Skukuza and Satara Camps: Start of Another 5 Spell-Binding Days in the Kruger National Park

It was the day before the shortest day of the year in South Africa on June 25th that we arrived at Numbi Gate in the south west of the Kruger National Park to start the next leg of my project to drive all publicly accessible roads in the Park. The Numbi is a hill close to the entrance gate and some seven and a half kilometres from Pretoriuskop Rest Camp.

On this visit we would stay one night at Skukuza before heading to the Satara Camp where we would spend 4 nights exploring the rich Basaltic plains of the Satara region. The grazing around Satara is the best in the park and probably attracts the greatest game numbers. For this reason the area is also well known for seeing lions and indeed we saw lions on 4 separate occasions including one sighting where we had a tyre puncture.

Satara is actually a misspelling of the original attempt to name the camp after the Indian word for the number 17 (refer "A Dictionary of Kruger National Park Place Names".

Satar Grassveld and open Knobthorn Veld This photograph depicts well the type of veld to be seen close to Satara although not all areas are as open as this since more dense Knobthorn Veld also predominates.

Introduction to the Drives Made

Waypoints 207 to 340

Skukuza start of drives June 1006

The map gives an overview of the roads covered and the extent of interesting waypoints marked over the 5 day period. Subsequent pages will describe each of the main drives in more detail.

There are many roads in this region and it was not possible to cover them all in 5 days.

Numbi Gate near Pretorius Kop

The image shows the entrance gate at Numbi. This is the closest entry point for those people traveling east from Johannesburg. It takes about 30 minutes to reach the gate from Nelspruit.

Cardinal Woodpecker in Kruger Park

While waiting to enter the Park we were able to locate a Cardinal Woodpecker in the trees close to the gate. Getting a good photo shot was another matter since the birds are fast movers and get hidden by branches. Nevertheless we did manage to get this photo of Cardinal Woodpecker ( Dendropicos fuscescens) .

Fork Tailed Drongo Kruger Park

We also got a good shot of a Fork-tailed Drongo  before making our way to the S1 unpaved sand road that would take us via the banks of the Sabie River up to the Skukuza camp for our first night's stay. The first drive starts here ...