Travels in South Africa – Kruger continued

Kruger Day 2 was even MORE amazing than Day 1, if you can believe it.  In fact, you reach a point on earth-shattering and dreams-come-true trips like this, where amazing doesn’t even begin to cover it, and you’re so overloaded with awesome, that your brain shuts down a little and things just blur into one long reel of OMG.  That happened to me somewhere in the middle of Day 2.

Day 2 started bright and early, partially because we were sharing one room with a partial loft and one bathroom (with a sliding, hollow door that was open 2 inches at the bottom) between 5 people.  Yeah.  It was like college spring break (well a little less crowded), only with faculty members and fewere bikinis, thank god.  Literally you spend the whole morning all outside having breakfast so everyone can take a turn in the bathroom in peace without everyone hearing EVERYTHING that goes on.

That morning, we drove north to Parfuri, near the Zimbabwe/Mozambique borders.  We hadn’t been on the road 15 minutes when an honest to God Honeybadger ran across the road!  Michelle spotted it and it was one of the neatest things we had seen.  I mean, all the big animals were cool, but lots of people see those.  Who sees a wild Honeybadger??

30 minutes later, we came across a line of cars on the side of the road, and we’re all craning our necks to see what’s out there, when Michelle says, “Oh my god, it’s fucking lions!”  And it was.  And entire PRIDE of them, 2 big males, several older cubs, and like 4-5 females.  It was A-M-A-Z-I-N-G.  Just indescribably amazing.  We must have watched them for 30 minutes, and you’re sitting there not even talking because the moment is so wonderful there aren’t words.

MORE LIONS!!

The rest of the day was pretty amazing, but paled a little against that.  We saw a huge herd of cape buffalo up by the border of Mozambique, which was terrifying, as they’re one of the most dangerous animals in the park and they were right on the road.  We also tried to cross into Mozambique for lunch, but alas, you have to have a letter from your car rental agency saying you’ve declared your travel plans, so they know you’re not going to rent the car, drive it across the border and sell it, and we didn’t have one.  So instead we had lunch at Crook’s Corner, a pretty cool place at the intersection of South Africa, Mozambique, and Zimbabwe, where criminals used to escape law enforcement all the time because the police couldn’t pursue across the border.

 

Hey buddy!

That night, we sat outside the camp to watch the most amazing African sunset.  All the camps close the gate at sunset to prevent animals from getting in, and they all have electric fences around them, but we stayed out until right after the sun went down, and then hauled ass back.  It was gorgeous, a brilliant red, and we sat in the car, drinking beer and Amarula and watching the sunset.  Definitely a highlight of a lifetime.

We also went on a nightdrive that night, but alas, didn’t really see much else except some jackals and civits.

Day 2 New Animal List: Honeybadger, Giant Eland, Helmeted guineafowl, crocodiles, waterbuck, goliath heron, Egyptian goose, saddle-billed stork, grey heron, Ground hornbill, Marabou stork, grysbok, scrub hare, lesser galago, side-striped jackal, black-backed jackal, civet, African wildcat, and large-spotted genet.

Cape buffalo!

Mozambique border

African Sunset 🙂

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