| ||What you've been doing || |
After spending our first night in the park at Berg-en-Dal camp (which has a pool, a laundry room, a store and probably some other amenities) we got up very early the next morning. Camp gates open at 4:30 (am of course!) in December, so we were up at 4, packing all our stuff into the cars, and a couple of minutes before 4:30 we were at the gate - and we were not even the first in line! In the early morning when it's still kind of dark you want to be the first car on the road since your chances of seeing some (especially nocturnal) animals right in or next to the road are higher that way. Luckily, the animals we saw that morning were not the shy kind and stayed around, ignoring the cars. First there were some white rhinos grazing maybe 30 meters from the road and then we saw a spotted hyena chewing on a piece of meat (we couldn't figure out what it was), right by the side of the road. So that wasn't a bad start!
It's amazing how quickly the sun rises down in South Africa! By 5 it was light! Of course I noticed that only when we were in the park, what pig in its right mind would get up this early if it didn't have to!?!
Now I'm afraid I have to cut this all a bit short due in part to what seems to be some porcine form of memory loss but mainly because otherwise I'll never catch up with my latest travels. And in addition to all that, there are only a few very bad pictures of me in Kruger Park. Not being able to leave the car and short arms don't make for good picture taking, Andrea says. Either the pig or the background is out of focus. All excuses, if you ask me! But we both agree that we have to go back to Africa and try to do better!
Anyway, we're not quite done with Kruger Park yet. We spent the second night at Byiamiti Bush Camp, which was quite a change from the other camps we had seen earlier. The road to the camp is restricted to overnight guests, so we were hoping for lots of animals since there were so few cars but they must have had some important business to attend to someplace else! The camp is quite nice. We stayed in two thatched houses that each had a bedroom, living room, kitchen, bathroom and outside dining area. We would have all fitted into one house but as far as I remember there's a restriction as to how many people can stay in a house. I didn't count the houses but I think in total there were about 8 or 10 of them, plus a small office.
In the evening we went on a guided night drive. These drives are the only way to get out of the camps at night since the gates close at a certain time (fairly early, I think 5 or 6 pm) and you're not allowed outside on your own until the next morning. On the drive - which started when it was still light - we saw no big cats :-( but lots of other interesting animals, like a huge herd of buffalo (very very close ...), several kinds of what a little pig like me would call 'deer' (impalas, duiker, etc.) lots of birds, a scrub hare and - small but very cool! - chameleons!!! Our guide pointed the spotlight at them, otherwise we would have never seen them, hanging in the trees.
I'm out of time again, to be continued later!
P.S.: Sorry, this picture is kind of boring, I know ...