The Kruger - Sabi Sand - Getting There is Half the Fun

I was so excited about our first ever safari that I could barely contain myself as our South African Express flight from Johannesburg touched down in Hoedspruit.
We knew we were in a particularly remote place when we saw the baggage for our flight driven around out front instead of coming out on a conveyor belt. We had a bit of a scare on arrival - all the luggage was off-loaded and one of our bags was missing.  We went into the office to file a missing bag form when somehow it miraculously appeared.  The bag must have been hiding in the back of the truck.
Just a few flights fly in and out each day.
Our pre-arranged driver was super-friendly and told us stories about the areas we were driving through on the 1.5 hour plus journey to Sabi Sand, a private reserve adjacent to Kruger National Park (or simply 'The Kruger' as the locals refer to it).
Through the haze, we could see the Drakensburg Mountain range in the distance.
The towers supporting the power lines are specifically designed to provide nesting space for a variety of birds.
I spotted a small group of Kudu behind a fence - I seemed to have an eagle eye as I saw them before our driver did.
The quality of the road got progressively worse the further we went and essentially consisted of powdery dirt.  Apparently they have to scrape the road about once a week.  We actually came through on a good day.
Our car was leaving quite a trail of dust behind us.
We spotted some rural townships en route to the lodge.
The locals often raise livestock.  We spotted another cow lazing in the middle of the road and had to veer off to avoid him.
We arrived at the entrance to Sabi Sand private reserve.
Distances to various lodges were attractively displayed.
The reserve is vigilantly guarded against poachers.  Every driver that enters gets a receipt that must be stamped at the lodge when passengers are dropped off.  If there is no stamp, the driver will be detained.
One of our first sightings on the reserve turned out to be a group of lazy cows.  Actually, the red-billed Ox Catcher was what we'd really pulled over to see!
We followed the dirt track from about another 15 minutes.
Just before we arrived at the Simbambili Game Lodge, we spotted our first warthogs from the car.
We were so excited to finally be here!

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Sidewalk Safari: The Kruger - Sabi Sand - Getting There is Half the Fun
The Kruger - Sabi Sand - Getting There is Half the Fun
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Sidewalk Safari
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