Going on a Kakadu Safari

Our Kakadu Safari guide catching reptiles As soon as we arrive in Darwin several Kakadu travel deals are being offered to us. From the different tours on offer, we choose one that is called a Kakadu Safari. Or, to be more precise, a Kakadu 4WD Eco Adventure Safari. We are promised not only to see the landscape, waterfalls, and aboriginal art, but also the different species of animals living in Kakadu National Park.

Famous Jumping Crocodiles

Early in the morning, our guide Dave picks us up in his large jeep. Together with three Danish girls we will make a 2 day trip, spending the night in the National Park. From Darwin, the Arnhem Highway will bring us to the park. But first, we make a stop at the Famous Jumping Crocodiles. We do not know what to expect, but it sounds a little tacky. And soon we find out we are right about that.

Famous Jumping Crocodile We step aboard a large river boat. It’s the shoulder season so there aren’t many tourists on board. While we float on the river, a voice over the intercom tells us we will see wild crocodiles which will be fed from the boat. And a little later we see something in the water approaching us. The voice tells us this is Annie, apparently they not only know the crocs by name, but the crocs also know when it is feeding time. I guess they are not so wild after all.

From the roof of the boat a large fishing-rod with a big chunk of meat is lowered into the water. The meat is tapped on the water a few times, but when the croc comes close it is pulled up. To get the meat the crocodile has to rise from the water, using its strong tail. We have to admit it’s an amazing sight, which we will see a few times more before we get back to the landing docks. But we also agree this is a real tourist trap.

Catching Reptiles

Lizard caught by our guide When we enter the National Park, the Kakadu Safari really starts. Dave, our guide, looks around while driving, and stops several times to jump from the car, run to a tree, climb in it, and pull some kind of reptile from it. Goannas, lizards, and other crawling stuff of quite large sizes are shown to us this way, and we are pretty impressed.

After a while we stop for a hike to a pond for a swim. Unfortunately, we are probably too noisy to see more animals, but the landscape is great, and we are busy enough walking and climbing in the heat. When we reach the water hole, the enjoy a refreshing dive into it. After the swim, we walk and climb on to reach a high point with view over Kakadu National Park to watch the sunset.

Croc and Snake spotting

At night we Barbeque before we go out with the jeep to spot crocodiles in the dark. We pass a flooding river, where Dave runs from the car to catch a large snake, who has just eaten a small animal. We can clearly see where that is located inside of the snake. And we also see what we came for: crocodiles luring in the dark for a prey. After this, we can return to the hostel in the park for good nights rest.

Aboriginal Art

The following morning we rise early to go to the sites where aboriginal art was found. These carvings on the rocks are very old, and although we already saw them on pictures, it is quite something to see them right there where they were found.

While walking through the bush to see the rock paintings, we have to be aware not to walk into a spider web, or step on a large insect. Waterfall in Kakadu National Park These creatures are around all the time, and as if we weren’t careful enough, we are told how poisonous most of them are.

Kakadu Waterfalls

We move on to see some of the great Kakadu Waterfalls. It is time for another swim, and since the water is very deep here, we can make a dive high from the rocks. Feeling quite tough having done that, we see how Dave climbs twice as high for an impressive dive.

This was the end of our Kakadu Safari. We got to see some of the amazing landscapes in the Northern Territory, and some of the amazing creatures that live here. Most of the credits go to our guide Dave, I don’t think there are many guides that pull the stunts he did to show us the different kinds of wildlife.


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