This is why I love living in Kruger

Thís is why I love living in Kruger National Park!

Well, there are actually many reasons why I love living in Kruger. But I am so excited about what happened this morning that this is my favourite for now. Even as I am writing this, my adrenaline is still flowing! So, let me tell you what happened…


Today is voting day. A day for South Africans to stand in long queues and wait for their turn to vote for the party of their choice. Well today is like any other day for me. I am Dutch, so I am not allowed to vote. Which is fine by me. The boys did not have to go to school today, so we were spending a quiet morning at home.


A lion roaring close by suddenly interrupted our quiet morning! The impressive sound reverberated even inside our living room! And when I say close, I mean very close! “ Lions!!” I yelled and I jumped up. Alex and Jack looked at me slightly puzzled. I heard the monkey’s alarm call earlier on and the squirrels were also calling. Now I knew why. That lion was right here!


I quickly grabbed my small ‘mik en druk’, locked the boys inside the house and quietly walked up to our front gate. I could not see anything from there, but I heard the plover’s alarm call to my right. I softly walked over to our neighbour’s garden. There is a gully that runs past their yard so maybe the lions were in there.


I stood by their fence in the far corner and scanned the surrounding bush. Then I noticed a reddish brown shape, about 75 meters away. One of those ‘could be a termite mount – could be a male lion’ kind of shapes. I am sure you know exactly what I am talking about. It happens so often: A rhino turns into a rock, an owl turns into a branch… I call those sightings rock-rhino’s and branch-owls. Haha. I stared at the unidentified shape intently and all of a sudden I saw it move! Definitely not a termite mount then!


I quickly walked over to call my neighbour. When we got back to the corner of her yard, the male lion was staring at us over a bush. His ears were down in alarm. Lions really do not like seeing people on foot. And he quickly ran off, followed by another, younger male. But we had such a nice view of him! “Oh my word we just saw lions from our front yard!!” I phoned my friend Richard from Holland to tell him about my extraordinary find.


I still cannot believe our luck!! And you know what? I have a suspicion that it was the N4 lion, the South Shishangeni male that came to visit us this morning. I did not see his tail tip, which he is missing. But we are at the edge of his territory. I have seen him a few hundred meters from Malelane Gate before, and I don’t know of any other big-maned male lions in our area, so I can only assume it was him. Which is even more exciting!!


So ja… this is why I love living in Kruger National Park! Where else do you have elephants, porcupine and tortoises in your garden, leopards and hyena’s that walk past the fence and famous lions that roar next to your house in the morning!

27 thoughts on “Thís is why I love living in Kruger National Park!

  1. Oh My Word. There is no sound like that of a Lion Roaring. That sound goes straight through you.
    Very Brave going out on foot to look for it. The closest I’ve been to one was on the famous / infamous S100.
    Had a Lioness sit next to the car and stare at me. My window was open and I could not get it closed – Frozen stiff!! A moment I will never forget ever. She was close enough to touch.

  2. That sound is so awesome. Some time ago we were camped in a tent only a couple of metres from the fence at Satara. My wife was not well and had taken something to help her sleep so when the roaring started a few metres on the OTHER side of the fence I could not wake her.
    I have often described the experience like this: “It feels as if you are INSIDE the roar. Inside that amazing, primeval sound. It is like NO OTHER sound experience that you will EVER have”. Even listening with good stereo speakers is no match for the real thing. (like seeing Victoria Falls – NO film can do it justice)
    Next best was sitting on a bench by the Orpen fence listening to lions roaring to left and right. Suddenly there was this RUSH of hooves and a buck (kudu? I thought) hurtled past right up against the fence followed by a lion. It was very fast but…they were less than two metres from me as they steamed past!

    1. I like that description, Erik! It does feel like that. You can feel it in your body. So amazing.
      Wow you had some great excitement at the fence at Orpen!

  3. Amazing! We spent 8 nights in Kruger from 24 April. We heard Lions roaring on numerous occasions but only had a quick glance of a female. We saw many, many “rock” animals though.

    1. Ah those pesky rock-animals! On the road from Letaba to Phalaborwa, there was a rock that looked like an elephant, a dead tree that looked like a giraffe and a fallen over tree stump that looked like a rhino. Got me a few times;-)

  4. Another lovely tale of the bush (tail?) – and again, so well written. I’m sure even non Kruger-loving people find your stories interesting, evocative and easy to read. You have a delightful talent, Linda, thank you for sharing. It always warms my soul here in Hampshire.

  5. Very exciting experience , imagine an impressive animaL like that just outside your garden, we do not have that here in Holland? I can imagine you love it every day?

  6. What a great story- wow – I can feel your adrenaline! I hope you’re keeping a garden list of birds ans animals, this one will certainly be a highlight! I can’t wait to hear a lion roar again; not too long now . . . . Hope the pride stays around so that you get to hear them close again.

  7. How fantastic. You live the life I would love to live! Not many people in the world could even dream of yesterday’s experience. So happy that you experience all the wonderful things that the Kruger has to offer.

  8. Im so envious of you guys. All my young life i wanted to be a game Ranger, but back in the eighties, and after military national service, unfortunately there just wasn’t money to go to university. Nowadays i think its a year course to become game ranger, but back then, i think it was 5 years at university. So i wasn’t able to become a game ranger, but i do spend every opportunity i can in the park, and that lion roar is definitely something to behold. Its like it rattles your insides when they roar.
    Thank you for you blog Linda, i look forward to reading every post.
    Kind regards

    1. Hi Andre,
      Thank you for your lovely comment!
      I am sorry you did not get to be a game ranger. But visiting Kruger is the next best thing, I hope!
      Steven is still busy studying. B-Tech Nature Conservation. His dream is to become a Section Ranger. Like you this was his dream from a young age. I don’t think he has ever wanted to be anything else! Things change so quickly, I suppose one is never really done learning.
      Glad you enjoy our blog! Hope your next Kruger visit is soon!

  9. Thank you Linda, unfortunately as things stand right now, our next trip will only be in December, but who knows, that could change between now and then.

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