It has been quite a while since I have had a chance to sit down and put my fingers to the keys, and I have neglected telling everyone what is going on. During October, we returned to South Africa for another adventure. This time we spent two weeks in Kruger National Park.
What an amazing journey!
Well it was amazing except for the LONG, LONG flight. We left Seattle just before midday on Friday, and arrived in Johannesburg at about 6pm on Saturday. That works out to be about 26 hours in coach. I would give anything to fly First Class on these trips, but it would require donating body parts or mortgaging our house to be able to stretch out, use real silverware, enjoy better food, and be able to really sleep.
Since our flight arrived late in the day we stayed at the Garden Court Inn near the airport again. We have found it to be easy to get to, reasonably priced and a very tasty morning breakfast buffet. After getting a good nights sleep, we headed back to the airport to pick up our SUV and then headed east towards Kruger.
After about five hours and a couple of stops we drove through the Numbi Gate and headed towards our first destination Lower Sabie. Lower Sabie is 95km (59 miles) from the gate, and the speed limit is 50km, which logically would take one a little over an hour to navigate. However, Kruger distances cannot be judged in a normal way. Because of game sightings and roadblocks (whether from traffic jambs or from Animals on the road) time and distance are not easily linked. The Kruger website says the time from Numbi gate to Lower Sabie is 3.5 hours. I had calculated we would arrive at camp around 5pm, an hour before the gate closes. Being outside of a camp after the gates close is strictly forbidden and being caught outside can result in fines of several hundred dollars each. Five rolled around and we were still many kilometers from our destination. I pushed the limit and drove slightly over the speed limit and made it to camp at 6:05pm. The ranger at the gate looked at our pass and waved us through with a stern word about gate closing time.
This was the first sunset back in Kruger taken shortly before arriving at camp.