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Stuck in the Kruger (part 2)

Day 2 in the Kruger National Park is another fun chase for animals not yet seen and, particularly, the remaining three Big Five.

While Guy, binoculars at the ready, takes the game of spotting game very seriously, Max only rouses interest when an animal has already been seen, a sometimes tricky affair in dense, albeit dry, forests of bush and thorn. Since Leanne is driving, we strategically position Guy behind her to keep a close watch on the right side of the road and I take responsibility of the left side.

It doesn't take us long to feel rewarded with a pair of White Rhinos moving slowly but steadily through the thicket. Hard to get a clear picture but we get excited nonetheless. We didn't know yet that we would see several others in the course of the day, much better and much closer!

To spot lion and leopard, the missing Big Five in our tick list, we have summoned a clever phone app to our aid, which prompts spotters to share the location of their sightings. Excited as we are by these rhinos, we think of using the app to allow other tourists to admire these splendid creatures but we know too well how their horns make them the target of heavy poaching, even in these well-guarded boundaries. We refrain, with yet another sad thought for our treatment of nature.

At the end of a gorgeous - though feline-free afternoon - we reach a waterhole just before exiting the park. Towards it, several animals are congregating at the same time and it feels just like the beginning of an animal joke: "An elephant, a rhino, a kudu bull and a hippo walk into a bar. A heron watches on..."

To be continued...

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