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When, What and Where of the Kruger National Park

The Kruger National Park is one of my favourite places to visit in South Africa. I’m not a big fan of the beach. But I can regularly find myself going through hundreds if not thousands of photos and reminiscing about our visits there. The thought of our African bush brings up memories of wilderness, beautiful sunsets, and safari drives which all give me goosebumps.

Elephant in Kruger National Park

 

Where to Stay

Ngwenya Lodge (our favourite accommodation when visiting the park)

You can also go to Kruger Park’s site to find a camp or lodge that suits your fancy.

Kruger National Park Lions

Things to do

Game Viewing – Spoil yourself with an array of fauna by joining guided game drives in the African bush. These game drives are offered by camps inside the park. Be an early bird to catch the tranquil atmosphere during morning drives.

You can also drive yourself which is what we do every time. Driving around for the whole day is such a treat and adventure. We always hope to spot the famed Big Five – lion, leopard, elephant, rhino, and buffalo. And on one rainy day in February we were lucky enough to spot them all.

I also have the Kruger Sightings App. This is great to have for your visit to the park.

Wilderness Trails – If you are feeling more adventurous, they also have guided walks through the bushveld, where a guide will take you on all the hidden trails that you can’t reach by car. The Bushmans Trail, Napi Trail, Nyalaland Trail, Sweni Trail, and Wolhuter Trail are the most coveted three-day-long walking safaris in Kruger National Park.

Other Outdoor Thrills – Visit the carved rock paintings of the Bush people, go bird watching, chase your thrills, experience the magic of a hot air balloon safari from Hoedspruit,(this is on my bucket list) and have a traditional South African braai. And if you are feeling more sophisticated, get a hole-in-one at the Skukuza Golf Course.

Shopping – Some of the private lodges have small shops that sell unique jewelry, t-shirts, gift items, and souvenirs. I collect animal skulls and love going to the shops to see if they have one I can add to my collection. I got a crocodile skull from Skukuza which died of natural causes. And it’s still displayed in my living room.

 

When to visit

I’ve read on a few websites that they recommend visiting the Kruger from April to August. Which is generally our winter months here in South Africa. And I have to disagree with that. For someone who has been there during all seasons before, I prefer Spring/Summer. Even better if there is rain in the forecast. The bushveld is lush and green and seeing all the baby animals is one of my favourite things.

 

rainy days in the kruger national park

Coming out to play in the rain.

kruger national park

zebra kruger national park

Remember

  • To pack your camera and binoculars.
  • Pack snacks and drinks if you’re driving through the Kruger in your own car.
  • NEVER feed the animals or litter! What kind of humans do this??
  • There are 9 entrance gates: Crocodile Bridge, Malelane, Phabeni, Paul Kruger, Orpen, Numbi, Phalaborwa, Punda Maria, and Pafuri.
  • All the stops, accommodation and restaurants are wheelchair friendly.

Kruger national park South Africa

If you love The Kruger as much as I do, then I would recommend checking out this book. 101 Kruger Tales by Jeff Gordon. It’s been on my wishlist for a while now, but I’ve read great reviews.

Sunset in the Kruger

I hope you enjoyed my post about my favourite place in South Africa because there will surely be a lot more posts to come. Have you ever been to The Kruger National Park? Or is it on your bucket list? Please subscribe if you would like to get notified when I post my other 1000 blog posts about this amazing place. ♥

 

 

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A Week at Ngwenya Lodge – Crocodile River

Situated right next to the Crocodile River just outside Komatiepoort, Ngwenya Lodge is one of my favourite places in South Africa to visit. Getting a riverside chalet is a must. You get to see elephants, lions, baboons and giraffes drinking from the river all from your chalet patio. Add a braai and a glass of wine, and what more could you ask for? Seven days hardly felt long enough. I could easily stay here for a month-long vacation without getting bored. But maybe that’s just the nomad inside me.

Ngwenya Lodge - Kruger National Park

a glass of wine and a gorgeous view

 

The views and the sunsets are magnificent. And I still remember the noise of the hippos playing in the river during the night. Just thinking back to it gives me goosebumps.

We were juggling 2 lenses for my canon and had to try to quickly change lenses when we saw something beautiful that we wanted a nice photo of. Not an easy task. But this was the result… Some nice photos that I really love, and some blurry photos that I also loved. Just because they all formed part of one of my best holidays to date.

The onsite restaurant also has a view of the river and the best Amarula pancakes you can imagine. Think pancake filled with a decadent ice cream and all of that soaked in Amarula. While enjoying this delicacy, we saw a herd of elephants come down to the river for a splash and drink of water.

They have so much to keep you busy on the days that you don’t feel like driving through The Kruger. On one evening before we went to dinner, we stopped by the games room. And we were the only two in there.

We started playing this crazy Dance Off game. And I can honestly say that although my husband won, I have never had so much fun. We were still crying with laughter when we showed up to our dinner. I have video footage of this but will never be forgiven if I shared it here. Hahaha

Entering the Kruger National Park from here is the Crocodile Bridge Gate, only 5km’s away.

If you want to see our Kruger Park visits, CLICK HERE.

Let me leave you with these awesome breathtaking photos to do rest of the talking.

Early Morning breakfast while watching all the animals make their way down the side of the river.

This is by far my favourite destination in South Africa at the moment. I love wild animals and the bushveld. And it awakes something inside my heart that no beach could ever come close to doing.

Check out Ngwenya Lodge here.

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Ngwenya Lodge- Kruger National Park - South Africa - Wildlife - Hippos

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MSC Cruise – What to pack & Embarkation Tips

If you are anything like me, you start packing your suitcase a week or more before any holiday. You’ll have lists of what to remember and lists of things you still need to buy. Or you may be more like my husband, who can pack everything he needs, into a small suitcase, the night before.

                                                             Inside our Balcony Cabin

To say I over packed for our MSC cruise, would be an understatement. I had a massive suitcase and had to pay for the extra weight at the airport when we checked in… Something that my husband didn’t find funny at all. He always tells me that I overpack and he likes to prove to me he was right when we get home after a holiday and most of the clothes in my suitcase are still unworn. But a girl’s got to have choices, right?

 

Either way, we all have probably learned that what you pack or what you forget to pack, can impact your holiday immensely.We flew down from OR Tambo in Johannesburg to Durban, where we boarded the MSC Opera at the port in Durban.

Embarkation day is usually just waiting around on the Cruise ship for your room to be ready. and depending on the weather in the city you’re in, in Durban it’s usually extremely hot, sitting on the deck in the sun. I wore a lightweight jean, flowy top and sandals. Which worked out perfectly. But make sure to check out the weather while you pack so that you know what to wear on the embarkation day.

My list of things to remember:

  1. Pain Medication – For that unexpected headache.
  2. Seasickness Meds – Although I didn’t get seasick at all, it hit my husband hard on the first day of the cruise. and we paid a mini fortune to buy nausea tablets on the cruise.
  3. Reading Material – Your favourite book for relaxing on the deck next to the pool.
  4. A Cardigan that goes with everything – After shivering through a dinner in an icy cold cruise dining room, I was extremely happy that I always pack a trusty cardigan that goes with evening wear and jean when dressing down.
  5. Don’t forget your passport!
  6. Sunblock – For the obvious reason.
  7. Your Camera and camera charger.
  8. Chronic Medication – If like me, you need them.
  9. Binoculars – For the endless views.
  10. Card Holder – Your massive day to day wallet will be a hassle to carry around on the cruise. Instead, invest in a small card holder to store your cruise cards.

Bath towels and pool/beach towels available on board.

What to Wear on a Cruise

 

My choice of reading material will be Coco related 85% of the time. ♥

Now that you have the packing out of the way, here’s a list of my personal tips to make embarkation day easy peasy.

Unpack when you first arrive at your cabin. I find that this makes it easier to look for outfits for the rest of the cruise. Or maybe it’s a hint of OCD. Either way, it beats rummaging through your suitcase every morning and night.

Pack away dirty clothes. If you are not going to send that outfit to the onboard dry cleaners and wear it again, pack it away. We usually put them away in one of the suitcases. This will make it so much easier to pack up on the last night of the cruise. 

Schedule your flight at a reasonable time. Disembarkation day can take time. So make sure you have a flight booked at a reasonable time so that you don’t panic or even worse, miss your flight. 

And lastly, just a random tip… Take public transportation where possible on excursions. Instead of taking the bus when we got to Madagascar, we got a taxi. We paid the driver a bit extra and he took us to all the private, secluded beaches and local hot spots. It was one of the best decisions we made.

I hope you find this helpful! Have you ever been on a cruise? Or is a cruise on your bucket list? Please tell me in the comments below.

 

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Why I Blog

I always wanted to blog. I can remember starting to talk about it back in 2008. But I never had the guts. “What if people think I’m stupid”? was one of the things that came to my mind a lot. The other reason I was scared, was because of time… (yes it is time-consuming) But I was scared that I might not have felt up to it after treatment or a random flare up. But I’m so glad I started this blog.

I have always wanted to journal my life. I have at least 5 empty journals in my study right now to prove my good intentions. I just don’t want to forget all the good stuff, and I want to remember all the bad stuff too, to be honest. I want to read back in a year’s time and see that I overcome certain things that tried to knock me over.  I want to remember it all…to reflect on it, to share it, to keep it close to me. And I want to remember all the travels, laughs, good food and concerts too. All the things that make my heart beat faster.

Why I blog

When I played around with the thought of blogging some more, I thought that I will blog about all the fun stuff, and leave out anything and everything about my illness. But that would have been fake as it is such a big part of my life. Whether I like it or not. So I made the decision to include it. Every raw detail of every step of my life. And I’m so glad that I did because the feedback I got blew me away.

A lot of people asked me how we travel so much and go out so much while dealing with an illness too. And I just never made it an option in my life. I never gave myself the choice to sit back and let life slip away. I took it as it was. I wanted to live my life as normal as possible and I’m sure I can say that I almost succeed.

I got asked how we take a wheelchair everywhere we go as a lot of people are under the impression that when you make use of a wheelchair that your world becomes smaller. And I want to prove them wrong.

I want to show that you can go almost anywhere and still do almost everything that healthy people do.

I also want to blog to raise awareness. To show the censored side of what your own body can do to you. To show and enlighten people about what treatment does to you.

I want to blog to give hope to those who no longer have hope. To show that you can travel, eat, go out and have a good time with friends while battling for your life too, and still smile.

Positivity is a choice.

I haven’t been blogging very long, but I hope that I have the opportunity to do so for many years to come. I wouldn’t have had come this far in life without my hubby who supports me during every second of it all.

Thank you to every single person who read my blog. Thank you to those of you who send me inbox messages on social media telling me that I inspire you. You guys make all of this worth it! ♥

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Turffontein Charity Mile

Here in Gauteng, when you speak about “a day at the races” you’re usually referring to spending a day watching horses race at Turffontein Racetrack.

It is one of the oldest horse racing venues in South Africa, built in 1887.

So in November 2016, my best friend Tiffany arranged a day out for our group of friends at the races for a charity event. We got to eat, drink, bet on horses and have fun.

We had the most delicious pulled pork sandwiches. And sipped on pink champagne like the true ladies that we are. All while raising money for charity. There’s a lot to be said for what good it does for the soul to spend a day with friends close to your heart.

I let the photos do the rest of the talking…

Day at the races Turffontein

Tiff Turffontein Charity Mile

How gorgeous is she?!

Turffontein Charity mile

Coffee Flavoured Ice Cream

Best friends are the family we choose for ourselves.

 

We ended off our great day by going to Starbucks and Krispy Kreme for some delicious coffee and yummy doughnuts.♥

 

This was such a fun day out, and if you are looking to do something similar check out THIS website. They host these type of events regularly.