Location: Cincinnati, Ohio

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Kruger National Park I

We spent one more night at a guest house and then after another day of driving we reached Kruger National Park. The area just before we got into the area was beautiful and rugged.

We traded in the car at Nels Spruit, a city near the park and the border with Mozambique. A woman picked us up in a van and took us to a resort next to the park called Pestana Lodge. It was near the Malelane gate of Kruger.

Kruger is a huge park, covering 19,485 kilometers. The northern border is Zimbabwe and the park connects with Mozambique's Limpopo National Park and also with a preserve in Zimbabwe, creating one huge preserve.

It was a beautiful place on grounds that were tree-covered and the rooms were small duplexes spread around the property. All were just a short walk from the lodge, which was a great wooden building that had a huge deck. You could look off the deck and across the aptly-named Crocodile River into Kruger. While Heather was having a massage, I sat on the deck with a cold Windhoek and watched the river flow by. Across the river in the park, a group of wildebeasts sauntered about. What I thought at first was a log was pointed out to me by someone more experienced as a crocodile - confirmation came when it moved. We had an excellent buffet dinner that night but made an early evening of it. We were to be ready at 5:15 (ouch) the next morning to set off on a safari.
At top is the Crocodile River. Next are a series of photos of the most numerous animal we saw on the safari - the impala. If you look carefully, you can see that the black markings on their rear ends look like an "M" - the joke is that that means M for McDonald's because they are the McDonald's for the lions. The impala are nevertheless beautiful creatures.


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