African Elephant, near Lowe Sabie Camp
Cape Buffalo, near Punda Maria Camp
Boabab Tree, near Punda Maria Camp
Punda Maria Campsite
Elephant Skull, near Letaba Camp
Submerged Hippos in the Oliphant River.
Hippo on the bank of the Sabie River.
Hyena, near Lower Sabie Camp. This guy would make a Pit Bull look like a Toy Poodle.
I had originally planned to drive into Zimbabwe, an area I travelled in extensively during my time in South Africa in the mid-90’s. I had really fallen in love with the area, and wanted to see for myself what the years of economic turmoil had to done to her. As I got up near the border, I met the local police inspector at my hotel bar. He said that you can travel in Zimbabwe, but you need to take all the fuel and food you need for the trip, as outside of Harare, there isn’t much of either available. The condition of the refugees coming across the border is appalling, as they’re essentially walking from Harare to the border with no food. With my little car, I thought it would more reckless than adventuresome to do Zimbabwe, so I cut across to the north end of Kruger National Park Park, and worked my way down to the southern most part, a distance of nearly 600 kms.
Kruger is a South African national park, similar to Banff or Jasper back in Canada. While there are some very expensive private camps inside the park, catering mostly to foreign tourists, there are also very reasonable priced public facilities and restaurants. For my three nights/four days in the park, the bill was less than R1400 (about $200.00 CAN), and that included a night safari drive.
I must admit that I really loved the northern sections of the park, even with temperatures in the mid 40’s celsius, and a lot less game than the lower sections. The above makes the northern park areas almost deserted, while the southern part is closer to Yellowstone Park at labour day, wall to wall with brash Jo’burger’s and their floosey wives, all armed with ‘big 5’ game check lists.
While I brought a 300mm f/2.8 lens, I found it too big to use in my very small Fiat car, so all the game pics were shot with my AF-S 70-200mm f/2.8, and the scenics with my AF-S 17-35mm f/2.8. I used my Nikon D700 for all the photos.
Camera: Nikon D700
Lens: Nikon AF-S 17-35mm f/2.8, Nikon AF-S 70-200mm f/2.8