We’ve just signed a form that indemnifies SANParks in case we’re gored by a buffalo, tossed by an elephant or eaten by a lion. And now we’re setting off on a bush walk in the middle of the Kruger National Park, not far from Satara. Are we mad?
Sonnyboy Htlatywayo is full of smiles. One minute he’s like a schoolboy with a high-pitched giggle, the next he emits a deep-throated chuckle. But we’re embarking on serious business tonight: a sunset drive from Satara camp in the Kruger National Park.
Bram Stoker and his book Dracula have a lot to answer for. I reckon he’s a large part of the reason that bats are the most misunderstood animals on the planet. Let's explode some myths about bats.
Here’s a little creature, just four centimetres long as a full-grown adult. Aah, sweet. He’s highly gregarious, living with his chums in colonies of up to 2500, and he feeds mainly on small flying insects. He sounds charming and friendly, quite the sort of harmless little fellow you’d like your kid to have as a pet.
We take a drive to the Makhadzi picnic site in the Kruger National Park, near the border with Mozambique, and unexpectedly come face to face with a bunch of colourful – some might say off-colour – rascals from days gone by.
We’ve been out looking for game north of Kruger National Park’s Letaba camp for a couple of hours and there hasn’t been much action. Now we’re hot and tired and hungry, so what can we do about it?
‘Sometimes there’s lots of game, but sometimes there’s just lots of trees,’ warns field guide Cecilia Phophi as she prepares to take us on a sunset drive from Letaba in the northern section of the Kruger National Park. We’re hoping it’s not a tree day.
Driving through the communities along the borders of the Kruger National Park is something a lot of travellers hate to do. But if you take your time, you might come away with a new outlook on life.
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I'm an independent travel writer and book editor with a passion for Africa - anything from African travel, people, safari and wildlife to adventure, heritage, road-tripping and slow travel.