Charley Boorman Log- Day 28

July 10, 2012

Kruger 1In which Charley and team begin their epic three day adventure in Kruger National Park with Intrepid Travel.

Now we have an enormous adventure ahead of us. We’re spending three days in the huge Kruger National Park. It’s a game reserve the size of Wales which is big enough to butt up against Mozambique on one side and Zimbabwe at the top.

Our self-imposed mission is to drive the length of the park and if we can, set foot in those two extra countries – And see as many animals as we can, of course!

We leave the bikes with our support drivers and pile into the two Nissans (Motorbikes aren’t allowed in game reserves as the predators can mistake them for prey and chase them – And we don’t want that).

We’re in a convoy lead by our guide, named Trust, at the front. He wears a green ranger uniform and excludes a huge air of calm. We’re also joined at the rear by a friendly two-person support team consisting of Sean and Andette from the travel company Intrepid, who are fantastic and helped to organise this amazing trip.├é┬áKruger is open to the public and can get very busy, but we’ll be taking the private roads that are only open to the Rangers and in a park this size, we’ll be on our own and a long way from anyone else.

Within minutes of getting on the first road we’re exceptionally lucky to see two rhinoceros’ standing right at the side of the road. We stop the cars but leave the engines idling, as rhinos can be unpredictable and we may need to move in a hurry. We’re amazed as the two animals cross the road between two of our cars and stand for a while on the other side to examine Russ in his vehicle. He sticks his hand out to try and touch one. Trust comes over our in-car radio to suggest he stops it – he’d hate to have to shoot a rhino because Russ made it angry and dangerous!

Kruger 2As we drive on we spot giraffes, wildebeest, warthogs, zebra and, like a grand finale, two lone bull elephants, standing at the roadside. We have to stay in our cars for safety but the elephants, less than ten feet away, show no signs of aggression. Reluctantly, we move on, ever deeper into the park.

The rough dirt roads lead us eventually to the perimeter fence that borders Mozambique. We run along it for most of the day, stopping only to take advantage of one of the many gaps in the wire to briefly take a cheeky step into another country.

Faced with a brilliant yellow sunset, we pull up to our secluded campsite and Sean and Andette build a fire and start dinner. After putting up the tents, we sit back. As the cries of exotic birds and Baboons echoes around us, we watch a blood red moon rise over the horizon and reflect on what a good day it’s been.

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