Its 4.30am – time to wake up, and then off we head for Orpen Gate, one of the main Kruger National Park gates. We passed through the gates at 6.15am and commenced an epic game drive with odd sneak peaks of the National Park camps we passed (Orpen Camp and Satara Camp) before reaching our destination of ‘Letaba Camp’ a little further north. We saw LOTS of impala, giraffe, warthogs, wildebeest, zebra with one herd reaching up to 50+ in one sighting! 3 lovely big breeding herds of elephants, with one sighting of a female elephant giving a visitors vehicle a little warning shake of its big head and ears as it wanted to cross the road infront of it with its tiny, not even year old calves!
The ‘behind the scenes’ tour of Letaba camp was really interesting. With a capacity of just over 400 guests it is the perfect contrast to the smaller luxury lodges where we will be working. Also a nice way to see the many accommodation types (camping, tents, cottages, houses, etc) and departments at play being simply, a larger example of what we can expect too. The tour was rounded off with the MOST enourmous muffin and yummy coffee at the infamous Mug & Bean restaurant looking out of a breath-taking view of the olifants river bed. Elephants, hippos and birds all putting on a show for us.
We then left for the remainder of our extended game drive to another exit gate – Phalaborwa Gate. Lots more beautiful herds of elephants and a new one for many of us – several lone bulls and a very big herd of buffalo! Our 4th out of the Big Five sightings on our wish list! Just leopard left! Not bad for our first 10 days in Africa; and certainly boads well for our next 8 or 18 weeks!!!