- ROUTE: Paul Kruger / Skukuza / Paul Kruger
- TIME: 3 hours with animal sightings traveling at 30 km/h
- DISTANCE: 70 km
- BIG 5?: Yes
This route in Kruger is great during winter when animals congregate around the permanent water sources. Elephant are very water dependent and this route is perfect for them
Head into the park via Paul Kruger gate and carry on the H11 road all the way passed Skukuza for 14km until you reach the H4-1 / H1-2 split. From here you can choose whether to go left or right. I prefer to go right at this time on the H4-1 as the river crossing later in the afternoon on the H1-2 can often produce leopard sightings
The H4-1 is a rather busy route, especially during the holiday season in South Africa as it is the famed ‘Lower Sabie / Skukuza road’ and is a must if you are a big 5 safari check list hunter! The 12km route you will travel until you get to the H12 meanders along the Sabie River and provides great views of the river and many opportunities to see Kruger’s big elephant, especially during the winter months
Turn left onto the H12 – immediately you cross over the Sabie River. I have had great opportunities in the past to photograph kingfishers, hippos and baboon on this bridge so spend some time looking around. If you are a birder there have been reports of African finfoots being spotted in the undergrowth along the river so keep a look out for that tell-tale flash of orange!
Many people just drive past the S30 split as you cross over the bridge, but don’t be fooled by its innocent, dusty appearance. The first 6km of this road is a prime spot for lion prides as there are many large, shady trees and of course great opportunities to hunt close to the water. After 6km turn back towards the H12 as this road then moves away from the river and becomes rather quiet.
Turn right and follow the H12 along until you hit the H1-2 road. Turn left and retrace your steps back to Skukuza. I have seen great elephant, lion and bushbuck sightings on this road. Travel for about 9km until you see the bridge crossing over the Sabie. This is my favourite bridge crossing as there is so much to see and photograph here! Leguaans, hippos and crocs are often here and if you are lucky, the resident leopard will make an appearance to!
From here carry on until you hit the H11 split, turn right and head back to Paul Kruger gate. At this time of the day I have seen great wild dog and leopard sightings in the game reserve, but traffic can be an issue.
Enjoy this route guys!