I spent nine days in South Africa! If you missed part 4 click here, and be sure to follow my South African adventures using the tag #RenelInSouthAfrica2014. The itinerary included two days in Kruger National Park.
Kruger National Park, named after Paul Kruger, is one of Africa’s largest game reserves covering over 7,500 square miles. The park’s origin began in 1898 as the Sabi Game Reserve, which was initially created to control hunting. In 1926 the Sabi Game Reserve and neighboring Shingwedzi Game Reserve were combined to create Kruger National Park. A year later it was opened to the general public.
The “Big Five”
The “Big Five” is a term originally used by hunters to refer to the five most difficult animals to hunt in Africa. The members of the Big Five are the lion, leopard, African elephant, rhinoceros, and African buffalo. All except the buffalo are on the protected species list.
We went on two day safaris and got to see all of the Big Five on the second day before lunch! Our guide said at the time of our tour in May he had only two or three other tours that saw all five of the animals. Seeing the Big Five made the whole trip for me! I later bought a Kruger sticker for my laptop and a Big Five wooden sculpture to commemorate my trip.
I was looking forward to seeing leopards the most because they are elusive and extremely well camouflaged. There’s believed to be about a 1,000 leopards in the park.
This one was just chilling in the tree with not a care in the world. It repositioned a couple times but never came out of the tree.
We saw this group of lions on both days lying in a dry riverbed. Much like the leopard, the lions were just sitting around being lazy (typically cat). It was difficult getting a clear shot because there were trees covering most of the road.
This was the only decent shot I was able to get.
The elephants were easily my favorite to photograph. They usually came close enough to the roads to get some really nice photos.
I love their horns!
Next up… Part 6: Kruger National Park favorite animals!!!
To follow along with my South African travels use the tag Renel In South Africa 2014.