I have to say that my favourite place in the whole world has to be the Kruger National Park. If I had a choice to be anywhere in the world right now it would be sitting next to the Letaba river under a shady tree looking at impala graze on the river bank. I grew up going to the park at least once a year and it’s the only place I feel like my true self and find myself at peace. No cell phones, no tv’s and no noise.
On Monday morning 21 November I travelled with my husband Winston to the Orpen camp for a three night visit. After hurting my back the day before standing still and doing pretty much nothing I looked forward to a few days of rest. Everybody always asks me what am I doing in the park in summer but I have always loved the heat. Entering at the Numbi gate we had a very far drive to Orpen and I didn’t expect to see anything as it was upwards of 38 degrees so I pretty much rolled down the windows and just enjoyed being in the park. We came across a lone car looking excited about something next to the road and after a while we saw a few spots through the grass. Any Kruger lover will tell you the odds of seeing a leopard in the road 12h00 in the day when it’s scorching hot is almost as good as winning the lottery. Well we won the lottery! The beautiful male leopard walked across the road and disappeared into the bushes almost as quick as he emerged.
It was the start of a stunning trip and the only sad thing was that we didn’t see a single rhino. I honestly hope this is not a sign of the poaching happening in the park, but have a sick feeling that it is. One of the nicest things was that the park was full of baby animals, and I spent a lot of time trying to get a perfect photo of a baby baboon and on the last day I succeeded. There was also a very ‘windgat’ warthog mother with her four babies running around the Skukuza rest camp. They were so wild and full of life that I could only get one photo in focus. They had to be only a few days to a week old.
I always get teased because I count down the sleeps to my next visit but have already started the next countdown and if everything goes according to plan it won’t be too long before I find myself back in my personal heaven.