Last Friday 6 of us set off on a two day camping trip to Kruger National Park - what was potentially to be the highlight of the trip - I didn't mind quite so much having to wake up at 4.00am so we could set off at 4.30am to be at the Orpen Gate at the park for 7am. The sunrise was incredible on the way and having spent the journey sipping coffee and munching on jelly sweets, licorice allsorts and rusks we were set to go.
We stayed at Satara camp - located in the very centre of the park, supposedly in a prime spot for spotting all The Big Five so I had high expectations. We set our tent up next to the perimeter fence which borders an area commonly patrolled by a pack of hyenas. I was fairly certain at that stage that I wouldn't be getting much sleep!
During our morning drive we had already ticked off Elephant, Giraffe, Wildebeast and Zebra so as far as I was concerned we had done pretty well. In the afternoon we went on a sunset drive, where we spotted Rhino and Leopards. Truly incredible. I knew I should have studied my camera manual in more depth about aperture and shutter speed malarky as my pictures really didn't do the incredible sunset any justice at all. After a braai of pork chops, sausages and vetkoek (a type of bread-type doughnut) we settled in to our tents as we were due up at 5.30 for our morning drive. I have to say that the experience of being zipped up securely in my tent listening to the calls of the hyena pack, will stay with me a long time.
In the morning we had the fortune of spotting two lions mating, a troop of baboons sitting in a tree, basking in the morning sun and a spotted-lepard eagle devouring a fresh kill. By the afternoon we had become pretty used to elephants and giraffes crossing our path.
My two days in Kruger were one of the most special experiences of my life, which I will treasure for a long time.
My sleeping bag was practically still warm before it was used again for a bush camp last night. We learnt about tracking animals, setting traps, and very basic survival techniques. It wasn't particularly dignified having to carry a spade in to the bush whenever we needed the toilet but when in Rome, etc, etc.