We awoke to heavy rain in The Mother City of Cape Town. William arrived at 8am to take us to the airport. I enjoyed listening to him tell some of the same stories as we drove through the city, past Langa, etc. Check-in was easy and our flight to Nelspruit Mpumalanga was swift. I think it was about the cutest airport I’ve ever seen, complete with one runway/luggage carousel, thatched roof, and birds of paradise everywhere.
We were greeted by a cheerful man named George to drive us the two hours to Crocodile Bridge and into Kruger National Park and Shishangeni Lodge. We were fortunate to see a lion, elephants, zebra, giraffe, hippo, monkeys, and lots of various antelope…all before our safari had even technically started!
We had a few minutes to go to our rooms before setting out on our evening game drive. Our guide for our two days in The Kruger is Phillip, and he is awesome. The sightings started slowly, but before we knew it, we were off road to get a closer look at three adult and two baby giraffes! Also, we saw many more elephants and impala, as well as other kinds of antelope, white rhino, hippos, crocodile, a variety of birds, warthog, and more.
Phillip stopped the vehicle about half-way through our three-hour drive and set up our snack station. We got out, stretched our legs, and enjoyed biltong, chips, fruit, and marshmallows with our soda, beer, and wine. There was a large herd of impala nearby, and Jackson asked Phillip about the noises they were making. Well, they were in fact warning sounds and, before we knew it, we were back in the vehicle watching a leopard prowl toward them! It was incredible.
We drove back in the dark, using a spotlight to see a giraffe up-close, and we chased a porcupine down the road a ways. We enjoyed our outdoor boma dinner by the fire, and it is nearly time to turn in as I write. We will be up early for our morning game drive. I am so happy to be back in The Kruger!