Kruger National Park is one of Africa’s largest game reserves.  Pictures: John A. Grant
Kruger National Park is one of Africa’s largest game reserves. Pictures: John A. Grant
Kruger National Park's high density of wild animals includes the Big Five: lions, leopards, rhinos, elephants and buffaloes. Picture: John A. Grant
Kruger National Park's high density of wild animals includes the Big Five: lions, leopards, rhinos, elephants and buffaloes. Picture: John A. Grant
Kruger National Park is also home to hundreds of other mammals make their home here, as do diverse bird species such as vultures, eagles and storks.
Kruger National Park is also home to hundreds of other mammals make their home here, as do diverse bird species such as vultures, eagles and storks.
Mountains, bush plains and tropical forests are all part of the landscape.  Picture: John A. Grant
Mountains, bush plains and tropical forests are all part of the landscape. Picture: John A. Grant
Kruger National Park is one of Africa’s largest game reserves. Its high density of wild animals includes the Big Five: lions, leopards, rhinos, elephants and buffaloes. Hundreds of other mammals make their home here, as do diverse bird species such as vultures, eagles and storks. Mountains, bush plains and tropical forests are all part of the landscape.  Picture: John A. Grant
Kruger National Park is one of Africa’s largest game reserves. Its high density of wild animals includes the Big Five: lions, leopards, rhinos, elephants and buffaloes. Hundreds of other mammals make their home here, as do diverse bird species such as vultures, eagles and storks. Mountains, bush plains and tropical forests are all part of the landscape. Picture: John A. Grant
Now you see it, now you don’t. 

That’s how Jackie and I see our trips into the Kruger National Park, because we had just taken a picture of a very young buck crossing the road when a minibus pulled up to see what we were taking pictures of - and it was gone into the veld, and although we could still see it, the people in the minibus had no chance of getting even the slightest glimpse.

Game-viewing eyes are what we all want, but picking up a small movement in the open veld that catches your eye is hard. It’s great to see one of the large animals that no one can miss, but it’s the smaller ones that can frustrate the bejeebers out of you.

On the other hand, we saw a small group of female water buck lying down in the tall grass to enjoy a lazy afternoon in the sun, the slight breeze blowing their winter coats.


The rays twinkled off the animal’s skin, making them almost blend into the veld colours so that, from a distance, one could hardly see them in the tall grasslands.

This time, we were lucky to find a pack of wild dogs - 10 pups and 7 females - all playing next to their den at the road’s edge. It was amusing to watch them falling and tumbling over each other, and the one mother joined in the fun.


My brother-in-law, Kevin, was busy filming them when another car pulled up front of us, blocking any chance of good shots. We were put out somewhat, but we had been around the park for several years and one gets used to the selfish attitude of some individuals.

We moved off to the side of the other parked cars and by chance got an even better shot of the mother and one cub playing.

We had more than our fair share of elephants and buffalo passing one of the waterholes, and we took a postcard-worthy shot.

We all know elephants push trees over, but it’s the first time in hundreds of visits to the Kruger that I have actually seen it happen in front of me. Wow, is all I can say.We stopped at one of the dams and watched the young ellies playing in the water while the older ones hung around on the outskirts.

One was tugging at a branch on a tree with his trunk and shaking it quite hard.

At first, I thought he was trying to get some fruit to fall to the ground but he then backed off a little and stepped in close to the tree, and shoved until it fell down. Then he and a few of the others start eating the top branches by the mouthful.

We saw another herd cross the road from a dry riverbed to the other side, but there was one taking his time, so I pulled up in front of his path.

Mountains, bush plains and tropical forests are all part of the landscape. Picture: John A. Grant


He continued to munch away on a mouthful of grass and we took a few pictures, but then he decided to cross over - one, two, three steps and he was on top of us and the ladies were screaming at me, “Go, go, go”, which we did, at speed.

But he wasn’t fazed by any of it and carried on over the road and down the embankment to join the rest of the herd.

With our adrenalin still pumping, Jackie smacked my arm and pointed out that we had been talking about how dangerous the elephants could be and here I was, flirting with their lives.

But we weren’t in any real danger. My trusty chariot carried us off in good time out of harm’s way.

Another weekend has come and gone, so it’s back to the grindstone until our next trip, which can’t come soon enough for me.

Once the Kruger has bitten, you can’t get enough.