Following hard on the heels of a fantastic Mana Pools trip, I found myself driving in darkness towards the Kruger National Park. There are few better things in life than watching the golden glow of sunrise slowly light up the African bush. Stopping for the occasional roadside coffee and toasted sandwich only heightened the anticipation of the days to come.
I arrived at the Kruger Gate at about 7am and checked-in for the 9 days that I was due to photograph there. As I drove through the gate and heard the rattle of the cattle grate beneath the wheels, the excitement got the better of me and I let out a ‘whoop’ in the privacy of the car. As per superstition and tradition, I pulled over about a 100 meters into the Park and went about setting up the car for photography (see my – tips for setting yourself up in a car ).
I have visited many of the great parks of Africa and still believe Kruger to be the one with the most abundant and readily visible diversity. Nothing comes close to the amount of animal, bird and reptile species you can see from the comfort of your own vehicle. We are blessed to have some great parks in Africa, that is for sure, and if you want to specialise is seeing just one or two species, then there are probably easier places to game spot than Kruger. But just think of it this way – you can fly into Johannesburg, rent a small car, drive for 5 hours and arrive in a place to photograph 31 species of animals (mammals +reptiles) and 149 species of bird in a single visit – by yourself, with no guides or fellow guests and with no set itineraries.
PS. I actually recorded 210 species of birds – but sadly not all stayed to get their photo taken…
Kruger should be on your bucket list if you have not already been.