What an experience on our 3 day Kruger Park Tour!
Myself and my wife had been planning a visit to sunny South Africa for years. And like many avid travellers the exiting part of planning the trip and the best places to visit began to take shape. And of course it might have been over a beer or two at the local pub. Just to get the creative travel juices flowing of course.
It was on beer number 5 that we decided to include a 3 day Kruger park tour into our action packed agenda. I mean, how you can go to South Africa without visiting THE number one wildlife destination in the world? It would be sacrilege.
Anyway, after much debate, web surfing and beers we had sifted through all of the different safari tour companies that offer Kruger Park tours and settled on a company called South Africa Adventures. These guys were by far the most professional with an incredible response time.
How cool is this. They have an online safari expert that we got hold of through the website. So we could chat in real time. What is the world coming to? In our day we had to send a message via a rather grumpy looking pigeon and hope he wouldn’t get lost. And here we were getting real time answers to our many city slicker type questions.
What animals are we likely to see on the tour? Where exactly will we be staying in the Kruger Park? Who guides us? Does the guide give us beer? Of course he does!!! It was decided-We were going to take the 3 day Kruger park tour from Johannesburg. That suited us perfectly. The price was right, the overall experience was right and it suited our other travel plans within South Africa.
So let’s get to the exiting part…the actual tour.
We flew out of Heathrow and into Johannesburg. We were met at the airport by Crocodile Dundee. Well let’s rephrase that for the South African setting. We were met by Buffalo Bill. No wait, too American right? Let’s try again.
We were met by the Lion Man. Just by the way he was dressed- Dusty safari attire, old weather beaten hat and that long distance stare that only a man of the bush can pull off, we knew it was going to be one heck of adventure. We had the Lion Man taking us on a tour!!! How cool is that.
The drive through to the Kruger Park took about 5 hours. Lion Man was super chilled and we stopped off at some of the places of interest along the way. Ummm….trout pie for lunch. YES you need to try it.
At 1pm we arrived at our accommodation for the next 2 nights, the Sabie River Bush Lodge. A gem of spot located on the shores of the Crocodile River. No wait…. I mean the Sabie River. Otherwise we would have been in the wrong place resulting in a roundhouse sphincter kick being administered to me by my mother in law. We checked into our chalet, chilled by the pool with a beer. We had 2 hours to relax before our first game drive in the Kruger Park.
We were so excited that maybe another ice cold beer found its way down our parched throats in the pool to calm us down. At 4H30pm we were on our way!! We entered the reserve through the Paul Kruger Gate.
The best time to view animals is late afternoon when it gets cooler-An exciting time for some animals. And pretty somber time for others, depending on what side of the food chain you are. Lion Man was incredible.
He not only lived up to his namesake and found us pride of 8 lions, but had also managed to track down a host of unbelievable creatures, both big and small. We followed a herd of elephants as they nonchalantly smashed down the acacia trees like they were toothpicks.
We saw zebra, impala, and giraffe, and get this…..a python. It was just chilling in the road. As they do in the Kruger of course. What an incredible experience to say the least. It is in these moments that I realized the benefits of a guide.
You will never get to learn, see and experience more on a Kruger park tour one your own!! The evening finished up with a delicious meal, a roaring fire, a few cold beers and bush stories until the sandman took us to the dudu land of the Kruger Park.
Roar!!! Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No its Lion Man waking us up at 5am. A jam packed, adventure filled day awaits and we cannot wait to get on safari. Skip breakfast for now. We want to get into the reserve as soon as possible to increase our chances of seeing the predators.
Lions are pretty lazy animals. They sleep for 20 hours a day. They are active between sunset and sunrise. Nocturnal is the word apparently. We didn’t see them this time as they were obviously lion around somewhere but we were fortunate enough to see a leopard dragging an impala down the road.
Poor Leopard we thought, such a heavy load to carry. Moving on swiftly then. Breakfast was a calling. We found a scenic spot known as the Hippo Hide where we wolved down, I mean lioned down our delicious meal.
We spent the rest of the day driving in the open air game vehicle covering many of the biospheres just taking in the immense beauty and abundance of animals that has made the Kruger Park the Safari Capital of South Africa.
We returned back to Sabie River Bush Lodge utterly triumphant. We had seen not only the Big 5 (elephant, lion, buffalo, leopard and rhino) but had gotten the most incredible safari experience ever! Needless to say dinner that night was a celebration.
On the third day we awoke at leisure. No roaring Lion Man to wake us up, although we kind of secretly craved for it. After breakfast we bid our hosts a fond farewell and headed back to Johannesburg.
There was a tear or too that was shed as we said our goodbyes to one of the best people and guide I have ever met. The Lion Man has such a passion for what he does and he taught us so much!! We are going miss you big guy
We highly recommend the 3 day Kruger Park tour from Johannesburg!! You will not be disappointed
Mary and Peter McCallan from grey London
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