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Page History: Kruger National Park

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Page Revision: 2008/10/09 15:29

Introduction The Kruger National Park is, without doubt the finest birding locality in southern Africa. Due to its great size and diversity, it supports a unique combination of wilderness areas, varied habitats, easy road access, and comfortable amenities, together with a wide variety and concentration of bird species and big game animals. The park is situated in the north-east of South Africa, bordering Mozambique and Zimbabwe, in an area known as the Lowveld. As one of the largest parks in Africa, it covers an area of more than 20 000 square kilometres, and is roughly 350 km long and 60 km wide. Although it now forms part of a Transfrontier Conservation Area linking conservation areas in Mozambique and Zimbabwe into one macro conservation area. Only birding in Kruger is covered here.

For the birder, the high diversity and density of bird species is the great attraction. The wide range of habitats is responsible for a bird list of over 550 species, while the productivity of these habitats is such that many species occur in abundance. The Park is especially good for large raptors which are rare outside of extensive conservation areas, while many other scarce and migrant species are attracted to it's unspoilt wilderness.

Habitats The parks wide variety of habitats can be summarised into 13 major habitat types, which are the product of the underlying geology, topography and annual rainfall. The park is generally flat to undulating, with average height of 260m above sea level. The Lebombo Mountains form the eastern boundary, and hilly areas occur in the south-west and far north. Rocky outcrops also occur sporadically throughout. Rainfall occurs in summer from September to March, decreasing from 800mm in the south to 400mm in the north, with an average of 500mm. Flat basaltic plains in the east support open grassland and savanna, while the undulating granitic soils in the west support various woodlands. In the drier area north of the Olifants River, the dominant woodland and savanna plant is the Mopane, while in the moister south, mixed broad-leaved and acacia species occur. In the far north, a dense mixed woodland occurs on red sandy hills around Punda Maria, and a rugged dry Baobab and Mopane veld occurs around Pafuri. On the eastern boundary to the east of Punda Maria, the extensive Nwambiya Sandveld in Mozambique just pushes into the park with its characteristic sandveld vegetation and associated avaifauna. Six major rivers traverse the park from west to east and these yield a range of riverine habitats including forest. Approximately eighty dams and numerous seasonal pans provide additional habitat for water birds. Cliffs and gorges occur where the rivers cut through the Lebombo mountains, and also along the Luvuvhu River in the north. The flooding of most of the major rivers in February 2000 had a dramatic impact on the riverine vegetation. Many of the large figs and other trees were swept away which totally changed the character of the riverine plant communities. The effects of these changes on the associated bird communities were dramatic at first, but birds now appear to have recovered well.

Birding in General Finding birds in the Kruger Park is a relatively simple matter. On arrival, one is immediately impressed by the sheer number of birds and variety of species. With a potential bird list of over 550 species, and depending on the season, a competent birder could expect to find between 150 and 250 species on a one to two week visit. In general, the denser vegetation and variety of habitats in the south and far north are the most productive birding areas. Punda Maria and Pafuri are particularly good for specials.

1. Rest Camps, roads and picnic sites. The older camps with more established indigenous gardens are some of the best places for general birding while the newer bushveld camps attract shyer species to their more natural areas. At some of the camps, bird baths are worth spending time at during the heat of the day. While driving, the roads that follow rivers and drainage lines with well developed vegetation are generally best. Picnic sites are usually situated in these areas and are worth walking around.

2. Bushveld and Woodland birds are found throughout the park in any habitat that has bush and trees. The camps, riverine bush and acacia thickets are best, while the mopane and broadleaved woodlands north of Olifants are less productive. The park is particularly rich in Cuckoos (9 species), Rollers (5 species), Hornbills (6 species), and Kingfishers (9 species). Interesting species include Grey-headed Parrot, African Cuckoo, Thick-billed Cuckoo, and Great Spotted Cuckoo, Grey-headed Kingfisher and Woodland Kingfisher, Southern Carmine Bee-eater and Blue-cheeked Bee-eater, Broad-billed Roller and Racket-tailed Roller, Southern Ground-Hornbill and Trumpeter Hornbill, Bennett's Woodpecker and Bearded Woodpecker, Red-breasted Swallow and Mosque Swallow, Black Cuckooshrike and White-breasted Cuckooshrike, Eurasian Golden Oriole, White-throated Robin-Chat and Bearded Scrub-Robin, Stierling's Wren-Warbler, Grey-headed Bush-Shrike, Meves's Starling, Greater Blue-eared Starling and Violet-backed Starling, Yellow-billed Oxpecker and Red-billed Oxpecker, Scarlet-chested Sunbird, Red-headed Weaver, Green-winged Pytilia, Violet-eared Waxbill and Lemon-breasted Canary. Almost all buffalo herds in the northern half of the park are attended by Yellow-billed Oxpecker.

3. Grassland Species also occur throughout, but more predominantly in the savannas around Satara. Good birds to see are Coqui Francolin and Shelley's Francolin, Harlequin Quail, Kurrichane Buttonquail, and after good rains Corn Crake, Flappet Lark, Monotonous Lark, Chestnut-backed Sparrowlark, Black Coucal, Black-bellied Bustard, Red-crested Korhaan, Kori Bustard, Montagu's Harrier and Pallid Harrier. During drought years, influxes of species favouring the drier western parts of the country sometimes occur. These include Red-headed Finch, Lark-like Bunting, White-browed Sparrow-Weaver and Marico Flycatcher.

4. Riverine Forest. Although there is no true forest within the park, the riverine forests support some species more typical of forests, including African Goshawk, Black Sparrowhawk, Narina Trogon, Trumpeter Hornbill, Scaly-throated Honeyguide, Red-capped Robin-Chat and Green Twinspot. In winter a number of species moving to lower altitude are found, including Grey Cuckooshrike, Blue-mantled Crested-Flycatcher, Cape Batis and Cape Robin-Chat. The dense woodland around Punda Maria also supports some typically forest species, including Narina Trogon, Eastern Nicator, Gorgeous Bush-Shrike and Retz's Helmet-Shrike, while Black-throated Wattle-eye and Tropical Boubou can be found at Pafuri.

5. Waterbirds are found on all the major rivers and dams, and at seasonal pans and streams during the wet season. In general, the larger species are encountered, with ducks and smaller birds that prefer waterside vegetation being less common. The best places to look are the low-level bridges and the major dams. Some of the more interesting species include Goliath Heron, Saddle-billed Stork, African Openbill, Yellow-billed Stork, Woolly-necked Stork, Black Stork, Marabou Stork, White-backed Night-Heron, African Finfoot, Comb Duck, White-crowned Lapwing and Half-collared Kingfisher. After good rains birds like Dwarf Bittern, Little Bittern, African Pygmy-Goose, Greater Painted-snipe, and Black Coucal are seen. Collared Pratincole are uncommon but regular and localised breeders.

6. Raptors are generally widespread in the park and occur over all habitats in search of prey. The Satara area is particularly good for large raptors with its tall trees in open savanna plains. Red-billed Quelea breeding colonies attract many species including Lesser Spotted Eagle and Steppe Eagle. Flocks of kestrels congregate for insects after good rains. The tall trees found along rivers also provide roosting and breeding sites for vultures and other large raptors, especially at Pafuri. Smaller raptors are less frequently seen but are more common in the thicker bush of the south and far north. Vultures include White-backed Vulture, Cape Vulture, Lappet-faced Vulture, Hooded Vulture and White-headed Vulture. Large raptors encountered throughout the year are Martial Eagle, African Crowned Eagle, Verreaux's Eagle, Tawny Eagle, African Fish-Eagle, African Hawk-Eagle, Brown Snake-Eagle, Black-chested Snake-Eagle, African Harrier-Hawk, Bateleur and Dark Chanting Goshawk. Summer visitors include Steppe Eagle, Wahlberg's Eagle and Lesser Spotted Eagle. Smaller species include African Cuckoo Hawk, Bat Hawk, Lizard Buzzard, Gabar Goshawk, African Goshawk, Shikra, Little Sparrowhawk, Black Sparrowhawk, Ovambo Sparrowhawk, Lanner Falcon, Eurasian Hobby, Dickinson's Kestrel, Lesser Kestrel and Amur Falcon. Rare visitors include Ayres's Hawk-Eagle, Montagu's Harrier, Pallid Harrier, Sooty Falcon, Red-necked Falcon, European Honey-Buzzard and Osprey.

7. Night birds are frequently encountered in the park. Most camps have a variety of resident owls and nightjars, and these need only to be listened for to detect their presence. The night drives also afford the chance of seeing species not normally found in camps. During the day, careful spotting will also reveal both owls and nocturnal ground birds such as coursers and dikkops. Species seen regularly include Barn Owl, African Scops-Owl, Southern White-faced Scops-Owl, African Barred Owlet, Spotted Eagle-Owl and Verreaux's Eagle-Owl, Fiery-necked Nightjar, Square-tailed Nightjar, and Freckled Nightjar, and Bronze-winged Courser. Specials include Pel's Fishing-Owl, Bat Hawk, Pennant-winged Nightjar, White-backed Night-Heron and Three-banded Courser.

Birding by Rest Camp The following descriptions of birding from the various camps vary from general to specific. It should be borne in mind that the Kruger Park is larger in area and has more bird species than many countries. Many of the birds are general and common throughout and only the more interesting species are named.

All camps have a differing range of accommodation type and quantity. All of the main camps have fuel and most have day visitor areas, swimming pools, shops and restaurants. Some of the larger camps have additional amenities such as banks, plant nurseries and museums, while many camps large and small have viewing hides and trails. The satellite camps and bushveld camps and lodges have no fuel, shops or restaurants. Check camp specific information on the website

Berg-en-dal (and satellite Malelane) Berg-en-dal is one of the most attractive camps in the Kruger Park. The buildings are set within natural bush, the gardens planted with flowering shrubs and aloes, and the restaurant looks onto a small dam. The camp is surrounded by rocky hillsides covered in a mixed broadleafed woodland known as Malelane Mountain Bushveld. The accommodation in the camp ranges from bungalows, family cottages, guest houses to camping and caravan sites.

Many of the shyer bush species are attracted into the camp itself, and the area is large enough for a walking trail around the perimeter fence. If quiet, the campsite is good for birding. Birds include Natal Spurfowl, Crested Francolin, African Hawk-Eagle, Brown-headed Parrot, Red-chested Cuckoo, African Cuckoo, Diderick Cuckoo, Lesser Honeyguide, White-throated Robin-Chat, White-browed Robin-Chat, Grey-headed Bush-Shrike, Orange-breasted Bush-Shrike, Cape Glossy Starling, Greater Blue-eared Starling, Red-winged Starling, Scarlet-chested Sunbird, Amethyst Sunbird, White-bellied Sunbird, Blue Waxbill and African Firefinch.

The dam overlooked by the camp usually hosts resident African Fish-Eagle, which often sit out the day in the dead trees on the dam's far bank. In summer this vantage point is shared with Yellow-billed Kites. Except when rainfall is high, the western end of the dam supports good mudbanks and waterside grasses. The mudbanks are home to waders and mud probers like Three-banded Plover and Wood Sandpiper, while there are always some Water Thick-knee lurking in the shadows. The grasses attract various seedeaters and Common Waxbill will usually be seen. Scan the opposite bank carefully as both species of night heron (White-backed Night-Heron and Black-crowned Night-Heron) can be seen roosting amongst the tree roots and foliage. At night the attraction of the artificial lighting that shines on the waterhole is used by Square-tailed Nightjars to hawk insects.

From the camp, the loop road S110 heads west and then swings north through a heavily wooded valley. Here you should look for Gorgeous Bush-Shrike, Stierling's Wren-Warbler and in summer, Grey-headed Kingfisher. In February 2005 this loop produced an amazing birding coup when an Eleanora's Falcon was seen and photographed. The rocky hills should be checked for Mocking Cliff-Chat and Red-winged Starling. Continue on to the H3 tar road connecting Malelane to Skukuza.

The mountainous terrain has attracted both Verreaux's Eagle and Jackal Buzzard, and both Brown Snake-Eagle and Black-chested Snake-Eagle.

Malelane is a small traditional and rustic camp located off the tar road to Berg-en-Dal. It has four 4xbed bungalows and 15 camping sites. As the camp is on the river there are always interesting birding possibilities. The nearby Malelane Gate and Bridge is a good spot for Half-collared Kingfisher..

Bateleur Bateleur is a small bushveld camp (residents only) situated in Mopane woodland about 40km from Shingwedzi. There are cottages and guest cottages in the camp which differ from each other in whether they sleep 4 or 6 people. Although the Mopane woodland is fairly quiet for birding, the camp is situated beneath some tall trees that attract a variety of birds, including Shikra. Southern Ground-Hornbill nest nearby, and Rufous-cheeked Nightjar (summer only) are heard at night.

The nearby Rooibosrand Dam (residents only) is worth visiting for all the general waterbirds, including African Spoonbill, Yellow-billed Stork and African Fish-Eagle, White-faced Duck and Comb Duck, Common Greenshank, Marsh Sandpiper, Wood Sandpiper, Common Sandpiper, Little Stint, Black-winged Stilt and even Greater Painted-snipe. White-backed Duck and Red Phalarope are some of the rarer visitors that have been recorded at Rooibosrand.

Biyamiti Biyamiti is a 'bushveld' camp (residents only) on the Biyamiti River at the southern end of the park. The comfortable accommodation has been developed within the natural bush, and there is a waterhole directly in front of the camp. There are cottages and guest cottages in the camp which differ from each other in whether they sleep 4 or 6 people. The surrounding vegetation is mixed woodland with heavier growth and sizeable trees along the river.

The camp is small and relatively quiet. Consequently most bush species move straight through camp. These include Grey-headed Bush-Shrike and Orange-breasted Bush-Shrike, Black-crowned Tchagra, Levaillant's Cuckoo and Diderick Cuckoo, Green Wood-Hoopoe, Woodland Kingfisher, White-browed Scrub-Robin, Black-backed Puffback and Scarlet-chested Sunbird. Lesser Striped Swallow breed under the eaves. Yellow-throated Longclaw and Red-faced Cisticola occur in the long grass in front of the camp. At night African Scops-Owl, African Barred Owlet and Fiery-necked Nightjar occur in camp, while Water Thick-knee call from the riverbed.

Access to the camp is along the S139, a 'private-residents only' road that follows the Biyamiti River. The bush is fairly dense and birding from the car can be quite successful, including Violet-backed Starling, Purple Roller and Red-backed Shrike. At the western end of the S139 is the Biyamiti Weir which is back on the routes open to all visitors to the park. The weir will always have a few interesting water birds and is one of the most regular places in the park to find Greater Painted-snipe.

Crocodile Bridge Crocodile Bridge is situated on the Crocodile River within easy reach of a variety of habitats As an entrance gate and public camp with campsite it is fairly busy, and the camp area is small. There are 3-bed bungalows, 2-bed safari tents and about 20 camping sites.

Some of the parks rarer species have been recorded from this area, including Pink-throated Twinspot, Purple-banded Sunbird, Yellow-rumped Tinkerbird and Black-bellied Starling. While most of these sightings are rare, the tinkerbird is regularly seen in camp. Southern White-crowned Shrike, a species more readily seen in the park proper, has taken up residence in the camp itself. Look for Bronze Mannikin on the camp lawns.

The hippo pool on the Crocodile River is a pleasant 6-km drive through Knob-thorn and Marula savanna, and then Delagoa thorn tickets where woodland birds are plentiful. Smaller raptors also like this habitat. Species such as Goliath Heron, Green-backed Heron and Little Egret may be seen at the hippo pool.

In wet years, the S28 leading north to Lower Sabie passes through flooded vlei areas where Black Coucal and migrant crakes and flufftails should be looked for. Further north, the Nhlanganzwani Dam is a good spot for general waterbirds. Nthandanyathi Bird Hide is also on this road and is situated on a a charming little creek where some good photography opportunities can be had. The savanna plains along the S28 are also good for large grassland species such as Common Ostrich, Kori Bustard and Swainson's Spurfowl, and in wetter years Harlequin Quail and Kurrichane Buttonquail are common. Like the S28, the S130 passes a few pans that are worth inspecting for waterbirds and Woolly-necked Stork.

Letaba Letaba camp is situated on the Letaba River in the centre of the park in the Mopane woodland belt which is not as productive for birds. However, birding in the camp and along the Letaba River and nearby Engelhardt Dam can be rewarding. In camp there is a wide selection of accommodation including huts and safari tents (communal ablutions), bungalows, guest cottages, guest houses and camping/caravan sites.

The rest camp itself is a haven for woodland birds and the parklike gardens are worth walking around. African Mourning Dove and Red-winged Starling have colonised the camp, as have Red-capped Robin-Chat. There is a paved walk along the riverfront that provides lovely views of the river. Check the swallows for Grey-rumped Swallow, Pearl-breasted Swallow, Brown-throated Martin and even Horus Swift. In winter, Red-billed Oxpecker come to roost in the camp's palms in considerable numbers at sunset. If searched for, African Scops-Owl, Pearl-spotted Owlet, African Barred Owlet (particularly the area around the safari tents) and Barn Owl can be seen in the camp. European Nightjar roost in the palms to the left of the shop in summer.

The Engelhardt Dam is relatively close to camp and worth visiting. Look out for Dusky Lark on the roadside on the way to the dam. Collared Pratincole have bred in early summer on the south bank right next to the road. Waterbirds vary with the level of the dam and may include pelican and flamingo, African Openbill, African Spoonbill, Goliath Heron and Grey Heron. The route along the south bank of the river takes one south to Olifants Camp. This allows visitors the closest contact with the dam, the river and its banks. However the S62 along the northern bank is also worth exploring and the Matambeni Bird Hide (the hide is quite far from the bank, so a telescope can be most useful at this location) can be very productive as can a side road that runs along a small tributary of the Letaba River.

In summer a visit to the high level bridge can be rewarding as a huge flock of Little Swift breeds and roosts on the structure. Bats also roost in the bridge by day and the resident Wahlberg's Eagle has acquired the skill to catch them as they emerge at sunset.

Lower Sabie Lower Sabie is situated on a dam in the Sabie River. In camp there is a wide selection of accommodation including huts (with communal ablutions), bungalows, fully equipped safari tents, guest cottages, guest lodges and camping/caravan sites. The surrounding plains are covered in a low scrubby savanna. The rest camp is busy, but the gardens are pleasant and overlook the Lower Sabie Dam. Black-throated Wattle-eye is a fairly regular visitor to the camp. Both Square-tailed Nightjar and Verreaux's Eagle-Owl frequently enter the camp at night, particularly in the area around the safari tents (western side of camp). A short distance to the south-east of camp, the causeway over the Lower Sabie River is a good spot to look for waterbirds including African Jacana, Goliath Heron, Green-backed Heron and Wire-tailed Swallow.

Heading north-west on the main road to Skukuza, just a short distance from the camp gate is a small dam called Sunset that regularly attracts a variety of storks, including Marabou Stork, Yellow-billed Stork, African Openbill, Woolly-necked Stork, Saddlebill Stork and Black Stork. Red-billed Buffalo Weaver and Village Weaver both nest in the dead trees located in the dam. A few kilometers up the road towards Skukuza White-fronted Bee-eater breed in a large 'donga'. Further up the road the N'watimhiri causeway is a spot to look for White-crowned Lapwing, although they seem to be spreading and may be seen at various points along the river. The Nkuhlu Picnic Spot is also good for this species and for Half-collared Kingfisher. The surrounding plains support Common Ostrich, Kori Bustard, Red-crested Korhaan and Black-bellied Bustard, Swainson's Spurfowl, Common Quail and Harlequin Quail and Kurrichane Buttonquail. On very short or burnt veld you may find Temminck's Courser and Senegal Lapwing.

If one chooses to head north from Lower Sabie across the low level causeway, the S29 or staying on the tar H10 to Mlondozi Dam is a worthwhile destination. Mocking Cliff-Chat and Yellow-throated Petronia are usually found at the site, while the dam always has an assortment of herons, storks and waterfowl.

Continuing north on the Muntshe Loop one should look out for Grey-rumped Swallow. One can then choose to return to camp on the western side of the tar road via the S128 and S129. There are several pans in this area and patches of open grassland. Senegal Lapwing, Croaking Cisticola, Yellow-throated Longclaw, Long-tailed Paradise-Whydah and Black-bellied Bustard are some of the species to search for, while in summer it is one of the regular haunts of the migratory harriers.

At Nkumbe mountain on the road northwards to Tshokwane, look for Shelley's Francolin and Yellow-throated Longclaw.

Mopani Mopani is a relatively new rest camp situated in the north of the park in the less productive Mopane woodland area. There are bungalows, cottages, guest cottages and one guest house. The camp itself is attractively situated on a hillside overlooking the Pioneer Dam and is luxuriously appointed. On the dam larger waterbirds are common and include White-breasted Cormorant and Reed Cormorant and African Darter.

The nearby Mooiplaas picnic site is a good spot to look for Verreaux's Eagle-Owl, and two new bird hides have been built close to Mopani giving the birder other options. One of these hides (Shipandani) is an overnight hide where guests can overnight. It is quite reliable for White-backed Night Heron which have nested within view of the hide.

Although Mopani has no camping, Tsendze Rustic Camping Site, a few kilometres south of camp, is an unfenced campsite located on the Tsendze River and near the Nshawu Creek. With its abundance of large trees in the camp, Tsendze offers great birding opportunities right around your very campsite.

The nearby Nshawu Dam broke during the 2000 floods and has now been rehabilitated. However it is still worth checking for waterbirds, although one generally cannot get close to the water. On the shoreline, Kittlitz's Plover are regular, while Collared Pratincole have bred and Caspian Plover are rare visitors.

The surrounding savanna plains are less interesting but support Red-crested Korhaan and Black-bellied Bustard, Crowned Lapwing and Chestnut-backed Sparrowlark. On the other (western) side of the camp is the option of the Stapelkop Dam Road (S146). The journey there will pass through the sometimes monotonous mopane woodland, although several Grey Penduline-Tit nests are an attraction. However the Mpofeni and Stapelkop Dams at its end can be very rewarding.

Olifants Olifants rest camp is attractively situated on a high ridge overlooking the Olifants River. The camp mainly has bungalows, and a couple of cottages and guest lodges. There is no camping here, but there is a rustic campsite with 5 huts at Balule. Balule is on the Olifants River 11km south of camp. Although the surrounding mopane veld is not particularly attractive for birding, Olifants itself is worth exploring for Red-winged Starling, Yellow-bellied Greenbul, Mocking Cliff-Chat and a variety of sunbirds. An early morning walk around camp may produce Ovambo Sparrowhawk and Shikra, both of which seem to enjoy the hunting in the bird rich camp woodland.

The outlook over the Olifants River can provide views of Saddle-billed Stork and Black Stork which breed in the vicinity. The updraft from the ridge is attractive to soaring raptors, and at dusk Gabar Goshawk, Eurasian Hobby, Lanner Falcon and occasionally Bat Hawk prey on emerging bats. Check the sandbanks along the Olifants River for White-fronted Plover, White-crowned Lapwing and Black-winged Stilt. Paradoxically though, White-crowned Lapwing are absent from the Letaba River which would seem to offer the same habitat. Booking a place on an Olifants Day Walk can allow participants the opportunity of seeing roosting Pel's Fishing-Owl. The birds are not always around and it is always good to check with the trail guide. These magnificent owls are also occasionally seen on the camp night drives when they go on the route to Balule.

Rufous-bellied Heron has been recorded on the river from the lookout point on the S44 just north of camp.

Orpen (and satellites Marula and Tamboti) Orpen is both an entrance gate and a small rest camp with 2-bed bungalows and 6-bed guest cottages. Birdlife like all camps is typically busy and Burchell's Starling, Bennett's Woodpecker and Scarlet-chested Sunbird will be prevalent among some of the other common species. Plain-backed Sunbird has bizarrely been recorded here.

Marula (camping and caravan site) and Tamboti (safari tents with communal ablutions and some fully equipped) are both on the south bank of the Timbavati River and are a couple of km from Orpen, their parent camp. There is a camp hide at Tamboti. Great Spotted Cuckoo is a regular at Tamboti. The turn off to these camps off the tar road H7 to Satara is probably the most reliable place in the park to see Senegal Lapwing.

The area around Orpen and the satellite camps is excellent raptor country, particularly for vultures. Several untidy White-backed Vulture nests are visible from the road a short distance from camp.

Pafuri Pafuri is situated on the Luvuvu River at the northern tip of the Kruger Park. It is an exciting birding spot with a high concentration and variety of birds. Birding Big Day teams have recorded 24-hour lists of over 260 species for the area. The prime habitat is riverine forest, and this is backed up by the sandy river bed itself, patches of acacia woodland, cliffs, and all surrounded by dry mopane and baobab woodland. The nearest camp is Punda Maria, although there is a very attractive picnic site on the river. Birding is best if you leave Punda Maria when the gates open in the morning, and drive straight down to Pafuri (about 60 km).

Stop on the bridge over the Luvuvhu River, and check the river for White-crowned Lapwing and Black Stork. Search the riverine trees for Pel's Fishing-Owl, and check the swallows and swifts overhead for Mottled Spinetail and Böhm's Spinetail. A lot of raptors use the riverine forest for roosting and nesting, so look out for Bateleur, White-backed Vulture, Hooded Vulture, Lappet-faced Vulture, African Crowned Eagle, Martial Eagle, Tawny Eagle, Steppe Eagle and Lesser Spotted Eagle. In summer, listen out for Thick-billed Cuckoo. Ayres's Hawk-Eagle has also been recorded here.

Return to the south side of the river and at the crossroads turn west along the S64. This is the shorter of the two loops and should be done first. Look out for Crested Guineafowl and Grey-headed Parrot. Further on, the dry acacia woodland should be checked for Meves's Starling and Burnt-necked Eremomela. African Crowned Eagle breed in the riverine forest at this point, and Verreauxs' Eagle can be seen along the cliffs to your left. At the end of the road, check the riverbed for Woolly-necked Stork and Black Stork, and check the skies for Mottled Spinetail and Böhm's Spinetail. This is also a good spot for Retz's Helmet-Shrike and Rock Martin.

Head back to the tar and continue eastwards along the S63. This route is far longer and can include a stop at the picnic site for breakfast or lunch. The first few kilometers pass through dense acacia thicket that should be checked for Burnt-necked Eremomela, Green-capped Eremomela, Brown-backed Honeybird, Yellow-breasted Apalis and Green-winged Pytilia. In late summer, and where the undergrowth is denser, listen out for Olive-tree Warbler and River Warbler. Beyond the picnic site in the denser riverine bush and forest, listen for Gorgeous Bush-Shrike and Eastern Nicator. Take all the loops down to the river and check the large trees for Pel's Fishing-Owl. Beyond the dense woodland, the fever trees are a good spot to look for Broad-billed Roller in summer. Towards the end of the loop is a more open palm savanna where Lemon-breasted Canary occur.

The picnic site is a tranquil and shady spot where you can relax through the heat of the day beneath the tall trees and observe the river bed. A short walk can be taken to the left of the site. Birds include Trumpeter Hornbill, Crowned Hornbill, Narina Trogon, White-browed Robin-Chat, Bearded Scrub-Robin, Tropical Boubou, Black-throated Wattle-eye, Retz's Helmet-Shrike, and White-crowned Lapwing. Frank Mabasa, the Pafuri Picnic Attendant has become a bit of a cult hero with birders. He (and several other guides and staff in Kruger) has undergone training through Birdlife SA and if present can prove a valuable source of information about what birds are around in the vicinity.

If you have time, look for Three-banded Courser, that has been recorded fairly regularly in the dry woodland just north of the bridge. In late summer a number of migrant warblers occur in the thickets, including Icterine Warbler, Marsh Warbler, River Warbler and Thrush Nightingale.

The land north of the Levuvhu River up to the Limpopo River was subject to a successful land claim and reverted back to the Mukuleke Tribe in 1998 and is a contractual national park. Only the tar road (H1-9) from Pafuri Bridge to Pafuri Gate is accessible to the general public. However there are 2 ecotourism operators that run lodges and have access rights in the area, which includes several differing and unique habitats including several floodplain pans that have Ramsar status. The Outpost opened in about 2003 and is situated above the Luvuvhu in the far west. See: .Pafuri Camp operated by Wilderness Safaris (not to be confused with Pafuri River Camp the self-catering camp on the Mutale River outside the park) is set on the Luvuvhu just downstream from the high level bridge. A trails camp aimed at South African guests and very similar to those run by the Kruger will be operated on a full time basis in this area as well from Mach 2008. See: / Pel's Fishing-Owl, Racket-tailed Roller and Three-banded Courser are the 3 target birds for this concession.

Punda Maria Punda Maria is the northernmost camp in the Park, and is situated on a ridge amongst some rolling hills. It is a good base for the northern areas from Shingwedzi to Pafuri, and provides access to a number of productive habitats and special birds. There are bungalows, 2 family cottages and fully equipped safari tents, plus camping and caravan sites.

The camp itself is small but charming, and the fenced area is quite large, with an area of natural bush on the ridge above the camp. The birdbath just below the picnic site in front of the chalets is always productive; White-throated Robin-Chat, Bearded Scrub-Robin, Green-winged Pytilia, Purple-crested Turaco, Terrestrial Brownbul, Violet-backed Starling, Blue Waxbill, Cut-throat Finch, Jameson's Firefinch, Bearded Woodpecker, Greater Blue-eared Starling and Red-headed Weaver are amongst the visitors. The trail up the ridge behind the camp is worth exploring for Crowned Honrbill, Grey-headed Bush-Shrike and Orange-breasted Bush-Shrike, Eastern Nicator and Bearded Scrub-Robin.

The new (2004) safari tents at the top of the camp are a real bonus for birders as they are surrounded by the camps indigenous bush and several more uncommon species will literally be on one's doorstep. At dusk look out for the local Bathawks which can often be observed from the deck of the end tents.

The campsite is rather bare but may turn up Dusky Lark, Golden-breasted Bunting, Grey Penduline-Tit, Yellow-bellied Greenbul and Burchell's Starling. At night, listen out for African Scops-Owl, African Barred Owlet, Barn Owl, Verreaux's Eagle-Owl, Spotted Eagle-Owl and Southern White-faced Scops-Owl, as well as Fiery-necked Nightjar and Square-tailed Nightjar. Pennant-winged Nightjar has also been recorded in summer, but the best chance to see this species is in the stony areas to the south-west of the camp along the Mahonie Loop. One of the Punda Maria night or early morning drives and a special request to the guide is the best way of ensuring you have access to the management roads and the after hours optimum time to see this enigmatic species.

There is a bird hide in the south-western corner of camping site courtesy of SASOL and the Honorary Rangers. It overlooks a wetland area where Green Sandpiper has been recorded.

The Mahonie Loop (S99) is an excellent 28km circuit for a mornings birding. The road passes through some dense mixed woodland on red sandy soils. Driving anti-clockwise, you first pass through some mixed mopane woodland. The best 'sandveld' woodland is in the region of Matukwale dam on the western side of the loop. Here you should look out for Gorgeous Bush-Shrike, White-breasted Cuckooshrike, African Golden Oriole, Narina Trogon, Eastern Nicator, Thick-billed Cuckoo, Broad-billed Roller, Mosque Swallow, Grey-headed Parrot and Grey-headed Kingfisher. The rare Racket-tailed Roller has been recorded from Mopane woodland on this loop, and the few Burkea africana trees have attracted Southern Hyliota. African Crowned Eagle breed near the dam, African Hawk-Eagle have a number of nest sites along the ridge on the southern side of the loop, and Bateleur breed near the waterhole 3km from the tar road.

During the heat of the day, and especially when a southerly wind blows, large raptors use the ridge above the camp for uplift. These include White-backed Vulture and Lappet-faced Vulture, Martial Eagle, Tawny Eagle, African Hawk-Eagle, Brown Snake-Eagle, African Harrier-Hawk, Lanner Falcon and African Goshawk all year round, and in summer, Wahlberg's Eagle, Steppe Eagle, Lesser Spotted Eagle, Steppe Buzzard, Yellow-billed Kite, Black Kite and Eurasian Hobby.

From Punda Maria take the tar road H13-2 towards the junction with the H13-1.There is some worthwhile birding along here, including African Cuckoo, Grey-headed Parrot and Mosque Swallow. The road passes over a culvert that is used for breeding by White-rumped Swift, Little Swift and Lesser Striped Swallow. Shortly thereafter turn left onto the S60 towards Pafuri. The road runs along the side of a ridge of hills and passes through some mature Mopane woodland. Look out for Eurasian Golden Oriole, African Golden Oriole, Racket-tailed Roller, Purple Roller, Arnot's Chat, Bearded Woodpecker, Bennett's Woodpecker, Arnot's Chat and Stierling's Wren-Warbler.

Continue to the tar via the S59, S60 or S61. The more open habitat here is suitable for Black-bellied Bustard, Kori Bustard and Southern Ground-Hornbill, and if lucky, Dickinson's Kestrel. In spring, burnt areas will have Temminck's Courser, while in late summer Harlequin Quail, African Crake and Corn Crake should be looked for in rank grass. Monotonous Lark, with its attractive liquid call can be abundant in this area in summer. Klopperfontein Dam can be checked for Comb Duck, Fulvous Duck, Whitefaced Duck, African Jacana and possibly Lesser Moorhen.

At the tar head south to the intersection with the H13 back to Punda Maria. Look out for Tawny Eagle and Black-chested Snake-Eagle, and in summer, Montagu's Harrier. Continue past the Punda Maria turnoff (towards Shingwidzi) and stop at an area of palm savanna. In late summer this should be checked for Black Coucal, African Crake and Croaking Cisticola and Rufous-winged Cisticola. A little further on turn right onto the S58 where the road crosses a stream and passes through some wet areas after good summer rains. These should be checked for Little Bittern, Dwarf Bittern, Lesser Moorhen and Allen's Gallinule. Head back to Punda Maria through the tall Mopane woodland on the H13-1, and check carefully for Arnot's Chat, especially on the north side about 500 m before exiting the woodland.

Pretoriuskop Pretoriuskop is situated on higher-lying ground in the south-west of the park. There are huts (communal facilities), bungalows, family cottages, guest houses and camping/caravan sites. The camp itself has a fertile bird population. When the Common Coral Trees (Erythrina Lysistemon) are in bloom they are a magnate for nectar feeders (both regular and opportunistic) such as Scarlet-chested Sunbird, Common Scimitarbill and Black-headed Oriole. African Green-Pigeon, Pearl-spotted Owl, Kurrichane Thrush, Red-headed Weaver, Brownthroated Parrot and Purple-crested Turaco should all be found in camp with little trouble, while down by the camp's swimming pool is a good place to search for Retz's Helmet-Shrike.

The surrounding vegetation is varied with some well developed woodland, grassland and the granite dome of Shabeni hill. A few species not normally found in the lowveld may be encountered. These include Broad-tailed Warbler, Red-throated Wryneck, Yellow-fronted Tinkerbird, and Amethyst Sunbird. Shabeni hill has some dense thickets that support Gorgeous Bush-Shrike and Striped Pipit. Other birds to look out for are Mocking Cliff-Chat, Lazy Cisticola and Brown-crowned Tchagra. If you leave camp very early in summer, and preferably on an overcast morning, you may be lucky enough to see Freckled Nightjar and possibly Pennant-winged Nightjar, which are recorded from the area. The woodland areas are particularly good for accipiters and an early morning drive could produce Lizard Buzzard, Shikra, Gabar Goshawk, Little Sparrowhawk and the rarer Ovambo Sparrowhawk. Long-crested Eagle (not a regular Kruger bird) is sometimes found in the Pretoriuskop surrounds.

From Shabeni Hill, the S1 becomes the S3 and follows the Sabie River to Skukuza. The riverine forest supports some species more typical of forests, including African Goshawk, Black Sparrowhawk, Narina Trogon, Trumpeter Hornbill, Scaly-throated Honeyguide, Red-capped Robin-Chat and Green Twinspot. In winter a number of species moving to lower altitude are found, including Grey Cuckooshrike, Blue-mantled Crested-Flycatcher, Cape Batis and Cape Robin-Chat. The river itself should be checked for African Finfoot.

Satara Satara is situated in the centre of the park in the middle of a flat plain of tall tree savanna, of which Knob-thorn and Marula are the dominant species. Although there are no major rivers, there are watercourses lined with well-developed trees. The rest camp area is large, with many bungalows, guest cottages, 3 guest houses and a large camping/caravan site and although busy, is relatively good for birding. Burchell's Starling, Red-billed Buffalo-Weaver and African Mourning Dove are common. The central 'park' has a small reed-lined pond with Black Crake and Thick-billed Weaver, Red-billed Hornbill nest in a nearby tree, and Groundscraper Thrush inspect the lawns. The office/restaurant complex has a colony of Lesser Masked-Weaver, and Little Swift nest under the eaves. In summer, Woodland Kingfisher calls prettily and hawks insects in the restaurant garden. African Scops-Owl often roost conspicuously in the trees in the camp, particularly in the parking lot outside the shop.

The surrounding savanna plains have Common Ostrich, Kori Bustard, Secretarybird, Black-bellied Bustard and Swainson's Spurfowl. Sabota Lark, African Pipit and Chestnut-backed Sparrowlark inhabit the short grass areas. Other ground-dwelling species of interest that are regularly found in the Satara area are Senegal Lapwing, Bronze-winged Courser and Temminck's Courser. The S90 north of Satara is particularly good for these species. After good rains Common Quail and Harlequin Quail and Kurrichane Buttonquail call from the long grass, and Monotonous Lark call incessantly from any available perch, while Flappet Lark and Zitting Cisticola cruise overhead. Red-backed Shrike and Lesser Grey Shrike, and even African Cuckoo can be seen hawking from low bushes.

Flocks of small raptors converge on termite emergences after summer rains, and include Lesser Kestrel, and Amur Falcon, Black-shouldered Kite and Lanner Falcon. Red-footed Falcon and Montagu's Harrier are rare and Pallid Harrier very occasional. In summer Wattled Starling and Red-billed Quelea breed in colonies in dwarf knob-thorn veld to the north of Satara, especially along the S127. These are regularly attended by a variety of large raptors. The open savanna habitat with large trees, high population density of herbivores and attendant predators, is prime habitat for large raptors. Many of the parks large raptors can be seen in the Satara area, including Martial Eagle, Tawny Eagle, Steppe Eagle, and Lesser Spotted Eagle. Kills attract White-headed Vulture, Lappet-faced Vulture, White-backed Vulture, Hooded Vulture and sometimes Cape Vulture.

Two bird hides offer attractive birding and photography potential within easy drive from Satara Camp. The first to the north is Ratel Pan Hide, at Piet Grobler Dam on the Timbavati River. Saddlebilled Stork is fairly reliable here and there will be other large waterbirds in attendance.

The other hide is on the Sweni River near Nwanetsi. The Sweni Hide offers Blue-cheeked Bee-eater in summer, but has a plethora of interesting species all year round ranging from large storks and herons to tiny seedeaters coming down to drink. Both night herons may be seen. Scan the undergrowth in the bank opposite the hide. There are also kingfisher nests on this bank.

A recommended trip is to leave Satara early and take the S100 in an easterly direction. This is regarded as one of the best big cat drives in the park, but is good for birding too. In summer Southern Carmine Bee-eaters will be prevalent. When reaching the S41 from the direction of Olifants Camp, briefly turn left and head to Gudzani Dam. African Openbill will almost always be in attendance, along with African Fish-Eagle. Scan the reed beds carefully as Greater Painted-snipe and Allen's Gallinule have been seen here alongside the ubiquitous Black Crake. Heading back along the S41 towards Nwanetsi Picnic Site is a good area to see Long-tailed Paradise-Whydah, Shaft-tailed Whydah and Violet-eared Waxbill (the latter two species being quite uncommon and localised in Kruger and more readily associated with the dry western parts of South Africa). Once the S41 reaches the tar road (H6) one is spoilt for choice. One can head across the H6 to the Sweni Bird Hide, or if food or body breaks are needed, turning left and heading towards the Nwanetzi picnic site is equally attractive from a birding perspective. There is a wonderful lookout platform here built by the park's Honorary Rangers overlooking the river below. Away from the far north of the park the picnic site is the most reliable place to find Yellow-bellied Greenbul, but there are a host of other species attracted to the well wooded hillside.

Skukuza Skukuza is the operational headquarters of the Kruger Park. Situated on the Sabie River, the surrounding habitat is a mix of riverine forest and thorn thicket, providing for very good birding. The camp has several accommodation options: safari tents (communal ablutions), standard bungalows, luxury riverside bungalows, guest cottages, several guest houses and camping and caravan facilities.

Although very busy, the camp area itself is large and has well established trees and gardens. In front of the restaurant complex is a walk along the river bank, and one looks directly into some large sycamore fig trees. When the trees are in fruit, African Green-Pigeon and Purple-crested Turaco are regular visitors, while Village Weaver and Lesser Masked-Weaver hang there nests here. The river should be checked for African Black Duck, African Finfoot, Half-collared Kingfisher and Red-faced Cisticola call from the reeds. On summer evenings, Eurasian Hobby and rarely Bat Hawk can be seen hawking bats along the river front. The campsite has a number of tame woodland species, including Cape Glossy Starling and Greater Blue-eared Starling, Cardinal Woodpecker and Golden-tailed Woodpecker. Yellow-fronted Tinkerbird, not common in the park is found in camp as are Gorgeous Bush-Shrike, often heard along the camp's riverside walkway. Thick-billed Cuckoo is fairly regular in summer. Five robins can easily be seen in the camp - White-browed Robin-Chat, Bearded Scrub-Robin, Red-capped Robin-Chat, White-throated Robin-Chat and White-browed Scrub-Robin as well as several flycatchers: African Dusky Flycatcher, Ashy Flycatcher, Pale Flycatcher, Southern Black Flycatcher, Spotted Flycatcher (summer) and African Paradise-Flycatcher.

If one is up early in camp listen for a distinctive clicking sound from above. The resident African Goshawks parade their territory, particularly when there is low cloud cover. Because Skukuza is on the Sabie River, it periodically plays temporary host to several species from the Afro-Montane forests of the interior to the west or the coast to the east that are not normally found in the Lowveld. Such visitors are generally recorded in passage but sometimes stick around for an extended period and include the likes of African Emerald Cuckoo, Knysna Turaco, Cape Batis, Red-backed Mannikin, Grey Waxbill and Blue-mantled Crested-Flycatcher.

The plant nursery at Skukuza attracts a variety of birds, including Scarlet-chested Sunbird, Marico Sunbird, White-bellied Sunbird and Collared Sunbird. A boardwalk was built here in 2005 and takes one from the nursery parking area through some indigenous woodland and over a wetland area with extensive reedbeds. The Skukuza Golf Course is on the other side of the boardwalk to the nursery. River Warblers have been recorded here and Buff-spotted Flufftail have been reported as well.

A little further along the access road to the nursery is Lake Panic bird hide overlooking the dam of the same name. Pel's Fishing-Owl were seen from the hide on at least three occasions during 2007 and may be resident in the area. Other specials seen here include Greater Painted-snipe, Spurwing Goose, White-crowned Lapwing and White-backed Night Heron while permanent fixtures include White-faced Duck, Egyptian Goose, Green-backed Heron, Black-crowned Night Heron, Pied Kingfisher, Malachite Kingfisher, Wire-tailed Swallow and Black-winged Stilt.

The low-level bridge over the Sabie River is a good spot to look for African Finfoot in the very early morning. Half-collared Kingfisher have also been reported from here.

Shingwedzi Shingwedzi rest camp is situated in the north of the park on the Shingwedzi River. The surrounding habitat is Mopane woodland, but birding is very good in lush the riverine woodland.

In camp, the restaurant and picnic site front onto the river and many species can be observed at close quarters, including Red-billed Hornbill and Southern Yellow-billed Hornbill, Cape Glossy Starling, Greater Blue-eared Starling, Natal Spurfowl, African Mourning Dove and Grey Go-away-bird. The riverine vegetation supports Red-faced Cisticola and Green-backed Camaroptera. The camp area is rather bare but is worth walking around. Red-headed Weaver breed amongst the huts, and are followed by Cut-throat Finch using their nests. Bennett's Woodpecker is also resident. Collared Palm-Thrush has been regularly recorded in recent years around Hut 25 in the camp and also in suitable habitat along the Shingwedzi River. Just south of the camp is a low-level causeway over the river. This is a good spot for waterbirds, including White-crowned Lapwing.

The drive to Kanniedood Dam along the S50 passes through some dense riverine woodland, with many loops of the main road that allow views of the river. A variety of woodland species occur, including Woodland Kingfisher, Brown-headed Parrot, Retz's Helmet-Shrike, Broad-billed Roller and possibly Thick-billed Cuckoo. Verreaux's Eagle-Owl should be looked for in the large dense trees. Kanniedood Dam is good for general waterbirds and has a lookout platform.

Continuing further south along the S50 one travels parallel to the Mozambique Border. After about 30km one gets to the quaint Nyawutsi Hide, where interesting birding and photography possibilities are found. Lesser Moorhen and Greater Painted-snipe have been recorded. A few kilometres further south the Grootvlei Dam is a worthwhile stop for water birds. Osprey has been recorded here.

Wilderness Trails The Kruger Park runs a number of three-night walking trails that offer an excellent opportunity for birding on foot. There are a maximum of 8 guests who can walk on a trail at any one time. There are seven different trails stretching the length of the park, the most popular for birding being the Nyalaland Trail between Punda Maria and Pafuri. Specific birding details on each of the trail can be viewed at These trails have participants based at a Trails Camp and they are taken out for morning and afternoon walks in the company of an armed trail ranger and back-up rifle. There is also the new (2006) Olifants Back Packing Trail where participants carry their luggage and camp under the stars. Booking for all trails can be done through the standard park reservation channels and availability is a lot greater than considered in the past. To avoid conflicting interests, it is recommended that you book the trail as a group of eight birders.

Accommodation and Reservations The Kruger park offers a wide range of accommodation and camping facilities. Reservations can be made through South African National Parks (SANParks), via telephone, fax, post, walk-in or email, and from November 2007 on line on the website. Telephone Number: +27 (0)12 428 9111 Fax number: +27 (0)12 426 5500 Postal address: South African National Parks, P O Box 787, PRETORIA 0001, SOUTH AFRICA Street address: 643 Leyds Street, Muckleneuk, Pretoria E-mail: reservations@sanparks.orgOn-line

Rest Camps

Main Camps The main rest camps are generally the older and more established public camps. They offer a lot of different types of accommodation, from simple two-bed huts to luxurious lodges, and facilities include shops and restaurants. The rest camps are Skukuza, Berg-en-dal, Crocodile Bridge, Letaba, Lower Sabie, Mopani, Olifants, Orpen, Pretoriuskop, Punda Maria, Satara, Shingwedzi. Some of these camps have smaller satellite camps. All camps have a differing range of accommodation quantity and type. All of the main camps have fuel and most have day visitor areas, swimming pools, shops and restaurants. Some of the larger camps have additional amenities such as banks, plant nurseries and museums, while many camps large and small have camp hides and trails. The satellite camps and bushveld camps and lodges have no fuel, shops or restaurants. Check camp specific information on the website

Bushveld Camps Bushveld camps are small more exclusive 'residents-only' camps developed to include the natural bush environment. The accommodation is usually a four to six bed unit, and is luxurious by park standards. No shops and restaurants are provided. These are Bateleur, Shimuwini, Sirheni in the north, and Talamati and Biyamiti in the south. Bateleur and Biyamiti have been discussed under their respective headings. Sirheni in the far north is an excellent launching pad for visiting the Pafuri Region, but excellent birds have been recorded in camp including African Golden Oriole, White-breasted Cuckoo-Shrike and on the dam on which the camp is situated, Rufous-bellied Heron and Dwarf Bittern. Shimuwini near Phalaborwa Gate is on the Letaba River and the hide in the south east of the camp is one of the best places to see White-backed Night-Heron. Pel's Fishing-Owl and Greater Painted-snipe are other specials recorded here. Talamati is in woodland in the central area near Orpen Gate. Specials to look for include Senegal Lapwing, Retz's Helmet-Shrike and a host of woodland species.

Bush Lodges Bush Lodges are small exclusive camps for 12 to 19 people that need to be hired in their entirety. Accommodation is luxurious and no shops or restaurants are provided. The bush lodges are Boulders and Roodewal. Boulders is near Mopani, while Roodewal is between Satara and Olifants.

Private Concessions In 2000 seven concession areas were put out to tender and outsourced to private operators. All of these concessions have their own privately run accommodation ranging from luxury lodges to outdoor activity camps. Three of the camps were previously loss making private camps run by SANParks, the others were previously unavailable to visitors. At some of the concessions skilled bird guides are available. Two additional concessions are available in the Makulele owned land in the Pafuri region as discussed under Pafuri. Contact details of all the concession lodges can be viewed at

Camping and Caravanning Camping is offered at all the rest camps except Mopani and Olifants nor at the bushveld camps and lodges and privately run concessions. The standard of the campsites and facilities is generally very high, although it can sometimes be very hot in summer and rather crowded in school holidays.

Birding Events Every year over weekends in January and February the SANParks Honorary Rangers host birding weekends at virtually all the camps in the park. These events allow special access to parts of the park off the sanctioned tourist routes and special after-hours departure times. There are also a host of birding experts who are distributed throughout the camps. The event has numerous sponsors, but the primary sponsor is SASOL. See website for details.

Bird Hides There are several birding hides throughout the park and some at select camps. Details of most of these hides is discussed elsewhere under the nearest rest camp. These locations often offer excellent photographic opportunity. Lake Panic near Skukuza and Sweni near Nwanetsi (Satara) are arguably the most rewarding.

Other Activities SANParks offers many activities throughout Kruger and many of these are complimentary with birding. They include: Adventure Trails; the Lebombo Overland Trail; Trails into Mozambique; Guided Walks, Game Drives, Bush Braais, Golf at Skukuza Golf Course; Mountain Bike Trails and Star-gazing Activities. For details see website.

Conservation Fees (Daily Tariffs): South African Citizens and Residents (with ID): R33,00 per person, per day SADC Nationals (with passport): R66,00 per person, per day Standard Conservation Fee (Foreign Visitors): R132,00 per Adult R66,00 per child under 12 per day.

SANParks has a loyalty programme known as the Wild Card. Wild Cards are purchased annually and various options are available. Wild Card holders have free access to the park. See website for details.


There is also a Kruger and SANParks bird club and discussion forum called the 'Stiffnecks'. Go to

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