The Kruger National Park is undeniably one of my favourite places on earth, growing up we spent many a happy holiday in the Park as a family, being in the park I was always at my happiest. I can still recall, as a young child sitting in the DREADED class room, not paying attention to the class lesson and instead, seeing if I could list all the names of the camps in Kruger, it the correct situational order, from southern Kruger to Northern Kruger. As a young adult I would sit in the small claustrophobic office where I did temp work and instead of completing Job cards I would be compiling lists of indigenous trees, memorizing botanical names. It’s quite funny, for someone who seems to really enjoy compiling lists, I’m pretty unorganized! Anyway, the point here being that my heart always has, and always will be in the African bush. So naturally, when my mom asked me to accompany her on a camping trip to Kruger I enthusiastically accepted the invitation.
Spending any amount of time in the bush is always therapeutic to my soul. The colours of the vegetation, the textures of the veld, the way in which the light hits the landscape, just about everything inspires me. Of course it is wonderful to go out on drives, discovering the exquisite fauna and flora as you go, but I also love to sit quietly in camp, observing the routines of the creatures which inhabit the area as they go about their daily activities, unaware of your presence. On short trips like this I always take pencils and paper with me, not wanting to miss out on the opportunity to feed my soul through creative outlet (pencils and paper being slightly easier than carting along an easel and all the paraphernalia that oil painting requires). I have always loved to draw birds, ever since I was a little girl, and because Kruger has phenomenal bird life I always feel inspired to churn out a few sketches whilst I’m in the area.
I have been very fortunate to share a very close relationship with my Mom, we have a lot in common, sharing passions for art, music and of course… the bush. We are no shrinking violets when it comes to camping either, although it had been many years since we last camped together and it was quite interesting trying to remember the correct way of putting up our tent. The first attempt was a little dodgy but of course we got there in the end and when it came time to set up at our next camp site we came off looking like seasoned professionals- that’s our story and we’re sticking to it 😉
All in all this was an extremely special trip, we had some incredible game sightings including a very fast paced Cheetah kill where a coalition of three brothers took down a young Kudu, we really did make some unforgettable memories! As an additional bonus I managed to gather some good reference pics for painting too (always a priority).