Early the following day, we were ready for our self-drive in the Kruger National Park, entering through the Numbi Gate. Our official safari at the Inyati Game Lodge, Sabi Sands Game Reserve would start the following day.
Since I was writing an article on the Kruger Shalati Train on the Bridge, the newest luxury accommodation in the Park, I had organized a tour of the facility. Justice showed the Train and the Bridge House rooms, and the swimming pools. The view from the deck on the Train is stunning.
Before we left, the staff spoilt us with a delicious fruit cocktail.
We saw numerous elephants, giraffes, impalas, buffalo, and baboons during the game drive! We had a great time searching for the animals, and time went much too fast!
We exited the park at the Kruger Gate and booked into the conveniently located Kruger Gate Protea Hotel. This is beautiful accommodation. The rooms are on a raised level so that the walkways run through the treetops.
At dinner that night, we had quite a thrill to see two bushbabies in the rafters of the outdoor restaurant.
The following morning, we had another quick drive through the Kruger, enjoying the quiet of the bird hide at Lake Panic. Although enclosed, it is quite a thrill walking through the bush to the hide. We observed various water birds and loved the hippos snorting up close.
We clocked in at Inyati Game Lodge, a private game reserve in the world-famous Sabi Sands Game Reserrve or Sabi Sand Wildtuin. The rooms were beautiful, the outdoor dining area superb, and the service excellent. Our game drives with guide and manager, Keith, and tracker, Tuso, were fantastic.
We were very fortunate to see a few leopards on a kill in a tree while a hyena skulked nearby. We also saw a pride of ten lions, some sleeping and some chasing each other on a hill. Another highlight was three young elephants diving in a dam and then frolicking underwater, playfully wrestling each other.
The days passed too fast, and it was time to catch our flight to Johannesburg. The rush to get to the new Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport in time for the flight is another story – one that will be in my upcoming book Boomers, Baggage, and Backpacks. Watch this space!