Puffadder and Lioness on the S90 and a Big Elephant Tusker on the S100
Waypoints 252 to 273: Satara Camp is one of my favourites, not because of the camp itself but because the surrounding areas are rich in wildlife, trees, birds and all that makes Kruger so special. The image is a photo from Google Earth showing the camp from the air. You can see the photo was taken at night (notice the lighting) from the satellite. The name Satara is the result of a misunderstanding regarding the number 17 in Hindi language. The rest camp was the site of a ranger post since 1910 and the camp itself dates back to 1928. If you're like me you'll go around in circles for a while trying to find your bungalow.
We spent 4 nights at Satara. My younger son, Gareth (school
holidays) and my wife, Patty were able to accompany me on this trip.
This helped a lot with the "spotting". The Mavumbye and
(on right of map) play a vitally important role in this region.
Waypoint 254 was a where we got a nice shot of a
Lappet-faced Vulture close to the road. Shortly after we reached the
turn off to the S90 at waypoint 255 and after about 5 kms we came across the
first surprise for the day.
I've mentioned previously that I've never seen many
snakes in the Kruger
National Park so to find a Puffadder slowly crossing the S90 road was a good
Waypoint 256 to 258 ... We were trying to identify a couple of small birds
at the Mavumbye Creek when just ahead of us a
the road from right to left. This turned into a sad but wonderful incident
and the story is told in depth along with a series of
photographs that tell a tale.
Waypoint 259 is a wonderfully mysterious waterhole on the Mapetane Creek
(means someone who helps others to get into trouble) where on a past occasion we
disturbed an elephant which decided it didn't like us. Today it was quiet with a
Wildebeest enjoying a drink in peace.
|Buffalo eyeing us up!|
|A nice shot of a Three-banded Plover was taken.|
Waypoint 263 is another crossing of the Gudzani before it joins with a
small stream from the east and shortly after this confluence of the 2 streams
the Gudzani flows into the Gudzani dam at waypoint 266. The drive along the S41 so far had enabled us
to see many grazing and browsing animals in large numbers including ...
Waypoint 260 and marks the turn off to the S41 and about 7 kms later at
waypoint 261 we cross the Gudzani Creek some 20kms from Satara. The Gudzani is a
large tributary of the N'wanetsi River and where a
Crake is feeding vigorously on what are probably tiny nymphs flowing down
with the current. Shortly therafter we approach Gudzani East watering
point driven by a solar panel system and presented in memory of Hendrik Alberts.
This was waypoint 262.
Waypoint 264 ... A small crocodile was sunbathing on a rock in one of the
Mavumbye pools next to the road. At waypoint 265 is an entrance/exit point for
the Mananga 4 x 4 trail. There are a number of recently opened 4 x 4 trails that
make use of previously designated "No Entry" and firebreak roads. In all cases,
the routes were carefully chosen to comply with the Kruger National Park
recreation opportunity zoning or
The ROZ plan is designed to keep wilderness areas intact but to identify and
develop opportunities for tourism in footprints already exploited by park
operations. It is advised that all drivers use a GPS.
Garmin GPS Units
Suitable for Mapping Use & General Purpose
At waypoint 266 is the magnificent Gudzani Dam. On a previous visit to this
typically African Dam we saw a large flock of
African Openbill Storks .
Today in the cloudy, rain-threatening scene it seemed even more mysterious and
dangerous. Can you imagine the numbers of crocodiles that are in this dam? Not a
place to go for a swim. Take a look at the map below to see how the Dam is fed
from two important streams ... the Gudzani from the north and the Mavumbye from
the east. These 2 stream create 2 legs as it were. The dam wall is close to
waypoint 266 ... note where the river leaves the dam. Waypoint 267 is the turn off to the S100 leading back to Satara. The
alternative way and we didn't have time to do this is to continue down the S41
from this point and to make the way back via the N'Wanetsi picnic spot. Saw
Burchell's Coucal here.
This map is on a very large scale to clearly show how two important streams
which are tributaries of the N'Wanetsi come together to create the Gudzini dam.
They join the N'Wanetsi close to the S41 about 6 kms SE of the dam wall.
Waypoint 268 is a wonderful view overlooking the N'Wanetsi ... it means the
river with shiny or shimmering water. We continued along the banks of the river
and after about 1.5 kms came to a spot where there were 2 elephants browsing on
the side of the N'Wanetsi. One of the elephants is what is known as a Tusker (an
elephant wit extra large tusks). Except in this case there was
only a single tusk although it was very long. By far the longest
I've ever seen and I've had the pleasure of seeing many many
The Tusker just described was with another much smaller
bull and about 500 metres in front at the roadside was anther
bull elephant that remained to be negotiated. Compare tusk sizes
in this picture. The one tusk could have been lost in a fight or
digging or doing some other type of demolition that elephants do
Waypoint 270 was another Mananga trail marker discussed above. There had
been quite a number of elephants along this section of road close to the
N'wanetsi River. We were fortunate to see a pair of
Fish-Eagles sitting next to each other on a dead tree.
Waypoint 271 ... A solar panel watering point donated by Hendrik Alberts
along with Linda and Vic Fenner who contributed to this project in 1984. The
watering point is called Shibotwana (Little Pot). Close by there was a flock of
Green Wood-Hoopoes that make
quite a racket and have wonderful
|One of the reasons the lion population is higher in the Satara area is the large quantities of browsing and grazing animals along with the long grass into which lions can so easily blend ready to ambush their prey. We've seen so many animals including these Warthogs pictured next to a Wildebees in this picture. Waypoint 272 was a stream crossing where we saw Buffalo and Giraffe. Just before this point I took the picture shown here. In this image you'll find a typical scene for this route. Note the herds of Zebra, and Impala grazing in the rich grass savannah with relatively few Knobthorn trees. This is prime Lion country. This is Africa as we see it so often when dreaming of this wonderful land. This is my everlasting image of the S90 and S100 routes. At waypoint 273 we rejoined the main road.|