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Avoiding a baboon in Kruger National Park

It’s Monday morning in Kruger National Park, our last morning here. In a couple hours we’ll be on the road back to Johannesburg, although we’ll be going by a different route. I’m drinking my morning coffee with my back to the wall because I’ve already seen a baboon roaming around. There are workers whose job is to control aggressive monkeys and baboons with slingshots — I’m not joking — but their shift may not have started yet.

The rain yesterday morning changed the scenery noticeably. During our drives, everything appeared lusher and greener. While I’m sure the rain was a blessing for the animals who feed on the vegetation, it made things tougher for those of us looking to see them. It was a good day nonetheless.

We saw a number of tortoises who had come to the paved roads to sip water from the puddles that had formed. Unfortunately that put them in a spot where several were flattened by cars. We saw a lot of dead animals, actually. We saw a dead monkey, also in the middle of the road, although it didn’t look like a collision with a vehicle. His friend mourned from a low tree on the side of the road, while an eagle perched itself on a high tree nearby, plotting his next meal. Later in the day we saw a dead hippopotamus that appeared to have been killed by lions, although vultures were feasting by the time we saw it.

Lions were the animal of the day yesterday. We had several sightings of lions in different areas, always more than one lion. Two were so close to the road I could get a picture on my phone. I posted it earlier this morning.