Africa Travel Blog (9/8/22): Arriving in Kruger National Park

In addition to the Africa travel blog updates, I will be making throughout my trip, please make sure you are following me on Instagram and my other social media accounts to see all of the exciting photos and videos that I post of our safaris and other adventures in South Africa, Zimbabwe, and Botswana!


Today marks the first real day of our trip, and I couldn’t be more excited. We were picked up at our hotel in Johannesburg by our safari tour operator and we made the long drive from Johannesburg up to Kruger National Park. We will be doing most of our exploring within the Central Kruger area, with most of our game drives happening within the Balule Private Game Reserve and the area of Kruger National Park around Orpen-Satara-Nwandedzi. If you aren’t already, make sure you are following me on Instagram and Facebook as I will be posting a ton of video and photo highlights from our safari game drives.

Our tour company picked us up at our hotel in Johannesburg this morning to take us roughly 5 hours North of the city to the Central Kruger National Park area.

For those who aren’t familiar with the Greater Kruger National Park area, it is an absolutely massive land area that includes both the Kruger National Park and private game reserves.

We are staying at a lodge in the Balule Nature Reserve. We picked this lodge because it includes game drives both in the reserve (which are limited to the lodges in the reserve) and within Kruger National Park.

In my opinion, this is advantageous because it lets you both experience safari both in Kruger National Park and the reserves. While Kruger National Park is known for its tremendous density of wildlife, safari vehicles are not allowed off the roads in Kruger. Within the bordering game reserves (which share unfenced borders with the park), safari vehicles are allowed to go off the roads. This increases the chances of wildlife sightings.

After arriving at our lodge, we checked into our room and then went on a sunset safari. While we have yet to see lions, leopards, or wild dogs, we have seen plenty of elephants (including babies), giraffe, buffalo, hippos, crocodiles, zebra, snd some very close-up encounters with white rhinos.

When we finished up our first game drive of the trip, we were treated to an incredible bush braii. If you are unfamiliar with the term braii, it is the South African equivalent of what we call a barbecue in the United States.

It was an incredible experience eating outdoors in the African bush at night. We even had some hyenas and a honey badger stop by looking for some dinner. What an experience!!

That’s it for today’s update! Tomorrow we are back on safari at 5:45am. Until then!

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