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PADDY'S SOUTH AFRICAN TOUR
TINGA IN KRUGER NATIONAL PARK

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Saturday PM,  Sunday, Monday AM, February 20-22, 2010.

Half way on the  road to Tinga, we were treated to a tribal dance by some very young children. Our tour director had told us about them, apparently the tourists are the main source of their income. We gave them some rands, as well as lots of candy & bottled water.

           

 

Tinga is another beautiful Lodge; it's actually two lodges: Narina & Legends. We stayed at Narina, but had dinner one night at Legends.  Each "cottage" had a living-room area, a bedroom, a huge bath with glass enclosed shower, a tub, and two vanities, in addition to the WC and bidet. There's also an outdoor shower. We had a deck as well, with a soaking tub overlooking the Sabie river. All the cottages are connected by an elevated walkway, and we needed an escort after dark, in case of encounters with wild animals.

             

             

             

            

               

The safari vehicles were similar to the ones in Sabi Sabi, but they had a roof, a welcome addition because of the strong sun and occasional rain. Our driver was Richard, a very knowledgeable young man, and our tracker was Rex, from a local tribe. Richard showed us foam nests, made by frogs. They look like a fluffy wad of cotton, but they are hard. He also pointed to some hippos in the Sabie river.

           

 

As much as the hippos are big, spiders are small; Richard showed us spider nets, woven across the road to catch insects. We had to break the net in order to drive through. We crossed a very narrow log bridge.

           

            

 

In the distance we spied a group of zebras; it was the first time we saw them up close. They were magnificent.

            

 

The elephants decided to make another appearance.  Again, they crossed the road very close to our vehicle, and after taking a good look at us, left us alone.

          

 

The ugly hyena decided to grace us with her presence. Up to then we had not seen any of them clearly, so we snap some photos.

            

 

A giraffe came across as well. it was just as graceful as the others we had seen, so I took her picture, even as he was eating

             

 

Pat likes birds, so here's a collection of African ones. There are many different kinds and sizes, from tiny red-breasted birds to big ostriches. Daytime ones and night owls.

                   

            

And best of all, we got to see a member of an endangered species, the Ground Hornbill! Our guide said it was a rare sighting and he'd inform the local Bird Watchers Society.

         

 

The warthogs were sharing the road as well. They are funny looking, a mix of pig and small horse. They have four tusks.

           

 

The road kept getting crowded. Now it was the baboons who decided to pay us a visit. They soon retreated into the bush though.

              

 

Another small animal who remained on the side of the road was the turtle. It only peeked briefly from its shell, but kept on treading along.

        

 

As we went near the river we saw a family of elephants who were having a good time playing in the water.

      

 

As we got to the end of the drive, Pat & I posed on top of a local mesa. There was nothing to stop us from falling off the edges.

  

 

The last stop was a very small town, Skukuza, meaning "sweepers". The main attraction was a "Park Store", where they sold wonderful souvenirs and African artifacts. There was also a post office, a gas station, and 3 or 4 cabins to rent if one wanted to "rough it". Also there were some sculptures in the park, and a sign proclaiming distances to everywhere.

                     

               

The warthogs looked like they were following signs, and we were soon at the exit of the park, also the entrance, where there was a memorial to its founder, Paul Kruger, who founded the park in 1898, while he was President of South Africa.. His nickname was "the lion of Transvaal".

           

 

 We left Tinga the morning of February 22, after a short and uneventful game drive. Thus ended our stay in the bush. We went to the airport to catch a flight to Johannesburg, or Jo'burg for short.

 

 

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