After a day of Elephant boogers on my head and walking with a six ton puppy tagging along behind me, I am ready for my sunrise safari with Kurt Safari Co in Hazeyview.
At six in the morning we arrive at the gate and await the arrival of the bus bringing the rest of the group that is joining me on the drive – four lovely ladies from England and Australia. And we take off into the African sunrise, in search of finding the Big Five, and as many other animals as the five of us can spot. It is a fun drive, cold and windy, but so much fun. I was equally amazed at the animals as at the expressions of the tourists that have never witnessed our amazing wildlife.
I was suddenly very aware of how lucky we are to grow up with these animals right at our back doors. I forget that some people have not ever seen some of the beautiful animals of our country. That to them it is so utterly breathtaking, it reminded me to be thankful and appreciative of the things I have.
We saw so quite a variety of wildlife, it was an amazing day. The only animal I would have loved to add to the list of sightings was a leopard. Unfortunately they were just not in the mood to be seen on this particular Tuesday. But despite the lack of Leopards, we saw lion, elephant, an abundance of antelope in particular the waterbuck, which I have not seen in ages. Buffalo, kudu and the odd hippo were also kind enough to allow us to see them.
These three precious rhinos were so relaxed and calmly walked passed us as if we were not even there. It saddens me so much that they are in such great danger. The fight against poaching is a violent and heartbreaking one, and everyday so many people fight for the survival of these creatures, hopefully something changes soon to eradicate the threat to them.
We stopped for lunch at Skukuza and then the ladies and I were back on the bakkie and heading toward the last few stops and sights for the day. It was so great to see so many animals and such a variety of species and wildlife. Even the birds cooperated and I got to see some stunning feathered friends.
The park is very dry, and in need of rain desperately, most of the watering holes we passes were dry as dust and practically every river and stream was just a strip of dry sand. The few watering holes that still have water are a haven for the animals, but these do not look like they will last for much longer. The rain needs to come before the animals start dying from thirst and hunger.
I spent the rest of the day with the guys from Kurt Safari Co and listening to some hilarious stories about tourists and life in the park. It is truly an amazing place to find yourself and the people are all so friendly. After the great day in the park, I did have to start packing up and preparing for the road back up to Graskop and Hoedspruit, tomorrow morning I leave and my adventure continues…