April 9th – Kruger National Park

Kruger Lioness
Kruger National Park – Lioness

Majestic. There are no other words to describe the queen of the Savannah, the lioness. Imagine a beautiful, powerful, mother lioness strolling through the grass as the sun sets and her cubs roam about behind her. We already could not believe how lucky we were to have seen all of the “Big 5” (lions, leopards, elephants, rhinos, and buffalo.) Then, just as the last rays of the sun were slipping behind the mountains, we saw her, an awe-inspiring female lion. I was breathless, pulling out my camera to take pictures, amazed by her grace. As she prowled into the bushes we drove off and burst into chatter. WOW.

-Mara Getz


The landscape is different from what I expected. I thought it was going to be more of a jungle here. The savannah is so vast.

What is really shocking is how good I feel when I am on safari. I feel like I am supposed to be here. I am surprised by how fascinated I am with the animals. When we saw the three female lions crossing the road in front of us, and when we saw the giraffe for the first time, I had a whole new feeling. It was like seeing a movie star from the distance.

I seemed to know what to do to spot animals. I was surprised by how easy and natural it seemed.

-Danny Falcao


Impala
Kruger – Impala

It seems that as our group gets more tired, we get luckier. In the beginning of the day we saw some cool monkeys and impalas. As the day progressed, the animals we saw got closer and more awe inspiring.

The first of the “big 5” we saw was the rhino. The rhino is the armored tank of the elephant world. After this, we saw a number of humongous elephants and towering giraffes. The most amazing part of the day was seeing the lions. Toward the end of the day we approached a hunting pride that patrolled around our bus. The power and majesty of the lions was unlike anything I have ever seen. All I could think about while watching the lions was how much more impressive they looked than lions in the zoo.

-Jack Massion


Kruger National Park
Kruger National Park

We left for our night safari from Mopani Rest Camp at 8:00 P.M. Night Safaris are exciting because many of the animals are most active at night. We saw a lesser ganet, various herbivores, two hippos so close up that we could have touched them, jackals, water buffalo, and an individual male elephant in a bachelor herd.

The tour guide challenged the young male elephant by revving the engine and allowing the elephant to come very close to us. It was obvious that the elephant felt threatened. He threw dirt into the air with his trunk, twitched his ears, and threw his trunk over his tusks. Everyone in the jeep was nervous but our tour guide new what he was doing and eventually the elephant walked away from us. It was so thrilling to be so close to something as powerful as an angry elephant.

-Mariel Fox

  • Laurie

    Thanks to all of you for sharing your candid thoughts and colorful experiences. I believe this is especially courageous to do on a public blog…kudos. Shmuel — the photos are amazing — and thanks for including one of the group — it’s heartwarming to see all of your shining faces, radiating sheer joy. Can’t wait to hear more. Chag sameach and (almost) happy birthday Mara! Safe travels – and love to each of you!

  • Stephanie

    Every new entry and each picture is a gift. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

    Dawie, the experiences you have put together for the group, your sharing of your stories and yourself are priceless. SN thank you for finding Dawie and bringing this experience forward for the kids… and for us. The gratitude that I feel that we can be a part of opening the world to them in this way is beyond words.