White rhinoceros and her weeks-old baby.
Elephant family in Kruger National Park.
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Kruger National Park, a wildlife park the size of Wales, is like the best Easter egg hunt you’ve ever been on.
Remember as a kid when you would lift a pillow in the living room and find an egg, or look under a bush in the yard and find another? You never knew where the next would be, but you just kept looking everywhere.
That is a small example of what driving around in Kruger National Park is like. One minute you see rocks and brush, and then you go down a valley or over a ridge and there’s a herd of elephants, or a lion chasing an impala or a baby white rhinoceros. It’s unbelievable. It’s incredible.
During a three-day weekend, I saw four of the park’s “Big Five”: lion, elephant, rhinoceros, water buffalo. I did not see a leopard, the remaining biggie in the Big Five.
I also saw baboons, giraffe, impala, kudu, warthogs, zebra, crocodiles and hippopotamuses.
I most enjoyed watching the colony of about 15 baboons and later the herd of 20 elephants interacting in their natural environment. I couldn’t do anything except stare.
Flying into the park was a little reminiscent of scenes from Jurassic Park. When you enter the camps, with their big, electrified gates that close promptly at 6 p.m., and when you stand on the balcony of the restaurant and see an elephant trudge by, and when you realize that electrified fences surround the camp, you get even more of a feeling of Jurassic Park.
Dusk at the camps in the park is the time for the most fantastic, loud symphony of bird songs you’ve ever heard. It truly is the Symphony of a Thousand. (They definitely have Mahler beat.)
I’m not sure if I can ever go to a zoo again.