Lions on Laundry day!

On Lock-down in Kruger National Park – Day 8

Lions and a Stroppy Elephant on Laundry Day!
It is day 8 of our 21-day lock-down in Kruger. Our laundry hampers were overflowing so this morning early I got permission to go to the Laundromat once again. I have to be honest with you; I look forward to my bi-weekly trip to camp to do our washing. And I always hope I see something nice as a bonus along the way. Well, this morning’s trip to the Laundromat certainly did not disappoint. I got to see lions on laundry day!!


It was overcast and cool in Kruger this morning. As I was slowly making my way to camp, I was scanning the bush for animals. I passed a herd of elephants, impala, a few giraffes. And I had to zigzag my way through heaps and heaps of elephant dung when I saw two tawny shapes on the side of the tar road in the distance. Lions!!


I don’t know about you, but it doesn’t matter how often I see lions, I always get very excited when I see these big cats. There is just something about them – about all of the big cats in fact. In this day and age, you very seldom have lions all to yourself. But now that we are in lock-down and Kruger is closed for visitors, I got to spend time with these lions all on my own.


The big felines noticed my approaching vehicle and the noise of its engine straight away and were looking at me as I inched forward. But they quickly relaxed as I parked and switched the engine off. So much so in fact, that both the male and the female actually dozed off with me stationary right next to them. I was in awe. It was already past 8 in the morning. A time where you normally would not even dream of finding lions in the road, but with the absence of traffic, they were still enjoying the tar road.

The camp was once again deserted. While the two washing machines were running, I sat on one of the benches at the dam. Waterbuck were relaxing and chewing the cud at the water’s edge. Egyptian Geese were making a big scene for some reason and were screaming at the antelope that were looking a bit puzzled. “What is the commotion about, dudes?” Blacksmith lapwings were calling as well as a few francolins in the distance.


I did not see a single human being on my expedition to the Laundromat today. It was the weirdest thing. It kind of made me feel like I was the only person on the planet for an hour or two. The things end-of-the-world movies are made of.


On my way home with my clean clothes and towels, I did not get far from camp when there was a big elephant bull in the middle of the road. I could smell him a mile away. He was clearly in full musth. And he was not going to give way and let me pass. I am generally not really scared of elephants in the road anymore. I do, however, have a healthy respect for bulls in musth, so I backed up and gave the musky smelling elephant some space.


That resulted in me reversing for a good kilometre before I could back into the turnoff to the compound. There I waited for Mister Elephant to pass. I waited. And waited; Peering through the scrubs on the side of the road for a moving grey shape. Nothing.
They call me Mister Elephant!

Next thing I know the elephant pops up from the thickets right next to my window! The bugger! I am sure he did that on purpose! Haha. Anyway, with the tar road elephant free once again, I could continue my way home. Ahhh, lions and elephants… I absolutely love them!


32 thoughts on “On Lock-down in Kruger National Park – Day 8

  1. Wow, thanks for these posts. I look forward to reading them as they are sent. How incredible for you to be able to see these magnificent creatures big and small, mighty and meek, in the quiet peacefulness of this lock down. It must be a very nice experience for these animals to have no people and vehicles around them. They must be very relaxed. If this goes on for a long time, they will be very stressed when the surge of vehicles and people come back.
    Really enjoy your posts and photos. Our time there in 2018 was macigal.

  2. Ai hoe lekker om die diere so vroeg oggend te kan sien. Geniet die park en diere en Ek sien uit na jou volgende blog.

    Groete uit Engeland (West Middlands)


  3. I bet you are going to be washing the curtains and even your winter woolies (if you have any in the Kruger?) before long, just to justify more laundry trips!!

  4. Lucky you to see those lions. Wonder if they were mating! Bull elephants think they own the road! We once had to turn around and get back to camp the long way around. Causing us to arrive at camp after the gates had closed. Luckily the security guard was understanding and let us in. But we were quite shaken. Thank you, made my day.

  5. Hi Linda, I agree a big Ellie Bull has right of way on any road. I remember out trip to KNP quite a few years back when my son and I took my my nephew from Aussie and his girl friend to see REAL animals. Well on our way from Olifants a d 5ks from Satara we saw a BIG boy walking in the road towards us. Well I love ellies but have plenty of respect for them and ensure I give them plenty of space, besides we had two very nervous Aussies in the car who thought Kangaroos were big game….. I made sure there was at least 50 meters between us and kept on reversing and reversing. Must say i was very pleased that there were no other vehicles behind me. We reversed for probably for half a km when some idiot came past and just encroached the ellies space. I told my son to keep the video rolling as I was sure that he were going to see a disaster and want to have record for officials that it was not the ellies fault. Fortunately the ellie was chilled and about 5mts from the car moved into the bushes to enjoy a bit of greenery. Needles to say the Aussies were besides themselves. When we arrived at Satara we say the car but not the occupants, guess they were busy recomposing their clothing in the ablutions.
    Silly buggers as this could lead to some unfortunate and unsuspecting visitor to being involved in a unhappy situation with this ellie some where down the line on a day he is not in such a chilled mood. Aussies had a brilliant trip and loved KNP.
    Had a similar experience in Pilanesberg where the ellies are not as chilled as KNP and had to reverse zig zaging between vehicles who would just not see the potential danger with a Bull in musth and in determined mood claiming the road for himself.
    Thanks for the daily Lockdown blogs and know you are safer in KNP than us in the concrete jungle.
    Thanks to all KNP staff for looking after and protecting our heritage.

  6. Love your blog Linda! It’s surely does help getting me through the deserted city life days. Thanks so much for sharing and you certainly are blessed with a lovely writing skill.

  7. I would think those twice weekly laundry visits make up for a lot. Magic time! And its just as well you remind the residents what a car is so that they’re not too shocked when Kruger fills up again . . . . There is nothing quite like just sitting with peaceful animals who have accepted your presence so that you become part of their lives for that special time. Thanks for the reminders that Kruger is still there, waiting . . . . Keep well all of you. x

    1. Hi Sal!!! Magic time indeed! Social distancing is a bit hard for a social bunny like me, but like you said these little breaks make up for a lot. Stay safe there!??

  8. Ek kan nie wag om die dagboek te lees elke dag nie. Ek ken daai pad so goed. My kinders woon in Hectorspruit en ek en
    my twee kleinseuns het ‘n paar weke gelede ‘n lekker ontbyt in Berg en Dal geniet. Ons het ‘n leeuwyfie naby die hek gesien wat n zebra gevang het. Geniet elke oomblik. Ek sien uit na die volgende “post”. Groete vanuit Lindley.

  9. Maybe Mr. Elephant wanted to ask you where all the other humans are! 😉 I hope you get many more wonderful sightings on laundry day.

  10. There is no place like the Kruger and especially now during lockdown you and Steve are keeping me sane. I live on my own so being able to experience your daily activity is wonderful. Keep the posts coming. Love that the little guy loves being barefoot.

  11. How wonderful for you. Yes no visitors to the park has its advantages. Very relaxed animals.
    Take care. Hugs from Wales UK.

  12. Hi Linda, love your stories, thanks. Just curious to know where the ‘laundromat’ is. Berg en Dal? Such a lovely little drive from Malelane to there, and such a beautiful place to spend a few hours. How I treasure memories and love your experiences for keeping them alive.

  13. Hartstikke leuk zeg. In 2014 bezocht ik het Kruger. Ik logeerde in Hoedspruit. Ik ga je blog meer lezen vanuit Haastrecht in Nederland. Hartelijke groet Jolan Schoonderwoerd

  14. Hartstikke leuk zeg. In 2014 bezocht ik het Kruger. Ik logeerde in Hoedspruit. Ik ga je blog meer lezen vanuit Haastrecht in Nederland. Hartelijke groet Jolan Schoonderwoerd

  15. Ons verlang soooo na die Wildtuin Ek glo met my hele hart as diere kon praat skreeu hulle hallelujah vir n tydtjie om die natuur vit hulself te kan he.

  16. I am a teenager who lives in Cape Town. I love, love, love game parks (literally my favourite place to go…rather there than overseas!) and I love photography (especially wildlife photography). You are so lucky to be in the KNP right now. I would LOVE to live in a game reserve. Have a safe lockdown everybody 🙂

  17. Wonderful to have your blog to look forward to. Feel I am there for a short while. Thankyou.

  18. It’s quite an experience to have to be there when no one is there, this is close to their natural setup where there are no cars and external noise…I would love to experience this sometime…enjoy and looking forward to your next blog. Thank you

  19. That was great day, hopefully soon after Lock down I will also make a turn there in Kruger National Park. Just not knowing where to stay there to enjoy such good sights when doing excavations.

  20. Hey Linda,
    I follow videos of Kruger National park on YouTube…Today came across ur blog n then glued my eyes on all ur previous blogs n videos…They are amazing…u guys are so lucky to live around nature n experience the Gift of God..I m a nature lover n have visited natinal parks in my country India…Would wish to visit KNP too…We are lockdown her too n my favourite time pass is to watch KNP videos!!!.Do post in more interesting n adventurous videos ….Bye for nown Stay Safe !!

    1. Hi Bhavna!! Thank you so much for your lovely message and compliment! Yes, we feel very fortunate to be able to live here! Good luck there in your lock-down. Look after yourself and stay safe!!

  21. Hi Linda..What a magical experience on laundry day..!!.I can only dream of it.Sounds like u should write a story book…We were there the weekend before the lockdown…Had a fantastic trip as always..Got to see owls as well…Yay!! Love the WHOLE Kruger..Miss it already…Your blog brought it home to me.Thank u.Look forward to ur next Great Sightings.

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