The diary of our trip round the world. You can view other diary entries by clicking the highlighted months at the bottom of the page or by clicking on one of the countries visited so far. Click our logo (on the left) to see the most recent news entries. We are adding new entries from Internet Cafés as we travel, so updates may be irregular. Please check back often to see how we are getting along.
|16th January||South Africa|
|Kruger National Park|
|Tom's report on our visit to the Kruger National Park|
Today we went on safari in the Kruger National Park in an open Land Rover. The most common of the animals we saw were called impala. The impala are part of the antelope family. They have orange fur, large ears and some have horns. The second animals we saw were two rhinoceros grazing 10 metres away from the road. They were absolutely massive white rhinos with two sharp-looking horns. After a while we looked out onto a field and saw two enormous elephants with huge tusks but as we couldn’t see them very well we moved off, but Malcolm (our driver) said we’d probably see some more. The fourth and fifth kinds of animals we saw were called kudu and grey duiker. The kudu were in a herd and they were grey with white stripes, and black horns whereas the grey duiker had no horns and bounced away as we approached. A while after that we went back to our camp for breakfast. When we had eaten we found out that Malcolm had been told where some lions were, and we set out to find them. Almost immediately we saw a humungous white rhino walking down the road in front of us. The next and sixth of the animals we saw was called Lichtenstein’s hartebeest and Malcolm told us they were really rare and that there were only 26 of them in the whole of Kruger. The seventh and eighth types of animals we saw were giraffes and zebras! The giraffes were eating from the tops of the trees and the zebras and their child were grazing on the ground. The lions weren’t where we were told, but instead of lions we saw elephants close up! There was a whole family with a baby, and a lone elephant giving himself a dirt shower with his/her trunk! The ninth kind of animal we saw was a leopard!! We saw it just as it darted off the road but it was still amazing. We saw four lionesses ten metres from the road, resting. What a great safari!!!
Table of sightings:
Baboon over 26
Impala over 26
Lindsay writes: I think Tom’s report communicates well enough just how exciting our day on game drives around Kruger was. Nick and I just can’t believe how lucky we were! Seeing all these amazing animals was partly down to having ‘perfect’ weather for it. Although the previous two days had been very hot, and temperatures of above 40 degrees C are not unusual at this time of year here, there were storms in the night and our safari day was cool and cloudy all day. We even had to wrap up in sleeping bags for the drive. This meant that many animals which would otherwise have been lying low in the shade were up and active, allowing us the ‘chance in a lifetime’ of being able to see them. For me the greatest highlights were the elephants and the giraffes – you’ll see photos before too long. For Nick the leopard made his day, although he didn’t manage to get a pic of him! (Nick adds: Humph!) Also, the sense of being somewhere ancient, where animals have evolved and roamed for millions of years. For the kids, the most important thing is to have seen the big animals that only Africa has. I suppose you could say that no trip to Africa would be complete without seeing at least an elephant – and we saw it all!
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