swazi photo page for more photos.

We hope you are all staying warm as it seems that winter's grip doesn't want to loosen from the mid-west! Also, I am happy to say that Dad safely made it home last night, and wasn't even too exhausted after his very long journey home.

Best from Lesotho,

Carol and Shane

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