An Awesome Sighting of an Elephant Herd at Skukuza


Apr 7 2016
Ryan Hamburger, Latest Sightings (a crowdsourcing app available on iPhone/iPad and Android which provides updates of real-time game sightings in game reserves ) community member, describes driving around the Kruger National Park like a game of eye spy. He says, “It is the not knowing what wildlife is around the next corner, coupled by the tension that makes it so exciting!” It was his first safari to the Kruger since being a small child and he says, “I have not stopped speaking of the sightings since my return, but especially the unbelievable elephants experience we were fortunate to witness”. They were a party of friends staying at Skukuza Rest Camp, and he describes the camp as very central with a breathtaking view over the southern banks of the Sabie River. 
 
Ryan, along with Grant Wood, Phil & Simone Izzard had just returned from a game drive in the Park and was not expecting to see any further wildlife that day. They strolled down to the shop, and on the way back walking towards the river they spotted the elephants.
 
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He says, “We were excited, and surprised, although a little nervous as the fence didn’t seem that big. With adrenalin pumping, the nerves soon vanished! The elephants crossed the river towards the camp, and from the staff’s reaction it seemed very unusual. It was an experience I will never forget, being so close to such big gentles giants.”
 
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'Some elephants were drinking water and splashing about. There were even a few babies in the herd, and they were with their mothers most of the time. They didn’t trumpet much, they seemed very at ease and relaxed. A few of them headed back across the river, but majority of them stayed on. They didn't seem to be going anywhere so eventually after spending much time with them we headed back to our chalet', says Ryan.
 
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Due to its surplus of facilities and accommodation Skukuza is ideal for first time visitors. And if you are lucky you may just spot leopard, wild dog, nyala and the purple crested lourie. Ryan says, “One night we heard hippo’s in the river below us, but unfortunately it was too dark to see them.” It is not uncommon to hear hippos at night as this is when they are most active and searching for food.  

Ryan's advice to first time visitors in the park, is to try and stay at two or three camps minimum throughout the stay. The park is large, and there is so much to see. It will also make driving much easier as you don't have to drive back far distances in order to make gate closing times.

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