As we continued through Swaziland, we were stopped twice by police blockades. The first time they chatted us up a bit, but the second time they waved us through. We suspected that we did not fit the profile of the political protesters who had shut down the border two days ago and were happy to see the "Welcome to South Africa" signs once againas we crossed without incident or long wait.
Krueger is a massive park and it is clear we will only scratch the surface in our week here. Since this is Easter weekend and many locals are here enjoying the animals right along with us, we decided to come in the gate nearest Swaziland rather than the one nearest the expressway. As you can see from the photos, they've had a lot of rain lately especially since we are supposed to be in the dry season, and the Crocodile River was flowing briskly over the road. Our intrepid RV forded the river and we were thrilled to finally be at Krueger National Park, a world famous animal haven.
We are free to go wherever we want, but this creates a dilemma. There are so many choices we hardly knew where to start. We want to go where the animals are, but no one can tell us where that will be. The only rule is that we must be in our campground area by 6pm, when they close the gates and lock us all in. The animals are free to roam all around these compounds.
We headed toward a watering hole and ate lunch watching an elephant do the same. We were all hot - the temperature showed 107 degrees on our thermometer, but the elephant got to splash around in the river, while we had to stay in our rig. About then our dashboard fan quit working, which meant we could not A/C. As we bounced down the gravel roads looking for more critters, the dust swirled and stuck to our sweaty skin. We just knew that under every bush a lion was hiding in the shade, but we never did see any. Instead we saw rockasaurus, stumpasauros, and treeasauros as our guide said the other day. Blending in to the vegetation is something these animals do all too well, to our chagrin.
It's a funny thing...about a week ago we were thrilled to see our first warthog, one of the ugliest animals in the world. Now we drive past the antelopes as if they were cows and barely pause to take a photo unless the animal is perfectly positioned with proper lighting. Now a simple elephant photo won't do. the elephant needs to be standing next to a rhino. We still have not seen lion or cheetah. Maybe tomorrow....