The big 5!!!!

Trip Start Feb 02, 2010
Trip End Oct 26, 2010

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Flag of South Africa  ,
Sunday, October 17, 2010

Hello everyone

It has been some time since we have visited our blog & I think subconsciously I could not bring myself to do it as these entries mean the end of our trip. However looking at the positives, we are very grateful to be able to travel as much as we have. Glass half full. :-)

We sadly said goodbye to our life & friends in England & on our way back to OZ we made a detour to South Africa with Johannesburg been our first stop on the 12th October. Spent the day in Pretoria before setting off to Kruger National park early the next morning for 5 days. Was so spoilt to be going with South Africans who not only know all about the animals they also made sure we did not go hungry.

Day 1
We started by entering the park at Orpen & making our way to Satara campsite. We were blown away with how much wildlife we saw just on our first day.

Loads of birds

Day 2
Today we moved to Lower Sabie campsite (where we spent the next 3 nights) & as we were moving from 1 campsite to another we did not seem to see as much. We got to get a feel for the park & how wild the place was.

A glimpse of Leopard in long grass
Wilder Beast
Heard of buffalo

Once settled into our new campsite a few of us went out for a drive & saw amazing Hyena, walked out in front of the car.

Day 3
The best time to see the animals was early in the morning when it was not too hot so every morning was an early one. On our AM trip we saw

Heard of about 40 elephants (however we did loss count as there were so many)
4 lions sunning themselves on the road
Hippo that ran out in front of the car
White owl in a tree

We meet the rest of our gang at a picnic spot where we hired BBQ's to make our fry ups. On our way back to camp we spotted a couple of cars parked up & after investigating we found out that there was a leopard who had put one kill in a tree & was making a 2nd. We had a prime location to observe nature at it's best & for the next couple of hours we watched & heard a leopard eating 2 kills. The beautiful cat was not even bothered with the spectators. After using all our memory on our cards we returned to download them all ready for the afternoon drive. We were all on such a high & after speaking with our friends who have visited the park for 40 years, they had never seen anything like it. A real special moment in deed.

In the afternoon drive we thought we might try our luck with trying to find a cheetah so we headed out to the flat plains in the park. We did leave the park without finding any Cheetah however this afternoon we managed to find a Mamma Rhino & a little baby. This meant that we had been blessed enough to see THE BIG 5, Lion, Leopard, Elephant, Buffalo & Rhino.

Day 4
Started the day with a coffee & a sunrise to die for. Off in the car early for some more sightings.

A lion walk out in front of the car
A solitary hippo playing in the mud at a hide
A beautiful baby elephant doing a mock charge (thought the poor thing was going to fall over)
Some more Rhino
Crocodiles & baboons at the picnic site

The afternoon we saw

About 15 Giraffe
A very cute warthog

Just when we thought we could not get any luckier I went out for a 30 min drive with Graham & we got a tip off about 3 lions in a clearing & then on our way back to camp (trying to get there before the gates close) we caught a glimpse of another Leopard in a clearing. At night the sightings did not stop where at the perimeter fence we saw 2 hyenas been very affectionate with each other. We also spent loads of time watching a baby hippo chomping away at the juicy grass trying to get his kilos of food intake for the night.

Day 5

Started the morning watching some elephants at the perimeter fence, we were so close that you could see all their eye lashes. There was a tiny baby one there, was so so cute. By 5:30am we had the car packed & were on our way out of the park & even though we were so sad to leave we could only be so grateful for what we had seen & experienced.  I also never thought I would hear Bernie say that he was happy to just have a salad for dinner after the massive meat feast we had over the 5 days. All that weight that we lost in South America we had found in South Africa. We can now throw away our belts. We made our way from the park to Jo-berg airport for our flight to Cape Town to start the next bit of our journey.

Now I need to decide which photos out of the million we took to put on the blog.

T & B Wattie
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Leonie on

Wow...amazing pics!!! what a wonderful experience!!! Hope to see you some day in Australia!!!
big hugs

Tanja & Stan on

Wow, we didn't know that you also went to South Africa! I Love the pictures! How are things in Oz?

Adele & Rich on

Beautiful pictures, looks fab.x

beverley watties on

wish our starlings looked like that xx

liz fredricsen on

oh my goodness AMAZING photo's !!!!!!! Fantastic - takes me back. lovely to see graham too xx

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