After a delicious, fruit-filled breakfast at the lodge in Johannesburg, I was collected for the road transfer to the Greater Kruger National Park. The road trip takes 5 to 6 hours with comfort breaks en route. We left Johannesburg in unseasonally heavy rainfall but were soon under the sunny South African skies typical of the Lowveld.
We arrived with plenty of time to unpack and settle in, before heading out on our afternoon game drive in Sabi Sands.
Our open vehicle game drive delivered excellent sightings which varied from herds of elephant to a single tiny steenbok and two rock monitors.
After a stop for a sunset drink and snacks, our night drive found us looking at a variety of game including a genet and just as we were going home we were lucky enough to see a white rhinoceros.
On our return we found tables and chairs set out around the campfire and were served a substantial dinner of bobotie then malva pudding. After time spent chatting around the fire and admiring the star-filled sky we were told not to set our alarms but that we would be woken up, weather permitting, at 05.30am.
All went to plan in the morning and there was time to enjoy coffee and rusks before setting off on the short journey to the Kruger National Park. After negotiating our way through a queue of golfers heading for a tournament at the Skukuza golf course, we entered the park and had an extremely successful game drive.
We kicked off the game viewing by returning to a sighting that some guests had seen the afternoon before, and found a large leopard in a tree still enjoying an impala caught the day before. Some of the bones that dropped down were carried away by a spotted hyena until the leopard climbed out of the tree.
We then saw a range of antelope species, buffalo, zebra, lions, elephants, warthogs (my personal favourite) and both white and black rhinoceros.
Although we were so lucky with our game viewing you do also, in the Kruger Park, see a lot of other vehicles from different lodges, the rest camps and self-drive travellers. This is one of the main differences between a National Park and a Private Game Reserve, as in the private reserves there is usually a limit of three vehicles permitted at each sighting.
We returned to camp to find a table set up with everything we needed for breakfast. There was then some time to relax, enjoy the splash pool, read a book or download photographs before departing on the afternoon game drive.
I returned to Sabi Sands and enjoyed watching elephants, white rhinoceros and a variety of birdlife and our guide found a bush baby jumping between trees after sunset.
This evening our guides cooked the meat over coals next to the campfire and everyone was introduced to some typical South African dishes and ingredients.
On my final morning, those staying on at the camp left for their morning game drives and bush walks whilst I packed up for my journey back to Johannesburg via part of the Panorama Route. As we gained altitude the cloud thickened and there was, unfortunately, no scenic view from God's Window.
We continued to Lisbon Falls where the clouds cleared and the Falls could be admired along with beautiful mountain scenery. The journey continued until we were on the motorway and the sight of open cast mines meant the safari really was at an end.