If you gave me a list of only 10 more bucket-list travel experiences I could potentially have for the rest of my life, experiencing an African wildlife safari would be right near the top. After making the long bus journey from Johannesburg to Kruger National Park, I couldn’t believe this – once in a lifetime – experience was finally about to happen. Waking up at the crack of dawn, we boarded our Land Rover and drove off in the dark to the gates of Kruger National Park. It wasn’t long before we witnessed sunrise and our first animal encounter spotting prancing impalas.
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The highlights of our first day of safari included spotting a pride of Lions including getting up close views of lioness affectionately licking her cubs and an Alpha male resting in the foreground. Lunchtime, was equally as eventful as I was bombed (shitted on) by two birds eager to grab scraps of our meal.
As the day progressed we spotted giraffes on a frequent basis. Two male giraffes fought swinging their heads violently at one another often landing direct blows to knees. Out of all the violent animal encounters I could have potentially witnessed, gazing at fighting giraffes was not something I would have ever anticipated.
The day ended with an epic sunset featuring a generous portion of crackers, cookies, cheese and wine. On the way back, when the sun had gone down, we used a flashlight to try and spot more animals. Our guide Lloyd, has an acutely trained eye and without his assistance we may have only spotted impalas ourselves 😉
African Wildlife Safari at Kruger National Park, South Africa Travel Video Transcript:
Okay, so today is the big day. Yesterday afternoon we reached the outskirts of Kruger National Park and today we’re actually going in to spot some of the wildlife. So we’re going in for a sunrise drive. It is really earlier. It is about 5:15 am right now. We’re going to head into the park and – yeah – it is safari time!
Okay, so we finally reached the park and I’m going to give you a little tour of our cool truck for the day. Come on over. Come on in.
Make that big climb up there. Yeah, I’m in.
One thing that totally surprised me was just how close we got to the lions. I think it was only about 10 meters away from the road.
So they were really docile and the lioness was just sleeping and cleaning its cubs and in the back there was the big alpha male just stretching and yawning. It was surreal.
So that’s been an amazing safari so far. It is only 10 in the morning and we’ve already seen more wildlife than I ever imagined. We saw lions, elephants, wildebeest. Oh, gosh more than I can even remember. Yeah, it was amazing and we were able to get up close and have a good look at them. So it has been so much fun.
So tell us what happened to you at lunchtime today? So the most ridiculous thing happened to me during lunch. A bird shit right here. It ricochet of off my shoulder all the way down to here. And while I was still recovering from the shock from that another bird shitted on this side. So I got hit on both shoulders but apparently if a bird shits on you it is good luck. So I have a double dose of good luck. Maybe that means I’m going to see cheetahs this afternoon. Woo hoo!
Right now we’re visiting a private game reserve to see even more cool wildlife. And what caught us for a total surprise is that we saw so many giraffes. Apparently this is the most giraffes have ever been spotted out here.
So we saw them walk right in front of our vehicle and we even saw a couple of them fighting. They were swinging their heads at each other. It was completely bonkers.
Yeah, so overall it has been an amazing day. We saw more animals than we ever expected. And what a beautiful way to wrap up the day. Now we’re just going to watch the sunset, drink some wine and enjoy some cheese. And do it all over again tomorrow.
This is part of our Travel in South Africa series. We’re making a series of videos showcasing South African culture, South African arts, South African foods, South African religion, South African cuisine and South African people.
All photos and video taken by Samuel Jeffery (Nomadic Samuel) and Audrey Bergner (That Backpacker).
Music in this video courtesy of Audio Network