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Kruger January 2022: A return after the pandemic and to default Afrikaans


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Day 12: Letaba evening drive


The storm slowly passed and as the rain was lessening, we decided to go out anyway, not many others joined us


52082879850_b0e7e14cab_k.jpg7T4A7871 by tdgraves, on Flickr


52082388036_a015c0f3ca_k.jpg7T4A7872 by tdgraves, on Flickr


We decided to avoid the gravel roads and after driving in one direction for a bit on the tar, we seemed to be catching up with the storm, so we turned around and drove in the opposite direction. There was nothing to see and we decided to turn around and head back to camp. As we did a three point turn, we saw this...


51933748225_1e146d5ccc_k.jpg7T4A7877a by tdgraves, on Flickr


so we stayed for a bit


51933472534_91ba1cb798_k.jpg7T4A7882a by tdgraves, on Flickr


51933783725_24523a4174_k.jpg7T4A7886a by tdgraves, on Flickr


51932197732_bec407acd9_k.jpg7T4A7888a by tdgraves, on Flickr


52274146371_3e3c39a813_k.jpg7T4A7891a by tdgraves, on Flickr


51932225457_1f49f43e49_k.jpg7T4A7896a by tdgraves, on Flickr


51933308688_d5c2c267bf_k.jpg7T4A7906a by tdgraves, on Flickr


Before going back to camp. We had yet another male ele encounter. We were the third car in a line behind a slow moving but well behaved ele going in the same direction as us. There was one car trying to go the other way. More and more traffic was approaching form behind and gate closing time was near. Eventually some staff had enough and floored it past, with radio blaring and banging vigorously on the car doors. This had the desired effect of scaring it off into the bush and we got past. However, it was now really angry and reappeared on the road to block those following behind. No wonder they are badly behaved. 


Back to camp for food in the very quiet restaurant.

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Dave Williams

What an excellent an enviable Lion sighting you had, some good birds too. 

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Thanks @Dave Williamsone of our better Kruger ones, although the light conditions were very challenging. These shots required the most processing of the trip, The fine rain was reflecting what little light there was, giving a weird effect, not something I have encountered before. 

thanks @Biko I find hyaena very good photographic subjects, if one bothers to stop (lots of people drive straight passed them) as they are very curious creatures.

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Fabulous action shots of the lions. I also love hyenas - great pictures!

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Day 13: Letaba morning drive


It had continued to rain throughout the night and the gravel roads were now all officially closed. It remained cloudy and there was more intermittent rain, 23 rising to 28 degrees. We did a large triangle on the tar roads, up to Mopani, across to the Phalborwa gate and back to camp. Made even longer as we missed the juntion onto the main road!


A couple of birds on the bridge...


52082881175_bc4e61dd83_k.jpgJ19A5756 by tdgraves, on Flickr


52082407238_d148cf682b_k.jpgJ19A5759 by tdgraves, on Flickr


52081358932_9fcfc5fe51_k.jpgJ19A5768 by tdgraves, on Flickr


52265816247_e91706b1cf_k.jpgJ19A5773a by tdgraves, on Flickr


Then there was a lone hyaena, who had found an irresistible scent and kept running around in circles back to the same spot


51933941845_656e19fc80_k.jpgJ19A5791a by tdgraves, on Flickr


51933404598_0973cc1592_k.jpgJ19A5797a by tdgraves, on Flickr


51933965430_f24579b357_k.jpgJ19A5824a by tdgraves, on Flickr


51933680639_670e3dd095_k.jpgJ19A5826a by tdgraves, on Flickr


We moved on and then found some more pups...


51933970700_4e9107dad0_k.jpgJ19A5831a by tdgraves, on Flickr


51933360926_06d0691717_k.jpgJ19A5837a by tdgraves, on Flickr


52267051204_d8b7bc2567_k.jpgJ19A5843a by tdgraves, on Flickr


51933537808_71ead76de7_k.jpgJ19A5847a by tdgraves, on Flickr


51933470646_730b5dffb2_k.jpgJ19A5851a by tdgraves, on Flickr


51933796759_a1cd7eb4bb_k.jpgJ19A5857a by tdgraves, on Flickr


51934090690_b497bb75de_k.jpgJ19A5860a by tdgraves, on Flickr


51933550663_06d69842c7_k.jpgJ19A5862a by tdgraves, on Flickr


51934096130_df8ab0cdb5_k.jpgJ19A5867a by tdgraves, on Flickr


52267273855_0f1bb9c5f6_k.jpgJ19A5870a by tdgraves, on Flickr


52267053439_8f69ea828b_k.jpgJ19A5878a by tdgraves, on Flickr


52266787216_a15eff138c_k.jpgJ19A5888a by tdgraves, on Flickr


51932514482_9d6178f1b2_k.jpgJ19A5906a by tdgraves, on Flickr


52266804538_0381cbbd26_k.jpgJ19A5908a by tdgraves, on Flickr


52266804978_410a2ae432_k.jpgJ19A5918a by tdgraves, on Flickr


51933831734_7f2686e46c_k.jpgJ19A5924a by tdgraves, on Flickr


51933510161_f612adefdc_k.jpgJ19A5928a by tdgraves, on Flickr


The rest of the loop was very long and yielded not much, but it was preferable to driving up and down the same road. At the picnic site near the gate, there were some klipspingers


51933840349_d368247ec2_k.jpgJ19A5955a by tdgraves, on Flickr


51932534167_d17a494530_k.jpgJ19A5960a by tdgraves, on Flickr


51932538627_64264dc596_k.jpgJ19A5975a by tdgraves, on Flickr


52082396726_e9fd460945_k.jpgJ19A5981 by tdgraves, on Flickr


Back for lunch!

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Day 13: Letaba walk around camp


The sun had returned


52266806883_aebb0526e0_k.jpgJ19A6002a by tdgraves, on Flickr


51933851704_2173ed030e_k.jpgJ19A6007a by tdgraves, on Flickr


52267278300_945453c5ab_k.jpgJ19A6026a by tdgraves, on Flickr


51933636279_30ad6f23e0_k.jpgJ19A6032a by tdgraves, on Flickr


51933642384_ec606f478c_k.jpgJ19A6045a by tdgraves, on Flickr


51933648004_dfcf479e30_k.jpgJ19A6051a by tdgraves, on Flickr


51933651199_f155ea2ccf_k.jpgJ19A6063a by tdgraves, on Flickr


51933538998_e91a3fc05c_k.jpgJ19A6072a by tdgraves, on Flickr


51933543573_1bc71fcd1e_k.jpgJ19A6103a by tdgraves, on Flickr


51932492312_bb94623b40_k.jpgJ19A6108a by tdgraves, on Flickr


52265824637_4c6968fefd_k.jpgJ19A6113a by tdgraves, on Flickr


52265826037_8e35f374bf_k.jpgJ19A6116a by tdgraves, on Flickr


51934093260_cf61a95262_k.jpgJ19A6128a by tdgraves, on Flickr


51933480591_88ff49dd1d_k.jpgJ19A6139a by tdgraves, on Flickr


51932500472_7b7f35975b_k.jpgJ19A6144a by tdgraves, on Flickr


51933798439_aa88f543c8_k.jpgJ19A6147a by tdgraves, on Flickr


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Day 13: Letaba evening drive


It was sunny again, but following the rains, it was quiet. Given our long morning drive, we only did a small loop.


52266811218_e6b07a5009_k.jpgJ19A6183a by tdgraves, on Flickr


51932496547_813c632cc6_k.jpgJ19A6206a by tdgraves, on Flickr


51933123684_d61f94662d_k.jpg7T4A8066a by tdgraves, on Flickr


51932697901_eea8b2cccb_k.jpg7T4A8075a by tdgraves, on Flickr


Back for our last braai of the trip

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Day 14: Letaba morning drive


As we were leaving this day, it was only a short drive, but we did not see much


51933736730_170c070946_k.jpg7T4A8080a by tdgraves, on Flickr


51933450889_319ae4f817_k.jpg7T4A8090a by tdgraves, on Flickr


from the OH


51933103985_808a163d78_k.jpgJ19A6234a by tdgraves, on Flickr


51932568183_9900781dfb_k.jpgJ19A6238a by tdgraves, on Flickr


51933111480_1710accf0e_k.jpgJ19A6246a by tdgraves, on Flickr


We went back to camp to pack up and had brunch at the gate, where we saw our last few birds...


51932144122_cf050f47b7_k.jpg7T4A8111a by tdgraves, on Flickr


51933455304_c7c6b72845_k.jpg7T4A8115a by tdgraves, on Flickr


And it was time to say goodbye to the park once again

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Day 15: Rietvlei Dam Nature Reserve


We were again fortunate to meet up with @Peter Connanto have a morning in the reserve. The weather forecast was very bad, but we made the most of it and it didn't actually rain, which was a bonus. Peter graciously drove given the mud roads and the recent rains, as our car hadn't performed well on slightly wet mud roads in the park. We probably did not see the numbers of birds as on previous visits and the photographic opportunities were limited due to the cloud, but it is always nice to see Peter and extend the safari by another day!


We actually saw two new species - bokmakarie and wryneck


51933109675_03254a3878_k.jpgJ19A6261a by tdgraves, on Flickr


51933118230_268076b49b_k.jpgJ19A6277a by tdgraves, on Flickr


as well as the usual suspects


51932659677_c66b8ad605_k.jpg7T4A8136a by tdgraves, on Flickr


51934257275_939d5c99cd_k.jpg7T4A8144a by tdgraves, on Flickr


51933642176_26f8bd15e4_k.jpg7T4A8225a by tdgraves, on Flickr


51933642781_d7e1f00102_k.jpg7T4A8255a by tdgraves, on Flickr


51934261135_c0a6ee415e_k.jpg7T4A8262a by tdgraves, on Flickr


51934261645_afb2def9fe_k.jpg7T4A8279a by tdgraves, on Flickr


52273179982_a5dd79b0d4_k.jpg7T4A8259a by tdgraves, on Flickr


51933717458_ec1bfacc76_k.jpg7T4A8285a by tdgraves, on Flickr


51933717993_4d399dfd47_k.jpg7T4A8325a by tdgraves, on Flickr


51933972729_3f72e0aac6_k.jpg7T4A8343a by tdgraves, on Flickr


51933976134_5fe881f57a_k.jpg7T4A8381a by tdgraves, on Flickr


51932671002_cc1c18e851_k.jpg7T4A8385a by tdgraves, on Flickr


We had breakfast in the café and witnessed this..!


51934268210_94fc015a67_k.jpg7T4A8403a by tdgraves, on Flickr


51933723798_6082cc4bfc_k.jpg7T4A8414a by tdgraves, on Flickr


51934271420_190afcea2a_k.jpg7T4A8438a by tdgraves, on Flickr


51934272450_68360da276_k.jpg7T4A8449a by tdgraves, on Flickr


51933728393_384a3ed066_k.jpg7T4A8456a by tdgraves, on Flickr


51933728903_68f96ae8f2_k.jpg7T4A8461a by tdgraves, on Flickr


some from the OH


51932834704_cdf8a2ddb2_k.jpgJ19A6294a by tdgraves, on Flickr


51932483166_617426ec35_k.jpgJ19A6249a by tdgraves, on Flickr


51931509262_54c0fb4d03_k.jpgJ19A6252a by tdgraves, on Flickr


51931523917_64f5e66da5_k.jpgJ19A6301a by tdgraves, on Flickr


51931560232_ac29c8ca4a_k.jpgJ19A6379a by tdgraves, on Flickr


51932597193_91d90803df_k.jpgJ19A6331a by tdgraves, on Flickr


The bed and breakfast graciously allowed us to keep the room until 6pm at no extra charge and even cleaned it whilst we were out, so we could relax and pack before going to the airport for our overnight flight home.


Phew! Got it done before leaving for Kenya tomorrow morning!

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Dave Williams

If you do half as well in Kenya it will be a success! Have a great holiday and safe journey.


oh, and really hide all your keys before you go. 


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34 minutes ago, Dave Williams said:

If you do half as well in Kenya it will be a success! Have a great holiday and safe journey.


oh, and really hide all your keys before you go. 


thanks - my parents are housesitting and my car will be in the Heathrow car park! Glad I booked the freight seat - camera equipment (excluding tripod) is 28kg, so all of our hand luggage will take up our entire free allowance. We couldn't have managed without the extra space, even if I hadn't bought the 200-400mm lens...

Edited by Tdgraves
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Some great photos to finish a really good trip report. I really like the hyenas, and you saw and photographed many beautiful birds.


Have a great time in Kenya. It is a good job you booked an extra seat - that is seriously heavy camera equipment! Enjoy the new lens, I am sure it will be fun in Kenya and will produce excellent photos for us to enjoy 

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Wow, so many incredible sightings and photos!

The Lions play-fighting in the rain were the stars of the show for me, but there were so many others, like the Ground Hornbills in flight and the extreme close-ups of the rain-bird. And fhe Malachite with a fish almost as big as it! 

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Great photos from Rietvlei, I especially liked the ostrich amongst the pink flowers.

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the lion sighting looks wonderful and your report nicely wets the appetite  for our long postponed November  Kruger  trip. thank you @Tdgraves

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Thanks @Peter Connan @Treepol @Zim Girl and @Towlersonsafari


There is always something to see/photograph in the Kruger


just checked in to Meru after a fabulous start in Amboseli. the OH is sleeping off the travel sickness pills, then it is time for lunch!

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  • 4 weeks later...

I read through your trip report today and it certainly whetted our appetite for our upcoming trip to the Kruger park. Many excellent photos of birds and mammals, like the lion cubs, leopard, cheetah so much more! A joy to read and see.

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  • 1 month later...

Amazing photography thanks @Tdgraves. What camera and lens are you using?

This is some of the best photography I have seen on Safaritalk, absolutely stunning.

This is whetting my appetite for Kruger when I return with my family in January 2023, loving the report thankyou.

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@TdgravesI loved the S100, S41, S90 route, I regularly do this drive when staying at Satara - what awesome lion sightings you had.

Photography is 20/10

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Thanks @Hads canon 7d mark ii and 5d mark iv with 100-400 mark ii lens


i like that loop too, although it can be quiet! We are going to Kgalagadi in Jan instead this year 

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