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Rhino Traffic Jams – The Tenacious Travelers

Location: Kruger National Park, South Africa, Africa

January 23, 2011

So, after just getting a new visa the week before I had been told I was off again this time to get a Business visa as the paper work for it had just come through and I needed it for my residency. Luckily this time it was off to South Africa.

This time Anke had to go to get a new 30day stamp and Kelly and Aubrey had to go to get a new visa as well. So, we all went together in Anke’s car to Nelspruit the closet major South African city. It only took about three hours to get there and since it was in a car it was very easy. We were soon there but because we left late the embassy was already closed so we headed for the hostel.

We went out for a nice meal and then went and watched Gulliver’s Travels at the cinema, it was nice to go out for a movie again. After we went back to the hostel and had a few drinks then bed.

The next day we dropped off the passports at the embassy first think in the morning, they would be ready in the afternoon so no problems. We had convinced Anke to spend one night in Kruger National Park. So, we did a bit of shopping for the trip and for some other things you can get in Maputo or are expensive.

We met Tom a British guy who was traveling around and wanting to go to the park, so he tagged along to help with the costs. We picked up the passports and then headed to the park which sits on the border with Mozambique so it’s in the right direction.

We got to one of the park gates and filled out the paperwork to get in. Then I got to take over driving which was great. No, the gate we were at was a bit far from the camp we were going to stay out and it was late, and the camp gates close at 18:00 so we had to hurry a bit and weren’t expecting to see much right then.

So, within five minutes in the park we came around the corner and there was an elephant on the road in front of us and another in the bush. So, we went past them slowly with the elephant in one lane and us in the other. Then we saw a rhino around a few more corners. The whole trip between the gate and the camp took an hour and we saw more elephants and rhinos, Warthogs, hyenas and of course tons of impala. It was a great hour-long drive with the animals being really close to the car.

The camp was nice, like a motel really, restaurant, petrol station, store, and of course the sleeping area. We stayed in a couple little round huts, everything you needed and comfortable.

Everyone except Anke (who had been before and was just going to stay at the camp) got up at 4:30 and got into the car to go since we were told it was the best time for sightseeing. We were reward for a sacrifice of sleep. Around about the second corner out of the camp there was a Leopard on the road it was a good distance down the road, but we watched it walk up the road for five mins before returning to the bush. We were very happy as they are apparently very rare to see.

We spent the next seven hours driving slowly around the park and saw tons of elephants and rhinos. We came around one corner and there were six rhinos on the road completely block it, there was not much to be done, we had to turn around and go the other way. We came to a T junction and had to wait for a whole troop of baboons pass by, the papa one not liking how close we where and made us back up. We stopped calling out impala sightings since they were far too plentiful. Unfortunately, we didn’t get to see any lions, but we had a great time in the park and I would go back to try and find the lions.

We got to see Giraffes, Zebras and wildebeests on the way out of the park and were even treated to a Hippo grazing by the river as we left the park. We said goodbye to Tom was heading further south then headed back to Maputo and were home in about 2.5 hours. A fantastic little trip and I got to see a part of a new country.

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