The Pafuri Triangle — a piece of wilderness in the very northern corner of South Africa’s Kruger National Park — is a land of giants. The trees are huge. The animals are huge. The beauty of the landscape is beyond comprehension.

Elephant eating in PafuriThis elephant looks small in the photo (which, incidentally, was shot from the doorway of my tent at Return Africa’s Pafuri Camp). Trust me though — he’s huge.

I spent three days at the Pafuri Camp, run by Return Africa, in the Makuleke Contractual Park. This section of the Kruger has a fascinating history, which I’ll describe in a future post.

Elephants and Baobabs: Kruger’s Photogenic Giants

I saw so many elephants during this trip and it’s been a struggle for me to narrow down the number of elephant photos I want to share. Same goes for the baobabs: I love these huge, ancient, topsy-turvy trees — which can only be found in the northern part of the Kruger — and I photographed them profusely. So before I go into the whole story of my trip, here are my favorite photos of the giants.

Baobab and truck shadowThis is my favorite baobab photo because you can also see the shadow of our safari vehicle. Note how this tree, which may be more than a thousand years old, dwarfs all of the other trees around it.

Elephant in fever tree forestMy favorite elephant photo, which again makes the elephant look smaller than he really is. This was a special elephant sighting because it happened in Pafuri’s magical fever tree forest. Fever trees, while they don’t compare to baobabs, are majestic in their own way with clouds of lacy green leaves and eerie, green-tinted bark.

Elephants in fever tree forestMore elephants and fever trees.

Baobab with weaver nestsA baobab in the late afternoon sun. The branches are dotted with weaver bird nests.

Baobabs at sunsetBaobab silhouettes at sunset.

Angry elephant in musth.A single male elephant, seen through the back of our truck. The elephant is in musth (pronounced “must”), as you can see from that dark, wet patch next to his eye. Male elephants in musth are particularly moody. He wasn’t too happy about our intrusion onto his road, but he held his temper.

Elephant on the road.We encountered the same elephant on the same stretch of road a couple of hours later. There was a car trailing behind him; the driver was afraid to pass the elephant and had been following along behind for 40 minutes.

The big baobab tree.Sunset at “the big tree”. Apparently this is the largest baobab in Pafuri. See the ant-like people on the bottom right?

Essay climbing the big baobab tree.Ezaya, our guide, demonstrates how to climb the big tree.

Bridge and Mini in the big baobab tree.My colleges Bridget (left) and Mini (right). They climbed the tree but I elected to stay on the ground.

I’ll have more to say about Pafuri soon. In the meantime, feel free to read the posts I wrote about a previous visit to Pafuri in 2011. See here and here and here.

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My stay in Pafuri was courtesy of Return Africa. Opinions expressed are mine.

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