A day at the Kruger National Park during Summer

This week we went on a self-drive day-trip to our beloved Kruger National Park.

We left the villa at about 5.15am and around 06.00am we arrived at Orpen Gate, which is located in the middle part of the park.

The drive towards the park is actually quite a nice one as you are driving alongside other nature and game reserves so you can always look out for animals along the fencelines.

We started our day on the H7, the Orpen – Satara Road. We encountered many plains game such as zebra, giraffe, wildebeest and a hyena on the move. 

A very nice sighting we had on the H7 was to encounter a Martial Eagle sitting on a dead tree. Martial Eagles are the largest of the African eagles and incredibly powerful, capable of knocking an adult man off his feet. The largest eagle in Africa, the Martial eagle weighs in at almost 14 pounds (6.5 Kg.) and has a wingspan of about 6 feet 4 inches (2 meters).

On the turn-off towards the S36 we saw a very impressive beautiful elephant bull. From this road you have gorgeous views over the bushveld which gives you a good idea of the vastness of the park. We continued our day onto this gravel road leading southwards towards Muzandzeni Picnic Spot. It’s always great to be able to get out of your car and stretch your legs. We always take the picnic box and cooler, which you can find in the cupboards in the scullery. You can use these when going into the park. It has got plates, cups, cutlery and more to use when you want to eat something and bring your soft-drinks or other things along.

The idea was to continue our trip towards the S126 but unfortunately this road was closed because of the past rains we’ve had. So we had no other choice to drive back into the H-7 to continue our day towards Satara Restcamp. One of the spots you’ll pass is Nsemani Dam, just about 7km before the junction into the road to Satara. The dam was filled up nicely now and there’s always some animals and birds to view around waterholes and dams.

On the T-Junction a car stopped us to say he just came out of a lion sighting with 8 lions on a giraffe kill, so you can imagine our plans changed again;)

Off we went towards the H6 and indeed after about 8km there were cars alongside the road and we saw the poor giraffe with the lions eating from it just on the side of the road. We know nature can be hard, but of course the lions need to eat as well plus keep in mind it’s not an every day sighting to see lions on a kill. Also always look out for the vultures around sightings like this as we saw the White-Backed Vulture and a Lapped-faced Vulture which is very special.

After having our moments with this sighting we continued our day-trip towards Satara Restcamp to stretch our legs a bit and have something to eat. We took something with us in the cooler box but the rest camp has a restaurant and a grab & go to enjoy some lunch as well.

Our afternoon started with a drive up north towards Olifants Camp, driving the H1-4. We took a new road of which we heard from another wildlife and Kruger lover, the S147.

A lush road alongside large trees so we were looking for leopards. But during summer the grass is so high which makes it super difficult to spot them, so no luck this time…

After this road we took a right turn up onto the S90 which is known for it’s grasslands and wide views over the park, simply gorgeous. Especially when you encounter big elephant bulls walking through the grasslands. 

It was already getting a bit late and you always have to keep in mind you have to be back on time at the Open gate, so we continued our day back towards the H7, which leads to the Orpen Gate. On our way back we encountered Waterbuck with a cute little calf, a Black Backed Jackal and a very cute Hyena pup.

Again, we enjoyed a wonderful day in the Kruger National Park!

PS. All photography has been created by owner Anouk. She also has her own Instagram Page full with Wildlife Photography: Photos of African Wildlife

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