A Peculiar Sighting

November 26, 2013

The Kruger Park has very strict rules about leaving the tourist roads and getting out of your vehicles. Unfortunately not everyone takes note of the rules as ranger Andrew Nicholson found out one morning…

Hungry lions - blog

“The bush has this incredible ability to surprise you. In fact, so much so, that people who have been working in the bush for many years may still see things they have never seen before. I was to experience this early one cold winter’s morning. We were searching for Lions, so we followed the tracks of a herd of Buffalo knowing that this particular pride specialised in hunting Buffalo. The tracks lead us to a quarry that was filled with rain water where the Buffalo had clearly come to drink. We could see by the huge amount of fresh dung that surrounded the quarry that the animals couldn’t be too far away. As we approached the water’s edge to try and determine the direction of the animals’ movement, we came upon… a caravan.

Buffalo herd - blog

On closer inspection we noticed a sheepish looking couple sitting on deck chairs enjoying a cup of coffee while watching the stunning African sunrise. I was lost for words! I didn’t quite know how to handle the whole situation or how to explain it to the guests on my vehicle. I calmly jumped out of the vehicle, trying my best hold back my laughter and attempted to ask what they were thinking. They seemed just as confused as the rest of us! Fortunately, I had a young French couple on my vehicle, which I relied on to convey to the foreigners that they were not allowed to drive off-road, nor be out of their vehicle and camping randomly in the middle of the Kruger National Park. They were certainly unaware and naive to the potential dangers around them…

Tracker Herbert and I deduced from following their vehicle tracks that they had been on a road when they saw the herd of Buffalo the night before and followed them down to the quarry. After watching the animals drink they must have decided that it would be a good place to camp for the night.

We escorted them back to the road while reporting this “sighting” to the section ranger. I clearly remember struggling to convey this important message over the radio as I couldn’t stop laughing, especially each time I saw Herbert’s reaction. I still wonder if it was their poor grasp of the English language for their apparent “innocence” or simply well-disguised opportunists taking a chance! That said, any strange behaviour has to be reported due to the increasing rhino poaching saga throughout Southern African and taken very seriously.”

This story had a humorous ending, but the rules are there for a reason and protect both the tourists and very importantly, the animals!

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  • Reply Willa Esbenshade January 12, 2014 at 12:13 pm

    I genuinely enjoy looking at on this site, it has excellent blog posts. “Never fight an inanimate object.” by P. J. O’Rourke.

  • Reply Gillem Lawson January 15, 2014 at 2:48 am

    I was born in Kenya. I have spent many, many hours in the bush. I know something about wildlife.
    Officials have just shot an Elephant that was clearly minding its own business, and being ‘pushed’ too hard by the drivers of the car behind.

    Officials of the Kruger park and the drivers should be ashamed and should be called to account.
    The park should be boycotted because of this disgraceful action.

    I trust you can pass this email on to those responsible.

  • Reply Maria Laura June 24, 2014 at 1:09 am

    Esse lugar é lindo,um luxo de hotel,animais lindos,parabéns pelos donos!

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