Tag Archives: Kruger National Park

#11 – Go bird watching

Africa is known for it’s diverse and interesting animals, but there is also an amazing diversity of birds as well, so we knocked this one off while in Kruger Park in South Africa.

We had a great field guide (details below) that had great illustrations and lots of information on each bird (our guide was also great at pointing out birds, especially after figuring out we were just as interested in the birds as the animals!).

We have never done this before, but will absolutely do it again!


Details: Field guide: Roberts Bird Guide: Kruger National Park and Adjacent Lowveld by Hugh Chittenden & Ian Whyte

Birds pictured: Lilac-breasted Roller; Red-billed Oxpecker; Burchell’s Coucal; White-backed Vulture; Dark-capped Bulbul; Saddle-billed Stork; Grey Heron; Blacksmith Lapwing; Kori Bustard; Cape Glossy Starling; Burchell’s Starling; Southern Yellow-billed Hornbill; Crested Barbet; Black-headed Heron; Swainson’s Spurfowl; Marabou Stork; European Bee-eater; African Fish-Eagle; Southern Carmine Bee-eater; European Roller; Egyptian Goose; Fork-tailed Drongo & Red-backed Shrike; European Bee-eater & Southern Ground Hornbill

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#33 – Go to South Africa

We spent two amazing weeks in Africa and have been using the term life changing pretty frequently to describe it.  Our trip included 3 days in Cape Town, one night in Livingston, Zambia, two nights in Zimbabwe and then back to South Africa and two days in Kruger National Park.

Since our list item was specifically South Africa, we’ve added Zimbabwe and Zambia as Bonus Items and we will post about them soon!

Going to South Africa has always been a dream of mine, mainly to see elephants in the wild.  Elephants have always had a special place in my heart and seeing them in their natural environment was an ultimate bucket list item for me.

Within five minutes of driving into Kruger Park, we saw our first elephant, a bull.  In a show to prove his superiority (over our truck), he pushed over a tree and stood flapping his ears at us, deciding whether to charge or not.  I had a minor Kristen Bell moment, though managed to keep it under wraps (though most of the people in the truck were my family, I’m not prepared to be a YouTube phenom).

Throughout the day, we saw many elephants, all bulls, either on their own or in small bachelor groups.  They were amazing and I could have watched them all day, but I wanted to see a matriarch herd; the mothers, aunts, sisters, young males and babies.

And then we saw the herd.  It was so large we couldn’t begin to see how many elephants were in the group, but the range of ages was clear.  Our guide pointed out the youngest elephant we could see, around 6-8 months old.  There were 3-4 year olds, adolescents, and older females.  There were a few young males, who were on the brink of leaving the herd.  It was breath taking and I could have watched them for days.

Much gratitude for the generosity and love my parents-in-law showed by including all us kids on their dream trip that’s been 35 years in the making.  It was life changing and we appreciate the experiences you shared with us more than we can express.

The photos below are from the bookends of our trip in South Africa.  We’ll be posting photos from our time in Zimbabwe, our visit to Victoria Falls and other wildlife experiences (birds and sharks!) soon!


Details: Information about Kruger National Park can be found here.  The guided part of our trip was through G Adventures.  We had a great experience with them and the tour we were on was this one.

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Progess Report

We haven’t been accomplishing much off our list the last few weeks as we have been getting ready to leave today on the big one, #33; go to South Africa. We will be spending a couple days in Cape Town, and then doing an eight day camping safari which starts at Victoria Falls in Zambia, runs through Kruger National Park and ends in Johannesburg.  We are so excited about the adventure ahead of us and everything we will be experiencing.

We have completed 12 things off our list, have about 4 in progress, so with 42 weeks left of the year, we will need to knock off an average of 2 per week.  So while the next couple weeks are going to be amazing, the rest of the year will be pretty full as well!

See you on the other side!

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