Christmas in the Kruger

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from the Kruger!

After Swaziland we drove into the Kruger National Park. We stayed in the park for 18 nights! On our first day in the park we saw lots of animals: crocodiles, hippos, elephants, giraffes, buffalo, zebras, rhinos, lions and lots and lots of impala. No leopard though.

The next day we were told about a leopard that had killed an impala and put it in a tree. We went to the place and there were lots of cars. I could just see the leopard, but it was hard to spot. On this day we saw all of the big 5, within about 3 hours of driving!! It was amazing.

The next day we saw 2 leopards, one was in a tree and the next one was walking along a cliff.

We spent the first few nights in the bottom of the park. Then we went out of the park to Hazyview for a parkrun. I had lost my sneakers so had to do it in my boots. It was on a golf course and there were lots of warning signs for hippos and crocodiles! But after the run we went shopping and I got some nice blue sneakers!

Then we drove to the north of the Kruger park. We stayed for a few days at the Punda Maria Camp and this is where we had Christmas. We made some decorations and put them on a tree near our car. We also made our Santa symbol so that he could find us. Genevieve and I decorated some stockings. Mine was a christmas pudding and Vivi drew an angel and Mummy sewed it on. We didn’t leave any carrots out for the reindeer because we were worried the monkeys would eat it instead.  (ed – Daddy used a pillowcase but Santa didn’t put anything in it. Not even beer).

On Christmas day, we checked our stockings and they were filled with things! I got a magic trick set, a lego friends heart box, a book of sudokus and some fantasy model mermaid colouring. I also got the game boggle, it is really fun, you have to shake some cubes with letters on them and make up words. Daddy gave me his old leatherman. Grandma also sent us some nice dresses and new swimming togs. We went swimming a lot because it got to 47 degrees. It was so hot we tried to cook an egg in our frying pan, just from the sun. (I didn’t want to eat it though).

On Boxing Day we did a BBQ with some of our Overlanding friends. It was very fun.

There weren’t so many animals in the north of the park. But we did have a good sighting of some African Wild Dogs.

Then we also saw a monitor lizard in the camp site. It was huge, then it climbed a tree. A man told us it was looking for eggs.

We had New Years Day at Satara camp and did a sunset drive. It was really good. We saw elephants and giraffe and the guide told us all about them.  He also pointed out lots of birds, which wasn’t so interesting. Though I did like the Verreaux’s Eagle Owl. The best bit was seeing 4 lions that were resting in a dry river bed. We watched them for ages, then they came right up to the car before they went off hunting. We also saw some hyenas and 2 cubs before we went back to camp.

My favourite camp in the park was Malelane.

Then we had a really long drive back to Durban. On the way out of the park we saw 8 lions lying in the road. If we were any later we wouldn’t have seen them.


Now we are cleaning the car and all of the stuff in it. It is hard work. (Mainly for Mummy and Daddy)



We drove through Mozambique to go to Swaziland. It is also called eSwatini. It was the quickest border ever! This was the last flag to go on the car. We now have 47 flags on the car!


The first place we stayed was Hlane Royal National Park. Daddy found a cool colour changing lizard. That night Mummy was looking for scorpions and she found three hiding in a tree trunk. Then she found a tiger snake!

There was a waterhole there and we saw impala fighting and some hippos. The next morning when we woke up there were 12 rhinos asleep at the water hole! Rhinos fart a lot!  Slowly the rhinos wandered away. We did a small drive around the park but we only saw a dung beetle rolling its dung. We also saw a giant land snail.

Then we drove to a set of craft shops. There was lots of batik art and carvings. Mummy said I can have a go making it in New Zealand. There was also a candle shop and a shop selling woven blankets. I liked a bead elephant but I didn’t have enough money to buy it. Daddy bought a cool purple shirt. We also got a cushion cover with an African lady on it.

Then we went to a cultural village and saw a musical show. The men and women sang and danced. The ladies had bits of material wrapped round them and shell anklets. The men had skirts and wool anklets. One lady had a whistle. Lots of the men did a dance with sticks. As part of their dancing they kicked their legs up really high, even over their heads! Then the ladies did it to. I tried, but it was really hard! It was a really good show.


Then we stayed at another National Park called Mlilwane. It used to be a farm and now there are lots of antelope there. There are no predators. Genevieve and I got to have a go on a horse called Topaz and we did a short walk around the farm.

The next day we drove to another lot of craft shops. Genevieve and I got christmas decorations that were like angels. Mine is green and Genevieve’s is pink. Then Genevieve fell down a wall and scraped her leg really badly.

Then we drove back to South Africa. We are going to the Kruger National Park and we are going on a leopard hunt…..

Birthday in Mozambique

Daddy had his birthday and had to take the Taniwha into the garage. We gave him a new leatherman, but he stabbed his hand with it. Then he superglued it together. I also made him a special pillowcase with ‘Dadbeard’ on it. It was to remind him of his days at pirate school.

birthday pillow

Leanne helped us make chocolate muffins for him. They were yummy, and we even had special candles to put on them that stayed alight even when you blew them out!

Then we drove back north. We stayed one night at the Bush Baby camp, then we went to Mozambique.

It took ages at the border because they had a new computer program. Then we went to a special dive camp. Daddy did two dives. He saw a giant sea bass, lots of coral and fish.

While Daddy was diving we played on the beach.  I made a huge sand castle, then I put booby traps around the outside. It was a lot of fun.

One day we went for lunch in the village. I had a yummy hawaiian pizza. At the end of the lunch we were allowed to write on the walls of the bar. Genevieve did a picture of a kiwi. I wrote my initials in a heart.


Going North

We had to get some stuff done on our car, so we stayed at our friend Leanne and Trevor’s house. It rained the whole time we were there. But we did watch the Greatest Showman. Vivi had seen it before. I thought it was really really good. I also made a sock monster.


Then we headed north. We did a parkrun at Richard’s Bay. It was nice, but I fell over in the jungle part. We ran on an island called Pelican Island, but I didn’t see any pelicans. I did see some crabs and two fish. The campground had a really nice pool and a huge playground!

Then we stayed at Cape Vidal. We had a nice campsite in the bush and made friends with our neighbours. They showed us a quick way to the beach, over the sand dunes. There were lots of crabs to chase!

We also did a drive around the wetlands. We saw a new monkey called a Sykes’s monkey. It looks a bit like a vervet monkey with fluffier cheeks. When Daddy made pikelets for breakfast the monkeys stole some! In the wetland we saw the animal that Daddy wanted to see most of all: A dung beetle pushing some dung!! We also saw lots of zebra, hippo, buffalo and more rhino! No leopard though.

Then we stayed at a camp called BushBaby’s. We were opposite a waterhole, but only saw some antelope. That night they fed the bushbabies bananas. There were 2 and they were very cute. They ate the banana and threw out the skin.


We went to Hluhluwe national park. It rained the whole day! We saw lots and lots of rhinos. Then we saw an elephant that was blocking our path, so we had to go back. We saw lots of giraffe, buffalo, zebra and antelope. When we left the park we drove through a private game reserve and saw more rhino. But most exciting was the mud on the way out. It was really deep and we did lots of sliding.

Cleaning the muddy car:

We stayed at a camp really close to the Mozambique border. It was really wet so we didn’t go swimming. It was a shame because the pool was really good. It was in the shape of a circle with a bar in the centre. My favourite sign in the bar was: What happens in the man cave, stays in the man cave.

The next day we went shopping, but when we left the supermarket the car was making a funny noise. Daddy said it was the viscous fan bearing. Then we had to drive all the way back to Durban to get it fixed.

Southern most point in Africa

After Capetown, we continued driving around the coast. First we went to a penguin colony at Stoney Point. It was really interesting, their were penguins everywhere, but they were a bit smelly. Did you know that penguin eggs were used for baking because the white didn’t set. But it was bad for the number of penguins. I also learnt that penguins eat heaps, then they have 3 weeks where they moult, to change their feathers and don’t eat anything!

Then we went to L’Agulhas, this is the southern most point in Africa. At the point was a big map of Africa.

Then we went back to Franschhoek because Mummy wanted to run a parkrun in a wineyard. Mummy and Daddy did some wine tasting, and Genevieve and I got to eat the food that went with it. I liked the popcorn (went with the bubbly) and the turkish delight (went with the chenin).

Then we went back to the coast road and followed it all the way round. We stopped at the storms river mouth. It was pretty but we didn’t stay there. We did a walk over some really long swing bridges.

Then we kept following the coast round. We went swimming in the Indian Ocean and it was really warm. Daddy also spotted some dolphins playing in the waves. One camp site had a swimming pool and we practised jumping in! Daddy gave me an 8 out of 10 for my ‘bomb’.

We went to a wolf sanctuary. Wolves don’t normally live in South Africa, but some naughty people tried to raise them like dogs. The wolves live in a pack and only get wolf like once they are over 2 years old. We got to touch the fur of one, and it was really coarse. We also saw one bare its teeth – it was a bit scary.

We drove through the Addo Elephant National Park, but we only saw lots of elephants and we have seen enough of them. We also got a flat tyre so Mummy and Daddy had to change it. Luckily there were no lions!

We got new tyres for the car. But when we were driving through Mthatha someone tried to cut off our boot bag. They cut through one strap completely, and were half way through the second strap. We didn’t even know, someone stopped us and told us.

Then we stayed at a place called Happy Wanderers and there was a good swimming pool. We could also walk along the beach. We did the Umdoni Parkrun then we went to my favourite campsite in Africa – the Pretoria. Geneveive and I spent lots of time on the trampoline. Daddy won at minigolf. We went back to crocodile world. This time we saw the crocs being fed chicken. We also saw two tortoises fighting, and one tipped the other one over! But my favourite was still the flamingos.

Then we drove to Durban.