This was our second visit to South Africa and this time we safaried in Kruger National Park.
The Ivory Lodge in Lion Sands Private Game Reserve in Sabi Sands was the most luxurious hotel Irene and I ever stayed at. Just look at the bathroom!
Two game drives each day. The first early AM, right after sun up. Juice, coffee, and rolls were delivered to our room before the drive. We travelled in Range Rovers, open top with 3 rows of seats, each row higher than othe other for perfect viewing. We stopped along the drive for coffee and snacks. Full breakfast is served after the drive.
The second drive is right before sundown and returns after dark. Many animals are nocturnal and hunt at that time. There are spotlights on the Range Rover but the trackers are careful not to point the light towards the nocturnal animals to avoid temporarily blinding them.
We were incredibly lucky on our first drive. We saw a python wrapped around an impala. Two hyenas arrived and chased the python and had the prey for themselves.
We saw all the “big five”–lions, leopards, elephants, rhinos and cape buffalos.
But it’s all much more than that. The beauty of the countryside, the starkness of the hills, the trees, the anthills, the birds, and the most beautiful starry sky you can imagine. The guides, trackers, rangers and lodge staff were all terrific.
We spent a final day in Johannesburg. While areas are not particularly safe, we found the comfort and experience of touring with a guide fascinating. Read about the history of South Africa before you go. A biography of Nelson Mandelas is a good choice. The Apartheid Museum shouldn’t be missed. They have two entrances, one for whites and one for “colored” and blacks, to immerse you from the very beginning in what apartheid is all about.