LITTLE GARONGA SAFARI CAMP
LITTLE GARONGA SAFARI CAMP, KRUGER, SOUTH AFRICA
Our first stop in bushveld was Little Garonga Safari Lodge and dwelling for the four nights. Our luxurious thatched hut was about hundred meters away from the lounge/dining area but each time we left the hut a guard accompanied us as the animals roamed around freely. From the back-porch jungle was in full view.
As the animals were most active at sunrise and sunset our morning safari was scheduled from 6:30 to 10:30 and evening safari from 3:30 to 7:00.
Hours of driving over parched unpaved road we saw nothing but leafless tree branches, bushes and dry grass. The earth had recently awakening from the winter, so the animals and birds were visible from long distances. We saw a lioness carry three cubs, one at a time in her mouth, from where she had delivered them to a safer place. We saw elephants eat dried grass, twigs and shrubs then give themselves mud baths to stay cool. They knocked over acacia trees down to get to their water laden roots. We saw a hungry leopard pounce on a Chobe chicken and munch it down.
Our guide/driver was an experienced ranger, with a tracker on his side. The safari jeep we rode was more like a war tank. It drove over bushes, trees, river tributaries, even small boulders. We had heard about the big five and saw them all—pride of lions, herd of elephants, tower of giraffes, dazzle of zebras and group of rhinos, both black and white. In addition, we also saw hippos, impalas, kudus, wild dogs, hyenas, baboons and antelopes.
At each sunset our guide and tracker parked the jeep at a safe place with the best view to take a break, called Sundowner. The two prepared cocktails and set snacks. After four grueling hours of shooting (pictures of) animals, it felt like a perfect time for paying homage to nature, to the majestic orange orb ready to retire. We felt silent with sounds of birds and beasts. Sublime moments.
Back at the lodge, showered and famished, sitting around the table we listened to the chef announce the dinner menu. Evening meals included barbequed and grilled fish or meat, curried carrots, green beans, a variety of squashes, potatoes, beans and rice. The food tasted like a fusion of international culinary styles.
On the last day of our stay we enjoyed massages and a helicopter ride.