Travelling in the Time of Covid – Birthday in Kruger National Park

Today we sleep in late – well late by Kruger standards. It’s my birthday and I can sleep late if I want to! We leave camp at 6:00 am and take a slow drive to Mopani. The Earl says he’s sent messages to the animals and has told them to come out and wish me. I am just happy to be in my most favourite place in the world on my birthday. This might be the last time I spend a birthday in Kruger as we are seriously thinking of changing our annual visit to a cooler month. Last year is was not this hot! We have air con in the car and the caravan and this helps us cope but when you have to do anything strenuous like chop wood or pack up and set up the heat can be exhausting. We might just try May next time.

At six o’clock it is already 23 degrees C. I am wearing a summer dress and don’t even need to throw a shawl over my shoulders as I usually do for the first part of the drive. Most of the creatures have received the Earl’s message and the first to greet me are the impala. There are still very few lambs.

At Nhlangini Dam view point the hippos are excited to see me. They snort and grunt a Happy Birthday greeting.

The fish eagle is a bit shy and won’t come too close

As we continue our drive we see the usual gang and are pleased that the Tsessebe are not too shy.

Oh – It’s your birthday? Hope you have a good day.
Sorry to delay you – but we wanted to show you how pleased we are to see you
Hi there – Happy Birthday!
Sorry I’m late – I getting your gift right now
This will take a little while
Where are you little fish?
Wait a minute – What’s this here?
Just for you – a nice fresh fish – I know you love sushi

After receiving this great gift we continue to Shipandani Hide and watch the buffalo come down to drink. They give me some lovely birthday entertainmnet.

They are not afraid of the crocodile
Even when he is inches from their noses. They know they’re too big for him to tackle

Breakfast at The Fish Eagle Terrace is lovely as usual. My phone does not stop pinging with messages from friends and family. I appreciate every one of them, thank you. My birthday surprises are all the creatures I see.

A lesser-striped swallow
A hippo out of the water
And a variety of birds –

On our return trip the temperature rises even more and by the time we get back at one o’clock it is 39 degrees C.

We do some chores, take a nap and then go for a swim but do not go out again in the afternoon. At six o’clock we go to the restaurant for a celebratory dinner.

We are surprised to hear German spoken at the table next to us. “The borders must be open,” I say to the Earl. He goes over to chat to the four young men. Yes, they are from Switzerland and are loving visiting South Africa and KNP. We have a lovely chat to them and encourage them to come back soon. They want to go fishing and the Earl tells them exactly which charter company to contact. Next time they need to visit us in Struisbaai so the Earl can take them himself.

It is a lovely end to our day. As I write I can hear rain on the caravan roof. How welcome it is! Let’s see what surprises tomorrow brings.

9 thoughts on “Travelling in the Time of Covid – Birthday in Kruger National Park

  1. Anne

    Kruger is a marvellous place to be for your birthday – it clear was a happy one! I agree with you about the heat though. On the rare occasions we get there it is usually around August/September. I hope your next birthday – wherever that happens to be – will be as fun-filled as this one.

    Liked by 1 person


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