After spending almost five months in Kruger earlier in the year we left in June and I have been suffering from severe withdrawal symptoms ever since. Renette is at present in Cape Town with grandchildren so today I left Jo’burg at 2.30am and, with the caravan in tow, travelled easily down the excellent N4 to Bergendal camp in southern Kruger. I entered Malelane Gate at 7.45am and immediately noted the Kruger is wearing its normal October colours – very dry, all browns and greys and a drab, hazy atmosphere. Of course there is very little grass.
October is not my favourite month in the Park. I far prefer it when the rains begin, the migratory birds arrive and the veld turns into a frenzy of activity. Certainly if one is looking for the Big 5, then October is a good month but November is far more preferable for me – if the rains arrive on time. We are here until 6th December so hopefully we will witness that thrilling transition from tinder dry to lush vegetation. But……… Kruger is great at any time and I will definitely take October nonetheless.
Bergendal is a beautifully planned camp with much natural bush within the camp itself.
The architecture of the buildings is attractive, blending well into the rocky countryside.
It is surrounded by picturesque rocky hills.
Today is 36 degrees C but I have the campsite sorted before the heat begins. And then one of the great pleasures of the Kruger summer – a midday swim in the beautiful swimming pool.
Late afternoon I go out to the Matjulu water trough, some 5Km distant. Everything is so dusty and dry and the water trough only has a little muddy pool at its base. Some grizzled buffalo make a halfhearted attempt to drink but abandon the idea.. A warthog and a lone ellie arrive but there is no sigh of the plentiful rhinos that we saw earlier in the year.
The resident White-fronted Bee-eaters are still active .
A drawback of Bergendal is the lack of road options so the traffic tends to concentrate – often at Matjulu – which is a pity as it is a lovely place with usually a lot of action.
So, a quiet start on this the first day of our next two month stint but as is the way with Kruger, I cannot wait for the morning with the anticipation of the surprises that Kruger Park specialises in.