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Welcome to the animal kingdom of Kruger National Park, South Africa. A breathtaking place.

Driving to the park we didn't quite know what to expect. Watching a special on elephants on the National Geographic channel and hanging out with Portland Zoo's one and only "dancing" elephant, was as close as either of us got to big "wild" life.

The pictures below show our animal journey, starting with an impala.  


The first elephant sighting.

Note: none of the pictures on this page were taken with a zoom lens. You are seeing the animals as we saw them; some up close and personal, others at a more timid distance. All absolutely fascinating! 


It has been a lifelong dream of Lenka's to see a giraffe in its natural habitat. Growing up landlocked, then-communist Czechoslovakia, the hope of even seeing the Austrian Alps 50 miles behind the borders was pretty much an impossible feat. Africa was out of the question. Isn't it amazing how life sometimes surprises you?  

In our first safari camp, we decided to take a night safari ride with the rangers. In addition to seeing an amazing night sky, we had some lucky animal sights - including the elusive Aardvark!!! 

Kruger Animal List


Not your average chicken

Kruger is not your typical park. It is a very large preserve, with not a lot of visitors. You could drive for hours on the gravel roads without seeing another car. Animals outnumbered the humans thousands to one - as it should be.

Our first encounter with traffic was an elephant herd crossing. Basically, the herd decided to hang out near the gravel road. We had no choice but to sit and observe. Not that we minded!

Later we learned that elephants are very intelligent creatures. They are a matriarchal society, let by the eldest female member. They have burial grounds for their dead that they visit for decades. And as you can see from some of the pictures, they are very playful! 

Elephant herd
Baby elephants playing.
Elephant feeding


Mom and baby elephant

The one and only time we ever got out of the car on the safari was to take this picture. And let me tell you, Lenka ran in really quick. Looking at the pictures, the environment seems so harmless. But once you get out of the car you realize that there are animals everywhere - bugs, snakes, beasts large and small. And this is their world, not yours. You step into their territory, you pay. We learned the hard way that staying in the car is imperative, esp. as a herd of elephants decides to cross the road and they think you are parked little too close. Geoff has never driven a car in reverse as fast as when the matriarch elephant decide to start coming to our car , howling to let us know.  

Lenka and elephant

Giraffes are graceful animals. Watching them walk on their skinny long legs, gracefully manipulating around bushes, trees and other animals. (TODO: mention birds on their backs) 


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White rhinocerous

Can you find the white rhino(s) in the picture? 


One of our favorite zebra photographs. 

Baby zebra
White rhino


Blue bird

I'd take this kind of traffic jam any day... 

Zebra crossing
Bird nests

The nature's bird nest "christmas tree" 


Not a good time to try to cross the road... 

Elephant fight



Elephant on safari
A link to Kruger Experience or go on to the next stop on the map: Sydney, Australia

(c) Geoffrey Peters and Lenka J.,, 2003. For more information regarding this web page, please contact
Other web sites include:,, ...intangible northwest..., Travel Logs, Where in the World is Tig?