- ROUTE: Punda Maria gate / Pafuri region / Punda Maria gate
- TIME: Six hours with animal sightings traveling at 30 km/h
- DISTANCE: 152 km
- BIG 5?: Rhino may be difficult to spot
It has been a while since my last route info! We have been busy, but wanted to share this great birding route with you!
Punda Maria is the northernmost camp in Kruger and has a lot more going for it than meets the eye… The animal sightings may be infrequent, but rare birds such as thick-billed cuckoo and Arnots chat abound here! It’s a great area of the park for bird tours and is quiet, so if you’re looking for some ‘real’ rest, make your way up north
I would enter through the gate and make my way 7km on the H13-1 and then turn left on the H13-2. The 25km S99 ring road which circles Punda Maria camp is a good one to try as wild dog and lion are seen here as well as the opportunity to spot elusive species such as the Sharpe’s grysbok and the very rare suni! From here, make your way back onto the H13-2 and turn left onto the S60 and then left again onto the S61… These are by far the better routes in the area and as elephant, buffalo, nyala and kudu are well represented as well as the large baobab that grows on the S61 just past the klopperfontein dam
As the S61 hits the H1-8 tar road, turn left and make your way up towards the pafuri region… Pick up speed along this route as the area is not well-known for game.
The pafuri region is one of the most magical places in the whole of Africa! As you get to the S64 on your left hand side, take that road, aptly name nyala road! The trees and scenery here are just magnificent and so is the birding! The bridge going over the river on this road has yielded Bohm’s spinetails and the rare African finfoot, a birders delight! Enjoy this 7km route before coming out at the entrance to the northern route of the S63.
This would be a good place to rest your legs at the pafuri picnic spot for a look around… This area provides the best bird tours and an opportunity for you to see bird species like – the narina trogan, trumpeter hornbill, gorgeous bushshrike and my personal favourite, the Pel’s fishing owl! It’s best to book a private Kruger safari with us so we can make the most of your safari!
Continue along the S63 to Crookes Corner and then back again… This area is good for lion, leopard, buffalo and plenty of hippo and crocodile! Even if you don’t see anything, the scenery will make up for it
Once you’ve finished that, make your way back to the gate using the same route you followed here! Remember, we have updated sightings daily so stay in touch, who knows what you will see
Till next time, enjoy your trip!!!