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

Thursday 3 December 2020

When I was very young Max Bygraves sang a song about the feeling one had when coming to the end of eating a lollipop. That song always comes to mind when something I really enjoy comes to an end. All that is left after enjoying a lollipop is the stick.

But unlike the one which Max refers to, the stick I have left, holds all the memories of yet another amazing holiday in The Kruger National Park! Little did Mr Bygraves know that decades on, ‘stick,’ would have another meaning.

This morning was cool and overcast and the temperature the lowest it’s been since our arrival thirty-three days ago. However, 18 degrees C did not last long and by midday it was in the mid-twenties.

We left for our drive at quarter past six starting with the Matjulu Loop then made our way to Afsaal picnic site on the H3 for breakfast.

It was very quiet but a few creatures showed up to say farewell.

There were heaps of buffalo lounging about.

Goodbye – Thanks for visiting – Sorry for not getting up but it is rather early

The ellies were milling about too.

Nice meeting you – have a good trip home

All all along the loop there were a variety of vultures hanging about in trees.

Yes, we know. You’re going to miss the vulture trees. See you next year.
It ws great seeing you again!
I’m not just a pretty face! Come back soon!

We came upon a hyaena den where there were two adults and just one pup visible. The others must have been hiding.

You’re leaving tomorrow?
Say goodbye, Henry – remember your manners.
Sally Sabota sang us a farewell song

Zig-zags of zebra were grazing in the veld and several had young.

Zack, the smallest zebra baby we have ever seen was surprised to hear we were leaving so soon.

It was still chilly when we got to Afsaal Picnic site so we put on jackets to sit at the outdoor tables. They don’t do English breakfasts only toasted sandwiches using roosterkoek which I am not particularly fond of. It is a traditional South African bread baked on a grid over the coals. They are made from flour, yeast, salt, sugar, oil, and water, rolled into small balls of dough then brushed with butter and grilled until charred. We settled for wraps instead. The Earl had chicken mayo and I had a delicious one made with roasted aubergine (egg plant) and a few other ingredients.

The Earl looking a bit grumpy about the last African Bush Breakfast for a while.
Afsaal Picnic Site tries to keep a traditional African atmosphere
The Trading Store

On our return trip the rhinoceroses showed up to say goodbye.

We are not going to come out unless you promise to stay another day or two!
Excuse my two rude friends – Goodbye and please come again.
Mom says I must pose nicely for you as you are such regular visitors. I’m sure I will have grown by next year!
You’re leaving?
If that’s how you feel – goodbye then!

We saw lions far in the distance but they did not come close enough to bid us farewell. But that’s okay. We chatted a few days ago.

I know you’ll be back – I’m not walking all that way just to say goodbye!

We returned to the camp at midday and did some laundry and sorted out the caravan for our return trip. At three o’clock we decided to go for one last drive. What a good decision that was because Leopold was not going to let us leave the park without at least one Big Five day!

At first he hid shyly behind the foliage
Then he decided to come down
Here I come
You’ve got your Big Five day and I know I’m the best of them all!
See you next time!

We were lucky enough to be the second car on the scene and had wonderful views of him. The Earl took all the above photos of Leopold Leopard.

The rest of our drive was quiet but we were delighted that the kudu were polite enough to a us a last farewell


Friday 4 December 2020

This morning we were up by four o’clock and had the caravan packed and hitched by five. Malelane Gate opens at half past five but they let us out at twenty-five past. We are now overnighting at Midmar Dam and tomorrow will make our way to Kokstad where we will spend ten days with our relatives there. The internet is almost non-existent on the farm so I won’t be blogging much for a while.

Thank you to everyone who has followed regularly or dropped in now and then. Watch this space for more news of my soon to be published book, “A Judge Decided”, and other travel tales in the future.

16 thoughts on “Travelling in the Time of Covid – Kruger National Park – Farewell

  1. Pingback: Travelling in the Time of Covid – Kruger National Park – Farewell | Diary of an Adventurous Retiree

  2. Anne

    You have kept us entertained with marvellous coverage of the Kruger Park – a boon for those of us unable to get there for now. Enjoy your Kokstad sojourn and we look forward to hearing more from you once you are home.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. nikkidiscovers

    Amazing post. I have an unusual question to ask I’m trying to organize a beach cleanup but I’m not sure if Struisbaai needs help with a beach cleanup. I remember you mentioned that you live in the area. Please let me know if there the residents in the area need help cleaning up the beach. When I visited this past February the beach was spotless and stunning so I’m afraid of organizing a failed beach cleanup. Thank you. I’m following your blog now on this new site. Your photos in this post are wonderful.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. puppy1952 Post author

      Hi Nikki – We have a team of municipal workers who are responsible for cleaning up the beach and from time to time Sanparks organises a beach clean-up to help them. We are lucky to have such a prisitine beach. It’s wonderful living here.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Pingback: Kruger National Park – Adventures into Retirement – sensible saffa says

  5. mythbusta

    If that’s your husband at the breakfast table, we could be almost identical twins. It was as if I were looking at myself, although I think my physique is less regularly shaped.

    Liked by 1 person


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