Kruger National Park

It would be highly unethical to not bring a guest to Kruger National Park given how close it is to the Nelspruit area. So after the week at my site, me and Allison rented a car and drove into the park. It was amazing.

Kruger is a game park, something we don’t exactly have in the United States. While Kruger is incredibly beautiful and is full of amazing nature…

…incredible scenery (all 8000-ish square miles of it) is not really the point. You can’t even get out of your car.

This is the point:

HELLO HUGE ANIMALS TERRIFYINGLY CLOSE TO OUR CAR

There is possibly no place in the world that combines “wild” animals and give-me-convenience-or-give-me-death the way Kruger does. It’s full of paved roads, restaurants, and hotels. It’s totally (over)stocked with wild game. It’s like some sort of extreme zoo, with an element of predation as you try to spot game. There are no fences (other than the borders and rest camps), so these crazy guys just wander around. You drive around in your shiny rental car and try to spot them (harder than it sounds). Then you take pictures and show your friends. Safari meets the suburbs! Just don’t ruin the fun by talking about how Kruger is so amazing because all of these awesome animals have been hunted to extinction outside of park boundaries, and don’t mention all the forced resettlement of Africans that made the formation of the park possible. That would ruin the fun!

I don’t mean to rag on the Kruger experience–it is truly amazing. But it gives me the same vibe as America’s most popular national parks. This isn’t an escape from civilization into nature. It’s an imposition of civilization upon nature, done in such away as to preserve whatever it is that humans think “nature” is while still providing everything we expect from civilization. But man, that nature is pretty awesome.

I’m done preaching. Now, some more of our entries into the look-what-we-saw-at-Kruger game (in all caps for your reading pleasure):

HI WE ARE FROM THE PICNIC AREA:

HI, I’M MR. GIRAFFE. I STARE AT HUMANS.

LION SNACKS:

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OH SO CUTE BABY BABOON IS SO CUTE OMG LOOK AT IT HANG ON MOMMY OMG:

I highly recommend everyone in South Africa do whatever it takes to get to Kruger.

2 Comments

Steve Sherman says:

Paved roads in a game park? In Kenya game park excursions = serious mud running.

30 Mar 11 @ 9pm

mltammen says:

Wow. Amazing photos. Will you take us there when we come to visit you?

02 Apr 11 @ 5am