The next morning after consulting my hosts I set off to self drive in Kruger entering at the Phabeni Gate which is the closest to Hazyview at 16 km away. I followed a route a long a river and saw tiny in the way of wildlife in the first hour then I came upon a couple of bull elephants munching away on some trees by the side of the road. There were plenty of Impala as well but it took another half hour of photographing the many bird species before I saw a herd of Giraffe off in the distance. It was not long before I saw a massive herd of frolicking Zebra and Wildebeest. I then spotted mongoose, and squirrel and some other antelope species.
Then I came round a bend in the road to find three other vehicles and one very pissed off Rhino that was charging at another rhino then coming back and glaring at us, in total there where 4 White Rhino standing in the middle of the road. The aggressive one had a massive horn and it seemed like he was going to keep us there all night, eventually he moved away from the road a tiny and I took my opportunity to zoom past him, he spun and moved after my tiny automobile for a bit.
Not long after I saw Crocodile and Hippo as I crossed a river before coming across a massive group of Baboon followed by a massive group of Vervet Monkey’s. I was rushing now to get to the gate before it closed at a maximum speed of 50km an hour it is slow progress. Suddenly a couple of warthogs burst out onto the road in front of me followed by a Hyena, now that was very exciting. I saw many more animals as I was leaving the park having to stop many times to let everything from Impala to Elephant cross the road.
On arriving back at my accomodation I went in the bar to chat to the owners and guests while watching the world cup before heading to bed.
The next morning I went to see the the Blyde River Canyon and various natural attractions including waterfalls etc, I also stopped and did some shopping in a small attractive town called Graskop before returning to the farm and having a nap. Around 4.30pm I travelled to Nelspruit with two Aussie and one US bloke to see Australia play Serbia, this was the first time I had anything to drink at the football and I met a lot of other Aussies who I was drinking with. The game was a great spectacle and I enjoyed the victory immensely, It was well after midnight by the time we got back to Hazyview.
The next day (24/6) I went to the local airstrip and went up for a flight in an ultralight checking out the area from the air, lots of banana and nut plantations. The hippos look amusing, from the air they look like obese piglets.
It was then back to the farm for a few hours before I joined a night safari into some of the game parks that border Kruger, I had hoped to see some predators at night and did see some Hyena unfortunately that was it for predators, even though we saw elephant, rhino, diker (small antelope) and a camellion which I think was put there for our benefit, we then had dinner before returning to the farm for more beers and football.
Today I decided to go back into the park to try and find leopard and lion and even though I saw a range of wonderful animals and birds including hippo out of the water, massive herds of giraffe and other wildlife I failed to spot any cats, in the 8 or 9 hours I drove around. By the time I cleared the park gates my leg was going numb. On arriving back at the farm my hosts offered be a top of the line room for nothing as I have become good friends with them.
Today I farewelled my friends and began the drive to the Battlefields, stopping at the Chimpanzee Sanctuary on the way the poor things have been terribly abused, they have managed to save 31 so far, on leaving I missed a turn and nearly ended up in Swaziland. Eventually I arrived here where I am the only guest at the Ermello Youth Hostel. I have all the facilities I need to myself. Tomorrow I leave for the scene of the Zulu and Boer wars.
Part of trip: Southern Africa
Submited at Saturday, June 26th, 2010 at 5:00 pm on Africa by hilman
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