Kruger's animal heroes
The non-human residents of Kruger put on a marvelous show for visitors from KZN who returned after a decade. Alison Gillitt from Hillcrest reminds us that there are many unsung heroes who share their home with us.
We recently returned from a long-awaited visit to Kruger. What a wonderful place! Why on earth have we waited almost 10 years to go back there since our last visit? It was fantastic to see that something is working here in sunny SA. The facilities were second to none, the staff were mostly exceptional, and the animals gave us a wonderful show! We loved seeing the very active education programmes in action.
A massive thank you to the non-human residents of Kruger for putting on such a marvelous show. Mr Goliath Heron – I hope you eventually managed to get some lunch after the Fish Eagles kept stealing yours. In three hours you didn’t succeed, I hope you won eventually, you gave us some wonderful photo opportunities however. All the moms, including Mrs Lioness, and Mrs Leopard – I hope your babies and cubs are growing well and healthy, thank you for sharing them with us. To the Wild Dog – thank you for timing your trip across the road to fit in with us, it must have taken quite some co-ordination. Mr Lion, thank you for inviting us into your home near Satara, and giving us a three-hour insight into your life with your four lovely ladies, you are indeed a lucky lion. Mr Hyena and family – apologies for disturbing your morning doze on the road, we did sit there very quietly, and you didn’t seem too perturbed, so hopefully you still had a good rest.
Of course there are also the unsung heroes of Kruger, the ones that a lot of people aren’t interested in, but for us cause just as much excitement because no one else is interested. The three turtles sunning themselves at Lake Panic, each one an identical copy of the one in front; the black collared barbet who was so cheeky and unafraid of my camera, all the duiker, who all stood quietly and let us take photos of them; the banded mongoose who introduced us to his family on the side of the road, where the ground was literally alive with them all skittering about, and chattering to each other.
So yes, we will be tackling the human element in Kruger again in the not too distant future, the animal population make it so worth while. Maybe in the meantime the human element will have taken the hint and realized that there is a great deal of etiquette involved in visiting the park. Please stick to it.
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