Skukuza rest camp, Kruger Park

Trip Start Jun 10, 2012
Trip End Aug 17, 2013

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Flag of South Africa  ,
Saturday, June 30, 2012

Today was the first day of Kruger Park. We are on our own, no guide or anything. We are staying in Skukuza rest camp tonight. I thought Kruger Park would be nothing compared to what we saw in the Serengeti, but on our way to our rest camp, there were 2 lions walking in the road. I had my window completely open and was taking pictures, and one was literally so close I could reach out and pet it! I closed my window after it stared at me with kind of a scary look. We also saw some strange red-faced birds. They seemed like they wanted food from us. The reason I think the Serengeti is also cooler is that it's more raw. I mean, Kruger park has big concrete gates around the rest camps, and electrical fences. You stay in huts with sturdy walls and two sets of locks. You can never, ever get out of the car except for rest camps and gated bathroom areas. Kruger park is filled with tons of little visitor centers, educational buildings, libraries and museums. And the roads are paved. The Serengeti is totally the opposite of that. Dirt or gravel roads full of deep ruts that need a safari jeep to travel on, small camp sites, not gated, where baboons roam around in the day, and you set up a flimsy tent to stay for the night. You go game driving the entire day, so to go to the bathroom you just get out and go behind the jeep (make sure there is someone with you because of the lions). Nothing except miles and miles of open safari, and a couple of camps to set up a tent for the night. Base Camp Tanzania is the only tour that would take kids, except for one of those kid-friendly programs that doesn't even go that far into the Serengeti. The Serengeti is more hard-core safari, and Kruger park is more family-oriented. I would definitely compare it to Yellowstone national park, with kids activities and educational centers. I'm not saying it isn't awesome though. Tonight, as we were walking along the fence in the dark, there was a hyena running along the gate. I heard a hippo snorting. Since we have little kitchens on the outside of the huts, a lady told us to turn the fridge towards the wall or the vervet monkeys would come and steal our food. I didn't really believe that would happen until I heard some animal cries in the hut next to us and dishes clattering to the floor.
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