The northern section of the Kruger National Park is an area of unique biodiversity. It's one of the few places where fever tree forests grow side by side with forests of giant baobabs. The trees line the banks of the Limpopo and Luvuvhu rivers: the slim, pale, luminescent green trunks of the fever trees glimmering between the massive dark brown trunks of the baobabs. It's easy to imagine you're in a Brothers Grimm story, where witches and fairies lurk around every corner.
When you stay at Pafuri Camp, one of the Kruger Park's private lodges, you're in the ancestral lands of the Makuleke people, who, in partnership with Wilderness Safaris, act as custodians and landlords of this wildly beautiful area. Local staff are trained and encouraged by experienced rangers and service staff from all over South Africa.
Your birding guide will spot a fleeting feather as easily as you can find your way around your home town. If you're looking for that special bird, they'll find it, entice it nearer with its own individual call, and then all you have to do is tick it off on your list. The crowned eagle, the wattle-eyed flycatcher, Bohm's spinetail, and of course, the elusive and highly sought-after Pels fishing owl, are some of the specials. The Big Five - lion, elephant, leopard, rhino, buffalo - is present, and you'll encounter elephants everywhere.
Well over a million years ago, Homo erectus walked and lived here. You'll be shown Stone-Age hand-axes and unexcavated dinosaur fossils.
Crooks' Corner, which links South Africa, Mozambique and Zimbabwe, is where the villains of yesteryear hung out. In winter, when the Limpopo is dry, they could run easily from one country to another, dodging the herds of elephants which take mud baths along the banks, and, like Kipling's Elephant's Child, make sloshy, schloopy mudcaps for themselves.
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