Predator sightings in Northern Kruger

The northern parts of the Kruger National Park suffers from an inaccurate perception that predators there are fewer and harder to find, and consequently that part of the Park sees far fewer visitors than the area south of the Olifants River. It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy – fewer people looking for predators means fewer people finding predators – that suited us just fineΒ when we visited the area around Shingwedzi Rest Camp during the winter holidays. We returned home bragging about several splendid encounters with lions, leopards, spotted hyenas and both side-striped and black-backed jackals and hardly ever having to share the experience with other visitors. Please don’t let the secret out though – we’re only telling you! πŸ˜‰

Advertisements

49 thoughts on “Predator sightings in Northern Kruger

                  1. naturebackin

                    Your Kruger posts have encouraged us to follow-up on planning to visit there next year πŸ™‚ We have not been there for a very long time and have not been north of the Letaba before. We are planning on going in May-June next year, and as you suggest we will go via Marakele (3 nights at Tlopi) and Mapungubwe (3 nights at Leokwe) and then on to Kruger staying 3 nights each at the following: Punda Maria (safari tents), Sirheni Bush Camp, Shingwedzi and lastly at Shimuwini Bush Camp and then leave at Phalaborwa Gate. We decided to stick to the northern areas and we hope we are not covering too much ground. We prefer smaller camps and to be away from crowds. Shingwedzi is a big camp, but you say that the roads do not get congested around there, and that is encouraging. Thanks for all the info and lovely photos that you share.

                    Liked by 1 person

                    Reply
                    1. de Wets Wild Post author

                      Wow, Carol – that is a wonderful itinerary and you are going to have an amazing time for sure! Such special places you’ve picked and I am not even going to try and predict which you’ll enjoy most – each of them so special for their own reasons. With an itinerary like that to look forward to I’ll already be losing sleep from the excitement!

                      Liked by 1 person

                    2. naturebackin

                      Thanks, Dries. We are hoping to mix it up with some drives (e.g up to Pafuri) and around the areas we stay with just spending time chilling in the camps. We hope it won’t be literally chilling at that time of the year at least at night? Also hope that there will still be standing water in the rivers that are starting to dry at that time. Too bad the migratory birds will already have left, but can’t have everything πŸ™‚ This is a “luxury accommodation” trip for us and will make a change from our usual camping. And yes we are looking forward to it. Love that more northern vegetation …

                      Liked by 1 person

                    3. de Wets Wild Post author

                      The nights in the safari tent at Tlopi next to the dam will probably be the coldest, but nothing you won’t be able to cope with, and with the animals congregating at the water’s edge while you’re enjoying the braai fire you might not even notice! And you’ll already know to pack something warm for those early-morning game drives in the Lowveld that you can easily take off again by 09am-ish, so I won’t mention it…
                      The Luvuvhu River at Pafuri and Letaba River at Shimuwini is most likely to still be flowing nicely in May and early June, while the Mphongolo (at Sirheni) and Shingwedzi should still have nice pools attracting constant streams of wildlife, especially the big herds of buffalo and elephant.
                      The Limpopo River at Mapungubwe is the most unpredictable of the lot – by the way, if you are going to spoil yourself with a guided night drive you really must enquire at Mapungubwe when you arrive whether they can arrange a drive to specifically look for Pel’s Fishing Owls for you, if you haven’t seen them yet. We haven’t seen one ever but I haven’t given up hope!

                      Liked by 1 person

                    4. naturebackin

                      I really appreciate your detailed comment, Dries, thank you, Yes we have learnt about layers (of clothes), but it is good to have that confirmed and to have the reminder πŸ™‚
                      Interesting what you say about Tlopi, and so exciting about the animals coming to the dam. Thanks also for the information re the various rivers at that time of the year. Your photos in some posts of the buffalo and elephant in the Shingwedzi area are wonderful,
                      We had not thought of doing a night drive, but we too have not seen Pel’s Fishing Owls (except captive at a raptor rehab) so thanks for that tip for Mapungubwe. I recall years back, my mother-in-law describing seeing a pair, and she described it as being like watching a pair of Siamese cats flying around!

                      Liked by 1 person

  1. Don Reid

    What a feast of predators! Our recent week in Kruger produced a few predator sightings but accompanied by a scrum of vehicles all trying to get a decent view – such a privilege to have them to yourselves

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. de Wets Wild Post author

      We really did have a great predator-bonanza up in the North, Don, and a privilege indeed that we didn’t have to compete with throngs of vehicles vying for the best viewing spot either – even more so considering that it was in the peak school holiday season! Where did you stay on your recent trip?

      Like

      Reply
        1. de Wets Wild Post author

          Hyena pups are always a treat and I wish more people appreciated them as they ought to be! When I visited at the end of May there were 2 clans with tiny babies denning in culverts under the H1-1 between Skukuza and Pretoriuskop – were they perhaps still around when you were there?

          Like

          Reply
            1. de Wets Wild Post author

              Good to hear at least one set of “my” cubbies are still around, the others have probably moved on to a different den – they often do as the numbers of lice and fleas in the den explode quickly!

              Like

              Reply
    1. de Wets Wild Post author

      Dankie vir die inloer, Ineke! Met ons onalngse besoeke het die veld nog heel goed gelyk – die mopanies het maar pas begin winter-kleure aanneem en daar was nog heelwat water in die lope. Dit lyk baie, baie beter as met ons besoek in die winter van 2016 toe die droogte die Park in n wurggreep gehad het.

      Like

      Reply
  2. Anne

    Lions are generally photogenic and are magnificent creatures to behold, but this time the prize goes to the leopard pics. Not only are they lovely, but I know they are not all that easy to get!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. de Wets Wild Post author

      Thank you very much, Anne. Finding leopards are always exciting (and often tricky, as you’ve said), and having the sighting all to yourself simply amazing!

      Like

      Reply

Please don't leave without sharing your thoughts?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.