Take a listen to the sounds of Kruger at night

Winona Griggs

Listen to the enchanting sounds of Kruger National Park at night

The adventure doesn’t stop when the sun sets in Kruger National Park. Spending a night in Kruger is always special. Not only do you have the incredible opportunity to wake up and start another day in this magnificent place, but you also get to immerse yourself in the captivating sounds of the bush at night. It’s a time when many birds and animals come to life, creating a symphony of nature that’s truly mesmerizing.

Take a listen to the sounds of Kruger at night

Sometimes, the chorus of the night soothes me to sleep, while other times it jolts me awake, sending shivers down my spine. That’s just how it is when you spend a night in the wilderness. The melodic trill of a fiery-necked nightjar can gently lull me to dreamland, but a haunting whoo-ooop from a hyena can shatter the silence and jolt me back to reality. Camping under nothing more than a flimsy canvas suddenly feels woefully inadequate when a lion’s roar reverberates through the air.

Each night in the wild is unique, with its own special symphony that changes with the seasons. However, there are a few sounds that are familiar companions throughout most of the year in Kruger.

One of those sounds is the distinctive “sawing” call of the leopard, often heard in the early hours of the morning.

I hear the mighty roar of a lion, an iconic sound that resonates across the African plains. It’s a call that serves as a territorial declaration, especially when male lions are asserting their dominance and marking their location. Lions and lionesses use their roars to stay in touch with each other and communicate their availability to potential mates.

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In the distance, the haunting whoop of a spotted hyena carries for over 3 kilometers. It’s a sound that sends shivers down your spine, echoing through the night.

And then there’s the deep, distinctive grunting of a Verreaux’s Eagle Owl. Its guttural call is a testament to the power and mystery of the African wilderness.

But it doesn’t stop there. The wailing cry of a black-backed jackal pierces the silence, often met with immediate responses from other jackals. It’s a chorus that reminds you of the interconnectedness of nature.

Lastly, the African barred owlet adds its own touch of magic to the evening symphony in Kruger. Its soothing purr and melodic call blend with the hoots of scops and pearl spotted owlets, creating a serene atmosphere.

These are just a few examples of the incredible sounds that fill the African skies. Each call tells a story, conveying messages of dominance, connection, and the beauty of the wild. As you explore the wonders of nature, listen closely and let these sounds transport you to a world unlike any other.

If you love the sounds of the bush, you’re in for a treat! The December issue of Getaway magazine, which will be available in mid-November, features a fascinating story about a Sound Safari at Sausage Tree camp.

Located in the Greater Kruger area, Derek and Sarah Solomon from Hoedspruit, Limpopo, have created a one-of-a-kind experience. Their Sound Safaris allow guests to listen in on the secrets of the wild. While our ears might not catch everything happening in the bush, these safaris use special recording equipment attached to the front of a game drive vehicle. This allows guests to hear the nuanced sounds of nature, like a colony of ants crossing the road, the graceful flap of a bird’s wing, or the deep rumblings of elephants communicating with each other.

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If you’re ever curious about what hippos sound like underwater or why birds sing, you’re in luck. Derek and Sarah are experts in these matters, and they’re more than happy to share their knowledge with you. Join them on a Sound Safari, where you’ll discover the fascinating world of animal sounds. Want to hear more soundscapes from the African bush? Visit their website at https://dereksolomon.com/.

Every sound clip featured here was recorded by Derek and Sarah Solomon, with their permission.

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