Mozambique boasts miles of untouched golden beaches, spectacular wildlife and fishing villages where ancestral traditions are kept alive. From woodland and mangroves to pristine reefs the variety of fauna and flora to be found in Mozambique is showcased in stunning nature reserves throughout the country. The busy capital of Maputo is full of history, art, music and a haven for shopping. Within driving distance is the Maputo Special Reserve, which is linked to parks in Swaziland and South Africa to form the Lubombo Transfrontier Conservation Area. For world class game drives Maputo is the closest international airport to Kruger National Park.

Further afield are magnificent National Parks such as Gorongosa. Game drives and hikes to the waterfalls of this re-emerging park reveal glorious landscapes and wildlife. Ponta do Ouro’s marine reserve and Pemba are beautiful ways to spend time by the water. The diving and safari opportunities in Mozambique together with the access it provides to other world famous National Parks makes Mozambique the ideal destination for nature lovers of all kinds.

Kruger National Park is a colossal world famous nature reserve located in South Africa. Nearly two million hectares are home to an incredible array of animal and plant species, making safaris here brush for any sign of the Big Five. Every visitor to Kruger hopes to spot lion, buffalo, rhino, leopard and elephant. I was most excited at the prospect of spotting an elusive big cat whether lion, leopard or cheetah.

I always imagined I would sense the presence of something as large as an elephant if it was close, game drives in Kruger showed me this is not the case. On several occasions everyone in the vehicle was so focused on spotting game in the distance that a huge elephant just meters away nearly went unnoticed. Seeing these animals in their natural habitat was breath taking, watching a playful elephant calf drink in the shadow of its protective mother is magical. Spotting a lion lounging on a rock is an unforgettable sight. Everything in Kruger feels special, from the dust that flies from the wheels of the four by four and dances in the sunlight to the sight of a hippo crossing the road.

On this trip leopards and cheetahs remained elusive, despite the silhouette of every misshapen tree branch against the sun resembling the curve of a resting leopard to my eyes. Strangely, I did not feel disappointed about this, rather more excited by the chance to come back and try again. My experience at Kruger was everything I had hoped it would be, and anything that I missed just gives me a reason to return. If you love nature, Kruger National Park is a place you have to visit.

While searching the internet for a safari company with the flexibility we would need to facilitate our trip we came across Africa Spear. Whether you can only spare a day to explore the park or a week to explore Lubombo Transfrontier Conservation Area they can design a trip for you at an extremely reasonable price. Pick up from your hotel in Maputo or Johannesburg, a drop off at a location of your choice and accommodation including breakfast and dinner are all part of your trip. The drivers are enthusiastic and extremely knowledgeable about the species in the park. Choosing a fantastic company to organize your excursion makes every detail more enjoyable.

To be comfortable on the drive I would suggest wearing many layers, as it can be warm in the beating sun of the afternoons and extremely chilly in the evenings with the wind from the jeep. A camera, or a phone with an exceptional camera such as the Nokia 1020, is essential. A trip to Kruger is once in a lifetime and you will want to record memories for the future and to share with friends. However you choose to experience safari in Mozambique or South Africa you are sure to fall in love with the landscapes, people and wildlife.

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