Photography, Travel

South Africa Trip 2004 – Day 6

01/04/2004 the 6th day of my trip and the 4th of the safari, the last day spent in Kruger.

We set off a little later than yesterday as we had to break camp and pack the truck.  Went for a last look at the wildlife while heading to the gate out of the park.  Today was the best day so far for spotting animals and got some great photographs mainly of elephants and water buffalo.  We had 2 close encounters on this drive.  Coming over a hill into a small valley, we encountered a large herd of water buffalo on both sides of the road.  We had to stop to make sure it was safe to drive through and more and more of them kept coming over the hill opposite.  Eventually the road cleared a bit and we were able to proceed without spooking the animals.  Later we encountered a small group of elephants who were making use of the road and walking right towards us.  Again we had to stop the truck and wait for them to pass.  They came very close and passed us on the road, it was amazing to see them so close but a little scary.  Later on we also saw some rhino.

When we reached the gate out of the park, we had to say goodbye to 2 of our group who were only along for the 4 day trip.  A car was waiting to take them back to Johannesburg while we pressed on to our next destination: Swaziland.  Crossing the border into Swaziland took a while but earned us some new stamps in our passports.  The truck had to be taken through separately so we all got off and crossed the border on foot.

Swaziland is very green and wet, a lot colder than Kruger park despite not being very far away.  We drove to the campsite where we would be staying along a very windy and bumpy dirt track which did not really seem suitable for the large vehicle we were using.  The campsite is in the middle of a nature reserve and we drove past numerous impala and zebra on the way there.  Because the weather looks dodgy, we have rented a cabin rather than put the tents up.  This is a luxury after the last few days under canvas and everyone enjoyed sleeping on a bed.

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