This was not a great trip. It was only good trip. Seeing cats was one of the things I was most looking forward to. When we signed up for the trip, it was our understanding that we would be doing the 'Kapama' itinerary (Big 5 in the Kapama Game Reserve). Instead we were put on the 'Humala' itinerary.
Dunkeld to the Panorama route was a long (about 2.5 hours) and bumpy ride. Panorama back to Dunkeld was just as bumpy and just about as long
We were fortunate to be the only three on the tour this week. Had we been with others, someone, likely us, would have been put in the rear seats of the van. As it was, sitting in the back seat was a 'sea sickening' experience. As I understand it, the ride back to Dunkeld would not have happened with the Kapama itinerary.
Dunkeld to Humala was another 3 hour long and somewhat bumpy ride. We knew the ride would be long, but after the prior days' rides we were ready for the long rides to be over.
Experience at Humala was excellent all around. We enjoyed the accommodations, staff, local game drives and food.
The game drives were bumpy and realistic as expected.
Our guide Thandi was a pleasure to be with.
We saw a wide variety of wildlife.
Humala to Kruger was a long and somewhat bumpy three hour ride.
Arrived at 730 AM. We were informed by Thabo (our GoTouchDown guide) that we would be self driving through the park in our van because other guests had felt rushed when using the Kruger guides. This seemed reasonable.
Our Kruger experience was limited to staying on the main road and yielded some game viewing, but was well below what we expected.
We saw a Hyena and its pups, a lone elephant, a few white rhinos, a few baboons and a lot of impala. NO CATS.
We had lunch in Kruger then left the park.
Just outside the Kruger gate we saw a hippo about 200 yards away.
The long 3 hour ride back to Humala was uneventful.
We departed in the morning and embarked on our 3 1/2 hour drive back to Seasons resort north of Johannesburg.
Thabo drove us to the Lion and Safari Park where we went for a short ride through the area to see lions. Although we saw lions, it fell way short of what we had hoped to experience in South Africa. We all felt that it was similar to a trip to Busch Gardens or Animal Kingdom in Orlando, kind of staged.
At this point we are anxious to get out of South Africa.
So, to summarize our trip. Too much back and forth driving. Good, not great. Although it was probably a once in a lifetime trip, it was not a trip of a lifetime. All of the staff that we met were great.