My first time to Kruger National Park was another ‘working holiday’ in which my boss, one of his daughters and I traveled to retrieve a huge male serval. We actually were four on the way there, as my boss’ daughter sneaked her little Chihuahua mix, named Nip, on the journey. This led to an interesting time hiding him everywhere we went.
Kruger is one of the largest reserves in Africa. It is located in the Limpopo and Mpumalanga provinces and is linked to the Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park. This transfrontier park reaches over the boarders of South Africa into Mozambique and Zimbabwe. To get there from the reserve in which we lived, we had to travel through most of South Africa. This was especially nice for me as it was the first chance I had to see quite a bit of the country.
Along with other wonderful animals, I got to see two incredibly elusive creatures! A mere two minutes after we entered the park and rounded the first corner, there in a tree with a kill was a leopard. There are only about 2000 in the entire park. The most amazing spot (pun intended) was of an animal that’s population in the park in only near 120. A cheetah. Not even just walking but on kill, fighting off vultures. Amazing!
Moving out of the reserve we went to find the main reason why we traveled so far. A serval is a majestic cat that looks much like a small, long legged cheetah. They mainly feed on rodents, hares, and birds, but will take many different prey. Once I saw one jump three metres (10ft) into the air, from a stand still, to catch a dove in flight!
On this trip we were especially lucky. A friend of my boss had an African Wild Cat female that had recently come home. She gave birth a couple of weeks prior to our visit out in the wild. Only the day before did she bring them back to live in his house. Because of the desire to spread the genes we ended up with my first adorable African Wild Cat kitten. The whole 18 hour drive home Sergeant Stripe, as he became known, was splashing milk all over me and meowing non-stop.