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Game in north of Kruger.

Discuss and find information on the Kruger National Park
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Re: Game in north of Kruger.

Unread post by jb72 » Thu Jul 10, 2014 10:29 am

Hi everyone,

We were in Shing for 4 nights in June. Was wonderful as always. Have nearly forgotten how many ele's there are. Especially in the late afternoons if you drive the river roads. Had the usual amount of "incidents", but this time was the closest ever to being killed. And I don't say that lightly - had we been in a smaller car, or maybe someone less experienced driving it would have been tickets. But that's a story for another day....

Sightings were good as always. Wild dogs twice in one morning, cheetah with 4 cubs eating breakfast, caracal, big pride of lions being chased by ele's, eland, tsesebe etc. Never more than 3 cars at any sighting. No leopards though :evil: Maybe next time.

So in a nutshell: the north is always worth a visit!!! :thumbs_up:

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Re: Game in north of Kruger.

Unread post by Crested Val » Thu Jul 10, 2014 1:14 pm

Agree with everything previously said. :thumbs_up:

There is definitely less game in the North, but still plenty to see, and all the more special because it is rarer!!! Also, you may well have these sightings all to yourself, or with only the odd other car.............virtually no JJs either!!!! :whistle:

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Re: Game in north of Kruger.

Unread post by matbe » Wed Dec 03, 2014 6:58 pm

We had 2 nights in Shingwedzi just last week, we travelled north expecting to see little game as that was the impression we'd been given by others and this forum. Well I can only say that we saw as much if not more game than we did in the south of the park, certainly in terms of numbers, bigger herds and sometimes more frequently. We also had some amazing Lion sightings and as has been said, with just us and maybe one other car.
If anything we found that there were some days in the south that we saw very little for hours on end, especially on the western side, it was never like that north of Shingwedzi, we saw game on a regular basis every day.

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Re: Game in north of Kruger.

Unread post by chrstnmcbt » Wed Dec 10, 2014 3:59 pm

We had a fabulous 7 days in the north of Kruger in September 2014 and were delighted with the numbers and variety of wildlife we encountered. We stayed at Letaba, Shingwedzi and Punda. We stopped counting elephant after 200 and saw loads of buffalo, hippo. crocs, baboons, vervet monkeys, zebra, nyala, giraffe, warthog, mongoose (dwarf and banded), impala, busbuck, waterbuck, wildebeest, sable and kudu. Saw a civet cat, large and small genet cats, fruit bats, bush baby, steenbok, duiker, grysbok, grey rehebok, scrub hare and tree squirrels. We heard hyenas and a lion. We also spotted a snout nose cobra in a tree hollow and confirmed at Khamai Reptile Center, Hoedspruit. One highlight was meeting a croc walkng along the road some distance from the river on a night game drive from Shingwedzi. I identified 70 bird species -saw loads more but unable to confirm unless they were on the ground or sitting in a tree! Can't wait to return next year. McAfrica

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Animals in the Northern part of Kruger

Unread post by lucbo » Fri Aug 14, 2015 4:16 pm

Hi there,

We'll visit the Northern part of Kruger in September this year and stay in Mopani and Sirheni. In our previous visits we never went higher up than Letaba. Which animals could we expect to see that you don't or seldom see in the Southern part?

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Re: Animals in the Northern part of Kruger

Unread post by Imberbe » Fri Aug 14, 2015 4:41 pm


Lots of ellies and buffalo ...

And then you can potentially see antelope like Tsessebe, Roan, Sharps greysbok and Eland.

We recently removed the fence on the Roan breeding camp near Mopani. Lots of them are now becoming visible in the area as they are starting to move around.
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Re: Animals in the Northern part of Kruger

Unread post by RolfB » Fri Aug 14, 2015 7:16 pm


Can confirm...was in Shingwedzi in July..huge herds of buffalo and elephant.. most we have ever seen. Can only encourage you to visit this part of KNP... for us the best part!

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Re: Animals in the Northern part of Kruger

Unread post by Elsa » Fri Aug 14, 2015 9:57 pm

lucbo, have a read of North or South for some great info. :thumbs_up:

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Re: Animals in the Northern part of Kruger

Unread post by lucbo » Sat Aug 15, 2015 11:12 am

Many thanks for your replies! I am getting even more excited about our trip, less than a month from now!

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Re: Game in north of Kruger.

Unread post by Garyd73 » Mon Aug 17, 2015 11:48 pm

Great pic RolfB, amazing collection of animals in one place.

I shouldn't have started reading this as I am desperate for my visit this year in October and now doubly so. Like Lucbo I have only been as far north as Letaba but will be spending time at Mopani, Shing and Letaba before heading further south to Satara and Lower Sabie or Skukuza.

Normally I only have 2 or 3 things on my wishlist to see but this year it's as long as my arm, even if I see none I will be very happy and eager to see if there is more bird life further north.

Here is what I would like to see this year from the possibles list, most of which would be new to me:

Black Rhino
Dung Beetle
Crested Guinea Fowl
Any Bee Eater
Any Owl
Any Snake

And ones we have seen in the south but still on the list:


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Punda Maria to Crocodile Bridge

Unread post by gopher99 » Fri Oct 28, 2016 5:51 pm

I am looking to book a trip from the far north( Punda Maria) to the south( Crocodile Bridge). My main question is the trip worth starting that far north? Will there be many animal sightings up north, or what might I see up there which I can't see down the south. I realise that nothing is guaranteed in the Kruger park, it took me 15 years to see cheetah in the park.

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Re: Punda Maria to Crocodile Bridge

Unread post by cheetahlady » Sat Oct 29, 2016 2:54 am

Depending on time of year, birding up north is great. Even in dry season, still have birds that are not further south. Apart from animals, just a very different feel. Punda Maria is a lovely camp.
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Re: Punda Maria to Crocodile Bridge

Unread post by Meandering Mouse » Sat Oct 29, 2016 5:36 am

Hi gopher, firstly, a very warm welcome :gflower: .

The north is a favorite for those who enjoy the solitude and greater sense of wilderness. It is also wonderful for birding. It can be disappointing for those who visit for a great variety of sightings.

As Cheetahlady said, Punda Maria is a great camp and really worth a visit. The eco diversity is quite unique and some of the most scenic roads are around the Pafuri area. If you enjoy history, a visit to the Thulamela ruins would be a consideration. It has to be done with a tour guide. I have not done the tour, but I have seen some very positive feedback.

I also have rather a soft spot for Shingwetzi. It is a place where you can see some of the famous tuskers. Some of the view sites, such as "Red Rocks' are well worth a visit.

The Mopani area can be disappointing for some. I am not sure how long you intend to be in the Park, but what about considering a night in the Shipandani Hide? It is such a special experience.

If you have a reasonable amount of time, I would consider a few days north of Letaba, if only for the uniqueness. Who knows, you might be lucky and see the Mopani cheetahs. The positive thing about big cat sightings in the north is that you are more likely to have them to yourself.

I tend to enjoy the solitude it offers. I also look out for the rarer creatures, such as Roan. I am still waiting for my Eland.
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Re: Punda Maria to Crocodile Bridge

Unread post by Hippotragus » Sat Oct 29, 2016 6:26 am

I agree with the previous replies. We love the north and try and get up there at least once a year. Punda Maria is a lovely small camp and a day drive up to Crooks' Corner and the Pafuri picnic site is well-worth doing. There are species of birds in the north that are very seldom, if ever, seen in the south. There are not the number of "wow" sightings up north as down south, but we have seen lion, elephant and buffalo often up there. We have also seen eland, which are not often seen.

Shingwedzi is a good, well-run camp and the Red Rocks road is worth doing. We once saw a leopard on that road and the Red Rocks themselves are interesting.

On the Tropic of Capricorn road, near Mopani camp, we have seen tsessebe and roan antelope - both of which are very habitat-specific and not seen in other areas.

If you have never been to the north of the park, I would highly recommend it. There are fewer visitors and you can often have a good sighting all to yourself - which seldom happens in the south!
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Re: Punda Maria to Crocodile Bridge

Unread post by Elsa » Sat Oct 29, 2016 10:38 am

I can only echo what everyone else has said so far!
The north of the park is a very special place and we have had the most amazing sightings up there over the years.
To name a few, Caracal kittens, Leopards on every single visit and even 2 cubs this last time, Lions almost every time, Roan, Eland, tuskers and some ticks of the rarer bird species as well.
But just the scenery, the Baobabs, the rarer antelopes, the solitude that one doesn't get the same feeling from in the more busier south makes it worth it. :thumbs_up:

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