Springtime was on full display in Kruger in October this year. The days were hot, the nights were warm and the bush was still dry which made spotting cheetah and leopard cubs so much easier. October also brought us an abundance of other newborn sightings like baby warthogs, elephant calves, hyena cubs and rhino calves.

But it was perhaps the more unusual sightings, one of which we've only experienced a handful of times over many years, that took our October game drives to the next level. The extremely rare black rhino, the elusive caracal, the beautiful bateleur eagle and two African fish eagle mates sounding their unmistakable calls from atop of withered tree were just a few of the highlights we got to share with our guests. Scroll down for more October 2021 Kruger safari highlights.

1 Kruger Safaris October 2021 Highlights Cheetah and cubs

Cheetah with her four cubs.

(Image: Simon Vegter)
2 Kruger Safaris October 2021 Highlights Leopard

Beautiful leopard.

(Image: Nicky Firer)
3 Kruger Safaris October 2021 Highlights Kudu bull

Kudu bull enjoying the flowers of the woolly caper bush.

(Image: Simon Vegter)
4 Kruger Safaris October 2021 Highlights Baby warthogs

Proud mama warthog.

(Image: Simon Vegter)
5 Kruger Safaris October 2021 Highlights Bateleur eagle

The unmistakable bateleur eagle.

(Image: Simon Vegter)
6 Kruger Safaris October 2021 Highlights Elephant calf

Elephant calf.

(Image: Nicky Firer)
7 Kruger Safaris October 2021 Highlights Caracal

The rarest cat in Kruger; a caracal. In Afrikaans, it's known as a rooikat which means "red cat".

(Image: Simon Vegter)
8 Kruger Safaris October 2021 Highlights African fish eagles

African fish eagles call together to strengthen their social bond and reaffirm their territory.

(Image: Simon Vegter)
9 Kruger Safaris October 2021 Highlights Black rhino

The tail end of two rare black rhinos at the tail end of our first game drive of the safari.

(Image: Simon Vegter)
10 Kruger Safaris October 2021 Highlights Leopard cubs

Two leopard cubs emerge from the bush.

(Image: Simon Vegter)
11 Kruger Safaris October 2021 Highlights Hamerkop

Hamerkops sometimes hunt by hovering over the surface of the water.

(Image: Simon Vegter)
12 Kruger Safaris October 2021 Highlights Lion

A male lion scents the breeze.

(Image: Simon Vegter)
13 Kruger Safaris October 2021 Highlights Rock monitors

Something you don't see every day; cuddling rock monitors.

(Image: Simon Vegter)
14 Kruger Safaris October 2021 Highlights Rhino calf

Rhino calf.

(Image: Nicky Firer)
15 Kruger Safaris October 2021 Highlights African wild dogs

Painted wolves playing energentically.

(Image: Simon Vegter)
16 Kruger Safaris October 2021 Highlights Tawny eagle

Tawny eagle.

(Image: Simon Vegter)
17 Kruger Safaris October 2021 Highlights Lion

A lion stares up at a leopard's kill stashed in a tree.

(Image: Simon Vegter)
18 Kruger Safaris October 2021 Highlights Dwarf mongoose

Dwarf mongoose on the lookout for danger.

(Image: Simon Vegter)
19 Kruger Safaris October 2021 Highlights Verreauxs eagle owl

The best chance of spotting a Verreaux's eagle-owl is on a night drive.

(Image: Simon Vegter)
20 Kruger Safaris October 2021 Highlights Black backed jackal

This black-backed jackal hung around a lion kill in the hopes of stealing some scraps.

(Image: Simon Vegter)
21 Kruger Safaris October 2021 Highlights Yellow billed stork

A very brave yellow-billed stork.

(Image: Simon Vegter)
22 Kruger Safaris October 2021 Highlights Lion cub

We spotted this lion cub in the recently burned thickets. Without the adults around, it appeared quite nervous and quickly disappeared to a safer area.

(Image: Simon Vegter)
23 Kruger Safaris October 2021 Highlights Hyena cub

Inquisitive hyena cub.

(Image: Simon Vegter)
24 Kruger Safaris October 2021 Highlights Giraffes

Giraffes on the move.

(Image: Simon Vegter)
25 Kruger Safaris October 2021 Highlights Elephants

Elephants gather at the water.

(Image: Simon Vegter)

South Africa's Kruger National Park is a fantastic year-round destination and no matter what time of year you choose to go on a Kruger safari, the game viewing is excellent. If, however, you want to combine Kruger with other destinations like Cape Town or Victoria Falls, contact us for advice on the ideal time to travel so you get the best out of all experiences.

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About the author

Dianne
Dianne

Dianne Kokkonidis was born in Johannesburg, grew up in the Transkei and spent years exploring Europe. She returned to South Africa to live on a farm in the Outeniqua Mountains when the call of Africa got too loud to ignore. She comes from a family of storytellers, so it's no surprise she's now found her way into writing about one of the oldest stories known to mankind - the lure of Africa.