Kruger National Park, Day 1

We woke up early for our first day at Kruger National Park.  We climbed into the open air vehicle intended for the safari drive and made our way to the park entrance.  The roads leading there were largely unpaved or under construction and very bumpy.  After stopping off at the entrance, we started our drive through the park and I noticed the landscape was dotted with many broken trees, the result of too many elephants within the park.  Sadly, by this time, my camera battery was pretty depleted so I took pictures sparingly but we were very impressed with the ease with which we saw animals, which ranged from herds of impala to wildebeest to white rhinos to elephants, giraffe, and zebras.

We were fortunate enough to have seven sightings of lions over the course of the two days we spent at Kruger though, unfortunately, no sightings of any leopards or cheetahs.

We made our way to a bird hide which, I was sad to find out was closed.  At one point, we got stuck in traffic behind an elephant that decided it wanted to walk along the road for some distance.  After our day safari, our guide dropped us off by the entrance so we could join the night safari.  At first, we spotted the same types of animals we had seen during the day but, as darkness set in, we began seeing nocturnal animals.  We saw a jackal, scrub hares, an eagle-owl, and a serval.  The sightings were cool but the spotlights we used to see the animals attracted tons of insects so we were pelted by them for the three hour ride.  The night safari ended and our guide drove us back to the lodge where we had a late dinner and retired to bed.

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