We have planned a short visit to Kruger National Park to celebrate my birthday during the first week of February 2012. You will all remember the devastating floods that hit Kruger and the neighboring areas during the second half of January. We had some decisions to make….. Do we cancel our reservation or do we go ahead and hold thumbs that the damage would be not too extensive and we would still be able to have a nice time. I must confess that I normally have a nice time in the South African Parks. Full credit goes to the SA National Parks Board for the way in which they handled the situation, evacuated stranded tourists and re-opened those areas of the Park that were not too damaged in the floods.
In total the sightings were not as good as I am used to but it is not clear if this was due to the tall grass or in fact a result of the floods. What was clear was that the vegetation in the riverbeds themselves were washed away and we saw almost no elephants grazing on the banks of the rivers. On the positive side (for me…) was that a lot of visitors probably cancelled their reservations as it was very quiet. This meant that we could spend some quality time with some very special sightings with no or very few other people around.
It is only when you see the result of the floods yourself that you realize what really happened and how scary it must have been for those caught in it and how hard Sanparks had to (and still have to) work to repair everything. This is some evidence of the extent of the damage.
Our lovely river fronting chalet in Lower Sabie rest camp
We had a wonderful few days in the surrounding area with some exciting sightings including this leopard with a sore eye early one morning on the road to Skukuza and a lion family.
This was followed by some other feathered ones, some in the water fishing and others in the trees.
and a charging elephant bull to close with