Saturday, July 26, 2008

Reconnecting - Part 11

It's early morning and we're awakened by the beautiful sunrise and the sound of birds outside, after a quick breakfast we got in the cars and set out towards Crocodile Bridge.

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?
A closer view

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 rhinos
We 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*





10 comments:

MoziEsmé said...

We need to get back to Kruger soon - it's a shame to live so close and not go more often! I love how it is different every time we go.

Mari said...

I can't believe how much you saw on your trip. I would love t go there.

Samantha said...

I'm still incredibly jealous! I wish we could take the kids on a trip like this. Someday when I win the lottery I'm going to take us all and make you guys come along to show us the cool stuff! ;)

Make sure to mark it on your calendar, the day after never. LOL!

HUGS! :)

Susanne said...

How incredible! It would certainly not be a park I would want to miss if I was going there. Funny how you get the impatient drivers who do crazy things no matter where in the world you are, isn't it?

Michelle said...

What incredible pictures.thanks for sharing ... ;-)

Lavinia Ladyslipper said...

Dear Sandra....wow....some changes on your blog I'm noticing...

First of all, I tell you that I had to skip those last photos. I cannot endure cruelty to animals...

I like your new header and photo, (very Jackie O!) but I also liked your last header and photo. Whatever you choose, it is lovely. I also like the new border around your blog, and the colour scheme. Quite the creative lady.

These pictures are fabulous..any one of them could be a postcard for South Africa. The 2 zebras is especially beautiful and well composed. I can't believe the variety of wildlife you encountered....(they don't call it Crocodile bridge for nothing!!).

Your daughter with the pretty auburn hair always stands out...and the pic of the two kids hugging...so cute! Warms a mother's heart.

Your love of your homeland and your pride in S.A. shines through....I hope you do get to go next year!

Tina said...

Looks like a GREAT trip! My kids would have been in heaven seeing the animals :)

Michelle said...

those pics of the poaching are so sad :( It is terrible what some people will do to animals.

Angela said...

Well, I stumbled onto your blog and have been glued to it for a while now. Your pictures from your reconnecting "series" are wonderful!

Your blog is beautiful and I am adding it to my bloglines now.

~TAMY 3 Sides of Crazy~ said...

What an awesome trip - especially for your kids!