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Animals Spotted in South Africa's Kruger Park

Before I went to South Africa, I never really had it in mind to go on safari. But I had for many years wanted to visit South Africa, and it seemed like a "when in Rome" situation. When in South Africa, you go see wild game. My friends did most of the leg work for the safari part of the trip, which we spent in Kruger National Park, South Africa's most well-known game park, which has a landmass bigger than Israel. Kruger had the egalitarian feel of American national parks, with tents, cabin, and lodge style accommodations all available. Our bungalow had everything we needed, including a refrigerator, stove, our own bathroom (indoor plumbing, yes), and importantly, a braai--the South African word for barbecue. But of course, it was all about the animals. As the wisdom goes with photography, you take a lot of photos and only a few are good, and that was about right for these. Here are some of my favorite animal photos from Kruger:

 Elephants became an unexpectedly common sight, and were the animals we most frequently saw up close from our rental car.

Elephants became an unexpectedly common sight, and were the animals we most frequently saw up close from our rental car.

 Giraffes are as graceful as one might imagine.

Giraffes are as graceful as one might imagine.

 It often felt like the animals were asking "You looking at me? Are you looking at me?"

It often felt like the animals were asking "You looking at me? Are you looking at me?"

 We got unexpectedly close to some zebra.

We got unexpectedly close to some zebra.

 On a morning walk, led by two guides, our herd of humans came face to face with a herd of buffalo

On a morning walk, led by two guides, our herd of humans came face to face with a herd of buffalo

 Some animals I did not expect, like this wildebeest

Some animals I did not expect, like this wildebeest

 We saw several birds with colorful heads and necks, like this one.

We saw several birds with colorful heads and necks, like this one.

 And perhaps the weirdest animal, the human being. My friends and I and our two excellent guides Walter and Luonga for our morning walk

And perhaps the weirdest animal, the human being. My friends and I and our two excellent guides Walter and Luonga for our morning walk

 That dark fluff is a lion. We were desperate for a lion sighting, so we paid someone to stage that one (not really).

That dark fluff is a lion. We were desperate for a lion sighting, so we paid someone to stage that one (not really).

 Elephants made appearance after appearance, and we loved it.

Elephants made appearance after appearance, and we loved it.