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Game viewing and picnic sites in southern Kruger

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Game Viewing

Berg-en-Dal The focus of the camp is the Rhino Trail along the perimeter fence (with Braille facilities), meandering under riverine trees along the Matjulu dam, where there are resident crocodiles and nesting fish eagles. Game includes white rhino, leopards and lions, and plenty of kudu. Some say this is the best camp from which to set out on a morning walk, because of the high likelihood of encountering white rhino, and the pretty scenery.

Crocodile Bridge Try the tarred H4 north and dirt S25 east for elephant, rhino and buffalo. For cheetah, among the best places are the open plains along the S28 Nhola Road. If you’re pushing north to Lower Sabie, it’s worth taking the drive slowly, as this area, dotted with knobthorn and marula trees, is known for its herbivores, which include giraffe, wildebeest, zebra and buffalo, as well as ostrich, warthog and the magnificent black sable antelope. You should also keep your eyes peeled for predators such as lion, cheetah, hyena and jackal.

Lower Sabie The must-drive roads here include the H10 for lion and cheetah, the S130 for white rhino and the H4-1 for leopard. Sunset Dam, just outside Lower Sabie, is a favourite sunset spot, where you can get really close to the water, and is worthwhile at any time of day.

Pretoriuskop A decent focus for a day drive is Transport Dam, on the H1-1, a good place to see buffalo and elephant, and there’s invariably other game to be found.

Skukuza Most people drive along the Sabie River to Lower Sabie, on the H4, one of the best places to see game. The tangled riverine forest, flanked by acacia bush and mixed savanna, is the most fertile and varied in the park. Another great drive is northeast on the H1–2 to Tshokwane picnic site, stopping at Elephant, Jones, Leeupan and Siloweni water holes. The area around Skukuza is also one of the best places to see endangered African wild dogs; worth trying is the S114 between Skukuza and Berg-en-Dal, the S1 between Phabeni Gate and Skukuza, and the H11 between Paul Kruger Gate and Skukuza.

Picnic sites

One of the park’s nicest picnic sites is at Afsaal, between Berg-en-Dal and Skukuza on the H3, a good focus for a day drive. Once here, look out for the African scops-owl which sleeps in a tamboti tree nearly every day – the tree is marked so that you can try to spot the camouflaged bird. There’s a shop on site.

Another top picnic spot is Mlondozi, north of Lower Sabie on the S29, which overlooks a dam from a thatched lapa, with some tables and chairs under trees. Tshokwane Picnic Site, 40km north of Lower Sabie on the H10, is much busier, but you can buy meals here.

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