Ever since a visit to East Africa two years ago, I’ve been mesmerized by Africa. There’s something extraordinary about being out in the great African wilderness, where the wildlife live and roam free, and the skies are either very blue, or an explosion of golden hour colors, or completely star-lit. To someone like me who has lived all my life in some of the busiest cities in the world, far away from wildlife of any sort, the African wilderness is astounding. Coupled with the diversity and rich history of the African people, I find Africa a remarkable continent to explore. My husband and I chose to go to South Africa this year. We planned for a wilderness trip, and Kruger National Park promised a dazzling concentration of wildlife. It’s never cheap to travel in Africa, so it was a real privilege and treat to be there.

South Africa’s Kruger National Park did not disappoint. The African bush in South Africa is different to the grand savannah landscape of the Maasai Mara, and perhaps less interesting, but the game viewing is incomparable. We had an insane string of viewings, which involved seeing multiple leopards hunting and with kills, multiple sightings of a pack of 12 wild dogs, and several prides of lions, including a huge pride of 16. There were so many more incredible sightings, but I’ll leave it to the photos and video to tell the best story!

The game reserve is a happy place for me. I believe that nature and wildlife are some of Africa’s best gifts, and cannot understand why governments aren’t doing more to stamp out poaching. I learned from my previous trip to Rwanda that Paul Kagame’s government had turned almost all poachers into the guides who now take tourists to see the endangered mountain gorillas, by providing education and a job. My guide in South Africa had never heard of such anti-poaching initiatives, and told us that poaching continues to be a problem in South Africa. The rhinos in particular continue to be hunted for their horns.

We ended up only having time enough to visit Kruger, but there is so much more to see and experience in South Africa. I’m reading Nelson Mandela’s Long Walk To Freedom, and would love to return again to experience a different side to the country. In the meantime, I hope you enjoy these photos and video!

Follow me on Instagram @qiuyunsong13 to see more of my travel photography.


Here also is some footage of the incredible sighting of the pride of 16 lions:

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