We decided to take the longer way which means driving through the dirt roads instead of the main ones, but it's also where you get to be even closer to the wild and tend to see a lot more animals, so it took us about 2 hours but it was worth it.
Giraffe crossing the road right in front of our car
Springbok crossing the road....that's the thing with these dirt side roads, not many cars drive through there so the animals roam freely
A little bit of South African history, the Boer War
I remember back in South Africa, one of the books we had to read for school was Jock of the Bushveld by Sir Percy Fitzpatrick. Jock of the Bushveld is a true story about the author's travels with his dog Jock, during the 1880's. You can read more about it here, it's very interesting and even my kids love the story.
At one point in the road there is a little dirt path just big enough to fit your car, you can drive down close to the river and a lot of cars park here and stay for a while to see the animals come for a drink
Going back and seeing all these photos just make me miss the Kruger Park even more, I can not wait to return next year.
Zebras in the middle of the road, they were so funny, they weren't moving, just standing there and kept looking at our car like we were in THEIR way LOL
They finally moved off to the side, but they took their time....I just thought it was the cutest thing
Welcome to Crocodile Bridge!
The kids enjoying an ice cream
Now THESE are awesome, this is the campgrounds and these are the safari tents, tell me those don't make you feel like camping there?
We didn't stay at Crocodile Bridge Restcamp for long, just used the bathroom, got some drinks and set off towards Lower Sabie Restcamp for lunch.
I love this place, on the left side you have a store and restaurant and all around it you have tables and chairs overlooking the river.
This is actually the camp we're staying in next year
Hippopotamus in the water, the kids were just besides themselves, they couldn't believe they were watching real live hippos right beneath them
Do you see that big crocodile in the water?
Jasmine, Curt, Dylan, Lilian and Taryn-Lee eating lunch
Nicholas, me looking drunk LOL, dad, my stepmom Nela, Tiffany and Grandma Odete
By the time we were done with lunch we realized that it was 3pm and we were about 2 hours from our camp which would mean we would get there JUST before the gate closes. Problem is that you never know what could be up ahead and chances are you will get stopped by some animal....which happened of course.
Nicholas and Taryn-Lee spent the whole drive hugging each other :)
First it was this guy, he just sat there staring at my brother and sister in law and the kids in the car LOL
Then it was these guys, you have to understand that when a huge herd of elephants is crossing the road the best approach is to be quiet and stay as far back as you can. If there are little ones in the herd, the big females can get pretty ticked off and that's exactly what happened here.
They had just taken a few of the elephants across when the safari truck startled them, they stopped and crossed the road again to the other side....but then you see that blue car to the left, the woman driving it decided to just cut in instead of waiting behind the park ranger....she pulled up right in front of the elephants and just sat there....one of the big ones turned on her and if she hadn't taken off quick, I don't know what would have happened.
While all this was going on across the road, we had the big herd, and when I say big I mean 30 or so elephants divided on both sides of the road and they were moving parallel to our cars. We kept reversing trying to stay away from them, but we were pretty much in the middle of the herd. Scary I tell you!
Just before we got to the camp, we spotted these rhinosWe also got distracted with this....just below in the pic you will notice something big and brown on the ground. That Great Kudu had just been killed by a leopard, but unfortunately there were SO many cars around there that the leopard got scared and took off.
It was a wonderful day, we got to visit two great rest camps and we got to see and encounter some of the best animals in the park.
But that brought our Kruger Park week to an end, we left there early the next morning, happy to have spent some relaxing days but also sad to go. I can NOT wait until next year, I'm already counting the minutes to return home.
If you ever get a chance to visit South Africa, PLEASE PLEASE do yourself and your children a favor and go to the Kruger National Park, I promise it's an experience that will stay with you for the rest of your life. For about $968 you can get 7 nights at a family bungalow for 4 people. That is NOT bad at all!
I know this post is super long but I couldn't end it without showing you these next photos, they are not easy to see, in fact, they are disturbing and the kids were visibly upset when they first saw these in person at the park, but they also now understand the horrible truths of poaching.
WARNING!!!!! *if you can't handle animals hurt, you may want to skip the last few pics*