Kruger National Park, the first day

Aaaahhh SO exciting! Our very first safari! We woke up at 4:30 am to an horribly cold and dry weather, but ready for a great day!🙂 Our guide was Gavin, from Regent Safari, he picked us up at 5:30 and he was awesome all through out the day. We entered through a secondary Paul Kruger Gate (if I’m not mistaken) and while we waited to get inside, we saw a few people having their liqueur  (many bottles of Johnnie Walker’s mostly) destroyed prior to entering. I wonder why people even take that much alcohol into a safari…

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Aaaahhh quanta ansiedade! Nosso primeiro safari! Nós acordamos às 4:30 em uma madrugada horrivelmente fria e seca, mas prontos para um dia maravilhoso! Nosso guia foi o Gavin, do Regent Safari, ele nos pegou no hotel às 5:30 e ele foi show durante o dia todo. Nós entramos por um portão secundário do Paul Kruger Gate (se não me engano) e enquanto esperávamos para entrar no parque, vimos algumas pessoas tendo suas bebidas destruídas antes de entrar (várias garrafas de Johnnie Walker na maioria). Eu fiquei imaginando porque será que o povo leva tanto alcóol para um safari…

Dust… dust everywhere!

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Poeira… poeira para todo lado!

The first thing we saw were guess what? Impalas, obviously! The guide wasn’t even going to stop, but we (dumbasses that we were) asked him to. We were all: “aawwwnnn so cuuuteeee”, but one hour into the park and we were sharing the guide’s “Meh, Impalas” reaction to the overwhelming quantity we saw.

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A primeira coisa que vimos foi, adivinha o quê? Impalas, claro! O guia não ia nem parar, mas nós (tontos que somos) pedimos para que parasse. Nós todos ficamos: “aaaawwwnnn que fofooosss”, mas em uma hora de parque nós estávamos compartilhando do desinteresse “Meh, Impalas”  do guia devido à quantidade imensa de impalas que têm no parque.

Then we saw some female Kudus.

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Depois vimos algumas fêmas de Kudu.

One thing I must admit is that I thought the park would have a more savannah like landscape, I was very much mistaken. It’s very bushy, which posed a certain difficulty in foccusing the animals, but luckily I got the majority sharp enough.

One of the bigs we saw first was a family of Rhinos, far faaaar away almost hidden in the bushes. But it made for a lovely photo🙂

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Uma coisa que eu devo admitir é que eu pensei que o parque tivesse uma paisagem mais no estilo savana, e eu estava muito errada. É bem fechada de arbustos espinhosos (acácia – sweet thorn), o que fez difícil conseguir focar os animais, mas felizmente eu consegui a maioria das fotos bem nítidas.

Um dos grandes que vimos primeiro foi uma família de rinocerontes, longe looooonge e quase escondidos pelos arbustos. Mas a foto ficou bem fofa🙂

The guides, they communicate with each other through radio, so they tell each other where some animals can be seen. After the rhinos we headed towards a road where there was a female leopard finishing up an impala she had hunted the previous day, under a tree and surrounded by bush. Even hidden and barely able to see her, we were thrilled. Lucky of us to be able to spot one, since they are one of the hardest to see at the park. What a beautiful animal.

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Os guias comunicam-se entre si por rádio, então eles avisam onde alguns animais podem ser vistos. Depois dos rinocerontes nos dirigimos a uma estrada onde havia uma leopardo fêmea terminando uma impala que ela havia caçado no dia anterior, embaixo de uma árvore e cercada por arbustos. Mesmo escondida e mal dando para vê-la, ficamos muito animados. Muita sorte podermos ver um, já que os leopardos são um dos mais difíceis de se ver no parque. Que animal lindo!

Some time had passed in the waiting to see the leopard, so after a few photos of the beautiful cat we headed to the Skukuza Camp to have breakfast. On the way we saw some bird by a dry river bank and a really close by (the road) elephant. At the camp there were some blue birds ( Cape Glossy Sterlings), really cute food stealers that nobody was paying any mind to, so many of them were there.

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Algum tempo havia passado enquanto esperávamos para ver o leopardo, então depois de algumas fotos da gatinha linda nos dirigimos ao Skukuza Camp para tomar café da manhã. No caminho vimos um pássaro em um rio seco e um elefante bem perto da estrada. No acampamento de Skukuza haviam alguns pássaros azuis ( Cape Glossy Sterlings), ladrõezinhos de comida muito bonitos mas que de tantos que havia por toda volta, ninguém lhes dava atenção alguma.

I don’t know how to smile for photos anymore! Dork me😛

After breakfast, the guide learned that there were two lionesses by the river bank nearest to the Skukuza camp. So to them we headed. And on the way we saw baboons, hippos, buffalos, male kudus, a cute steembok (the smallest antilope at the Kruger Park) and impalas, always impalas.

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Depois do café da manhã, o guia ficou sabendo de duas leoas perto do rio que fica mais perto do acampamento. Então a elas nos dirigimos. No caminho vimos babuínos, hipopótamos, búfalos, kudus macho, um steembok lindinho (o menor antílope no parque) e impalas, sempre impalas.

I can’t get over their ugliness, specially the babies.

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Babuíno é um bicho muito feio, misericórdia! Os filhotes principalmente.

I though some action was going to happen, but no. They didn’t care about each other at all…

In the jeep with us, there was a really nice black couple. The girl said she had seen a lioness walking around the river bank. We waited a little, saw nothing (there are some rocks by the river bank that really resemble lions drinking water) and moved on.

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Eu achei que ia rolar um stress entre os dois, mas não. Eles estavam nem aí um pro outro…

No jeep conosco havia um casal de negros muito simpático. A garota em um momento disse que viu uma leoa andando pelo leito do rio. Esperamos um pouco, vimos nada (tem algumas pedras pelo leito que se parecem muito com leões bebendo água) e continuamos em frente.

How do you know you’ve reached the spot where the lionesses are? The cars…

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Como saber se chegamos ao lugar onde estão as leoas? Os carros…

The road was packed! People wouldn’t move and we stayed over one hour to get a peek of the lionesses ears. I saw nothing else, just the ears. Seriously, people were under the then hot sun (it was around 1 p.m.) for that. See, lions are lazy cats, and when the sun is hot, they’ll just lay down and sleep. Good luck trying to really see them. So Gavin, our guide, turned around, it was lunch time for us.

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A estrada estava fechada, lotada de carros. O povo não se movia e ficamos mais de uma hora para dar uma olhadinha nas orelhas de uma das leoas. Sério, foi só o que eu vi. As pessoas estavam debaixo do sol quente (era por volta da 1 da tarde, o sol estava quente nesse horário). Leões são gatos preguiçosos, quando o sol está quente, se deitam e dormem. Boa sorte tentando realmente vê-los. Então o Gavin, nosso guia, resolveu voltar ao acampamento, estava na hora do nosso almoço.

As we were going by the river bank, we passed exactly by the spot the black girl had said she had seen a lion and there were some cars stopped there. Cars stopped = animals. Gavin asked one of the drivers what they had seen and the driver answered: “Nothing, but some people said they saw a lion”. As he was saying that, some giraffes that were drinking water suddenly became alert, started running, and crossed the road in front of us. There was something “wrong”.

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Enquanto voltávamos pelo leito do rio, passamos exatamente pelo ponto onde a garota negra havia dito que havia visto um leão e haviam carros parados. Carros parados = animais. Gavin perguntou a um dos motoristas o que haviam visto e o motorista respondeu: “Nada, mas algumas pessoas disseram que viram uma leoa” . Foi só ele dizer isso que algumas girafas que estavam bebendo água de repente ficaram alertas, começaram a correr e cruzaram a estrada bem na nossa frente. Algo estava “errado”.

And there she was, the gorgeous!

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E lá estava ela, a linda!

As she started to dart off, Gavin turned around like a crazy man and he sped off waaayyyy ahead of the lioness. Everyone one in the jeep was screaming: “Nooooo!!! She’s back theeeeeeeeeeereeeee!!” and Gavin stopped right in front of a male kudu. In no time she was spotted again and we were all like: “Oh, she’s coming for the kudu!!”. No sh*t, Sherlock! Super dumb us, mega sagacious Gavin, our hero! hehehe😉

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Quando ela começou a correr, o Gavin deu a volta como um louco e acelerou muuuuuuito à frente da leoa. Todos no jeep começaram a gritar: “Nããããããoooooo!!! Ela está lá atrááááásssss!!!!” e o Gavin parou bem na frente de um kudu. Não deu um minuto vimos a leoa novamente e nós, os smartão dissemos: “Ah, ela está atrás do kudu!!”. Não diga, Sherlock! Nós, super burraldos; Gavin, mega sagaz, nosso herói! ehehehe😉

Kudu looks around, but is not sure of what is going on…

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Kudu olha para os lados, mas não tem certeza do que está acontecendo. Já era…

As she approached, we couldn’t believe our luck: “OH MY GOD! SHE’S GOING TO KILL THE KUDU RIGHT IN FRONT OF US!!!”… but luck wouldn’t have us SO lucky… I’ll curse the monkey until the day I die, but yeah… a darned monkey shouted warning the kudu about the predator. The kudu ran away, but ran in the wrong direction, just to face two other lionesses that were lurking on the other side of the bushes.

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 Enquanto ela se aproximava, nós não acreditávamos na nossa sorte: “MEU DEUS DO CÉU! ELA VAI MATAR O KUDU BEM NA NOSSA FRENTE!!!” Mas a sorte decidiu que nós não seríamos tão sortudos assim. Eu vou amaldiçoar o macaco até o dia que eu morrer, mas é… um macaco do cacete avisou o kudu sobre o predador. O kudu fugiu, mas fugiu para o lado errado pois deu de cara com duas leoas que estavam na espreita do outro lado dos arbustos.

It all happened so fast, and I’m guessing the bushes are to blame, or my lack of skill in foccusing amazing action, I couldn’t get a shot of the actual kill, but in my mind it’s strongly printed the image of the kudu legs in the air, a lion tail and lots of dust blown in the air. Amazing. After they captured the kudu, they finished the killing in front of us. Why, thank you for that, you beauties!😉  I’ll now bore you to death with a gazillion photos of the lionesses and I’m not even sorry!😉

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Tudo aconteceu muito rápido, e eu imagino que posso botar a culpa nos arbustos, ou na minha falta de habilidade para focar uma ação sensacional, mas não consegui fazer uma foto da hora da morte, mas na minha mente está firmemente impressa a imagem de pernas de kudu no ar, um rabo de leão e muita poeira levantada no ar. Sensacional! Depois que capturaram o kudu, elas terminaram de matá-lo na nossa frente. Hey, obrigada por isso, suas lindas! Agora eu vou aborrecê-los com gazilhões de fotos das leoas e eu não estou nem arrependida!😉

Kitty haz a happy! ^.^ Just look at the one strangling the kudu. SO cute!! I’m in love! ^.^

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Gatinha está feliz! ^.^ Olhem a leoa estrangulando o kudu. TÃO lindaaaa!! Estou apaixonada! ^.^

“NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!! WWHHHYYYYY!?!?!? You murdererssss!!!! >.< “

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“NÃÃÃÃÃÃOOOOOO!!!! POR QUEEEEEEE?!?!?! Suas assassinas!!!”

Har! I’m so funny!😛

As soon as blood was spilled, vultures started to show up.

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Assim que sangue foi derramado, urubus/abutrez começaram a aparecer.

After a while, the lioness strangling the kudu decided the kudu was dead, and joined the third lioness that was a bit far from the kill, while the one that stayed with the kudu started to open it. Later the two lionesses left, to go fetch the cubs, we pondered. They crossed the road right in front of us! Meanwhile, all the other cars were still waiting to see the ears of the lionesses under a bush hehehehe…

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Depois de um tempo, a leoa estrangulando o kudu decidiu que o bicho já estava morto e se juntou à outra leoa que estava um pouco mais afastada da caça, enquanto a outra que ficou com o kudu começou a abrir o bicho. Mais tarde um pouco, as duas leoas que haviam se afastado começaram a se aproximar de nós, para atravessar a estrada e buscar os filhotes. Enquanto isso, todos os outros carros estavam na fila interminável esperando para ver as orelhas de leoas deitadas embaixo de uns arbustos hehehehe…

Gavin kept saying how lucky we were! He drives around Kruger almost everyday of the year and gets to see a kill once a year tops. Also, their behavior was a bit unusual, at two in the afternoon it’s not a usual time for lions to hunt. Hey, didn’t I say Tatiana’s wish coin might have helped?😉

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Gavin não parava de falar que nós fomos muito sortudoes mesmo! Ele dirige pelo Kruger quase todos os dias do ano e vê um bicho caçando o outro uma vez por ano, no máximo! Além disso, o comportamento das leoas foi um pouco incomum, às duas da tarde não é um horário que costumam caçar. Não falei que a moedinha da sorte que a Tati jogou poderia ter ajudado?😉

Notice the one behind? She has MURDER in her eyes! Fierce!

As they left, so did we, to finally have lunch at 4 p.m.; After that we went back to the hotel in Hazyview.

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Reparem na leoa atrás. Ela tem ASSASSINATO em seus olhos! Poderosa!

Quando elas foram embora, nós também fomos para finalmente almoçarmos às 4 da tarde; Logo em seguida voltamos ao hotel em Hazyview.

The amazing group of our first day at the safari. Thank you so much everyone for the amazing day!🙂

The next post will be of the second day!😉

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O grupo maravilhoso do nosso primeiro dia no safari. Muitíssimo obrigada a todos pelo dia maravilhoso!🙂

próximo post é do segundo dia de safari!😉

 

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If anyone is interested in a safari, make sure to take a look at the Regent Safaris’ website and consider booking with them. They are awesome at what they do🙂

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36 Responses to Kruger National Park, the first day

  1. Rennan says:

    Eta Anna, que inveja viu!!
    Os bixo vc via de mto longee?? Q as fotos ficaram mtooo boass!!

    Bjos trem

    • Meu, é super barato ir pra lá! Junta uma grana e se joga!😉

      Tem alguns bichos que vimos beeem de longe, os rinocerontes principalmente. Mas demos sorte, maioria dos bichos vimos beeeem de perto🙂 Por isso as fotos ficaram legais…

  2. Guilherme says:

    Muito Bacana babs!! awesome shots!

    Parabéns pelas fotos! And.. the group was not so amazing.. i’m not in it..:P and there was no horse…rsrs
    see i’m also funny..

    Bjo!

  3. Tati Barro says:

    AWSOME day! Amazing pics!
    Btw, I think the gate was Numbi Gate. Maybe…

  4. Preston says:

    Oh, these are wonderful, Anna! What an adventure! I want to go to Africa so badly. I have friends in Namibia, but it’ll be years before I can get away, I think ;-/

  5. Chloe says:

    what an incredible trip! the photos are awesome, i feel like i was there with you

  6. Ken says:

    A wonderful set of safari pictures, AnnA, and a great commentary – you clearly had a superb day out!
    Ken xox

  7. Evelyn says:

    Uauuuuuuuuuuuuuuu… que fotos perfeitas Anna ^^ deve ter sido fantástico… espero que seu amigo Preto se inspire e marque nossa próxima viagem ahauhauahaua bjão

  8. Débora says:

    Ana!!! Incrível sua viagem, e as fotos então, são perfeitas!!! Fiquei encantada! Quero ver mais. Bjss

  9. Christopher says:

    Great entertaining commentary Anna, and of course thanks for the lovely hard to capture images.

  10. Sam says:

    Very interesting: you put a lot of work into this and you told the story extremely well, serious journalist quality. What you say about the crowds gathered around the lions is very interesting because it is a major bone of contention and many NPs in Africa are trying to prevent that from happening as it interferes with natural behaviour to such a massive extent. The story about the killing of the kudu is also interesting because it illustrates the degree to which national parks have become unnatural environments, and the massive spectator-sport interest. When you think about it it becomes a kind of snuff pornography and unreal as another fellow animal is being killed – as the warden said you were “lucky” to see the lions killing, when in fact no human being should really want to see a lion killing in the wild, firstly because it’s the death of a living thing, and secondly because it could just as easily be a human the lion is killing. If you were on foot in that park, that would be terrifying, so it kind of shows that the safari is sanitised entertainment that probably makes tourists feel too safe. But it’s not really safe because one tiny accident or some bizarre behaviour from an animal, or a tourist, at the wrong moment and very real and unpleasant death could be on the cards. I especially liked your photo of the giraffes crossing the road and the little dik-dik. Beautiful creatures. The giraffe photo said a huge amount about the whole safari concept. I think the lionesses must have been your favourite from this first day, but is that so, or did any of the others hold a special place in your heart? Anyhow, fascinating and insightful, and thought-provoking, and kudos to your friend for those two lovely portraits, especially the second one in which you look not only beautiful but also very happy. You really should submit something to a newspaper or magazine.

    • Hmmmmm hard to say which animal is my favorite. I think it would probably be the rhinos. I think they are absolutely beautiful and impressive. Second would be a tie between the giraffes and the lions.

      I didn’t know the national parks were trying to prevent that, it surely didn’t seem to be the case at the Kruger Park. For the Leopard we stayed in “queue” for a very long time as well, and in this case the poor one really seemed disturbed and restless.

      About the killing, I’m not particularly sensitive over that and I think it’s just life running its course. But yes, we were really close to many animals, the baboons for example, the jeep is open and if they snap they can attack at will. We’d be as good as dead or at the very least mutilated and that would be most unpleasant, I’ll agree with you. Some people do indeed feel too safe and accidents happen every now and then.

      And a magazine, I was told to publish all the photos from the trip, and then send the link to some key people in case they might be interested. We’ll see🙂

  11. Douglas Bauman says:

    wow, you really were lucky to see that kill. And what amazing photos, so we are lucky too. Thanks for sharing

  12. tom says:

    An amazing photo travelog Anna,
    way to bring home the glory of the bush!

  13. Tony C aka Jay says:

    wonderful and unique shots. not bad for an amateur bush photographer. you must have charmed them to pose for you. lifetime experience

  14. Haha, that is a standing joke with my husband and I. Our safari guide (whilst visiting Kruger) had little else in his vocabulary other than, “impala”. The whole time. Lots of impala, as you’re very aware!

  15. tchistorygal says:

    You recorded quite an exciting day for us. Thanks for sharing.

  16. tchistorygal says:

    You recorded quite an exciting day for us. Thanks for sharing. 🙂

  17. Ann Evans says:

    Hello Anna, great to read through the comments. It can be quite daunting on an open safari vehicle when a large male lion is walking straight towards the vehicle and you’re sitting next to the guide with no window, just like me the other week. I almost jumped into someones lap on the first row, but didn’t want to embarrass myself in front of our guests:-). Baboons are fascinating and intelligent animals and only become a threat when fed by visitors, sadly this happens often despite heavy fines. Recently, a colleague of ours had a Spanish lady on a private safari and he noticed people staring into the back of his OSV, pointing and laughing. He stopped, turned around and there sat this large male baboon with one arm casually around the guest and the other going through her handback. Matthew, the guide, without thinking quickly screamed at the baboon, clapping his hands wildly and off the animal jumped but not without his prize – an apple. This lovely Spanish lady thought this was quite normal and part of the safari adventure, but boy was she upset that her apple had been stolen. Kruger greetings from Ann at Regent Safaris

    • Hello Ann, We saw some turistic buses at the safari, completely closed and probably air conditioned… but I would NEVER go on such a vehicle to a safari… It would kill the fun of it and ruin the experience. There’s also the danger of an attack, I’ve seen some photos of lions on top of jeeps and cars, but I also think it’s so unlikely to happen, specially if unprovoked…

      but hmmm about the baboon, the spanish lady was actually very lucky. I was once shooting a model at a park in my city and there are a few wild animals there, like the black-capped capuchin monkey. A troup of monkeys, about 20 of them,started to dig into our bags. I ran to them, yelling and waving my arms, they were leaving, but when a male model started to do the same, the alpha male of the group got angry and hissed at us, and almost attacked him. Maybe the scent of another male got him angry? Either way, I’m not afraid of animals, but it’s “interesting” to be careful around them.

  18. Fabulous safari shots! And so lucky to see that Kudu kill. Good on Gavin, obviously a smart and experienced guide to lead you there. So sorry Day 2 did not reach the same heights.

  19. Dr. Paul A. Curto says:

    I think you may be able to sell National Geographic on a photoshoot if you manage it as well as this one!

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