We were truly fascinated by the creatures we saw in the Kruger National Park in South Africa. I don't know if this is mother nature but it is just a deep love for the animals. Seeing them in their natural habitat is something we will NEVER forget. They impressed us so much that we've spent more time cruising around the park as we planned to. At the end, believe me, we were mentally exhausted due to the deep concentration we had to bring in, all in hope to spot as many animals as possible :) Note, physically, you practically do nothing - just sitting in the car and starring through the window. Oh and pressing that button on the camera...
SEE ALSO: Your Guide to Kruger Park, South Africa
The purpose of this blog post is to give you information on some of the animals, you might encounter during your visit to Kruger Park! It is good to know some basic facts about the animals prior to arrival as once spotting the animals, you want to know how they live, what they eat and what are their predators.
Wildlife in Kruger Park
Let's learn something about Rhinos. Did you know white rhinos are the second largest mammals on earth? 98% of white Rhinos live in South Africa, Namibia, Zimbabwe and Kenya. Rhinos are being killed for its rhino horn which is thought to have healing powers (but it's not true!!). They will extinct in 30 years if we don't protect them now! Donate and share the truth.
Giraffe is the tallest mammal in the world! And did you know that giraffes don't really need a lot of sleep? They spend only 10 minutes to 2 hours asleep per day! Lucky guys
What are warthogs up to? Apparently warthogs are able to live in areas without water for several months! Another stunning fact is, that warthogs can run up to 50 km per hour in order to escape the predators!
African Spurred Tortoise
A tortoise in Kruger Park! It is the third-largest species of tortoise in the world, after the Galapagos tortoise and the Aldabra giant tortoise (seen in the Seychelles). It is also the largest of the mainland tortoises!
What do baboons eat? Well, their diet consists of roots, berries, fruit, small insects, fish, small mammals and birds. They can survive up to 30 years in the wild.
Vervet monkeys are good climbers and jumpers as you might experience it at one of the picnic spots in Kruger park. Watch out for your food! Its predators are leopards, eagles, caracals, baboons, crocodiles and pythons.
Did you know that every zebra has a unique pattern of stripes? They have an excellent eyesight and hearing. Another interesting fact is, that zebras sleep while standing.
Spotted Hyenas have very good eyes allowing them to see in the dark too. They make a lot of different noises and sounds. Sometimes they do noises which one might think they are laughing :) They hunt crocodiles, wildebeests, gazelles, snakes etc.
An adult can weight between 300 and 900 kg! The main predators of African Buffalos are crocodiles and lions. They have a poor ability to regulate body temperature, as they try to hide in shades if there is heat. The most interesting fact is that they have an exceptional memory! They remember the faces of hunters and even of its predators, such as lions.
Some of the main predators of wildebeests are lions, hyaenas and cheetahs. In times, such as May or June, when there is lack of water and food, the wildebeests migrate in large herds toward the west.
Hippopotamus was named by the Ancient Greek and means "river horse". It is one of the most dangerous animals in Africa! To a surprise, it is a very fast animal since it can run up to 30 km per hour!
Watch out! Crocodiles have the strongest bite of all animals out there! Some crocodile species can weight over 1,200 kg! The closest relatives of the animal are birds and dinosaurs! The life expectancy of crocodiles is 50-60 years in the wild but some can live up to 80 years!
Kudus are very nervous animals. They spend all day long hiding in thick bushes. What is more, they are also very good kickers. They can, for example, break wild dog's neck! They are threatened by lions, leopards, hyenas, pythons etc.
So what's the deal with the elephants' ears? The large ears of elephants are used to radiate excess heat away from the body. What is more, elephants love the water - they swim and dive into the water and it's actually good for their joints! Elephants get babies every 2,5 to 4 years. They usually have one baby, twins are very rare.
Most impala babies are born around mid-day since it's the safest time in the day while other predators are resting. Impalas are living in herds of 100 individuals as it reduces the risk of attacks.
Imagine, after 2 days and several hours of wildlife watching, we managed to encounter the lion the last 10 minutes of our Kruger Park visit! So cool :) And, are there any interesting facts about lions? Well, lions can be without water four to five days but if the water is available, they drink it every day. What is more, lions sleep up to 20 hours a day!
It is fascinating to see what types of animals are sharing the same habitat. Have a look:
Hippos and Crocodiles
Giraffes and Warthogs
Kudus and Warthogs
Vervet Monkeys and Wildebeests
Zebras and Wildebeests
As you might have noticed, we didn't mention one of the Big 5 animals - the leopard! The truth is, we weren't lucky enough to see it during our 2-day self-drive! What a pity! For more information regarding the Kruger Park, visit our blog post Your Guide to Kruger Park, South Africa! I hope I got it all right with the facts and the animals' naming - any experts, please let me know if there is a mistake ;)
What animals did you encounter in Kruger Park? Please share it in the comments below!