South Africa 2015: Wildlife in Kruger National Park

Our last three days in South Africa were spent completely disconnected from all online activity and living on a schedule that consisted of sleeping at 10pm and waking up at 5.30am. The safari’s schedule was a jeep ride out in mornings and evenings only, as we spent the hot midday back at the lodge as the animals hid in shade as well. We were extremely lucky to spot so many animals during these three days, despite missing out on two game drives thanks to our flight schedule; Scott had a field day listing all of them including the Big Five at Kruger National Park. Score! As for me, I was satisfied just having seen the Giraffe, my favourite mammal, in the wild. All the baby animals were a bonus. Double score! I found myself sorely lacking a telephoto lens for this trip, but so many animals ventured close to our vehicle that it mostly didn’t matter all that much… although I’d have liked to get a closer look at the ostriches and their hatchlings in the distance.

First, here’s a video compilation of our three drives! It was a headache choosing which ones to put in – I took so many clips it was ridiculous. If you watch till the end, our vehicle had stalled after we sat and marvelled at having seen not one, but two leopards at night – the male leopard was trying to chase the female. It was pretty exhilarating to witness the male leopard walk towards us while the guys pushed the vehicle in order to restart the battery. I never knew how small leopards actually are! They’re actually pretty cute once you get past the carnivorous aspect…
Good morning red ball of gas.
Hippos submerged in the cool waters in the morning.
Ostriches and their super cute hatchlings.
Mozambique in the background.
Our ranger Joey spotted a pair of cheetahs in the far distance! We swear he’s got superhuman eyes. He also couldn’t stop ranting about how stupid these species were – a lot of them died as a result of an overestimation of their own abilities apparently.
This was what I could manage with my lens…
Photo of the Cheetahs we saw courtesy of Kathryn & Nigel, our drive mates.
Sable Antelope.
Small creature about to cross the road.
On one of our trips, Joey made a stop and said that since our group was younger, we could attempt to get up close with two rhinos he spotted. We had to be prepared to run like hell if they charged at us though. And so we got off the jeep and trekked up towards them.
Here they were.
This young rhinoceros was ambling towards Scott, who had gone off to relieve himself during our break. He had no idea at all.
Apparently, these giraffe bones were the result of a killing by a lion at our lodge. Staff had to drag the carcass further out because the scavengers which would soon follow would have been a problem.
White faced owl perched on a tree.
Spotted hyena.
Bush Baby (Galago). They were so cute jumping from one branch to another.
Our favourite leopard. 🙂