Exploring Kruger National Park: The road more or less travelled

Exploring Kruger National Park: The road more or less travelled

Pug marks on tyre tracks (African Lion Panthera Leo)

Pug marks on tyre tracks (African Lion Panthera Leo)

‘Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,

And sorry I could not travel both

And be one traveler, long I stood

And looked down one as far as I could

To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,

And having perhaps the better claim,

Because it was grassy and wanted wear;

Though as for that the passing there

Had worn them really about the same, …

Giraffe Giraffa Camelopardalis (photo: Monto)

Giraffe Giraffa Camelopardalis (photo: Monto)


(extract from The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost)

The poem aptly describes our dilemma on which route to take. We are in the surrounds of the Skukuza Rest Camp  at Kruger National Park, South Africa in May 2015 where animals traverse roads and humans explore the wilderness (mostly from vehicles, of course!).

We are a group of six – Praveen, Bindu, Monto, Geethanjali, Siddharth and Kumaresh, with eight days to see as many animals and birds as we can before returning to India. Having hired a car, we browse sightings and best routes – many times, traversing the same roads does not yield similar results. On occasions, we ‘just’ drive around, and here we witness nature in her breath-taking glory.

The following is an abridged account of our personal experiences at Skukuza in the Kruger National Park, South Africa.

This superb view along the Sabine River, revealing the beauty and grandeur of the giraffe, strikes us as if we have just passed paradise.

One early morning, we are on road to see and sight more. A large group of gazelles (Gazella thomsonii) are waking up to the dawn. We stop to see a few males marching to the edge of the gathering suspiciously smelling something. After twenty minutes, nothing happens. Disappointed, we turn back to the road only to stop at the hair-raising sight of a leopard stalking the gazelles. A speeding car wrecks the scene.

Leopard Panthera pardus pardus (photo: Praveen)

Leopard Panthera pardus Pardus (photo: Praveen)

From the time we set eyes on this baby Bateleur eagle, we drive by every day to see if it has learnt to fly and left the nest – one day, it had.



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