Sunday 17 December 2023

Kruger National Park, South Africa - July 2023 - Trip List - Animals

My primary focus might have been birds, but the main draw of the Kruger is the abundance of animals. We were not disappointed, it was incredible, and the views were mostly breathtaking. It was ridiculous how quickly we went from being blown away with an Elephant to essentially ignoring them. Lions and Leopards are top billing, and I thought we would see lots of the former and, if we were lucky, one of the latter. In the event we saw six Leopard and 11 Lion, really not the numbers of either that I had been expecting. We did not see a single hunt take place, nor did we see a single fresh carcass - all that must happen all of the time, but you would need to be lucky to see it.

Hyenas were seen quite frequently, including on at least one of the night drives. These boosted our mammal lists considerably, and were responsible for both Jackals, all the Civets and Genets, a White-tailed Mongoose, most of the Steenbok and our sole Reedbuck.

Bushbuck were present in small numbers inside all the Camps as far as I can recollect, and Vervet Monkeys were mostly seen at the picnic sites for obvious reasons. 

The bigger mammals were basically everywhere. Impala were the most numerous animal on every single day, generally sticking to srubby and well-vegetated areas, as did Kudu and our single Nyala on the final day. Buffalo ran them close on one occasion, with a very large herd south of Lower Sabie. They, along with Zebra and Wildebeest were almost always in more open areas, and Giraffe stuck to the scrub. Hippo were seen every day, always in water with the exception of one seen on a night drive - it was remarkably quick and nimble on land, running as if on tip-toes. Almost every river and water body had Crocodiles, some of them absolutely gigantic. We saw White Rhinoceros just once, in the dusk as we approached Berg-en-Dal from Malelane, a trio of animals. Honey Badger was seen just once as it ran across the road in front of us, somewhere between Malelane and Crocodile Bridge on the S25. You just have to get lucky.

Where we were unlucky was with Wild Dog and Cheetah. We missed the former at Tshokwane, and we heard from some fellow night drive participants that they had also been seen on a morning walk from Lower Sabie. Cheetah we barely heard anyone even mention. Next time! Anyway, here is the animal list as best as I can remember it - we unfortunately didn't think to keep day lists, but I've pieced this together from photographs and distinct memories. I still think I am missing a couple of Lion from somewhere, and will update this if I can work it out.


  1. Thank you; enjoyed all that as you and your children obviously did. [except for the driving!]. Merry Christmas!