Bird Hides Within The Kruger National Park
The Kruger National Park is a big place. It also gets hot in summer and the Bird Hides of the Kruger are wonderful retreats for when the legs get a bit sore from driving slowly, the bum becomes a little numb or there is just a need to get out and stretch a leg.
Of course the bird hides are great places to watch for all sorts of wild life activity and not just for birding or bird enthusiasts.
In my experience the bird hides are under-utilized maybe because they tend to be a bit remote and off the well beaten tracks … maybe this is how it should be as well.
In almost all cases (in fact I think all) water is a predominant feature of the immediate area around the hides. This makes for the attraction that these locations have for ourselves and the life the water source sustains. My favourites are Lake Panic Bird Hide and The Sweni Bird Hide.
Below’s a list with their general location. If you do a search on this site using the simple search box for the name of the hide you will get a description and an overview of the drive in the area.
- Nthandanyathi Bird Hide - located on the S28 gravel road heading towards Crocodile Bridge. It is south east of Lower Sabie just north of the junction with the S137.
- Gardenia Bird Hide, so named because of the array of lovely gardenia trees in the area which flower (yellow and creamy white blossoms) profusely in spring - located on the S25, S119 junction near Malelane.
- Lake Panic Bird Hide – Probably the most used and most mysterious of the hides. Here I saw a Crocodile with a Bushbuck kill. It is located on the S42 near Skukuza on the road to the Nursery.
- Sweni, my second favourite bird hide is on the Sweni River, one of the few rivers that rise within the Park boundaries – located where the S37 meets the Sweni River about 5 km from N’wanetsi Picnic Site.
- Ratel Pan which means the Honey Badger – located on the S39 about 4 km north of Timbavati Picnic Site.
- Sable Dam is a sleep over bird hide (yes you can arrange to “camp out” there for the night) – located on the S51 about 7 km from Phalaborwa Gate.
- Matambeni – located on the S62 on the northern bank of the Letaba River, north west of Letaba Camp and close to the Engelhard Dam on the Letaba River.
- Shipandani Bird Hide – located on the S142 about 3 km from Mopani Camp. It is possible to arrange a sleep over at this bird hide at Mopani Rest Camp.
- Pioneer Dam - located on the southern side of the dam of the same name, next to the dam wall. Also on the S142 Nyawutsi – located on the eastern side of the S50 a few km north of Grootvlei Dam.
- Kanniedood Bird Hide – located on the S50 a few km south east of Shingwedzi Camp. The location is along one of the most productive animal drives in the whole Park. Further down the road about 20 kms away is another bird hide built by Sasol.
- Coetzee Dam Hide at Punda Maria - Located in Punda Maria camp itself, this hide is beautiful and is close to the ablutions of the camping site. This hide can be enjoyed during the day and at night, because of the permanent lights that illuminate the waterhole.