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Trip Report South Africa, Farewell Kruger

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As I leave my bungalow at Satara Lodge, I realize that my time at Kruger National Park has been too short. However, I don't feel cheated as I have gotten a good bang for my buck and saw a lot of bucks along with my bang.

Although I did not see all of the Big 5, the experience was still well worth it. I spent my last night on safari where we spotted one of the park's rare animals a Serval along with an African Wild Cat. A different experience as the first thing you spot are sets of green or red eyes staring back at you.

I leave the Satara Lodge gate one last time headed for the Crocodile Bridge Exit of the park. Another four hour drive that I am sure will take me eight to ten hours to complete.

Down dusty gravel roads with stops at a few well built and protected hides I enjoy many of the animals I have seen before but from a new perspective. At one point, giraffes stroll gracefully across the road in front of me. At another, I sit silently and watch Zebras horse-around with each other.

My drive from the park becomes a reflective time to just stop at many places and watch the animals as if I had all the time in the world to do so. At one point, I am watching a huge elephant in a distant field out my driver's side window unaware that I am being watched from the passenger side of the car.

With a sixth sense I look in that direction and another huge elephant is less than twenty feet away from me. It seems like a “Gentle Giant” not disturbed but just curious about my presence. I hope it sensed my awe and admiration.

My route from the park brings me to a Kruger Park historical marker. I am at a location where in 1903 a solo night horse rider was attacked by two lions and managed to survive. Harry Woulhuter was one very lucky man and park ranger.

A lunch stop and I find myself eating a Kuduwor Roll. Yes, it is made from real kudu meat and I would say it tasted a lot better than the wildebeest jerky I had earlier in the trip outside of Cape Town.

The sun is again painting the park with it's golden orange paintbrush as I approach the Crocodile Bridge Exit. I have spent my last few hours in the park watching pods of hippos keep cool near a dam as a herd of elephants cross downstream. I have watched as a crocodile patiently waits for an unsuspecting visitor to show up at his favorite watering hole.

From a high elevation I have seen the plains and distant lands that make this place special for many. It is one of the more fascinating places on the planet and I am glad I got to make it a part of my travel experience.

Thanks, KNP.