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Day 15

Thursday 18 August 2005
Sabi Sabi - Coach House Hotel, Tzaneen

This morning we had enough time for one last game drive at Sabi Sabi before leaving the lodge just after 09:00.

We headed south out of the Sabi Sabi Game Reserve for 16km to the Paul Kruger Gate, where we entered the Kruger National Park, which was to be our location for most of the day. The Kruger National Park is the largest and arguably the finest wildlife park in southern Africa and is home to many different species of animals.

As we took regular detours on the network of gravel roads, which run away from the main park road, we were lucky to stumble across waterholes and more fertile areas. These were surrounded by numerous types of animals including elephants, zebras, giraffes and impalas (to name only a few) all stopping to replenish water supplies that would have no doubt been depleted in the blazing hot midday sun. Some participants were even fortunate enough to see lions and leopards.

The main all-asphalt route was 225km from the entrance at the Paul Kruger Gate to our point of egress the Phalaborwa Gate. Although not a great distance it took plenty of time to cover due to frequent photo stops and restricted speeds as animals crossing the roads suddenly was a continual hazard. (We shan't mention 'Safari Roadkill', a game invented by Jingers and Dr Greg. Happy to say, though, they're not very good at it.)

After leaving the park, it was a fast drive of little over an hour on good asphalt, which climbs up twisty roads to the lovely hilltop Coach House Hotel, whose unique rooms and tasty cuisine more than matched the opulence of Sabi Sabi.