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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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Location: Randburg, SA
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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"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: 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: Satara nearby routes
Unread postPosted: Sun Oct 12, 2008 6:18 pm 
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Fantastic information all, thank you I just realized that I didn't give much info about our trip :redface: We'll be in the park from 14/02/09 to 18/02/09, 2 nights @ Satara and 2 nights @ Olifants.

Day 1: We'll be entering Orpen gate around noon, and take the H-7 to Satara. Not exactly the best game viewing time of day, but we're hoping to have some of your luck ,BB and gerharddb. :pray: Depending on when we get to camp, as we'll be in no rush, we'll check availability for an evening or night drive, and maybe do a partial drive down S-100.

Day 2: The gates open at 5:30, and my plan it so be queued and ready! (not sure the wife will agree, but she can doze in the car. :)) I'm really leaning towards a drive to Tshokwane. (great info and suggestions, oddesy5466 and MM!!). Back to Satara that night.

Day 3: Eventually we need to make it to Olifants, and I think the S-39 will fit into our plans this day! (Maybe S-126 to S-36/39 if time permits) Stay at Olifants that night, overlooking the river.

Day 4: From Olifants...I'm WIDE OPEN on what to do this day. Northern routes towards Lataba, or southern routes back towards Satara/Orpen? Decisions, decisions.

Day 5: I need to get from Olifants to Eastgate airport for a flight that leaves at 1:55PM. :wall: Not sure if we'll have time to do much of anything, but we're considering exiting the park via phalaborwa and stopping at the masorini site. OR, we just might stay on the tar roads and swing back to Satara and out Orpen. (if, for no other reason, than to maybe get a chance to see the elusive wild dogs.)

Again, thank you all for your willingness to share your experience. I've purchased a few books about visiting SA and Kruger, and by far I've gotten better info right here from this site.

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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: Sun Oct 12, 2008 9:40 pm 
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Check the sightings boards in the camps as well -- don't take them as gospel though :lol: Letaba is not far from Olifants and a trip up there is always worth while -- even if just to pop into the Elephant Hall.


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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 6:51 am 
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Stark have a awesome time, many already had replied so i won't say much except that you might also have a look at the Sweni road, very very nice and sometimes rewarding road!
Enjoy :mrgreen:


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 Post subject: Re: Satara nearby routes
Unread postPosted: Mon Oct 13, 2008 5:42 pm 
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We saw this guy just before the S100 Turn off outside Satara early on a July morning. When we first spotted the 2 males it was still so dark that we needed to use our torch to see him. But waking early pd off because as soon as there was enough light he got up and gave us a great show.

Picture a bit blurred (like our morning vision! :) )

That is the beauty of Satara. Somedays you don't even need to drive more than 2 km's out of camp to see a cat! My only real tip is that getting up early really has it's rewards. :dance: :dance:

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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: Tue Oct 14, 2008 8:57 am 
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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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Leave KNP alone. Go build a hotel someplace else. Reserves are for the preservation of wildlife.

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