The Kruger (February 2015, by Jenni)

I don’t even know where to begin!!

Oliver ready to photograph the wildlife!
Oliver ready to photograph the wildlife!

Our very good friend, Kim, joined us in South Africa just before we left for Kruger National Park. The Park is one of Africa’s largest game parks. It is one of the few game parks on the continent that allows “self-drives” in the park. We saw our first elephant just before we arrived at Kruger’s Numbi gate. After signing in at the gate, we took a scenic drive to our rest camp. We stopped at a water hole and saw many hippos there. We had signed up for a night safari drive. As we were unloading the car and taking things into the cabin we had rented, Kim hit her head on the metal support for the air-conditioning unit outside. I took one look at it and knew she needed stitches. We called the reception area for assistance. They came and didn’t even know how to open the first aid kit. Since Kim and I are both nurses, they let us have our way with the kit. There really wasn’t anything of use in it. So, they called the park doctor and arranged for her to meet us at the clinic (an hour and a half drive from our camp). In Kruger, all camp gates are closed and locked at 6:30 pm and no one is allowed to drive in the park (except rangers). They arranged for an “escort” to drive Kim and me to the clinic while Corey and the kids went on the night safari. Well, it turned out that Kim and I saw more animals on our drive to and from the clinic than they did on their safari. We saw hyenas, owls, a rabbit, and a leopard (Kim saw a rhino) while Corey and the kids saw zebra, owls, and water buffalo. Kim ended up with 5 stitches!

That's Audrey with a giraffe standing behind her.
That’s Audrey with a giraffe standing behind her.

The next day, just driving on our own, we saw rhinos, giraffes, elephants, antelope, zebras, baboons, monkeys, blue wildebeests, water buffalo, and all kinds of birds. Oh, and we saw babies of almost every species I have mentioned. We saw a baby rhino, baby elephants, baby giraffes, baby zebras, and baby baboons. On our sunset safari, we saw all of those again, and 2 lions, 2 honey badgers and a civet!

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