I went to Africa for the first time more than 30 years ago, and I was immediately hooked. Now I try to get there every year for a mind-clearing vacation — no work, just enjoying the countryside and the animals. This year I linked with two old friends of mine to go to South Africa. We spend most of our time in the Kruger National Park and its environs.
I’ve been to Kruger before (about 20 years ago), and I must say that it’s great as ever. In fact, we ended up seeing a greater variety of wildlife this time, compared to my previous visit. Here are some of the highlights.
All photos (c) Peter Turchin, CC-BY
A male waterbuck
Hyena using a “toothbrush”
Silently drifting from behind a bush…
These guys are so photogenic!
Impala are so common that their sightings are soon referred to as “just impala”. Which does a disservice to this beautiful creature.
Wild dogs were definitely a highlight of the trip. First time I saw them in the wild!
A Bateleur eagle
Ground hornbills are impressive birds. This one is about 1 m long.
The King needs no introduction.
Waiting for their turn
You can tell this is a male because the top of his horns are bold.
This big Kudu was killed by a leopard. Now it’s worked over by hyenas.
The leopard is still hanging around, but it is unlikely that the hyenas will leave any meat for him.
Another leopard. There are actually three leopards and three hyenas hanging around the Kudu carcass.
This hyena is about to bite off the Kudu’s rib. It sounds like a gunshot — hyenas have incredibly powerful jaws.
Very early morning. Lions are looking for a place to lie down for the day.
Here’s a live male Kudu. Amazing creatures.
Success! (Yellow-billed Stork)
Deep in thought…
A baby rhino
Buffalo eyesight is not that great…
I am late for my appointment… (a Black-Backed Jackal).
Last view of the Kruger