We have generator power in the event of Loadshedding

A Big 5 encounter on a single Kruger safari drive

The Kruger National Park Big 5 – Elephant, Lion, Leopard, Rhino and Buffalo are always on the bucket-list of visitors to South Africa’s iconic game reserve.

But even though it’s one of the best places on the continent for Big 5 sightings, you actually never know what you are going to see when you set out on a Kruger safari. Most Kruger Gate Hotel guests will have sightings of Elephant on a game drive. Both Lion and Leopard are frequently spotted as our trained rangers know where to be looking for them. But of course, there are no guarantees in the wilderness where animals roam free, and that’s a big part of the exciting anticipation when you set off on Kruger National Park game drives.

One of our rangers, Gibson recently gave us this account of a single morning game drive that far exceeded guests’ hopes: “We were through the Paul Kruger Gate by 5:15am and I had a couple from the UK on the vehicle who had visited us the year before and had been on 11 game drives during that stay. We set out on the main road from the gate, and it was pretty quiet for the first half hour but once we turned onto the Watergat Road we came across two cheetahs on the road.  It was a beautiful sighting, and the UK guests were very pleased because that is one animal that had not see on their previous visit.  It wasn’t long before we came across a pride of lions relaxing at the riverbend, which was another excellent sighting, and we spent a while watching them.  Luck was on our side this morning because just 3 kilometres further down the road we saw a pack of the rare Wild Dog.  Wild Dogs range so widely you can never anticipate when you might see them. After this excitement we moved on to see plenty of Elephant, Giraffe and Kudu and make a stop for breakfast before starting to wind our way back towards the gate. Back on Kruger Road, it wasn’t long before we had a clear, close view of a Leopard sitting in a tree.  The next Big 5 sighting did surprise me – we came across two White Rhinos at the roadside!  Due to poaching, their numbers are very low and so unfortunately, we encounter Rhino very rarely and we were very fortunate to see them.  I asked my guests if they were content with their sightings and they responded: ‘if only we could find buffaloes, then we would have the Big 5 in one game drive’. Now, it’s not easy to just find buffaloes as there aren’t patterns to how they roam.  But believe it or not, just four kilometres from the Paul Kruger Gate, there was a big herd of Buffalo and we had to wait on the road for them to cross which took about 15 minutes.  So, it was a not just a successful Big 5 game drive, we also saw Cheetah and Wild Dogs!  You couldn’t ask for more, and the guests were just thrilled.”