Guest Post! Written by Edmond Denning Twitter -  @ehdphotography Instagram -  @ehdphotography Facebook Page - Edmond Denning Photo...

Kruger National Park - South Africa

Guest Post!
Written by Edmond Denning
Twitter - @ehdphotography
Instagram - @ehdphotography

Hi there everyone!

The thought of waking up at 5:30 in the morning is a terrifying one. It's a not a pleasant thought... unless it was to be driven around for 3 hours in one of the most beautiful places on Earth - the Kruger National Park, South Africa. I've been fortunate enough to visit a few times and this blog is me trying to, let's say, give an insight into why I have returned so many times.

Reasons why I return to Kruger National Park in South Africa

1. The Photographs - I'm a photographer and the Kruger National Park is one of the best places in the world for anyone interested in photography with its epic landscapes, awe-inspiring sunrises/ sunsets and of course - the animals.

sunset, sunrise, south africa, travel, guest post
You can't deny that this is a beautiful thing to see!
2. The wildlife - It's a vast wilderness (around the size of Wales) which allows or Africa's most well known animals to roam free. Before I came here, zoo's seemed like the go-to place to see things like lions, leopards, elephants, and giraffes, and countless other animals that you just wouldn't see in your back garden.  They'll tell you on safari that "insert animal here" has a huge territory of tens if not hundreds of square kilometers.

impala, wildlife, south africa, travel
Impala often hang around in big groups.
3. The Adventure - There is something hypnotising about this place. The idea that you have no idea when you're going to see something really keeps you on your toes; as a photographer perhaps more so. The first time we went, there was something so special and insanely unfamiliar about this land that sparked my interest from the first day. I've been to other places in South Africa, but the Kruger is something different to any of those. I see it as a canvas of possibilities, as a photographer, and as a general wildlife lover. It is so unique and every trip has been starkly different in some way to previous trips. Each time, something new and exciting crops up. It's amazing how this happens but I think it comes down to the vastness of this place and the way the weather sculpts it. With months of rain or drought, each time we visit brings about new places and new routes to drive down.

adventure, safari, lion, south africa, travel
Don't mind us, it's ok. We don't want to drive on the road it's fine! 
4. The People - It is often said that it is the people that make a place special. This is definitely the case when it comes to where we stay in South Africa. The company that runs the camp, like many others, originally had to ask the local townsfolk if it was alright to build on their land. As a part of this agreement, as it is in many places, the camp took on many local men and women as staff. Some are kitchen staff, other trackers and rangers. In the vicinity there is a Wildlife College that students go to, to learn about tracking and being rangers, etc. and they often end up working for the camps as well. It is an increasing problem in South Africa that the youth are unaware of local opportunities. There are however volunteer-led camps that teach children about the plethora of opportunities available for them, even within just one safari lodge/camp, let alone the hundreds, if not thousands, of tented safari camps across the Kruger. The best thing about having locals working around you is there extensive knowledge about the environment. They may tell you that a certain tree can be used as a tooth brush (this is actually true!) if you snap off a twig and use the inside. 

people, locals, culture, south africa, travel
This is Conright, a tracker!
5. The Food - It's not just the wildlife that's exceptional. Being in a place like the Kruger National Park opens your eye to how versatile the plants and trees can be. The locals often point out which tree's can be edible or have edible fruits. A rather famous one is the Marula plant which produces golf-ball sized green fruit. These are harvested to create "Amarula" a sweet alcoholic drink. There is an "old wives tale" that tells of Elephants getting drunk off the fruits alone. Another is the "Sour Plum" which can make you wince even after eating the tiniest piece.

There we go then. Those are 5 of the main reasons to show why I return to Kruger National Park almost every year! I have so much more I can say about South Africa so I can guarantee this won't be my last post! I enjoy writing for Kira's blog so I shall be back with more soon enough.

Until then, see you later!
- Edmond :D

Is there any where you find yourself constantly returning to? Where's the best place you've visited?

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