7 Weeks in Kruger: Pretoriuskop and an App update…!
It’s been so long! We’re very sorry for the gap in posts – life has been a bit manic to say the least. We’ve had family weddings, a house move and relocation, and we of course continue to build the KrugerExplorer App!
The App continues to make progress. It has undoubtedly been slower than we hoped it would be for the final stages but we’ve learned that tech projects often taken this sort of path – 20% of the time to complete 80% of the work, but the last 20% requiring 80% of the time!
The good news is that we are nearing the end of the project. The slightly less good news is that we’re unlikely to be launched in April now, which is a shame but we’d much rather it is absolutely perfect but takes a little longer.
With a bit of luck, we’ll be across the finish line and launched during May so you can all download it, have a play around with it and hopefully use it during your next Kruger safari!
And of course, we couldn’t do a blog post without sharing a few images from Kruger National Park! Here’s the latest (and very overdue!) instalment of my 7 Weeks in Kruger trip – the lovely Pretoriuskop….
Pretoriuskop is wonderful camp – the oldest in Kruger – and is located in a very tranquil and varied area of Kruger National Park. The local geology is the unique Pretoriuskop sourveld on a granite base. This and the nearby rocky outcrops attract a range of interesting wildlife and rare species.
My visit here uncovered lots of excellent mammal and birding sightings. We will probably cover the birds as a future blog post so today is a focus on the mammals, starting with one of my favourite sightings from the entire trip...
I had often seen the famous images of cheetahs stood on road signs but I’ve never witnessed it – until now….!
There were two cheetahs - a coalition of brothers - and they walked some distance along the H1-1, right next to the road. It was the middle of the day and very hot so the photography conditions weren’t great but it really was a wonderful sight to behold!
I was particularly impressed with the health of these cheetahs – they were well fed and their coats looked in sensational shape. This isn’t always the case for cheetahs as, despite their phenomenal speed, they have low hunting success rates and even then often lose captured prey to scavenging lions or spotted hyena. Dry season drives the herbivores to water sources but these aren’t often in the open plains that cheetahs prefer, so it can present a tough time of year for them. Not for this pair though, who seemed to be doing exceptionally well!
At the end of a long day searching for animals over many kilometres, it can be almost comical how close to a camp a special sighting can occur. As I was returning to Pretoriuskop rest camp, this beautiful female leopard caught my eye through the thick woodland just 50m or so from the camp entrance! Loads of other vehicles had driven straight past as her outstanding camouflage hid her from view but a nice little group of us was able to enjoy the sighting once she sat down on this mound. What a beauty!
The scenery around Pretoriuskop is wonderful too – a big mix of woodland, savannah and wide-open plains. Even the largest of beasts are dwarfed against the enormity of the place...
Hills in the foreground can offer brilliant photo opportunities too, like this waterbuck against the distant trees...
The rocky outcrops are home to the specialist little mammal species called the klipspringer too. They are wonderful small antelopes that have adapted to live in rocky environments. An uncommon sighting in Kruger, I was able to see 11 in a single day! They are much less skittish than other small antelope such as duiker and steenbok too, so you can have a very enjoyable close up with a family of them if you approach closely...
They live in pairs or as a family group of three with their most recent calf. The males have horns while the females do not - note the young male with his horns just starting to grow through - very cute!
Our thanks as ever for reading plus being patient as we get the App finalised ahead of launch - a few of you have messaged asking for updates and we are really grateful for the interest and support for our project!
If you haven’t already, you can add your email address to our Learn More page to get a message when the App is available to download and occasional updates on blog posts.
All the best
Danny & Charlotte
Follow our journeys through Kruger and even bigger journey getting the KrugerExplorer App off the ground!