We are at the Kruger National Park in South Africa and we are covering it all, from North to South; this morning we woke up very early, it's still dark outside but we get up and get ready, have breakfast on our terrace and then load the car and leave.

We leave from the Shigwenzi Rest Camp gate and head towards the S50 that runs along the dry river, there are only a few pools of water where the animals gather; as we cross the road, beyond the river, the sun is rising: how wonderful!

The colors of the dawn are as beautiful as those of the sunset, but they are different, a bit colder usually, they tend to pink rather than red and orange.

We enjoy the view as we drive on the road looking for animals.

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We arrive at the Kenniedood dam, there is not much water and there seems to be no one but we stop in any case to observe with the binoculars: not far in the river bed there is a herd of impalas, while farther away, invisible to the naked eye, we see a silhouette that walks sinuously, we cannot see what it is, it is too far away, but the movement is that of a cat, will it be a leopard?

We will always remain with the doubt because there is no way to approach it any further than that, moreover, shortly after, it is stuck in the vegetation, from that moment we have not seen it any longer.

We continue along the S50 and see an elephant along the river bank, it is sleeping, every now and then it wakes up, eats a tuft of grass and then sleeps again; the elephants sleep standing placing the trunk on the ground and they remain there motionless.

A little further on we see a whole herd of elephants crossing the dry river first, then going back along the sandy quay and finally crossing the road not far from us; how nice to see that there are so many puppies, a hope for these animals threatened by extinction.

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Finally we find a pool of water in the riverbed and here we see several waterfowls including the African spoonbills, the yellow billed, the gray herons and the wolly-necked storks; in the water there are also several Nile crocodiles.

At some point on the S50 we decide to go back to the Shigwenzi Rest Camp and from there we take the S 134, from here we take the detour that leads to a puddle that is dry but, in its vicinity, we sighted the giraffes; also along the way we spot the Goliath heron, that is not called this way by chance, in fact it is 50 cm high, different starlings, some buffaloes, the fearful kudus and some waterbucks that, as soon as they see us, escape into the bush.

The S 134 leads us on the H 1-6 that is a main road, we travel only a short distance, up to take the S 52 that runs along the banks of a river.

Here there is no other car, there is only us, moreover the scenery is beautiful, for a short distance we also have four-legged traveling companions: some impalas walk in front of our car, it seems that they want to accompany us somewhere : a smile for the Go Pro that shoots you from the hood of our car please!

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Along this road we do not make exceptional sightings but we enjoy the landscape; however, we see some wildebeests and various giraffes, that look at us curious from behind the bushes or cross the road in front of us running with their innate elegance.

The S 52 has several loops that lead to the banks of the river, both on one side and on the other, and allow us to see if there are animals, especially where pools of water persist.

We stop along one of these loops and drink a coffee while we enjoy the view.

We drive all the way in both directions and find ourselves on the H 1-6 that, in this section, has some detours leading to the pools; we go to the Olifantsbad, the name promises well, in fact it means "where the elephants swim" but, not only there are no elephants, there is not even water.

Since it is time for lunch and, above all, we are hungry, we decide to stop here for eating; obviously we cannot get out of the car, but last night we prepared everything in the thermal bag, so ... Bon Appetite!

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We find the elephants not far away, they are a nice pack and are on the march, probably they are looking for water; it's always nice to see them, we could stay hours looking at them.

We also see a beautiful eagle perched on a branch and several zebras that remain there impaled in the void with their eyes fixed on the horizon, they look like many vedettes; occasionally some of them start to browse but then return to observe that there are no dangers looming.

Along the H 1-6 there is also a large boulder that marks the passage of the parallel of the Tropic of Capricorn; here you can get off the car to take some pictures or selfies, but there are no fences, so you have to pay close attention and get off at your own risk, as the sign posted by the San Parks rangers says.

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We get off and take a couple of selfies, I would say that they are almost a ritual, then we get back in the car and leave.
We take another track, the S 143; along this road we see a grysbok, some bustards, including the bust of Kori, the heaviest bird in the world that can fly, and, near a puddle, we see several zebras and tsessebes, the latter are not easy to spot because they live in wooded areas and often run away when they hear the sound of cars, and being the fastest antelopes of all, in a moment they disappear in the vegetation.

We continue our safari driving South and we stop near an artificially created puddle, here there is water and then there are also several animals: a herd of zebras gets here to drink, while some hippos are immersed in the mirror of water; there are also several birds such as the hammerkops and several herons.

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At another puddle we see several elephants that have come here to drink and to bathe with mud to cool off and to protect themselves from sun and insects; instead of drinking the water from the pool, they lengthen their trunks and drink directly from the reservoir, that collects rainwater and that contains the water extracted from the subsoil, this is certainly cleaner than the water in the pool.

In this area we see a lot of elephants, impossible to count them; we are in love with these clever and beautiful beasts!

We drive on a final stretch of the H 1-6, where we find the confluence of two rivers, we take some pictures and then continue.

Shortly after we arrive at the Mopani Rest Camp, it is easy to guess the reason for the name of this camp, we are completely surrounded by mopane trees with their wonderful autumn colors.

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