Monday, November 9, 2015

Kruger National Park – Jeremy Williamson

Lana and Jeremy Williamson recently visited the Kruger National Park. Well it was more like our driving through the Kruger Park between some of the Concession venues we were visiting. We had spent a few nights at venues outside the Kruger Park and then two nights at Mjejane River Lodge, which has some 4,000 ha “fenced into the Kruger Park” despite lying to the south of the Crocodile River. Whilst at Mjejane River Lodge we were taken on a game drive directly into the Kruger Park, as one of the offered excursions– they have a private low level bridge across the Crocodile River for their patrons. 

Mjejane's low level bridge over the Crocodile River

There is a SA National Parks control gate that ensures the entrance Conservation levies are paid.

There has been enormous development with respect to additional accommodation venues surrounding the Kruger National Park. So much so, that over long week-ends and holiday periods, a quota system has been introduced in order to control the number of day visitors to the Park. For a fee, guests are able to pre-book a day visitor permit.

Pestana Kruger Lodge across the river at Malelane gate

The Kruger National Park is approximately 2,000.000 ha with numerous protected game reserves on the periphery, which have removed the barrier fences, giving an total fenced area of around 3,800,000 ha. Beyond this, there are numerous isolated fenced wildlife reserves which greatly add to the range for our wildlife. 
The Kruger Park is certainly suffering from the present drought, with most dams low and rivers dry or also very low.

Sunset Dam - Lower Sabi

There has been some rain in the area which stimulated growth, but not enough and some of the new growth has become dry and or died back.

Nkumbe viewpoint looking west over the Kruger Park

The bush was fairly open offering fairly good sightings.
Elephant are prolific and encountered almost everywhere we traveled. Some large herds too.

General antelope sightings were good too.

Impala ram

Bushbuck ram

Steenbuck ram

Some giraffe, zebra and warthog too


Then the big cats.

Predators caused the usual traffic jams, thank goodness we were visiting out of peak period and we could negotiate these road-blocks.

Sabie River rather low
Buffalo with a Red-billed Oxpecker

Then there is the amazing bird life too.

Cape Glossy Starling

Lilac-breasted Roller

Southern Yellow-billed Hornbill

Brown Snake-Eagle

After many years of really poor restaurant service, the Park authorities have sub-contracted the restaurant facilities to some of South Africa’s larger restaurant franchises. The improvement is proof of their having made the correct decision.

Lower Sabie

Lower Sabie Restaurant overlooking the Sabie River
Skukuza restcamp

Cattle Baron, Skukuza breakfast

Breakfast at Skukuza

All photographs taken in the Kruger National Park by Jeremy and Lana Williamson

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