What to look for in Kruger National Park
Compared to some neighbours such as Botswana and especially Namibia the number and variety of animals in Kruger National Park is a bit limited, though the ease, cost and convenience of seeing them is far better.
Visitors to Kruger are usually in search of the Big Five: Cape buffalo, elephant, leopard, lion and rhino, but there’s also the Little Five: Buffalo weaver, elephant shrew, leopard tortoise, ant-lion and rhino beetle.
And for birds there are the Big Six: Ground hornbill, kori bustard, lappet-faced vulture, martial eagle, Pel’s fishing owl and saddle bill stork.
Finally for tree huggers there are Five Trees: baobab, fever tree, knob thorn, marula and mopane.
A hippo family not finding much to eat beside the Olifants River.
Cheetahs at Sabi Sands Game Reserve.
Lukimbi safari trackers, Kruger National Park.
A leopard waiting for tourist lunch jeep to pass beneath; near Lower Sabie Rest Camp. Photo by Wegmann.
William Allen, a researcher at the University of Bristol investigated the markings of 35 species of wild cats and found their beautiful and intriguing pattern variation is down to evolution.
“Rudyard Kipling was wrong by suggesting how leopard got their spots as the fingerprints of a man. But he was right about the reason because they provide the perfect camouflage in a forest habitat with dappled light. The spotted pattern also allows them to have camouflage in a wider variety of habitats unlike, say, the black leopards who stand out in any environment other than dense rainforest and darkness. ”
Unlike cheetahs, leopards live in a wide range of habitats and have varied behavioural patterns. His team linked the markings to patterns generated to a mathematical model that showed how each is perfect for their habitat.
Elephants crossing the Luvuvhu River. Photo by Profberger.
Lions on the road near Skukuza Rest Camp. The Battle at Kruger Animals Video is an exceptional lions vs buffalo vs crocodiles event.
Lilac-breasted rollers in Kruger.
An ostrich couple out for a stroll. Trivia: Ostrich eyes are bigger than their brains.
OK, so it’s only an African Green Pigeon, but clean and fashionably draped, unlike its ‘flying rat’ city cousins. Photo Johann du Preez.
Ground Hornbills playing the Mating Game. Spooky. Photo by Jeppestown.
A hoopoe. Photo by Alan Manson.
A Southern Yellow Hornbill. Photo by Gossipguy