Going on safari is a dream for so many travelers, but I have to admit, it wasn’t a dream of mine. Still, I found myself traveling to South Africa’s immense Kruger National Park several years ago and that trip turned out to be one of the most memorable experiences of my life.
The journey began with a night out at a Boys and Girls Club fundraiser in Seattle. It was the mid 1990s, and my wife, Sue, and I were going as guests of some friends. As we walked into the fundraiser, I remember saying to Sue, “Don’t bid on any travel packages. You know we can go anywhere with Princess.”
Of course, Sue commenced to bid on a five-day trip to Kruger National Park. When another bidder was declared the winner, I was relieved. However, right away the organizers announced, “You know, there were two trips donated by the Kruger tour operator. If you match the winning bid, we can give you the other one.”
I’m still not sure why, but Sue and I decided we were in. Once we took that leap, we immediately set about planning the trip. We discovered that at 7,332 square miles, Kruger is one of the biggest game reserves in Africa. It features the so-called “Big Five” of game—lions, leopards, rhinos, buffalos and elephants—and 253 species of birds live there. We decided to add time before and after our visit to Kruger National Park to explore more of South Africa and venture into neighboring Botswana. Read More