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 Post subject: Satara nearby routes
Unread postPosted: Sun Oct 12, 2008 7:05 am 
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Virtual Ranger
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Location: Arizona, USA
While planning our stay in Satara followed by Olifants, I've researched alot of good sources (including this forum :dance: ) for the best drives around the area. The problem I'm running into is wondering... "what drives can we do in a day, a half-day, or in a few hours??" I'd greatly appreciate any insight on the time and experiene anyone has on these drives, or any of your favorites!

Thank you all in advance!

Satara to Tshokwayne and back. (H1-3, S-32, S-35, S-37, S-100) Seems like a full day drive to me...am I cutting things close given all the great places to stop along the way?

Satara to Muzandzeni to Talamati and back. (H1-3, S-126, S-36, S-145, S-140, S-106, H-7) This looks like it would be a route-less-travelled, but I see there is going to be road construction in the area very soon.

Thank you all in advance!

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 Post subject: Re: Satara nearby routes
Unread postPosted: Sun Oct 12, 2008 7:36 am 
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Virtual Ranger
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Hi stark

The drive from satara to tshokwane would be more or less a full days driving if you were to leave as the gates open , which i would suggest as your best sightings are always in the earlier parts of the day. It is approxamitely 77km there, travelling on the S100,S37,S35 and S32 and because they are sand roads travveling is alot slower, so with stopping for sightings i would say it would take about 4.5-5 hours (at an averahe of 20km/h). On the way back if you travel the H1-3 it is about 49km and would take about 3-3.5 hours .

you will really enjoy the S126 going to muzandzeni, one of my favourite roads in the park! Im not sure if it is a road less travelled but in general there are usually far less people on the sand roads.

If you want a general rule, my family usually does not try and exceed a 150km round trip in one days driving, as we like to stop for a long time at sightings and drive very slowly.

Enjoy your trip when you go !! because you will definately be back for more and more :thumbs_up:

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 Post subject: Re: Satara nearby routes
Unread postPosted: Sun Oct 12, 2008 7:41 am 
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Legendary Virtual Ranger
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Stark, I love that area and it really is Lion country.

As far as Satara to Tshokwane goes, do nip into the S86. Its a small loop off the H1-3. You will often find Lions seeking a bit of shade.

You will have to try the boerrie rolls at Tshokwane, prepared by our very own forumite, Geupard. Pop in and say, hello. Forumites always love to meet each other.

The s100, to my mind is a must. It is the road where I have seen the biggest concentration of Lion. Because of the many predators, there are also many raptors. I always go to check out Gudanzi dam if I explore the s100, it is a particularly lovely spot.

You do not say how many nights you will be staying. If time is an issue, I would be tempted to rather spend a day going towards Olifants and taking in the s39 somewhere. As much as I enjoyed the Talamati area, I found that the road towards Olifants had more to offer.

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 Post subject: Re: Satara nearby routes
Unread postPosted: Sun Oct 12, 2008 1:02 pm 
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The H7 to Orpen can cook also!

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 Post subject: Re: Satara nearby routes
Unread postPosted: Sun Oct 12, 2008 1:23 pm 
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I agree with BB. The H7 to Orpen for me is a must. Seen leopard, lion and cheetha in one morning only to Orpen. On the way back a rhino and of course ellies which made up the 5 for me. But I have also seen AWC and alot of nice birds on the way.

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 Post subject: Re: Satara nearby routes
Unread postPosted: Sun Oct 12, 2008 3:04 pm 
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If you enjoy history, Rabalais hut is a must.

I am taken by the simplicity of this little "shrine" to some ofthe most important people's contibution to conservation.

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 Post subject: Re: Satara nearby routes
Unread postPosted: Sun Oct 12, 2008 9:36 pm 
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1 km west of Msemani dam (7 km west of Satara) is a hyena den. Msemani has been known to be a leopard and lion hotspot.
Look out for cheetahs hunting during the day, near Timbavati turnoff and eastern Talamati turnoff also.

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 Post subject: Re: Satara nearby routes
Unread postPosted: Mon Oct 13, 2008 6:00 am 
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Stark,
that sounds great. :thumbs_up:
I would suggest getting the book, "Exploring Kruger" when you are there. It's well worth it and it will be a lovely reminder of your journey.
You will find the book full of detailed info, including descriptions of all the roads. In addition, it discusses the biostructures of Kruger, animals, birds, history, and... and.. and.

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 Post subject: Re: Satara nearby routes
Unread postPosted: Mon Oct 13, 2008 6:29 am 
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Don't waste your time on the S100 Stark...nothing to see there :twisted:

Seriously now Satara is my favourite place to visit and I always love to hate the fact that I can't decide which road to take in the mornings...Do I go towards Tshokwane, Orpen, Sweni, Timbavati, Olifants or Nwanetsi....I mean really you are spoilt for choice there :D

Have a good time :mrgreen:


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 Post subject: Re: Satara nearby routes
Unread postPosted: Mon Oct 13, 2008 9:38 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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Hi there :D

I FULLY concur with BB....H7, including N'semani dam is one of your best bets :dance: and then coming back on the s125 or s126, including Mudzadzeni (especially early morning)

Personally, the s37 doesn't do it for me, altough there aren't too many cars around.... love the H6 though.....including Son-op waterhole N'wanetsi lookout-point and Sweni birdhide...all hits!

Tarroad towards Tshokwane can become quite busy, just keep that in mind.

Going north, the tarroad is also good, and a should-not-miss-road is the upper part of the s39.

Enjoy :mrgreen:

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Last edited by G@mespotter on Mon Dec 14, 2009 1:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Satara nearby routes
Unread postPosted: Mon Oct 13, 2008 9:42 pm 
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Meandering Mouse wrote:
As far as Satara to Tshokwane goes, do nip into the S86. Its a small loop off the H1-3. You will often find Lions seeking a bit of shade.


Hey....my little secret! :evil: :twisted:

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 Post subject: Re: Satara nearby routes
Unread postPosted: Tue Oct 14, 2008 8:57 am 
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Location: Hopping around greener pastures.
For me it is the S100, S41, Breakfast at N'wanetsi.

I have seen lion many times on the 100 and Cheetah on the S41.

I also enjoy going to Timbavati for brekkie and have seen some very entertaining and interesting things on the way there.

I do not enjoy the S89, s90 as I have seen very little of any value on this road on any of the times I've been on it.

We do all know though, that it is very much a matter of luck and timing.

We did see leopard on the main Satara Olifants highway, 900 meteres from the Olifants turnoff.

The view from Nwamanzi is stunning but beware of the thieveing monkeys. They jump into your car and grab stuff really quickly.

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 Post subject: Re: Satara nearby routes
Unread postPosted: Sat Oct 18, 2008 9:00 am 
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Virtual Ranger
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Hi stark

Many people from satara race down the S100 first thing in the morning as the gates open, and many people do the same thing in the late afternoon before the gate closes, we have found that the majority of our best sightings on this road have been around midday to early afternoon,(11-3pm) no matter how much some people may not like this road they cannot deny that the scenery is great and we always stop and look out over one of my favourite views. There is also a certain place where my family must have seen lion at least six times in exactly the same place , next to the shibotwana waterhole. as for the night drives, we have been taken down the S100 before and it was great as we saw two lioness and a male fending off hyena from a buffalo kill. :thumbs_up:

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"We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit." Aristotle


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 Post subject: Re: Satara nearby routes
Unread postPosted: Mon Nov 17, 2008 2:22 pm 
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Greetings,

I've got some friends out from abroad and I've managed to get a few nights at Satara this coming weekend and would really appreciate some updated info if possible.

Firstly my initial idea is as follows as time is rather limited:

Day 1:
Enter through Croc Bridge (I'll be at the gate by around 7:30am) and then take the S28 to L/Sabie, H10 to Tshokwane and then H1-3 to Satara. It's approx 127km which is well workable and gives us the chance to see some different aspects of the park as well. If time permits in the late afternoon we will tackle the S100.
Day 2:
This is where it gets difficult H6 / S41 / H90 or H1-4 / S127 / S39 / H7.
Either of these drives should take the majority of the morning, hoping to be back at camp for lunch, a swim and a snooze before tackling the S100 again before sunset.
Day 3
Time is an issue so we need to head down the H7 and exit at Orpen.

There are so many options and I'm really torn on which roads to tackle.

So here are my questions;

1. Is the timing workable?
2. If anyone is in the Satara area or has just returned from there, please advise whether any particular roads are more productive at the moment. I know animals have legs and move but certain roads can be more productive for game viewing depending on the thickness of the bush, availability of water etc. and as I don't have time to work all the roads this time I would really appreciate some updated info.
3. What has the rainfall been like over the past month or so? Is the bush thick?
4. Any other usefull suggestions or comments.

Thanks
DGK


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 Post subject: Re: Satara nearby routes
Unread postPosted: Mon Nov 17, 2008 5:24 pm 
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Hi there. We were in Satara area early Oct. If I were to choose again I would take the H1-4, S90, S41 option. The S127 road surface is quite bad. We saw much more game on these roads than the S39, which is also a favourite of mine. Another suggestion would be to take the H1-4 up to the S91 9(or S89), past Balule, S90 to Gudzani and then either the S90 (which we did and finished at around 11h00, including 2 lion sightings.)or S41, S100 depending on time. You can also think of visiting Olifants, but that might be a bit far. BTW the S100 was teeming with game and predators, that is if you can handle the traffic. A good idea would be to start or finish after (or before) the crowds. . The first part of the H1-4 was burnt, so it should be almost emerald green by now after the rains.
See my trip report "Breeding Kruger Junkies"

As always its still right place, right time though.
Good luck and enjoy.

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