Crocodile Bridge was calling

The September school holidays presented the perfect opportunity to visit the Kruger National Park again, this time basing ourselves with family and friends in the south-eastern corner of the Park at Crocodile Bridge Rest Camp.

Camping at Crocodile Bridge, Kruger National Park, September 2019

Crocodile Bridge is located in one of the Kruger’s most game-rich areas, and even inside the camp there’s an abundance of wildlife that I found quite distracting from camping chores… From blossoms to butterflies and birds, bats to bushbuck, all placed themselves in the cross hairs of our camera lenses, and when we were quite certain we got enough shots of them we could peer just over the fence (or through it, in Joubert’s case) towards the Crocodile River flowing in front of the camp for even more subjects.

Despite being right at the southern border of the Kruger Park, Crocodile Bridge offers a multitude of drives to choose from when heading into the Park. Heading in a northerly direction towards Lower Sabie is a selection of different routes making for comfortable excursions and providing great sightings along the way. Whether you choose the main H4-2 road or one of the gravel S28, S130 or S82 routes, you are bound to arrive at Lower Sabie excited with what you’ve seen. You can then return to Crocodile Bridge along an entirely different option, getting a glimpse at different habitats and having all new wildlife encounters to boast about too!

Whether you stop in Lower Sabie for a simple body break, an ice cream from the shop or a meal at the Mugg & Bean restaurant overlooking the river, don’t miss the chance to stretch your legs with a walk on the lawns along the river in front of the bungalows. From the deep shade of enormous trees you can gaze over the river, perhaps being lucky like we were to see a pair of lions hunting right there, and revel in the songs of a multitude of birds flitting about the branches above you.

Quite literally a stone’s throw north of Lower Sabie is the Sunset Dam, one of two wonderful wildlife magnets no visitor to this part of the Kruger Park should miss out on. There’s a constant stream of wildlife coming and going at Sunset Dam at anytime of day, and the resident crocodiles and hippos (including these boisterous buddies) are easily among the most habituated of their kind anywhere in Africa, making for excellent photographic opportunities.

Just on the other side of Lower Sabie, the causeway over the Sabie River is another highlight. Here too there’s always crocodiles (like this one having fun in a cascade), hippos, terrapins and all manner of wading birds in attendance, often accompanied by elephants, buffaloes, antelope, baboon and giraffe, while the elevated vantage point provided by the bridge offers excellent views into the clear water of the Sabie below.

Because there was so much to see around Crocodile Bridge and Lower Sabie, we didn’t really feel the need to venture farther, and only took two extended drives to other parts of the Park. One of those excursions was to Skukuza, roughly a four hour drive from Crocodile Bridge along the most direct route past Mpondo Dam. After spending the midday hours at Skukuza’s nursery and a delicious buffalo pie at the golf club, we headed back to Crocodile Bridge via Lower Sabie again.

We only wandered north of the Sabie River once, putting a full day aside to traverse the routes between Lower Sabie and Tshokwane Picnic Spot – where we had to contend with a dusty, blustery wind of note while trying our best to enjoy our picnic lunch! Our rewards for sticking to the planned route despite the deprivations of sand and dust on our ham-and-cheese sandwiches was the little leopard cub and flashy hornbill we showed you a few days ago, so you’ll hear no complaints from us!

Sad as it was to return to Pretoria at the end of a fantastic week, we could at least console ourselves with the knowledge that the December holidays aren’t that far way… Guess where we plan to be heading?

 

36 thoughts on “Crocodile Bridge was calling

  1. aj vosse

    I remain jealous! I remain amazed at the great sightings you share and at the great photography!
    This time, the best for me were the sunsets, trees and bats!!
    I would happily exchange a few sand crunches for all that beauty! 😉
    Dankie Dries… ek het nou weer lekker gekuier daar in jou agterplaas! 🙂

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  2. naturebackin

    What a stunning variety, both in the camp and when driving out. Absolutely incredible what you saw and photographed, and as I have said before, I love how you have an eye and appreciation for creatures and plants great and small. Making me look even more forward to our trip to Kruger next year 🙂

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    1. de Wets Wild Post author

      Thanks so much for the kind words, Carol!

      I know that feeling of anticipation for an upcoming Kruger trip all too well – if all goes to plan I’ll be celebrating my birthday in Satara today in three week’s time and I’m already finding the day-dreaming about our upcoming trip so distracting from the daily grind!

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  3. H.J. for avian101

    The galleries are fantastic! What a variety of animals! I’m always happy to know that most African territories are being preserved. Thanks for the tour, my friend. 🙂

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    1. de Wets Wild Post author

      We had an amazing time, Lois. We always do.

      Yes, the blotched hide belongs to a giraffe – the oxpeckers on the giraffes were a lot easier to photograph – perhaps they felt safer on the giants than on the smaller antelopes when we came close.

      And that tiny elephant calf gave us so many chuckles. He was still a new born and didn’t quite know where to suckle, so he would taste all around the big grey mountain that was his mom until he found what he was looking for. So cute.

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