If your looking for a Big Game Drive, look no further than the huge Kruger National Park in South Africa. Day visits are the cheapest way to see the park but there are a number of lodges within the park boundaries (more expensive then some of the nearby outside of the park accommodations). We took advantage of our early morning arrival time and drove on dirt roads all day on our own “big game drive”. We came across three of the “Big Five” – Cape Buffalo (one of Africa’s most dangerous and unpredictable animals), a number of elephant herds and several Rhinoceros.
There is one animal that you would have to have your eyes closed to miss – and that is the impala. Herds of these vaguely deer-like animals roam the park and they are the most common animal you will see. The birdlife in Kruger is abundant – we were intrigued for 30 minutes just watching colorful yellow birds (Weavers) build up side down hanging nests in tree branches. These nests are very well constructed; they are round and are made entirely from grass. Sounds like the males can expend a lot of energy in this nest building process- the females review the nest and if they don’t like it – they never move in and wait for the male to construct a new nest!
At this time of year all gates and camps close right around sunset – we lost track of time and and pulled in well over dark to find our camp gate shut. The guard was pissed and was going to fine us a bunch of Rand but fortunately we had already checked into the camp earlier and we were somehow able to talk him out of it.