First it was lions, hyenas and African wild dogs taking over the golf course at Skukuza in Kruger National Park, and now penguins are wandering down the roads of Simonstown and lions blocking a road in Kruger. With humans staying away during lockdown, rangers and patrols across South Africa’s parks are seeing wild animals that feel a whole lot more at ease.

lions sleep road kruger
Lions sleeping on the tar in a Kruger National Park road during lockdown. The photos have been reported around the world. Photo: SANParks

In a short video by the Southern African Foundation for the Conservation of Coastal Birds, the three penguins were taking a stroll down the Simonstown street, having left their usual haunt at Boulders Beach. “#Lockdown perks for #Africanpenguins in Simon’s Town,” SANCCOB tweeted.

SANCCOB added: “This is one of the reasons why our Penguin Rangers have their hands full… but waddling down the street is enjoyable & safer for the birds these days, clearly!” The organisation also encouraged penguin fans to #AdoptAnEgg at https://bit.ly/3csbrtQ to help save this #endangeredspecies.

In Kruger National Park, meanwhile, a large pride of lions, undisturbed by passing vehicles, blocked a road near Orpen Rest Camp for an afternoon nap. See the pictures below by ranger Richard Sowry.

Earlier this week, a video of lions, African wild dogs, hyena, impala, and numerous other animals wandering on the Skukuza golf course were videoed by superintendent Jean Rossouw.

In Table Mountain National Park, patrol teams have also been noticing animals closer to the roads, and have even seen the usually elusive caracal and klipspringer.