Early start for Kruger National Park
Aug 8, 2008
|It was a very early start today! We were picked up 5.30 on the dot by Cristoph....Yeeeesss Cristoph, the crazy french man! He bounced in to the hostel fully kitted out in a full-on safari outfit and floppy hat and hurried us in to the car for the drive to camp.
The next hour was pretty much Christoph telling us stories about the war (he was aparently an ex soldier although we are sure he mentioned Vietnam and he was only 38???) and tales about how many people he had seen killed on the road we was driving on (around 20 I think it was!). Interesting but this was all before 6 am!
Anyway we made it in to the park and we were met by an open top safari jeep and off we went (we was quite relieved when we found out Cristoph wasn't our guide! he is just the driver to and from the park and the chef!)
Words cannot even describe how cold it was! but we started on our 2 hour drive regardless. Within 5 minutes we had seen a couple of Bufallow which was a pretty good start, then 5 more minutes down the road there was a bit of traffic which generally means there is something about. 2 male lions were walking along the road.....the road we were driving on! We sat and watched those for a bit, they even gave us a little roar! It's so crazy literally sitting next a lion and hearing it roar.
After 2 hours we went back to camp which was really well set up, most importantly there was a fire going next to a covered table area with all sorts off food layed on, cereal, fruit, bread, cakes biscuits....the list goes on! It was amazing! We dumped our bags in our tent (which was better than the hostel in Nelpurit!) and got our place at the table.
After Christoph talked us through everything that was on the table and gave us a talk on how not to peel a prickly pear!.....he then told us the story of how he once made a citizens arrest on an 87 year old lady. She "aparently" tried to steal someones debit card at a cash point machine, upon seeing this Christoph got the lady in an arm lock with the stolen card still in her hand. He marched her to the police, but the police said they were not going to press any charges.......so he broke her fingers so she wouldn't do it again....seriously this guy was absolutely crackers!
Aaaaaanyway! After brecko we were out on our second drive of the day, a 5 hour one! We were not going to take any chances this time so we wrapped up in as many layers as possible and set off with our main tour guide Henri.
As it was Henri's business he was a lot more knowledgable and talkative, however this may have had something to do with the gigantic spliff he was smoking at 9 in the morning! Drugs, driving and killer animals don't mix kids!...no he was really cool....But drugs are bad kids! and stay in school!
On our second drive we saw Elephants, Rhinos, Giraffes, Zebras and lots of Impalas (like deer) which are really common in the park but really beautiful animals. So 4 out of the big 5 so far!
We then went back to camp for lunch around 2.30 which consisted of salad, cold meats and spicy potatoes. It was very welcoming after a long drive. We was then given the option to do do a night drive from 5 - 8, or just do an hour evening drive but we thought we would sign up for the night drive instead as you only do this sort of thing once eh!
We then had a bit of relaxy time between lunch and the night drive so I went off for a shower and stinky Sheen sat around the camp fire drinking beer!
5 O'clock came and off we went, We managed to squeeze a few more layers on just to be safe! But it still wasn't enough! It does get really nippy in the mornings and evenings here especially in an open top jeep!
It was a really nice experience but the most exciting thing we saw on the night drive was a cat that looked like a normal cat!.....we also saw a bush baby and a hippo.....or a log, the night guide wasn't too sure!
We returned back to camp later than expected so all the guys that didn't opt for the night drive had already eaten their steak and mash supper, we grabbed what was left which was still lovely then made a B line for the last marshmallow and perched next to the camp fire for the rest of the evening.
A really really amazing day all in all (and we are still alive!)