We drove from Louis Trichardt via the Punda Maria Gate into Kruger National Park and spent the first night at the Punda Maria Camp. Our aim was to travel to Mozambique on our third attempt. One of the best opportunities for crossing the border is at the Giriyondo border, in the middle of the Kruger National Park. Crossing the border requires an overnight stay. This is how the authorities want to curb pure transit traffic. We opted for three nights in the park, two of which we spent at Tsendze Rustic Camp – by far our favorite camp. It is also closest to the border crossing and was therefore a good choice.
The Kruger National Park appeared almost empty
We experienced a few surprises that we hadn’t expected. First of all, there was a «promotional special» when we booked, which meant that we had to pay a cumulative CHF 27.70 for both of us for the three nights in the park. What an incredible price. In addition, the Kruger National Park seemed deserted in terms of people. There was nothing going on at all. That was fine for us. In terms of animals, Guido was in for a big surprise. On a drive around Tsendze Rustic Camp, we saw the first big tusker in South Africa. This bull elephant had beautifully shaped, very long tusks, which can now almost be found in some areas of Kenya. Although the light was not good and the sun was on the wrong side, Guido was happy to be able to observe such an impressive elephant.
Buffalo, lions and a cheetah
We have rarely seen so many buffalo as on this visit. Small groups, large herds, individual buffalo with offspring, groups of dagga boys – absolutely everything was there. The crowning glory was a herd of several hundred animals that crossed the road in front of us and occupied it for about 15 minutes. A roadblock in a class of its own. The fact that we then spotted a group of lionesses doing cat yoga in the nearby mopane forest and saw a male cheetah on the way back to camp filled us with happiness. The short visit was quite rewarding. The next morning, the time had finally come: four weeks in Mozambique lay ahead of us!