Our family holiday this year took us to the Kruger national park in South Africa. It was my fourth visit to the park and although it feels like coming home when entering through one of the gates, it is alway a guess what nature is willing to present to us during our stay. In that respect, this visit was completely different to the previous ones. Not only because we were now a party of four, mostly stayed in child friendly camps and kept gamedrive hours to a minimum. The rainy season had been very, well, rainy and thus the bush was denser than ever before, the grass was high, and with water everywhere, the animals did not have to venture to the waterholes and rivers. Overall, this made gameviewing more challenging and the numbers of game we saw were definitely lower than in previous years. But Kruger never disappoints and thus we were rewarded with some fabulous sightings. We had two wilddogs to ourselves (allbeit running in front of the vehicle for 10 minutes) and lots of leopard sightings (two really good ones and all to ourselves). Those of you who have followed my blog for some time may know about my frustration with leopards. Well, the tables have turned for sure! Lion sightings were few and far between and we only saw a single faraway cheetah. On the other hand, we saw many hyena and several huge herds of elephant. Fortunately, we saw lots of rhino over our two weeks in the park. With all these horrific poaching stories in the media, it felt good to see so many. One of my personal highlights was a standoff between no less than five rhino at a small waterhole that always delivers rhino to us. It was breathtaking to see them shuffle about in their usual slow manner and settle the conflict ever so slowly over time, without using any of those magnicifent and lethal horns. I sincerely hope the children of my kids will still get to see them where they belong: alive and in the wild. The thought that I have to use photos like these to show my grandchildren an extinct animal makes me sick.

Onze gezinsvakantie bracht ons dit jaar in het Kruger park. Zoals altijd stelde het park ons niet teleur. Ondanks de dichte begroeiing en het hoge gras vanwege overvloedige regenval hebben we veel moois gezien. Wilde honden, veel luipaarden, weinig leeuwen en cheetahs, grote aantallen hyena en olifanten. En gelukkig een boel neushoorns. Een van de mooiste sightings was die van een confrontatie tussen vijf neushoorns bij een kleine drinkplaats. Adembenemend om te zien hoe het conflict met het verstrijken (heel veel) tijd langzaam werd opgelost, zonder ook maar een moment agressief te worden en de hoorns te gebruiken.

White Rhino Standoff; Canon 5D Mark III w. 500/4L IS and 1.4x; beanbag from window