- ROUTE: Paul Kruger Gate / Skukuza / Sabie River / Paul Kruger Gate
- TIME: 4 hours with animal sightings traveling at 30 km/h
- DISTANCE: 83 km
- BIG 5?: Elephant, buffalo, rhino and lion
- Date: 02 October 2011
Yes, can you believe we actually saw that! It was a great moment for me and my guests that is for sure!!
We arrived at Paul Kruger around 14:00 for what we thought was going to be a lazy Sunday drive… We drove along the H11 for about 8km passing the S1 turn off and there, in the distance was a massive gathering of cars!! It could only be one of the cats or wild dog. We were not disappointed, lion!!
I found a spot in amongst the vehicles, and spotted the tell ‘tail’ black swish of one of the females tails. There were about 10 of them – sub adult males and females with their mothers and they were definitely on a mission, walking in single file with their heads up… I noticed in the distance that there was a small herd of impala eating and realised that, even if they were not intentionally hunting, they would make a go of them as lion, even in the heat of the day will take any opportunity that presents itself! So, parking at an angle as to make sure we did not give the lions an advantage we waited away from the ‘parking lot’ hoping to see one of natures gifts… After about 5 minutes the dominant male impala started becoming agitated and giving warning snorts, by now the other cars were nearly on us so I knew the lions were close! Then, after two sharp snorts the impala scattered and the lions charged the herd – two impala were taken down a few meters away from us as the cars had blocked them in… We couldn’t see much, but there was a young male impala right in front of us that was distracted and because of that, was nailed by one of the bigger lionesses right in front of us!!! It was like watching one of those 3D movies, but without the Roy Orbison glasses!! The lioness quickly subdued the impala and moved off behind a termite mound to catch her breath… It’s amazing to watch lions killing prey!
By now, there were so many vehicles around us that a decent sighting of the eating would have been impossible and nobody wants to be stressed in the park. So, we moved off and I told everyone that we would come back this way later and maybe catch a glimpse of the scavengers which would arrive shortly
Just a kind word for all you Kruger fanatics – we all love to see nature at her most dramatic, however we have to always put the animals first. Maybe it was Gods will, but the way I see it is that 2 impala lost their lives because people had taken away their escape route… Predators are very cunning and will use any and everything to give them an advantage. Let nature take her course at all times, your sighting will be worth it
Off we went, still alive with excitement after the kill!! We stopped off at Skukuza for a snack and then carried on up the H11, turning left onto the H1-2.
People sometimes call elephants the ‘grey ghosts’… I found out on the H1-2 river crossing why this is true – we crossed over the bridge and were scanning the surrounding vegetation as it is a favourite area for leopard. After crossing the bridge I looked in my rear view mirror and there, on the bridge was a bull elephant!! Now, before you comment, no, I did not have a beer at Skukuza!! Nature truly is a miracle
We carried on along the H1-2, spotting some impala, bushbuck and kudu still chatting away about our incredible sighting and making bets as to what scavengers would be there later. We turned right onto the H12 bridge over the Sabi River spotting some hippo and then right again on the H4-1 back to Skukuza.
The drive back along the H11 to the lion sighting was quiet… As we got to the exact spot that the lion had killed the impala there were no cars, vultures, hyena, jackal or rapters anywhere!! It was like it had been a movie!! Who knows what happened, but the lions had eaten and left in a hurry
We turned left onto the S1, making our way to Phabeni Gate. Along the way we spotted something very odd… A young bull elephant was standing on a koppie in a very awkward stance eating something??? It looked hilarious and we all had a good chuckle
Out Phabeni we went and what an afternoon we had been treated to!! You guys have to make time to go on a trip with us, it is well worth it!!