South Africa - Round The World Tour 2003 Day 8

Skakuza (Kruger National Park)

Thursday 20th March

We had another eventful day out on the Safari trail today. After the highs of yesterday’s Lion kill just yards from our window, I didn’t think we could possibly top that but we were again very lucky today because we saw the very rare White Rhinoceros. In fact, we saw two of them about two kilometres apart. Seeing the White Rhino is something that even the park rangers are very enthusiastic about as there are just a few hundred of them in the entire park. Not only did we get to see it but our patience paid off big time as the huge, muddy, beast eventually walked towards us and actually strolled across the road about twenty feet behind our car. I think we snapped about eighty photos altogether.

We split up our two, Safari game drives today with lunch at Skakuza lodge sandwiched in between them. In the event, it took about five hours to drive the route from Oliefants down to Skakuza anyway. We got up late at seven thirty this morning but we got to see a lot of game both big and small nevertheless. Breaking up the Safari drives is a far better way to plan the day as we are both very much more relaxed compared to yesterday.

Tomorrow, we leave the park and we will be heading down to Swaziland. It’s just an hour or two South of Kruger and about another hour or so to Mbabane (the capital of Swaziland). The South African Rand is used there interchangeably with their own currency and with a fixed one-to-one exchange rate so we should be OK with the ready cash that we have with us already. I consulted my trusty Lonely Planet guidebook this afternoon and there was plenty of useful information about Swaziland including a number of phone numbers for different types of accommodation. I made a reservation at the City Inn that is located in the capital and we will probably stay there for two nights. We both desperately need a relaxing couple of days after the gruelling past several days cram packed full of Safari driving. There is a wildlife reserve there that the guidebook says is one of the best places in the world to see the Black Rhino in the wild. This should be great but not before a rest from Safaris if just for a couple of days.