Day 18 of lockdown

On Lock-Down inside Kruger National Park – Day 18

Laundry day – Elephant blockades and Kruger at peace.

I made a very much needed trip to the Laundromat today on day 18 of our lockdown! (To be completely honest I had to do the trip twice because I forgot my washing powder the first time around. An honest mistake due to lack of sleep, I promise!!) I have not done any washing for almost a week and jack literally ran out of clean underpants.


After yesterday’s heat, the wind picked up overnight with a lot more pleasant temperatures today. But wind like this sometimes does not make for very nice game viewing so I did not expect to see much on my way to camp. I could not have been more wrong!!


I left the house just after 7 this morning and took a slow drive to the rest camp where I am allowed to do my washing. There were elephants everywhere! I saw the first big breeding herd just before the T-junction. They were feeding close to the road without a single care in the world. My presence did not faze them at all.


After the T-junction, it was breeding herd after breeding herd on or next to the road. The elephants are definitely spending a lot more time on the roads now that there is no traffic. Their time on the road meant my drive to camp was taking a lot longer than usual. I did not mind. This lock-down is the only time I am ever going to have the whole of Kruger and its animals to myself. I better savour each and every moment!

Lockdown day 18
One of the many elephants I saw on laundry day!

If there weren’t any elephants on the road, I would be zigzagging my way through all the heaps of elephant dung. I don’t like driving over elephant poop. There might be dung Beatles busy in the dung that I can’t see and butterflies like the moisture in fresh elephant dung. Besides, tortoises have a tendency of looking like elephant bollies from a distance, so I try and avoid driving over the turds as much as I can.


Most of the wallows next to the road are busy drying up, but one bull had found a small one that was still nice and muddy. He was so chilled out, standing with his two front feet in the mud. Every now and then he would flick some mud on his chest with his trunk. He looked like he was half asleep!! (Keep an eye on our Facebook Page for some video’s I will post  bit later. And if you haven’t already, please like  Our Life in Kruger on Facebook!)

Day 18 of the lockdown
Chilled out bull almost asleep in his mud

Parked next to that muddy bull, I somehow felt like that is what the mood is like for the animals in the park at the moment. They are all chilled! Not just this big guy enjoying his time at the wallow, but the breeding herds I spent time with; tummy-rumbling with contentment. The big herd of buffalo up against a rise all still lying down and chilling, zebra’s parked off on the road. It feels like the whole park is just relaxed. Except for the impala. It is the beginning of the rutting season so they are far from relaxed. They are just chasing each other around looking for love. But everyone else: completely relaxed in the knowledge there is no noisy, colourful machines driving them off the road. Goes to show what a missive impact us humans have on their natural environment.



With the two washing machines at the Laundromat (finally) busy cleaning our mountain of dirty washing I went to sit down on one of the benches at the dam. The water is slowly drying up in there as well. I could not see the hippo that has been in the dam on my previous laundry days. Maybe he has already moved to deeper waters. A medium-sized crocodile was sunning himself on the bank on the left. Mouth open the way crocodiles do when they are soaking up the heat of the sun. And while I was listening to the chorus of birds all around me, I got that same feeling of relaxation I could see in the animals on my way to camp.


Yes, this lock-down is hectic. For everyone around the world. But it is also a time where I am not pressed for time to do anything! Not to get the kids ready for school and to have their bags and lunches packed. Or to have dinner ready on time when they get back and all the other things that make ‘normal’ every-day-life so rushed. This is the time to actually live in the moment – to live life one day at a time. To enjoy making memories; Both as a family and on these special ‘laundry days’. Where, for a few hours, I have the Kruger National Park all to myself.


37 thoughts on “On Lock-Down inside Kruger National Park – Day 18

  1. Hi Linda, I imagine it’s quite nice to have the park virtually all to yourself. Enjoy it for as long as you can you lucky people! Best Regards and stay safe and well!

  2. Love reading all about your life in Kruger – I cant work out which camp you live in and where you do your laundry? Stay safe and keep writing thank you

      1. My 1st encounter with Kruger Park was at Berg en Dal in 2003. My husband and our 9 years old daughter got such a fright when we came across a black rhino on one of our game drives. I still tease them about it. Very peaceful campsite I must say. We subsequently visited Punda Malia in 2004. Would like to visit Skukuza sometimes.

  3. I emigrated very recently to the UK but before I did that I insisted on a week in Kruger before I departed. I absolutely love the outdoor life and the wilderness makes my heart happy. I’m sad that i had to leave Africa but I will return to Kruger for sure someday.
    Your daily blogs are very enjoyable, and I often think, the animals are probably happy that those coloured things that stop and stare at them are not around! You are a lucky lady to have a life in Kruger. Enjoy and Thanks for your daily stories.

  4. Why don’t you do your washing at home
    I’m sure NKP staff houses can take a washing mashine ?
    Don’t mine you going on the trip, just curious about the reason !

    Tx for your blok.

    1. Hi Awie! If you read back to my lockdown diary a week or two ago, I write about how our washing machine broke a week before the announcement of lockdown. No part available in sa so as much as I would love to do my washing at home, I cant at the moment.

  5. Have been following your lock down and would love to be there in the park was there in January and hope to be back in Feb next year

  6. Hey Linda
    I live in Durban and gave up undies a week into the lockdown. In fact whenever my wife and I visit KP (3 times a year) I’m commando (no undies) from day 1. Tell Jack! Hahaha.

  7. I am loving your stories. You are keeping the Park alive for me. Have there been cases of poaching? Stay safe. Gerry Gericke

          1. Nogal gedink dis dalk die natuur wat julle wekker is. Hier by ons langs Harties dam maak die voëlgeluide my ook rustig wakker. Maar vanoggend is dit die nagapie wat in ons grasdak bly. Hy is ietwat stout, spring soos Tarzan van balk tot balk.

  8. Thank you for your wonderful daily updates from the Kruger Park. I love the place and have visited from the UK 5 times and are supposed to be there again in September but don’t know I that will happen. Our first camp is Berg en Dal so we could be coming in your gate. Thank you for all he updates. I love hearing about your family. I don’t know when I will see mine again as we are in a 12 week lockdown as we are over 70 and I also have heart problems. Keep the updates coming.

    1. Hi Angela, I really hope you will able to come and visit in September. !2 weeks of lock-down sounds very hectic! Please look after yourself! Hugs, Linda

  9. Reading your lockdown blog I’m beginning to feel quite sad for the animals the day the first cars are permitted back into Kruger. They must be so enjoying the absolute peace and freedom – for example I can imagine prides of lions on the tar roads first thing in the morning NOT being forced to get up and walk off through the chilly dew-drenched grass!! So glad you’re enjoying your laundry trips whilst you can – and the unhurried family time too. Special memories being created!

    1. I agree Sal! Luckily animals are resilient and adept quickly, but you are very right and we are going to enjoy every second of it! Please look after yourself! Xx lin

  10. So lovely to hear how a foreigner enjoys the bush that I as a South African had to miss due to lockdownand cancelled reservations. Thank you

    1. Wow Brian, I have not been called a foreigner for a long time. I have lived in South Africa for more than 7 years and I am very fortunate to call Kruger home. I am married to a south african citizen, I speak Afrikaans, one of children was born here.
      I am very sorry the lockdown messed up your holiday plans in the bush. Kruger will still be here for everyone to enjoy with us when this pandemic is over.

    2. Brian. Maybe you should become a ranger. Then you could stay in the bush with the next pandemic 😉 Or you could even marry a ranger?
      In the mean time, send us your family tree with locations so we can decide whether you too are a foreigner or qualify as an African.

  11. I read your blog awe Linda, I can only envy you guys. Gosh, it’s one of my wildest dreams to have KNP all to myself. One concern though, is there still patrols out looking for poachers and animals that have been snared and with snares around there necks and legs etc. Unfortunately the poachers don’t give a dam about the lock down. Please stay safe and enjoy the peace and tranquility.

  12. I’m drinking all your storties. Yes I heard about the virus visiting Malelane. Suddenly it becomes real. Do you know a lion was looking for visitors, outside the park (near where we lived so for me it was exciting) the same cironovirus supermarket week.
    Linda, how are all the staff. I miss seeing them. Did they stay there or go to their homes elsewhere?
    That berg en dal road always delights. I wonder what the majula waterhole is like…. Now it belongs to the animsls again.
    Stay safe little one, and your family. Xx

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