Elephants at my Swimming Pool – Buhala Lodge, banks of the Crocodile River – Kruger Park, South Africa

Elephants at my Swimming Pool – Buhala Lodge, banks of the Crocodile River – Kruger Park, South Africa

How about an introductory shout on to my mother on this, her 76th birthday. She and I were herein South Africa three years ago. She would have liked this spot here nestled on a bank high above the southern border of the Kruger National Park.

Buhala Lodge is where I am and from my vantage point it is but a 100 yard walk down the riverside, another 400 yards across the river and then into South Africa’s largest national game park, Kruger National Park.

The proprietor, Sugar Rhodes, and I met at the Indaba trade show in Durban last year. I’ve been meaning to get back here to take a look.

These type lodges resting on the outside of the Kruger Park cater to plenty of self-drive travelers into the Kruger Park. Most all of my clients elect to stay on a private game reserve and in accompanying lodging but on this occasion I am coming this way to educate myself a bit more for the self-drive clientele.

Tough to beat views like this. In the US, there would be rows and rows of houses stacked beside one another lining the river on both sides. Here, you look left and you look right and there is nothing to see but the furthest reaches of the river.

Elephants come to drink at the water’s edge, as do herds of buffalo. Giraffe and all the plains game animals can be seen visiting the river all day. And lest we not forget about the hippos and crocodiles that make this body of water distinctively more dangerous than any at home or most all on foreign soils.

I’ve managed to gloss over what proved to be a rather heart pumping morning when I was awoken by the manager at Buhala, Linda, at about 6:30AM, letting me know there were 3 elephants grazing just in front of the deck facing the river. I jumped up and grabbed my camera in time to get a few photos of these adolescent bulls walking just past the pool. They were but 50 feet from us and one of them turned to give us a head toss and ear flap before heading back down to the river. These boys were aware of our presence and showed it so the picture taking session was a bit more heart pumping.

Rooms to the right
After the elephant sightings in the morning, I packed up and drove into the Kruger Park via the Crocodile Bridge gate, but about 10 miles from the Mozambique border. Being so close to the border tempted me to think about the next trip to Mozambique, but I turned north and drove myself the 100 miles to Imbali via the Lower Sabie Rest camp, enjoying elephant, kudu, impala, waterbuck, hippo, crocodile, warthog, rhinoceros, yellow hornbill, lilac breated roller , a 2,000 year old baobab tree and plenty of other species along the way. Many of these views were from a distance so the proximity to the animals at Imbali has not gone unnoticed or unappreciated.

Our pool by the room in the forefront