Part 1, Kruger never disappoints if patience prevails…

We laughed so hard when we saw this baby baboon grabbing its mom’s hair to hold on while sitting in this unlikely pose.

“Sighting of the Day in the Bush”

These are the nests of Red-billed Buffalo Weavers seen on a tree growing in the water at Sunset Dam.  Thanks to our friend Lynne for identifying these nests.

Each time we go to Kruger, the same thing transpires. While about an hour into the drive, we both resign ourselves that we’re going to come up empty-handed with few sightings and even fewer photos to share.

Proud wildebeest.

Actually, during many visits to the national park over this past five months, we’ve yet to come up empty-handed. In each case, continuing to drive, we encounter one magical moment after another. 

It’s exceptional to have zebras visit us in Marloth Park as well as spotting them in Kruger.

We always laugh at the irony of the situation. Are we saying the day will be a dud to alleviate any potential disappointment? Or do we believe it?  Invariably within minutes after making such comments, we come across something extraordinary.  

An “implausibility” of wildebeest in Kruger.

Yesterday’s trip to Kruger National Park was no different than usual…the abundance is mindboggling. With all the holidaymakers in this area right now due to the school holiday ending on July 17th, we anticipated a huge queue awaiting entry to the park.

Yesterday, we encountered more wildebeest than in any past trips.

Alas, we were pleasantly surprised when we were second in line, not that being second is a quick process. Most visitors to the park don’t have the “Wild Card” year-long pass that we purchased when we arrived. 

It was a perfect day for a self-drive in Kruger National Park.

Thus, the process of registering new visitors is long and laborious and can take as much as 15 minutes for one car to pass. This was the case yesterday but knowing we were up next was comforting. Even with our passports, the required form completed, and our “Wild Card” pass, it still takes a good five to seven minutes during our turn.

There were numerous sightings of giraffes on the side of the paved road.

We anticipated an hour-long wait at the Crocodile Bridge entrance gate, where visitors are processed from their vehicles. Once we were on the paved road, we sighed with relief that we could get going in under 20 minutes. 

The black spot inside a zebra’s leg is intended to protect the legs from their sharp hooves when at rest. Please click our post here from January 3, 2014, with this and other exciting zebra facts for more on this topic.

Also, we expected a lot of vehicles on the road. Still, surprisingly, unless there was a spectacular sighting tying up traffic, such as dozens of elephants crossing the road, there were no more cars than we’d seen on prior non-holiday visits.

Throughout the day, we spotted no less than 100 elephants at different points along the road.

We decided that Wednesdays may be the best day of the week to visit when many holidaymakers arrive for a four or five-day weekend visit. This makes Wednesdays the perfect day in between those visits.

Cape buffalo, one of the “Big 5,” hanging out near the Sabie River.

We’d hoped to return in time to do the day’s post. Typically, we allow ourselves about four hours in the park plus driving time to and from the gate from Marloth Park when we’ve often left too early in the morning to complete the post.

Sunset Dam is located on the road beyond Lower Sabie, where we stopped to enjoy the scenery and wildlife, of which there was plenty, including these hippos lounging in the water with impalas in the background.

It all worked out well when we arrived back at the house at 2:30, even after a stop at Daisy’s Den to purchase repellent oil for our outdoor lantern, leaving time to complete the post and get things ready for dinner.

Another “bloat” of hippos! 

Tomorrow, we’ll be back with Part 2 of “Kruger never disappoints…” when we’re looking forward to sharing an exciting video and more photos. Please check back then! 

Be well.  Be happy.

Photo from one year ago today, July 12, 2017:

We dined at this restaurant when they had several options that work well for my way of eating. For more details, please click here.

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