Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Kruger -Day 1, part 2

Kruger Park has many Rest Camps that have accommodations from camping to luxury suites. We did not camp and we did not stay in the Luxury accommodations. Our first camp was Satara, located centrally in the park. We stayed in the Huts, which are simple and allow you to BBQ (braai) and come complete with a refrigerator and a lockable cabinet for pantry items. There is a communal kitchen area, where burners, preparation areas and a sink are provided. We took some foods and a minimal kitchen, but our days started so early and we mostly ate at the restaurant. Not such a good idea. Probably the worst part was the food. The food/restaurant concession for all the Camps is held by the same company and the you can tell!!! So next time we will take some simple picnic kinds of foods and probably eat much better. One thing we did do is make coffee to drink when we weren’t leaving at the crack of sunrise.

After the Morning Game Drive, we grabbed showers and coffee (before we were making our own) and then headed out in the car. By 10 am it was getting hot. We didn’t have any idea how hot it was going to get… but when they say it gets hot in Kruger…. You can bet it does.

Leopard in a tree
DH and I were driving down an unpaved road that was empty, no traffic, and came around a corner to find a pickup truck (bakkie) sitting on the side of the road. We had already spotted some Vultures sitting in the trees, so when we looked up into the tree we were very surprised to find this guy. The truck moved off, and we moved into the spot they were sitting for some better photo angles. It is about 11:30 in the morning and already HOT, and even hotter in the sun. This guy was in the tree and in the shade, and he was uncomfortable too. He kept trying to take a nap, but he still had some of last nights dinner up there with him, so the flies kept buzzing him. It was amazing to see how he just balanced on the branch and was perfectly at home sleeping in this position. While we were there, no other cars came by, and we finally moved off after about a half hour. 

Same Cat different angle

On the right, you can see the
hide from breakfast

(Remember to see a picture larger, just click the picture)

As we drove very slowly down the road, we came across a small herd of elephants, 2 cows and a youngster. They moved along and didn’t really stop, I suspect the heat was suggesting to them that a bit of water and mud would make them feel better. The little guy was so cute…
Another CUTE little guy!
A bit further down the road we came across this---

Lion Family, young male center
A lion family resting in the shade. As you can see we found an adult Male, with 3 females and an adolescent male. They didn’t really move while we were there, other than to maybe follow the shade.
A large Adult Male Lion

Dash Time & Temp

So, now that you are seeing a trend here…. About hot and heat and shade, mud and water… do you wonder how hot it was? The car has an outside thermometer… and I have an iPhone, so to mark the temperature, the date and time I took a picture with the Point and Shoot… 42 C translates to 107 F. That my friends -is HOT. To add to that the air was still, so no breeze to help cool you off.

After that we took another unpaved road, we found this guy walking down the middle of the road, flapping his ears, (for cooling), when his ears went out he looked much larger than when they were folded back.

Road Walker

I just liked watching him from the back. At another water hole we found an elephant taking a mud bath.

Lilac Breasted Roller

There are lots of birds here in South Africa, and lots of them have color… These guys are called Lilac Breasted Rollers and are quite colorful. I might show a better picture later if I have one…. Still lots to go through!

Next we found a huge herd of elephants playing and splashing in a water pan. I knew that elephants wetted themselves and then threw dirt on to keep the bugs at bay, but I didn’t know that to help them cool they put water behind their ears, over the top of the head/neck areas. It was quiet fun to watch. You can see the large elephant on the right creating a shower with her trunk.

Elephant Bath

And lastly as we were calling it a day, we spotted a Jackal heading out looking for an early supper.


So after spending the day on the road in the heat we come back to our hut. The A/C is not quite cooling the room. So we head off for dinner, early, thinking we would just eat from the Sandwich menu… the food was bad again… no real surprise, but it was only our second meal, we were hoping for better. While we were eating the clouds were building- we were certainly hoping for a storm. While the room was still warm…. It was cooler than when the sun was up too. So we turned in early (it was dark out)… About an hour later the wind came up, so I turned off the ill functioning A/C unit and opened the windows! MUCH better and I fell back to sleep listening to a Thunder storm roll in.

It has taken me all day to upload and set the photos to text. Either there is something going on with Blogger or this operator needs a nap.

There are more exciting photos coming up....More Later-Beth


Exuberant Color said...

It looks like a pretty exciting trip and some great photos. By the way the small pictures don't enlarge. Maybe you moved them after uploading them. That used to be why they wouldn't enlarge.

Anonymous said...

Holy moly what an awesome adventure! The leopard looks absolutely bee-u-ti-ful!

Becky said...

Wow! It just keeps getting better! Amazing photos, as always. Again, thanks for sharing!!!!

Karen S said...

These pictures are wonderful! I love the leopard in the tree and the backside of the elephant. I've been having trouble uploading pictures with blogger too -- they have been taking forEVer!

Sara said...

Great posts and photos. LOVE the giraffe with his goofy expression! And the cheetah in the tree. And the tortoise with an attitude. And the pretty roller bird. Yeah...I'm having safari envy! lol

Anne Marie - Toronto said...

I'm just loving living vicariously through you. What a trip! Keep the photos coming!!!!

Tammy said...

I found you from another blogger and just love seeing the photos of your Africa adventure. I lived six years in the horn of Africa as a child. They were the happiest memories of my childhood. I'll definately be back to see your adventures!!! Good Luck!

Melody said...

Beth, I'm loving your adventure. Thanks so much for the pictures and words. And you're right - that is hot.