KNP 2016 — 30 May to 18 June
Seemed like two weeks weren’t enough for me so I decided to visit KNP for a couple days short of three weeks and I wanted to test by new equipment (Canon 1DX with 800mm and 100-400mm mkII). Again I spent 9 days between Letaba and Shingwedzi. I really do enjoy the northern parts as the roads and camps are less busy and its just great for “chilling out”.
I followed the same routine and tried to get into the northern parts of KNP as soon as possible. Northernmost airports to enter KNP are Phalaborwa and Hoedspruit both with services from Johannesburg although I’ve not as yet flown this route. Flights directly into the KNP to Skukuza from Cape Town and Johannesburg are also popular. I had a Honda CRV this time which was very enjoyable.
I spent a total of 19 nights in Kruger (camp sequence: Orpen 1; Shingwedzi 4; Letaba 5; Satara 4; Skukuza 3; Lower Sabie 2). I have generally found that it is somewhat more difficult to spot all of the big five up north, but it is possible and takes a bit more time. The ambience has a bit more “natural” feel to it and many say the real Kruger is up north as there is just too much human or human related activity down south.
Most memorable from this visit were the lionesses (one with wound to right shoulder) siting at Sable Dam and other lion sitings on the eastern side in the southern part of the KNP. Some photographs of bee-eaters whetted my appetite for more birding in the future. A dead hippo with more than 30 crocs feeding off it in the Pafuri area was just as impressive. A very unusual siting of about 30 terrapins on a hippo in a small dam was a cherry on the cake as I had never seen so many on crocs or hippos.
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