Before leaving for South Africa, a small group of us from my class went and saw the Wild Safari 3D, an IMAX movie about South Africa’s Big Five, but I never thought I would actually see all five in real life accept in a zoo. Upon entering Kruger the only animals of the Big Five that I was expecting to see were Elephants, and I was hoping to also see Giraffes. Instead I left Kruger having seen all five. You may now be wondering what animals make up the Big Five. The Big Five animals are the lion, leopard, elephant, buffalo, and rhino.
On our first day in the park I not only saw my first elephant, but I also saw my first buffalo. One of our first elephant sightings was one walking down the middle of the road, which we slowly followed until he finally decided to move out of the road. Another one of our sightings reminded me of The Jungle Book. In the road in front of us we had to wait for a group of females and young elephants to cross the road, which resembled the scene in The Jungle Book where Mowgli joins the elephant march.
The third of the Big Five that we spotted was the lion. We found them sitting right on the side of the road. Two females were just bathing in the sun. It was amazing how they were so much out in the open, but also hidden. We probably would not have noticed the one on the side of the road if the other had not been walking in the middle of the road at the time. I definitely thought this would be the highlight of the trip until the last hours of our time in Kruger.
On our last morning in Kruger most of the group wanted to sleep in, but a few of us decided to take our one and only opportunity to go on a morning safari ride. The ride started before sunrise. As soon as we witnessed the amazing sunrise we all decided that getting up early was entirely worth it—besides, we had also already spotted our fourth of the big five, a rhino. Shortly before returning to camp we spotted the most amazing thing, a leopard sitting on a tree branch overhanging the road. We had spotted the last of the Big Five. Us lucky few came back to camp making sleeping-in to the rest of the group seem entirely overrated like we already knew it was.