Thursday, December 14

Kruger National Park, Day Two: The Early Bird

It what can only be described as the biggest miscalculation of our time in Africa so far, we decided to book our places on the Sunrise Tour, the idea being that for a little pain we'd be rewarded with some amazing sights of the African wildlife waking to a busy day - indeed it was always the early morning that was said to offer the best experience on safari, and since the tour was able to leave before general guests could, booking the tour would be the only way we could do it.

Well I'm here to tell you that it's all a bunch of codswallop. The most exotic animal we saw on this tour was a snail. And that isn't even a joke.

After recovering (from both the lack of sleep and the massive disappointment), we set off for our own six hour tour in the afternoon. Sightings were still sparse, but this safari was much more successful - we managed to see buffalo, lots of fun (and in one instance, scary) elephants, the rear of a lion (which didn't really count as a sighting per se) and the crown jewel of most African safaris, a leopard.

The lesson here was obvious. Since going on an organised tour doesn't appear to increase the likelihood of sightings, safari seems altogether pointless without access to your own car. The freedom of movement along with sighting boards and more recently smartphone apps make it a much more enjoyable experience doing it yourself.

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